Im travelling alone along the east coast next year and wondered the best way to do this. I'm 33 years old and fairly outgoing and enjoy meeting people just not sure how to travel , i mean is the oz experiance going to be too young , have i missed the boat, or are there any better means of transport for my age group?
Oz Experience attracts quite a young crowd but the main problem with it is that it is over-priced and provides a poor service. I met several backpackers on the OZ who got stuck in one place for a few days while they waited for the next available vacancy on a bus.
The Greyhound is much cheaper and also has up to five buses a day at various times. I generally found I could ring up at an hour's notice on the Greyhound and get a spot on a bus with no problems. On the Oz they have one departure a day.
Also, the Oz Experience goes to a few nothing places in the middle of nowhere whereas the Greyhound goes to all the more popular spots. Oz advertise this as a good thing but it depends on your point of view. Basically they guarantee you hostel accomodation and that's hard to achieve in popular locations when you've got a busful of backpackers, so they basically have to avoid certain places in order to fulfill their promise.
Greyhound is also more flexible. Say for example if you wanted to cover 500Ks in a day then that would be no problem with Greyhound, but with Oz you have to stick to their itinerary, which can mean getting from A to B isn't a problem, but if you want to go from A straight to D then you have to hang about overnight in B and C, before finally getting to D.
One advantage the Oz has though, is that it stops along the way at scenic lookouts, etc.
I would agree entirely with what emmett is saying. I used greyhound rather than oz experience and found it fantastic. It is possibly a little more difficult to meet travellers as greyhound is used by locals aswell as a long distance bus company. But, meeting locals is one of the great things about travelling. Oz experience can be more expensive as you are often forced to stop over in little towns that have little to offer you, whereas greyhound travel right through to where you want to go.
I would recommend that you use greyhound but if you do decide to use oz experience don't be worried about being too old. 33 is not old! I don't think that many travellers are really bothered by age anyway.
there is also a contiki tour. i did the NZ contiki and found it to be ok. im not sure how much it is in oz. but my friend form the states did the one in Oz and said it was prety much the same as the NZ one. there age group i think was 18 - 35. but any age i think can do it. you stay in hotel rooms and all brekkies are included no lunch and half the dinners. also you choose which activites you want to do from a list given. and it runs to a tight schedule. if you like 5am starts and 11pm bed times this is for you.
i was 21 at that stage and i needed a holiday to get over that holiday.
I just travelled for 4 weeks with Oz Experience, it was fantastic. Don't have any hang up's about age, I met loads of people of all ages on the bus, generally the people on the bus are not TOO young, i did'nt meet anyone under 20. Emmet is right in what he saying to an extent. Oz Experience do provide quite a good service though.
Basically Greyhound is just a normal bus service which is great. The thing to remember about Oz Experience is is that it is not just a bus service up and down the coast, you are paying for a guided tour and they encourage you to get involved with the activities and stuff, the drivers are there to entertain you and point out the different sites. The Greyhound bus will just drive straight up the Highway to the place you are going, which is excellent if that is what you want. Alot of people have a pre-conception that Oz Experience is really intense and everyone is just getting pissed on the bus all day, it's not like that, while you are on the bus people read, sleep, chat and generally chill out, the driver will talk over the Mic for abit and point things out. Then when you get off the bus you have the option to go out for something to eat and drink with the people you've met or you can chill out on your own and do your own thing, it's up to you.
Emmet summed it up quite well, personally i think that if you are not bothered about time restrictions you should definitely go with Oz Experience, if you are concerned about what Emmet has said then go with Greyhound. Oz Experience is good though and if you are in two minds then go with them, particularly if you are travelling on your own.
I'm blabbering on a bit here, if you have any specific questions about Oz Experience then post them and I will try and answer honestly and objectively.