Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Everyone deserves a holiday now and again, especially when you are on a low income. In previous years, pensioners and concession holders were sent travel vouchers that entitled them to take free return train trips to country locations.
This is the first year where these vouchers don't just arrive in the mail. It's now called an "opt-in process", which is another way of saying unless you ask for the vouchers, they are not going to magically appear.
Yes, you are entitled to them but you have to start the process so you can receive these vouchers.
Due to the coronavirus and the increase in unemployment, a lot more people are going to be on concession cards, so they may not be aware of the way they can use get these vouchers and how to use them to travel with. There are some great trips you can do. Read on.
1 Day Travel Pass (for metro travel in zones 1 2); (which is useful if you have a job interview); or an Economy class V/Line daily ticket (need to be used on off-peak V/Line services); or two Economy class V/Line single tickets* (to return on a different day)
Vouchers can be exchanged for a 1 Day Travel Pass at metropolitan premium stations and PTV Hubs.
For V/Line-ticketed services, where reservations are required, you must go to a staffed V/Line station, selected premium station, or V/Line agent in advance of travelling.
**Keep an eye out for the expiry date on your vouchers
Registering (note the cut off date- 31 July
If you are eligible you must register by 31 July 2020, to receive your allocation of free travel vouchers, and vouchers will be mailed in September 2020.
If you register after 31 July, you will be included in the following year's mail-out.
The good thing is that you only need to register once and vouchers will be mailed to you each year, provided you are still eligible.
Never was there a better time to get out there and explore your own state. If the last few months have been stressful because of being at home so much, then as soon as we are able to, there are some great trips to take.
Start planning some of these day or longer trips for when those travel vouchers arrive.
Ballarat - WeekendNotes lists some great things to do. Click here. My personal favourites that are walkable from the station are the Ballarat Art Gallery and the heritage Craig's Royal Hotel (check beforehand if the hotel is doing historic tours or high tea). There is public transport to and from Sovereign Hill outside the train station.
Source V/Line Facebook
Bendigo is a great place to visit. You are just minutes from the Discovery Science & Technology Centre. Wander 10 minutes to cafes along Mitchell Street and Lyttleton Terrace or to one of the phenomenal exhibitions at the Bendigo Art Gallery. The View Street arts precinct is just another 600 metres. WeekendNotes has lots of idea for things to do in Bendigo.
Castlemaine - it is just a 10 minutes walk into town to reach the Castlemaine Art Museum, cafes and the Theatre Royal. Or wander through the 19th-century botanical gardens. There are lots of eateries and pubs. WeekendNotes writers mention their other great finds in Castlemaine here.
Geelong - Geelong Gallery is only a few minutes away from the station or head to the National Wool Museum and the Waterfront, with its carousel and waterside restaurants. The cafes of Little Malop and Ryrie Streets are only about 10 minutes from the station. Click here for other ideas. For other ideas click here.
Warrnambool. I've done a whole article on the beautiful trip to this ocean town. Click here. Time it right and you can go to see the whales and learn about whaling history and it's a chance to travel past heritage stone walls and rolling green hills. From the station, it is about 15 minutes along Merri Street to Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Enjoy the Warrnambool Art Gallery and there are cafes on Liebig Street.
Bairnsdale - I did a couple of days there a few years ago. So many op shops to explore! Click here.
Warragul - Warragul's Civic Park, is around a 15 minute walk from the station. Pick up the Warragul Linear Park Arts Discovery Trail. Stop off at Traralgon for a walk up Franklin Street, where you can see gold rush architecture. For other ideas click here.
And you can go as far as the NSW border. I once stayed at Club Mulwala, but it all started with a long country train trip. You can read about that adventure by clicking here.