Brisbane to Moree by XPT and Coach
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There are several ways to get from Brisbane to Moree. One of those is the rail journey to Grafton - immediately connected by the coach trip to Moree running almost entirely on the Gwydir Highway. This is a surprisingly good option if you want value for money. Having taken the trip from Brisbane Roma Street to Moree Rail Station, a trip terminating at North Moree, via Grafton, here is my summary of this interesting journey.
The trip involves an XPT train from Brisbane Roma Street to Grafton. The connected coach between Grafton and Moree only runs three times a week in each direction - compared to daily XPT services between Brisbane to Sydney. When booking it is integrated into the NSW public transport system so you only need one compulsory booked ticket. Refunds are easy to obtain but usually always incur a $5.50 fee. If catching the train departing Brisbane for immediate transfer at Grafton, it will indeed be the 5.55 AM train from Roma Street Station. There were many customers aside from myself perplexed about which platform to catch the train from. At the time of writing it was platform three at Roma Street, however, it is well signed once into the station proper, hence at the time of writing Sydney train signs were in orange, leading to platform three.
For locating the platform before arrival at the station, if enquiring with Queensland's Translink
, they are likely to redirect you to NSW Trainlink yet most NSW Trainlink staff at least in my opinion who are reachable on 13 22 32 won't know that fact, which I attribute to there simply being too many facts on such a complex network of trains. However, following train station signs or asking train station staff once at the station are possible ways to find out the correct platform number. However, I found to ascertain this before attending the station, one could click on this site transportnsw.info/routes/nsw-trainlink
and click on the 32 Brisbane to Central train service
. From there, it's easier to navigate to the page with the platform number, and I found it was the only way to get the platform number - so while still difficult to navigate through, this link is definitely a useful starting point.
For those wanting to charge devices, I found out from a train steward that new trains are gradually being brought into the fleet and it is a purely non-safety related priority to improve the service with new trains, yet addresses any future safety as well. So that translates to better device charging however because at the time of publication the XPT train, especially that running from Roma Street to Sydney Central doesn't have charging facilities for every customer, I wouldn't recommend charging the phones on the current trains. However, this 5.55 AM Sydney-bound train traverses the world-famous Scenic Rim region between Brisbane and its first stop of the township of Kyogle, and the meal service (aptly named 'the buffet') car is open all the way to Grafton. Hence instead of using devices, one can enjoy breakfast and some excellent train viewing and save a bit of battery life. I saw little opportunity to charge phones on the connecting bus either, which starts at Grafton Station located in South Grafton (the bus stop is adjacent to the station building, very easy to see, bus driver will have your name on a list if the you have booked and can tick you off the list), after the train refuels after crossing the Clarence River, proceeds westward to Moree shortly after.
The westward Grafton to Moree leg of the journey entirely by coach service is worth taking, especially for the Gwydir Highway, and for the stop in Inverell at its visitor information centre. Inverell is known for sapphires and gems - yet on my stop-off I stopped at The Bridge Coffee Lounge
. It is the only meal stop of the trip offering around an hour from 1.15 to 2.15 PM. Hence, the Bridge Coffee Lounge is a sound choice because this cafe is close enough to the visitor information centre, and the cafe is fairly quiet around that time. Looking back I found the size and quality of my order were excellent value because I got a Rice's artesian-watered soft drink along with a proper fish, chips and salad for $27.30 including any card payment fees. The cafe's Facebook site linked to the cafe name above seemed updated effectively and had appealing photos of the food and drink on offer.
Glen Innes, Inverell and Warialda are the main coach stops with the Gwydir Highway having intense mountain viewing from Grafton to Glen Innes, and any pauses in the journey due to passing of oversize vehicles were well managed by the relevant NSW departments. Crossing the Great Dividing Range, bus trips like this should probably only be used out of necessity or if wanting just to see the highways for a rare novelty. On the Grafton to Moree bus, the security system is noticeable, hence this review should simply inform those taking the trip that despite the trip's good points, it has got that point A to point B aspect and security is at least managed. Overall the effect of security on my coach trip seemed comparable to most public transport experiences - something I attribute to the onboard security camera system.
Below is a photo of Warialda from the Wikimedia Commons Warialda Category
, it is a small township and on the plains close to Moree. Around that point of the journey, the road gets bumpier, despite rare potholes. It's not the bus, it's the road, and probably more noticeable in buses. The same bumpiness occurred on the Newell Highway from Boggabilla near Goondiwindi to Moree on a different bus trip, hence I learned to accept that it's just the roads on the plains. As to whether it's the remoteness or simply a feature of building roads on flood-prone plains is very difficult to ascertain. However, as scenery, the plains in fact are calming. It should be mentioned that travel to Moree is not just for tourism but particularly for farm work aside from business-related purposes. I even saw on the journey that this bus trip is useful for purposes of touring, farm work and business.
