My boyfriend and I (both 23) are starting our 8 month trip in SE Asia in November then heading to NZ in feb for two months then on to Oz in April for 3 months (ish).
We are trying to decide whether to do the Oz experience or not. We have heard mixed reviews and just wanted to get a wee bit of advice from people.
We both like to party and have a good time but we are also on a tight budget so not sure if its the right option for us.
Anyone done it recently and had a good/bad experience?? is it reliable etc??
Any opinions welcome, thanks!!
I have done the hardcore bus travel (not greyhound) and a bit of Oz Experience. Oz Experience were great but to be honest, depending on where you are going, it is far cheaper just to fly with one of the budget airlines.
I flew one-way from Sydney to Gold coast for just $48 and when i called up about the cost of the bus trip it would have been $89! Isnt that crazy?
Also from Sydney to Gold coast the bus trip would have taken me 13hours whereas the flight was just under 1.5hours.
I would say it is definitely worth checking out flights.
I would definitely recommend the Greyhound over the Oz Experience in Australia. The Oz Experience costs a fair bit more and has one bus per day, whereas the Greyhound often have five buses a day for popular routes. Also the last time I went up the East Coast of Australia with Greyhound you could basically ring up on the same day and there was always space on the bus you wanted, whereas with only having one bus per day the Oz Experience can sometimes be fully booked.
I've met people who say 'Ar, the Oz Experience is brilliant,' but what they actually mean is that Australia is brilliant. The bus to get you from one place to another isn't the good bit. Especially not if it charges more than Greyhound and has less buses per day for the privilege.
Just a footnote though, in NZ I would recommend the Kiwi Experience over the Greyhound. In Australia 99% of the population live close to the coast so you'll be basically going clockwise or anti-clockwise, so whenever you meet other backpackers there's a fifty percent chance that you'll be heading in the same direction (with the exception of if you go to Ayres Rock/Alice Springs). But in NZ there's towns all over the place so there's no set route that people take, so if you want to meet other people then the Kiwi Experience (or Stray) has the advantage that it goes a set route so you'll get to know other backpackers that are all going the same route. The Greyhound in NZ is like National Express in England in that there are routes all over the place so it's not so good for meeting people.
Also, that's good advice from lucylulu about checking out flights. If you're wanting to go quite a distance and don't plan to stop on the way then flights can sometimes be cheaper than buses.
But if you're going somewhere with lots of cool places on the way (like the East Coast for example) then it's worth getting a coach pass and stopping off along the way.
Also, if you like to party then most of Australia is good for partying, but especially the East Coast. In particular Cairns, Byron Bay and Airlie Beach are spots with cool night-life. The Oz Experience market themselves on being party orientated, and it's true, but most of the East Coast is party orientated so it's not worth paying the extra to go with them imo.
Thanks for the advice, we are planning on sticking to the east coast and we would like to see as much of it as possible so flying probably isn't what we're looking for but we would definitely look into it if we were short on time, Thanks Lucy!!
We liked the idea of Oz Experience for meeting lots of people and having activities organised for us along the way etc but maybe it isn't worth it if its easy enough to meet people along the way anyway. I definitely agree that it would be better to have more than one bus a day available. Thank you for the advice Emmett.
Also, do you have an idea of a budget for 3 months in Australia?? we're pretty much just saving up as much as we possibly can but dont really know how much we will need for the Oz section of the trip.