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1. Posted by cherrie33 (Budding Member 13 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


I'm looking for some advice the best way to tour australia. Is it better to use a tour company or greyhound buses?


2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5173 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

"Better" depends entirely on what criteria you have. Personally I dislike tour companies, including backpacker tour busses. I don't need the handholding they give, will find out about all the 'special' places they take you just by reading my lonely planet, and think they charge too much money for doing things I could just as well do on my own. I meet plenty of people in hostels, and so don't need to look at a tour company for that either. Making my way around independently (sometimes by greyhound, sometimes flying, sometimes renting a car) is "better" for me.

Other people really like these companies and love travelling together with the other people who use them. YMMV.

3. Posted by cherrie33 (Budding Member 13 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Sander.

I'm not a very confident traveller, but find the tour companies too expensive. So really need to do some research and see what my options are.

4. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Respected Member 550 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I've been to Australia a few times and personally I prefer to use a mixture of the two.

Going up or down the East Coast there's really no point in doing a tour so I used the Greyhound for the East Coast. It worked out a bit cheaper and also they have far more buses per day than the tour companies, including overnight options for some of the legs. I've heard of people being stuck in a certain place on the alleged 'hop on/hop off' tours because they had no available spaces on the bus. Whereas with Greyhound you can generally ring up last minute and get a spot on the bus.

For Melbourne to Sydney (or vice versa) however I preferred to do that on a tour. There's not loads to see in between but Canberra is worth one night and also the Blue Mountains are okay. So if you did want to do Melbourne to Sydney overland then I would recommend a tour for that, rather than the bus.

The same with the Red Centre. If you want to go to Ayres Rock, The Olgas and King's Canyon then for practical reasons the best way to do it is to book a tour or to rent a car between a few people. It's more fun on a tour though, although obviously that depends on the people you do the tour with.

Also, I met one backpacker on the East Coast who had rented a car with some other backpackers to go up to to Cape Tribulation from Cairns and they ended up crashing so they all got hit with a bill for quite a few hundred pounds each. So if you hire a car with anyone for any parts of your journey then definitely look into the insurance terms as some car hire companies have extremely high excesses.

5. Posted by cherrie33 (Budding Member 13 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Emmett!

That's some great advice. What tour companies do you reccommend?


6. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Respected Member 550 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I used a company called Autopia Tours when I went from Sydney to Melbourne, and also when I did a day trip to Philip Island (definitely worth visiting to see the Penguin Parade) and they were pretty good.

But I'd recommend asking other backpackers once you get to Australia for the most up-to-date recommendations on tour companies, as it's a few years since I was last in Australia. Also, most hostels generally have tour desks where you can book tours and they sometimes offer bonuses such as a free nights accomodation if you book certain tours, so that's worth taking into account as well.

7. Posted by hTkw (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Cherrie! :)

Asking other backpackers about where to go, their advice and recommendations is the way to go!

I highly recommend you visiting the Royal National Park as a day tour in Sydney if you get the chance!

I recently went on the day tour myself with the UDU company and it was magnificent!
It truley is Sydney's hidden secret!
The views of some of the beaches are breathtaking! the atmosphere is so calm.
The feeling is just indescribeable! I was just taken away from the beauty of it!

The tour guide was very friendly, and well educated in the Royal National Park area! He made the tour very fun and interesting! with lots of information about it's unique history!
Everything was organised! you just have to rock up! The activities were fun too! It was at a very decent price too!

It was also a great place to meet new people! I know I've made some new friends from that tour, as everyone was in the same boat - in search for something unique and different! away from the busy life of Sydney!

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Sep-2010, at 04:20 by hTkw ]

8. Posted by jogreen68 (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

get a car or a motorbike and do it at your own pace, you miss so much of the culture when you end up packed on a bus or tour with lots of other people!

9. Posted by amely1066 (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

:)I think you should try road trip for the great adventure. Australia is famous for the beaches and luxury accommodation.
You must visit Byron bay great place to enjoy surfing, swimming and many more.
you should plan for the Byron bay holiday.
have fun...By..