Notes on Regular Travel SYD->BAL/ALST

For the next few months I’ll be traveling weekly to the Northern Rivers from Sydney City for 1 Day. To make this process less painful, this will contain a selection of notes to improve the experience.


originally took train from local station to townhall and parked near by, however due to the late return flight, there was limited trains to the local station and they stop at most stops, making the journey home longer. Now driving to blacktown as this is a major stop, allowing express trains to be caught.

lessons learned:’

blacktown carpark is full by 7:30 AM, if i leave home  at 7:00, i may as well drive to local station. Leaving at 6AM and catching train Blacktown to City at 6:30 has worked so far. I get 40 Minutes of Laptop Time on train.

Town Hall to Domestic at 16:06 was $17.18, Ouch. After reading a 2010 Lifehacker article, the walk from Mascot Station to Domestic Airport is 20 Minutes. This would remove the “Airport” Tax, plus provide a little exercise. I expect the cost is mostly from being in peak hours. Will consider a walk next time to find out cost difference and time.

Airport tax is $13.80 on top of normal train fare. Worth saving the fare and walking IF it is not raining, there is plenty of time AND exercise is needed.

Trying to leave early to get Dinner at Airport while waiting for boarding. Mexican is perfect.


Travelling SYD->Goldcoast. BAL doesn’t have times that suit working business hours in SYD.

  1. Trying Jetstar – 17:25 SYD->GG. (not my preferred airline – worst customer service, however their times match my needs, grumble.)
  2. There is about 30 min in cruse to use Laptop. Trying to watch something then listen to Podcasts for takeoff and landing.
  3. jetstar 20:20 ool to syd. Late leaving at 20:50. Tracking this to see how often flights are on time. Budget airline = flexible time management.


Hiring car at Goldcoast Airport. Booked through Jetstar as price was cheaper than online. However I noticed the 2nd booking was double, so this may have been a introductory offer. Car is for 24 hours, only 1 day use charge.

EAST COAST Car rentals:

  • Need to call transfer Bus after stepping off plane.
  • 10m Drive to Hire Location
  • 10m-15m to organise car.

1 hour drive from Goldcoast to Ballina. Excellent highway road, able to go 110 majority of it. Car has USB Port for continuing podcast listening. 1 hour of education podcasts.


Flight Notes – Gold Coast to Sydney

  • if there is two jetsrat flights on offer 15 mins apart, take the first one. Any flight delays will be passed to the 2nd one.
  • 8PM flight was delayed to 9PM. Making home trip past midnight – far too late. The problem with late flights, is your tired by you can’t sleep, so you can’t do anything else i.e. work, and you can’t sleep, so its just a dreadful experience.
  • 6PM flight should be the latest, less tired and able to be useful on the trip.