This is the link crediting the picture of the old Roma Street Station building
close to platform three where the Sydney-bound train to Grafton departs, pictured below.
The connecting coach service runs as route 141 Grafton to Moree Town TUES/THURS/SAT and route 142 Moree Town to Grafton MON/WED/FRI. If leaving or going to Brisbane the buses are designed to be linked to the North Coast XPT but sometimes that involves a rail bus en-route to Brisbane. I've quoted this to assist online searches on the NSW Trainlink website, and searches will yield exact times, as it is better to obtain times from NSW Trainlink which will be up to date and exact
. For those going all the way to Moree, the 141 bus can drop you off at Moree Railway Station on Morton Street, which occurred when I took the trip, or the town centre north of the Mehi River.
For those catching the bus and rail to Brisbane heading away from Moree it's better to ignore the website-quoted address of Gosport Street for the stop and based on everything I have seen so far, the Morton Street, Moree Railway Station designated coach stop
is the correct bus stop, and there is a way to guarantee that! Here's how - at the following official pages is a route 142 map from Moree Town to Grafton. That is what you need to catch if trying to go to Brisbane in the opposite direction. I have linked it here at: transportnsw.info/routes/details/trainlink/142/76142
or you can re-type into Google for verification. The map clearly shows the bus progress from North Moree across the Mehi River to Alice Street across the Newell Highway (hence past Gosport Street) and then turning into Morton Street where there is a stop of Stop ID 24002. That is where you will need to be if catching route 142 from Moree Station. The coach turns a few more streets and is onto the Gwydir Highway towards Brisbane.
For taxis to accommodation
, Moree Radio Cabs are at the time of publication quite busy, and will likely state this in a message when you call, however both times I called I got through to operators, and they linked my booking to my phone number. However, the company booking system didn't send any confirmation text or indication my booking is linked to my phone. So, all I can do is say experientially, the booking is in fact definitely linked to your phone and you get a texted link to track the taxi once the taxi is on its way. They are linked to the Australia-wide 131008 but their direct line is 6752 2753 from within New South Wales, and add the 02 prefix if pre-booking from outside the state. While I found they were punctual with my booking and call-center staff helpful, my booking was around 7.00 AM so overall at least at time of publication, I would think more in terms of booking rides in off-peak times. Like all 131008 linked taxis, the drivers can process tap and pay card payments.
I think the crucial advantage to using Moree Radio Cabs is they can operate all hours and in most situations so I would find those facts hard to ignore, but nevertheless, there are alternatives - with some cheaper. I would recommend based on my visit to research the alternatives and experiment with them if the cabs get too busy. For example, Uber is offered in Moree, but pragmatically, it seems impossible to find a driver. There is a small on-demand bus service in Moree but there is a news story online about how it's costing cab drivers and indirectly affecting the number of cab drivers in town - yet this alternative service is probably ideal for permanent residents. Nevertheless walking and cycling are definitely options, and it looks like an ideal town for cycling as well as e-scootering, with flat and spacious streets.
The entire journey is thus surprisingly complicated because it is a ten-hour trip and despite offering some exciting mountain viewing, especially between Grafton and Glen Innes it is not really promotable, so this article is simply a guide and certainly not a critique. It is written so if taking this trip one can at least have insight where required. It costs only around thirty per cent less than the direct bus to Brisbane but runs more regularly (the direct bus via Warwick-based Crisps Coaches runs once a week every Friday). Interestingly enough, at the time of publication NSW school holidays are starting soon
so the Moree tourism industry will likely be quite busy. As to whether one should wait for the school holidays to end before visiting is perhaps better answered by tourism operators and in that case who to contact is dependent on one's interest in such a journey. I've included links below of which some will have contact details to help with planning.
NSW transport regional
(also contactable on 13 22 32).
Moree Plains tourism official pages
- has a variety of contact details for holiday queries, both direct and indirect from its directories of Moree businesses. The Moree Visitor Information Centre is reachable on (02) 6757 3350 located on 67 Alice Street Moree NSW 2400.
This review's first photo from Grafton Bridge over the Clarence River
credited to the Wikipedia article for Grafton.
My WeekendNotes article about the Sydney to Moree XPLORER train trip
for perspective, Moree tourism and differentiating between XPT and XPLORER trains on the NSW train network.
Grafton Railway Station, Wikipedia article
My WeekendNotes learning languages article
- Moree is ethnically diverse - this article which has no mention of any particular ethnicity, is useful reading when travelling to an ethnically diverse community.
My Oxley Explorer Bus Trip to Tamworth
article, published by WeekendNotes provides perspective on a similar trip, although the Gwydir Highway seemed to have fewer bridges, higher altitudes and less ravines than the linked article's topic of the Oxley Highway.
262721 - 2023-09-17 08:06:21