I have a pass from Cairns to Melbourne that is valid for 6 months travel, (although i only have 2 months in oz). I am a 19 year old girl travelling on my own, just wondered what I should expect from using greyhound!Am a bit nervous, any feedback would be great.
I used them for the East Coast and also for the 21 hour journey from Darwin to Alice Springs. I thought they were fine and the drivers on the Darwin to Alice trip was really friendly - there were only 4 of us on the bus so he let us stop for photos and invited us up to the front of the bus for a 'yarn'.
You will be fine on your own and will probably meet lots of others in the same situation.
I did a 'loop' from Brisbane up to Cairns, then across to Darwin (that's a LONG trip!!), down to Adelaide and to Melbourne with them many years ago (1999). They were great for my purpose, which was getting relatively cheaply and quickly from one spot to the next. Like bex76, I had nice drivers, who would often point out something or you could chat with up front on the longer stretches. There were movies on board, and they stop pretty regularly. These days the busses are way nicer, and I'm sure the entertainment options have been upgraded (as well as everyone now having access to cheap portable dvd players etc.). On a few of the trips I'd meet up with others on the bus and hang out with them, but it was mainly about getting from a to b for me, so I didn't invest much into that.
I went to Australia on April 2009 and use greyhound bus service to travel from Sydney to Melbourne than to Adelaide and back again from Adelaide straight to Sydney international airport. I had some small problem on my way back from Adelaide to Sydney, the bus was having problem in the middle of the night somewhere in a small city that I don't even know where, I think it was electricity problem and we stopped for more than 2 hours to fix the problem, first driver was trying to fix the problem himself but he cannot handle it than I think he call his office and they send a mechanic guy to fix the problem, I was quite panic because my arriving time at Sydney international airport and my flight departure time was quite tight, in schedule I was to arrive at 10 am and my flight was at 2 pm, that night I was very very worried if they are taking so long time to fix the bus than it is possible I will miss my flight. Anyway from my experience that night I must say that they are good in handling time, and they are also quick in handling things when something goes wrong with the bus, driver told me that if bus cannot be fixed more than 3 hours, another bus will come and pick us up, but problem was fixed and we continue our journey, driver skip 2 meal stop to make sure that bus arrive at Sydney on schedule time, and they did, I arrive at Sydney international airport around 10.35 am, half an hour delay but still catching up my flight
Oh yes, on my first way from Sydney to Melbourne, bus was coming late around 45 minutes from original departure time but still arrive at Melbourne as schedule.
For all I think their service is ok, also it is a nice way to explore small cities of Australia, good luck with your trip
Greyhound in AUS is great! I traveled on the Greyhound from March - May 2009 from Syndey to Cairns. The best thing about the bus is that you can make as many stops as you want and stay for as long as you want (within a year). Im sure you can imagine that there are very common things that can go wrong or not-according-to-plan (as stated above) but for me I had no major problems and the bus is definitely the best way to go. Once you buy your package of which bus route or kilometer package you want you can book your bus on their website (login with your transaction number and select the cities from and to). Make sure you print out each new booking as some of the bus drivers are sticklers on having the specific booking (although I often didn't and just gave them my Greyhound Package ID# and that was good enough). One time the driver had to call someone to make sure I was booked but even then it worked out. Other than that, there's not much else to it. The bus stops at heaps of little beach towns and the stop is either a short walk from the hostel (YHAs and other backpackers) and if its not close you can arrange a shuttle bus from the hostel free of charge. Its best to check with the hostel at your next stop to make sure its either not too far or a shuttle bus will be there for you. You might even be able to, as I did, get a discount when you buy your package online. If you email Greyhound and ask if they have any promotional codes they'll give one to you (I used the code 'EARLY09'). Maybe try 'EARLY11'???? The bus is the best way to go though: meet loads of travelers going to the same places as you, see them again on the bus at different points on your route, easy to book, in my case they were always on time, and the bus drivers were for the most part really cool. I wouldn't advise overnight trips cuz the seats are not meant for sleeping (I did it once and could not sleep at all). But if you don't mind then its a good way to save on a hostel night and not waste a day traveling in beautiful Australia. I also bought the YHA package of nights (works out to be about 24/25AUD a night) which is fairly cheap for AUS hostels and there's always one near the greyhound bus stop (except the town of Bellingen, theres a shuttle for that one and its a nice quiet stop after a good deal of drinking has been done). Best of luck.
I won't ride the bus in my home country, USA, but it's rather good in Australia. I bought the 30 day pass a few years ago, and traveled from Cairns all the way out to Perth and back to Adelaide (comfortable, clean and quite speedy).
thank you so much for your responses- all very helpful, not feeling quite so nervous now!