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bus tours like OZ experience

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific bus tours like OZ experience

1. Posted by Rich102 (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

Rich102 has indicated that this thread is about Australia

does anyone have an opinion on these guided bus tours like OZ experience. Are they fun, good value for money, too inflexible?

2. Posted by lil j (Travel Guru 1303 posts) 10y

I went with them last year and found them really good, you meet loads of people and get told a alot of info as you go along.

My b/f worked for Oz Ex and i know the guys in the office and they have recently been taken over and they are all saying its for the worse but i'm not sure that it would effect travellers that much.

I am going to use them for at least part of my travel this year.The drivers are great guys, they really help you out.

They do have a habbit of changing the buses and routes sometimes, they are pretty flexible. Look on their website-its a pretty good site and tells you all about their passes etc.

I travelled the east coast with them for 2 weeks, as i didnt have long i had to rush it and change hostel everynight, i spent most of the time stuck on the bus during the day, then we would have to get off and do some walk or activity, which wouldnt have been so bad if i didnt have to do it everyday, i just wanted a bit of freedom to just go and sit on a beach alone and have enough time!

So i would say go with them if you have enough time to spend a couple of days in each place you are stopping off at!

Hope this helps and isnt too confusing!!

3. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Travel Guru 542 posts) 10y

I've done quite a few tours in Australia and most tour companies were excellent but I defnitely wouldn't recommend Oz Experience.

Personally I would do a smaller tour (3 days/2 nights are generally the best IMO), to give yourself more flexibility on how you travel around, rather than tie yourself into one of the larger passes that Oz Experience sell.

If you definitely wanted to try Oz Experience then maybe try them for the Melbourne to Sydney pass, but even then there are other companies that do the same route cheaper (and also go to more fun/interesting, less-commision orientated locations/activities).

A major criticism of Oz Experience is that they don't put enough buses on for their hop-on hop-off policy to work, so people can get stuck in the same place for a few days while they wait for a vacancy on a bus.

Basically, my experience is that Oz Experience is all about making money. Obviously all tour companies want to make money, but most other companies don't have such a short-sighted business strategy - although with new people in charge that might now have changed.

4. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Travel Guru 542 posts) 10y

Also, the one selling point that Oz Experience has, i.e. they are excellent for meeting people, is true, but so are all tour companies.

In fact you don't even need to do tours in Australia to meet people. Provided you stay in hostels you'll meet other backpackers everywhere you go.

5. Posted by lil j (Travel Guru 1303 posts) 10y

Oh man-the goss i hear about Oz Ex. just be glad that backpackers aren't aware. The take-overs for the worst i believe, i really feel for the drivers i tell ya! They really are dumb-wits in head-office. but anyway, yeh like emmett70 said why not try the sydney-melbourne, i'm going to be doing that within the next couple of weeks. its a 4 day thing just under $400 I think though!

It's all just personal preference.

6. Posted by Rich102 (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

yeh i was worried about their hop on/off system. Seemed strange that if you get off for an extra day or two you have to go through the hassle of rebooking an another bus and that it might be full. will only be there for month so will be pushed for time.

7. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Travel Guru 542 posts) 10y

$400 dollars! Flip, what a rip-off!

I think I paid about half that. It was a couple of years ago though, and it didn't include hostel accomodation, so prices may have gone up in the last couple of years. I would definitely shop around though, as there will almost certainly be other companies that do it a lot cheaper than $400.

8. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Travel Guru 542 posts) 10y

Just checked the backpackertours website and they do it for $195 through a company called Autopia Tours which is the company I went with and they were really good.

You'll have to add your hostel costs onto the price but it still works out quite a bit cheaper.

9. Posted by lil j (Travel Guru 1303 posts) 10y

Well. i'm not actually paying, my b/f got me a pass! quite handy, but yeh if it wasnt for that then i'd defo shop around. It includes hostels, food etc, but $400 is a lot, partic. just for 4 days!

well its about 40 pounds a day, then minus accomodation-about 30 pounds (that'd be for food, passes to places along the way and transport, hmmm)

I might look into autopia tours for part of my trip!! That sounds real cheap!

10. Posted by nicolac34 (Budding Member 18 posts) 10y


I don't know much about the Oz Explorer but when I was there Christmas 2004 I joined the Contiki "Beaches and Reefs" tour which took off from Sydney and went all the way up the East coast to Cairns in 2 weeks.

I have to say that this was the best two weeks of my life. I was a lone traveller and automatically I was thrown together with 30 other like-minded people from all over the world. We all formed such a tight bond over the 2 weeks that it was heartbreaking when everyone had to go their seperate ways. I'm still in contact with people I met - I even live with one of them!

I tell you if you want to see the East coast in a short space of time then I couldn't reccommend it enough, I have never laughed so hard in all my life!