Travel by bus
There are several enterprises in Australia, who offer bus tickets.
You should ask around your mates before you buy a ticket, to find out with which enterprise your friends are travelling and what you are going to expect.
The most comfortable is probably reliably Greyhound/McCafferty’s.Greyhound hits most places several times a day, so that you don’t habe to wait for the bus at 9 pm or 5 am as with other enterprises (like Ralf 😉 )
Here is an overview for a kilometer passport, with which you can buy a certain quantity of kilometers and drive them off in 365 days. You will get the discounts with YHA/VIP cards.
In addition there are several route passes with which you will discover the last tiny bit of Australia.
The passes are valid (depending upon length of the distance) from half a year up to one year. Additionally there is a minimum travel time, like 3 days e.g. for the distance Sydney – Cairns. In addition Greyhound offers routes for interesting objects. Nearly all routes on the journey are contained in the pass price. E.G. Ayers Rock/Kings Canyon in the Rock & Reef pass. You can leave and enter the bus as often as you like.
- Rock & Reef Pass – 1.022 A$
- Sunseeker Pass (Sydney- Cairns) 375 A$
(You will see all the different routes on the Greyhound homepage)
Conditions, experiences and discounts
You will receive a discount of 10% at McCaffertys and Greyhound by presenting an international youthhostel card or with a VIP card. The YHA card can already be ordered in advance on the YHA homepage or directly in Australia. The VIP card can be ordered as well via the internet or in any supporting backpacker hostel.
It is absolutely necessary to reserve a seat for the next bus. Pass holders cannot present their pass and think that the buss driver simply accepts this and takes you along. It is forbidden for bus drivers to carry passengers without reservation. You can reserve by telephone (the best and simpliest solution), at a Greyhound or McCaffertys office or in a normal travel agency. There is just the local telephone price invoiced, which means from a telephone box just 40 cent.
There are some “Meal stop” approx. every 5-7 hours made where the bus stops at a restaurant. Primarily for breakfast, for lunch and dinner. Since drinking and eating in the bus is not permitted, you should absolutely use these intermediate stops for a Snack.
You might try to take a beverage with screw-type cap as well as Snacks, that neither drips nor crumbles into the bus, the bus drivers might turn a blind eye to that. Depends as well with which organization you are with. I only had once trouble with alcoholic beverages, but most of the time the bus drivers were cool.
It can become quite cold in the bus at night. Why don’t carry your “accomponying” sleeping bag as hand baggage? Who does not have a sleeping bag might use my advise to wear long trousers and a light sweater for the travel.
Now and then – particularly in the hot center – breaks down the air conditioning system. Therefore it is recommended to take an superthin T-Shirt and short trousers in the hand baggage along. Nothing is more cruel than travelling with Jeans and Sweatshirt 300 km without air conditioning system through the Outback.
A pillow makes the journey even more pleasant. In a bus it can improve the sleep comfort even substantially.
You should not start a journey without travelling leterature. The Australian landscape is highly interesting, no doubt! but imagine a landscape without changes for the next 500 km… a good book can be life saving!