Expo needs to shift a fair amount of stuff and people to Austria; less than we used to, as a lot is stored there, but at least a couple of cars are needed to shift kit. And full cars are a reasonable way of transporting people. They are also useful in Austria for getting up and down the hill. But public transport to expo also works well and has become more popular in recent years. Bus, Train and Plane are all practical. Details are given below. It costs £75-£200 each way, depending how you travel, what mode you use and how far in advance you book.
Rome2Rio gives a useful overview of plausible options. Omio (previously goeuro) is a similar site (trains, buses and planes), not as smart about connected routes/modes, but sometimes good for cheap options.
You are trying to get to Gasthof Staudnwirt, Grundleseer Strasse 21, Bad Aussee-8990, Austria. i.e. expo is here.
The last bit: from Bad Aussee to the campsite
For emergency deliveries, e.g. if all the batteries die and we need new ones in a hurry, we have an Amazon account registered in Germany which can do next day delivery to Staudnwirt. Ask Wookey for details.
Put the basecamp phone number into your phone address book before you leave home.
This is (these days) pretty easy to arrange and has the advantage of allowing for stopping off en route in Paris, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich or Salzbug depending what route you take. But you are best booking early for the cheap deals. It can be done in one day if you set off very early from London (6am). The limitation is that the last train to Bad Aussee arrives 21:43. You can get to Stainach-Irdning or Attnang-Puchheim (either end of the branch line through Bad Aussee), Stainach is half-an hour drive away to collect, so is not too bad. Attnang-Puchheim is 1hr 10m so best reserved for emergencies. It's more civilised to set off at comfy time one day, spend a night in a city en-route and arrive the next day, or use the night-train to Vienna.
If part of the train journey has a bus replacement service (as in 2018), it can be easier to simply get the bus all the way from Salzburg (bus station is at the train station) to Bad Aussee, with a change at Bad Ischl. See below.
Use bahn.de for timetabling, and Seat61.com for good advice, especially if you are not familiar with long-distance rail travel. Loco2 is good for buying tickets. Bahn.de is amazing for routing, but online can only sell you German train tickets. They can sell all tickets via their UK phone number, or you can buy online at Loco2.com or at Omio.
The Euro-Spezial ticket is usually the cheapest way to get to Austria. It covers travel from London to anywhere in Germany (which includes Salzburg), starting from €40. Breaking your trip at Salzburg can save £100 easily, even if you don't actually get off the train there, just change ticket! Book early, though (3 months in advance for best prices).
There are lots of possible routes. That above seat61 page has details for the most sensible options.
It's worth repeating the details of the crazy "DB Euro Sparpreis" fares between London St Pancras and anywhere in Germany. Salzburg has been annexed by DB and counts as Germany for train purposes. These are only available via Brussels so you need to add a stop of around an hour when searching for tickets.
Paul Fox just paid (2018) €70 all the way from Salzburg to London, including the Eurostar, booked only 3 days in advance. In comparison Eurostar want £88 for a seat on the same train from Brussels to London, so the journey across all of Germany was cheaper than free.
The only catch is that you need to check in with a human at Brussels / London as the Eurostar gates can't read DB ticket barcodes.
The last stop before Bad Aussee is Obertraun (from Attnang-Puchheim direction), or Kainisch (from Stainach-Irdning direction). Don't get off one stop early like someone did in 2015, and then decide to walk the extra 10km uphill with all your gear. Nor set off from the station building the wrong way and spend a few hours in the middle of the night wandering backroads
There is a bus, 956 from Bad Ausee Bahnhof (Station) to 'Grundlesee', timed to meet train arrivals. It should be there about 15 mins after you get off the train. It goes straight past the campsite and you can see the times of all the buses posted at the bus stop (a sign with a big green "H" on a yellow background). Cost is €2.40 (2018). Get off at stop named 'Staudnwirt Gallhof', about 100m slightly downhill from, and before the bus reaches, the Gasthof/campsite.
