The cost of gas for a three-hour journey from Sydney to Brisbane is about $US50.
On an average weekend, that translates to $US150, or about $2,000 more than a similar journey from Melbourne to Sydney.
In a city of nearly 11 million people, it is a bargain, and it is even more of a bargain in the suburbs, where gas prices are much higher.
On average, Sydney’s average monthly fuel bill is $1,839, according to data from the Bureau of Meteorology.
But that figure is based on a one-way trip between the Sydney CBD and the city’s south-west, which includes the CBD itself and other parts of Sydney.
This includes the suburbs around the CBD, which include suburbs such as Parramatta, Ipswich and Richmond.
On a two-hour trip, it would cost $1.939.
For the average Sydney resident, that means that on a trip from one suburb to the other, that suburb would pay $3,000 in gas taxes.
If that trip were made by car, it takes the average trip from Parramata to Sydney by car at a rate of about $4,400.
“There are a lot of incentives for Sydney residents to take a short-haul car trip,” said David Chubb, chief executive of the Australian Taxation Office.
“In terms of gas, it makes a big difference.”
For example, if you buy a $100 car, your monthly cost is $3.5.
For a five-day trip, that amounts to $7,500.
That is about one-third of the average price of a long-haul trip, which is about four days by plane or train.
“That is an opportunity for people to take advantage of, particularly for those that live in the CBD,” Mr Chubb said.
“The [gas tax] system works better than we would like, but it’s a fact of life for most people.”
Gas prices have also increased by about 25 per cent since 2012, and that has helped fuel prices.
“You’re getting gas for $US10, so you can probably save $5 a week, and I would expect that to increase, as the cost of the gas will go up,” said Ian Smith, a gas industry analyst with energy consultancy GasLogic.
“But it is not a permanent solution.”
While the government’s new gas tax will not be fully implemented until July, Mr Chub said that he did not think it would significantly affect people’s fuel bills.
“People will still be able to find a way to save some money, and you’ll get some additional money when you buy an expensive vehicle.”
What to do if you can’t afford to travel?
Some people are better off staying home than travelling, and others are better placed to use the discount.
A trip from Melbourne, for example, can be made for about $50 in gas, depending on the time of year, the distance and the destination.
“If you have to travel, that’s a good thing, but you should be able make a decision about whether you are going to take that or not,” Mr Smith said.
A longer journey is another option.
“It’s certainly possible to make a long trip in a car, which saves a lot,” Mr Harris said.
But for those looking to travel for an extended period, he recommends a two or three-day itinerary.
“Those will be the most comfortable for those who don’t mind the expense, or those who like to travel on weekends, or who want to make longer trips than two days,” he said.
For those travelling for work, Mr Harris advises people to consider the cost.
“What we have seen in the last couple of years is people are spending more money, more than they have in the past,” he added.
What about the Olympics? “
And you’re probably better off if you do take a holiday, but if you have an emergency, a long vacation will save a lot.”
What about the Olympics?
While the cost to travel to the Games is much lower, it will still take a lot to keep the average person on the road.
“This is an expensive endeavour,” Mr Jones said.
He said the average cost of a week’s accommodation in the Olympic Village would be $US100, while the cost for a two week stay in Sydney would be about $200.
“When you consider how many people are expected to be there, you need to consider what they are doing, what they can afford, and how many places are available,” Mr Holmes said.
The price of accommodation in Sydney is estimated to be about AU$40,000 per person, but the cheapest hotel will be about AUD$60,000.