for australia - greyhound.com.au - just get one of the passes they are much better than those tour buses and you will meet heaps of people on them. they are filled with backpackers and they all stop near hostels. Plus once you get that pass sometimes you don't even have to book the bus.
for NZ nakedbus.com and intercity.co.nz- these buses aren't overflowing with backpackers like in OZ but you will meat plenty of people once you get to where you are going
I really recommend not taking the "experience" buses because they only leave in the mornings and only a few days a week. plus they force you into staying in tiny towns that literally have nothing but a meat pie shop and a gift shop and then you find yourself wasting a money and a night in some small town that really has nothing in it.
the greyhound nakedbus and intercity runs like 2 or three buses a day and at night so you can sleep on the bus and save on accomodation.
Lucy and Leah, if you guys are near Sydney for New Years, look us up. There's about 8 TP members getting together for the NY partaayys! http://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=61886
Thanks Cool Paul - I have been thinking about the experience/greyhound dilemma and after doing some research (and being in my late twenties) think I will be opting for the greyhound as it will give me more freedom and there's less of a chance of being with a bunch of 18 year olds......although I am just going to decide most things when I get there!! Not having a plan is my plan! I have heard that the magic bus is good in NZ so was thinking about doing this?
WebGuy - I am flying over to NZ for December, and planning to come back to the UK just before xmas and NY - although you never know, things might change.....
Leah - I'm starting Cairns on October 28th and working my way down to Sydney - flying to Christchruch from there late Nov so yeah would be cool to meet (although we may only cross paths?) as i am also a bit apprehensive about travelling solo - I'm sure it will be an adventure and reading all the forums it seems like the way to go so fingers crossed! I just can't wait to leave now!
Cheers guys! xx
I'm flying into Cairns on the 29th Oct...Whoop whoop... !!! and travelling down the East coast, and ending up in sydney for the 27th Dec ready for NYE!!!
I'm starting off in Cairns as its gonna be scorching.. and like you.. I love the sun....! I swear i was born in the wrong country...LOL!!
I was thinking about getting a camper van to travel down in... I'm also travelling alone... and its my first time... very scary but so excited!!! Let me know if you fancy joining the fun frolics with me.. as your a sun worshipper you wont mind a few hours here and there on the golden sands, soaking up the rays... !!!!
Yeah I will definately be making the most of the sun and beaches - I think I was born in the wrong country too! That's cool, you'll be arriving the day after me....how are your plans going?? I am soo excited especially as the weather is so awful here, but also a bit nervous too. Reading all the forums it seems like going it alone is the way to go, and I have plenty of reassurances that I will meet heaps of people so fingers crossed!
A camper sounds a good idea - I haven't thought too much about what to do/where to go when I get there as I want to be able to go with the flow....and as I have never been to Oz or NZ I really don't know what to expect. Have you booked a hostel for when you get there? One of my friends recommended Serpents so I might book this one.....as they said they met loads of people there and I think I just need to go somewhere big and busy! I have a flight out of Sydney to NZ on 28th November, so not around for new year, although you never know, my plans could always change!
I'm arriving in Cairns on 31st Oct and also planning to travel down the East coast, I'm going to go by Greyhound. I, too am a sun worshiper and counting down the days until I'm lying on a beach!!
I'm going to do the same as you in NZ but not until the New Year, I arrive in Christchurch and then was going to do a loop of the South Island and then head up to the North Island to fly out of Auckland to Chile. I've got plenty of friends who have been and got some top tips so once I speak to them I'll share it on here.
I've been speaking to Michelle on a different thread and it looks like we're all similar ages and have fairly similar plans as well as enjoying the sunshine and a glass of wine, so it'd be nice to all meet up in Cairns.
I did a similar trip over a couple of months a few years ago. I found the cheapest/easiest thing to do in Oz is the greyhound bus, and you meet people in hostels all over the place, so that's never a problem. As well as that, you can decide when you come/go with greyhound with more flexibility than somethings, so if you meet people you can coordinate your trips. With NZ i'd look into the Kiwi Experience. I did that on my own for a months and had an awesome time. You stay with the same people for the whole trip and get to know everyone really well - not too scary! In terms of whether you do north or south island, i'd look at what you want to get out of the trip and what you can afford. I did both, and it was excellent fun!
It sounds good and thanks for having great information.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Thanks James, and thanks everyone....October is getting closer! Yay! x