My AC ping on ADSL was in the 70's, and when I went to the NBN, it only dropped to the 60's, which I thought was a bit odd and crappy. I'm in Adelaide and the server is in Sydney. I was advised by Internode to try a VPN, which I did (PrivateInternetAccess connected to Sydney), and sure enough, my ping dropped to low 30's. Speedtest shows upload/download speeds aren't really impacted by the VPN either.
It's because I have less hops now between me and the server using the VPN (which doesn't say a lot for Internode's switching infrastructure - unless that's Telstra's problem?).