To walk to the centre of town, turn right out of the station and just follow your nose up the road (past playing fields on the left, keeping left at the only junction, then past a petrol station). After about 20 minutes you'll reach the main 3-way "roundabout" junction in the centre of town mentioned above. You are now at the Post Office ("Postampt") which is on your left as you have walked from the station..
If you walk this far and now want to get the bus, you can also catch the 956 bus from here. The bus stop you want is on the opposite side of the road from the Post Office building. Take the 956 which is the only bus that goes to Grundlesee. This may be replaced by an anonymous white minibus with a taxi company logo. Don't get caught out by not getting onto it. The jouney takes 6 minutes and 'Staudnwirt Gallhof' is the 4th stop. However there are only 8 buses a day in July and August (outside school term). They leave the Post Office (2018) at 06:38, 08:00, 10:25, 11:20, 12:25, 14:25, 15:20, 16:25, and the last one is at 18:24. To get an up to date timetable, look online at http://fahrplan.oebb.at.
It's a little over 3km (2 miles) from the Post Office to Base Camp; to walk, take the exit of the roundabout to the right, following signs to Gössl. Now follow the route description given below for this section of road. On foot or by bike ou can avoid walking along the bit of the road without footpaths by taking the path labelled "Waldruhe" on the left just over the river bridge as you leave the town. This path is on the other side of the river and is shady and cool in hot weather. The path rejoins the road about 250m from Staudnwirt.
There was a 'Narzissenjet' taxi service for the Bad Aussee region with standard stopping places including the train staton and the Staudnwirt Gasthof. It cost €12 one-way in 2017. It seems to have died and we should ask the Gasthof whether there is an alternative. Here is a map of the stopping points: the Gasthof is #14 and the train station is #27.
This can be the most expensive bit, but with a bit of perseverence and ingenuity, the cost can be minimised. The Ferry is usually quite a lot cheaper than Eurotunnel, and you can get a useful 1hr kip.
P&O Stena Line http://www.posl.com Dover-Calais P&O North Sea Ferries http://www.poferries.com/en/dover-calais Daver-Calais, Hull-Rotterdam, Hull-Zeebrugge Euro Tunnel http://www.eurotunnel.co.uk Folkestone-Calais/Coquelles FerryBooker http://www.ferrybooker.com Various Routes Ferry Savers https://www.ferrysavers.com Various Routes
This is the tiring bit. There are essentially two routes to choose between, either using the A3 autobahn (let's call this the Northern Route) or the A8 (the Southern Route), although numerous variations are possible. The first part of either route will vary depending upon the port used.
Drive to Dunkerque (Dunkirk) along the E40. To use the Southern Route, head south along the E42 to Lille, Mons and then Namur. To use the Northern Route, carry on along the E40 towards Oostende (Ostend). Then continue as for the route from Oostende. (Ostend)
Drive past Brugge (Bruges) on the 31 until the E40 is met. Then continue as for the route from Oostende (Ostend).
Drive to Brussel/Bruxelles (Brussels) along the E40. The motorway skirts round the north side of the city. To use the Southern Route, take the E411 towards Namur. To use the Northern Route, continue along the E40 to Liege, Aachen and Köln.
Get onto the E25, and head for Rotterdam. Then continue as for the route from Rotterdam.
Either Head towards Dordercht and get on the E31. Head towards Gorinchen, Tiel, and then Arnhem.
Or Follow the E25 towards Gouda, and then the E25/E30 Past Utrecht and on to Arnhem.
Then Follow the E35 from Arnhem via Gelsenkchn, Duisberg and Düsseldorf to Köln.
Head south on the E41 towards Neufchateu, Arlon and Luxembourg (Luxemburg). Then there is a selection of possible routes past Saarbrucken, then Pirmasens and off the motorway to Landau and on to Karlsruhe. After that follow the A8 all the way across Germany - Stuttgart (stop off to see ARGE members here if you like), Ulm, AugsbergMünchen, Salzburg. If you want to stick with the motor rules then get off just before the border and drive through Salzburg - this is actually quite easy and not usually too busy outside the rush hour. Otherwise follow the A1 to Mondsee, the 154 to St. Gilgen, the 158 to Bad Ischl, the 145 to Bad Ausee over the Pötschen Paß.
