The geographic distribution of health services in Australia means that rural people may need to travel long distances from their homes to obtain specialist services. Because sophisticated and expensive medical technologies are centralised, it is not uncommon for rural people to need to access metropolitan health services for many forms of treatment. This study sought to investigate the experiences of central Victorian people for whom illness or injury necessitated their admission to metropolitan hospitals. Because of distance from both metropolitan hospitals and social support structures, these people were likely to have differing experiences from city people admitted to hospital. However, it was found that not only were variables of rurality and social support significant, but socio-economic status and family structure were also found to be important. Even though respondents identified distress and other problems associated with the metropolitan admission, they rationalised the whole experience in terms of the specialised treatment they received; treatment that was not available in country hospitals.