Consider the tourist with one week who wishes to see several historic areas in Spain. Say for example, the cities of Malaga, Cordoba, Granda and Madrid.
The tourist can fly in to Malaga and spend two days seeing the sites. On the morning of the third day they can catch a train and be in Cordoba in one hour for sixty euro; yes, just one hour. That means they can get up in the morning and move on to Cordoba without losing a day to travel. Granada is two hours from Cordoba; but Madrid is four hours from Granda.
This means that the tourist can see four great historic cities with only seven hours of traveling.
In New South Wales, two hours wont even get you to Newcastle and one hour wont get you to Wollongong. Moreover it takes eight hours with an avergae speed of 60Km/h to reach Armidale.
No wonder the furthest our tourist go is Katoomba (two hours).
Check out the excellent http://www.raileurope.com.au (outside of Oz http://www.raileurope-world.com). SNCF (France) http://www.tgv-europe.com/en/ and Renfe (Spain) http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html