The A3 autobahn runs from Köln all the way to the border with Austria, passing Siegburg, Limburg, Frankfurt, Aschaffenburg, Würzburg, Nürnberg, Regensburg, Deggendorf and Passau. In Austria, the autobahn continues as the Austrian A8. About 20 miles into Austria, turn off to Ried. From this point, the rest of the route is on much smaller roads, a welcome relief after endless motorways, and the scenery starts to become distinctly alpine. Follow the 143 via Eberschwang, Ampfelwang, Vöcklabruck and Gmunden, where the 145 is picked up. Follow the 145 via Altmunster, Traunkirchen, Ebensee and Weissenbach to Bad Ischl. You're nearly there now - only The Last Bit left to go.
Follow the 145 via Bad Goisern and over the Pötschen Pass. On descending from the pass, there are two turnings for Bad Aussee. The first turning, on the left, descends a very steep hill, and then crosses a bridge over a river. Carry on straight ahead after the bridge to reach the town centre. The second turning for Bad Aussee is to the right. At the bottom of the sliproad, turn right again to pass back under the 145 and follow the road into the town centre. Both routes meet up in the town centre at a peculiar three-way junction. There seem to be no obvious rules here, except not to bump into anything.
This is getting to be a reasonably priced option, but gear still needs to find its way to Austria, and we need enough cars out there to ensure a free flow of cavers up and down the toll road.
Cheap flights are available to Munich and Salzburg. Salzburg is closer, but has fewer flights and may even be more expensive. The extra cost difference to Munich on the railways seems to be very little. In 2000, a return from Munich to Bad Aussee on the train was about 23ukp.
The German railway website is excellent for planning journeys in both Germany and Austria. Remember to buy a ticket before getting on the train.
From Munich airport, there's a shuttle bus to the main railway station (München Hbf) from where you can take a train which stops at Attnang-Puchheim. Now follow the description below from this point.
Take a bus to the main railway station (Salzburg Hbf)for €2.70 (2018) and a train to Attnang-Puchheim. The train will probably be bound for Wein (Vienna). Change at Attnang-Puchheim and get on a local train to Bad Aussee. This train will probably be bound for Stainach-Irdning. A Salzburg->Bad Aussee ticket should be about €20/£14.
Train changes can be tight (only a couple of minutes); the platform numbers are given on the timetables on the station platforms.
Once on the train for Bad Aussee, you've got a couple of hours until you arrive. The journey is very pleasant, and the scenery improves as the journey goes on. Half an hour before Bad Aussee, the train skirts the edge of the large lake adjacent to the village of Hallstatt, visible across the water. The flanks of the Dachstein range can be seen from here. A short while later, whilst passing through a wooded valley after Obertraun station, you can catch a glimpse of the huge amount of water which pours from Koppenbrühlehöhle on the right-hand side. The train continues for a few minutes to arrive at Bad Aussee.
If part of the train journey has a bus replacement service (as in 2018), it can be easier to simply get the bus all the way from Salzburg (bus station is at the train station) to Bad Aussee, with a change at Bad Ischl. If done as two tickets this is €10:80 to Bad Ischl and then €6.40 from Bad Ischl to Bad Aussee (in 2018). There is often a long wait at Bad Ischl.
See 'Bad Aussee Railway station to expo campsite' in Train section above
Bus can be the cheapest way to get to expo (and possibly the lowest-carbon). Not as nice as the train, but practical. It takes about 30 hours. International buses to Linz (on the route to 'Vienna'/'Wien') exist, otherwise Munich (£50) or Zurich (£75). Then get either train or National bus onwards. Bus London - Zurich, then night train to Steinach-Irdning (£40) is a reasonable option. Not all of these buses go every day. If booking at short notice bus can be excellent value.http://www.europebus.co.uk/austria/ (To Linz) https://www.flixbus.com/ (To Munich and Zurich) http://www.checkmybus.co.uk
This has been done twice, first by Dave Fearon in 1992, who took 9 days (return to UK only), and more recently by Brian Outram in a more leisurely 16 days (I think).