Today’s post explores the myriad differences between two of Australia’s best-loved ways to travel: the Greyhound and Oz Experience and is written by our resident Travel Expert, Lisa Richardson, from our STA Travel store in Victoria, London.
It should come as no surprise that Australia’s vibrant east coast, is the most popular stretch of adventure for travellers Down Under. With its exciting cities, show-stopping beaches and breathtaking coastline, it’s a route bursting with opportunity.
Open your mind to new experiences, along Australia's East Coast.
For that reason and more, it’s the perfect place to rest your wings, and skim the route by road, enjoying the scenery and the people that make up some of Australia’s most friendliest hangout.
Does that sound like your kind of thing? We’re about to explore two of the most popular ways to achieve the perfect blend .
How to Make the Most of Australia’s East Coast
There are myriad ways to travel Australia, but there are two options that stand out as the perfect way to blend budget travel, with unforgettable experiences.
Many travellers prefer to travel Australia independently — it’s a Western country, where English is the national language, and is considerably easy to travel.
Take a look at any roadmap of Australia and you’ll quickly discover Highway 1 rattles right around the country, bounding off the famous coastline and playing stage to the east coast’s most memorable stops. Think Airlie Beach for the Whitsunday Islands; Byron Bay’s irresistible surf; Noosa and Hervey Bay, the gateways to Fraser Island; and the urban harbour, Sydney.
Oz Experience vs. Greyhound
It’s a little known fact that towards the end of last year, Greyhound Australia bought out Oz Experience. Speculation seeped through the backpacking community, and rumours were rife that the two ticket-styles would merge into one. Not so!
Oz Experience and Greyhound remain as two separate tickets; with two things in common. They both offer bus travel. They both sell hop-on hop-off flexible tickets. That’s where the comparison ends.
The beauty of Oz Experience is that it offers the opportunity, and flexibility, to journey along the east coast, and beyond to the Red Centre, at a pace that suits. Passengers travel with a group of like-minded individuals, experiencing their holiday of a lifetime. On board the bus, is a friendly guide, whose job it is to know that particular stretch of Australia inside out. They know everything there is to know, and then some!
The perfect example of the difference between these two bus passes can be seen in a typical journey between Sydney and Brisbane.
The fastest way to journey overland between the two cities, would be Greyhound. For this reason, locals use it as a cheaper alternative to air or rail travel. It travels in the fastest time possible, so it’s great for people who are short on time, or have planned which sights they want to see.
For Oz Experience, the clue is in the name. The journey from Sydney to Brisbane will take longer, but you will stop at heaps of interesting places. If you pass a mob of kangaroos, the Greyhound will keep driving. The Oz Experience, however, is designed for tourist, so the driver will assume that you seen as you probably haven’t seen a kangaroo before, so they’ll pull over to allow you the chance to take some photos.
"Look at that funny looking fella, Bruce"
Let’s face it, if you were on a coach in the UK and drove past a fox, would you care or want to stop? Probably not, it’s a fox, you’ve seen loads of them. To visiting tourists however, that fox will be the most amazing photo opportunity ever, and will keep them amused for hours.
Continuing on the experience front, Oz Experience also includes a stopover at Spot X Surf Camp, an amazing surf spot to learn how to catch the perfect wave. You will also stop at a cattle farm and brush-up on your lassoing skills and finish the night off with a BBQ around a crackling fire beneath the stars.
It's not all bus travel along the East Coast!
The other thing to consider is accommodation. Chances are, if you are plodding along at your own pace aboard the Greyhound, you wouldn’t have booked any of your accommodation. With Oz Experience, it’s not a problem. You have your own account, which allows you to plan your route and times, including your accommodation.
Want to change it? No worries! Login, make your changes, and the guys at Oz Experience will make the amendments for you.
Snapshot of Australia’s Bus Passes
So in a nutshell, hit the Greyhound if you have your eye on the time and you need to be somewhere in a hurry. If you’re after full-on Aussie adventure, with a group of fun travellers, on a bus infused with exciting opportunities, plump for Oz Experience.
- Cost from £354 pp plus local payments (fr $105 AUD, depending on the activities included)
- Valid for up to 12 months in one direction only — perfect for a two week holiday or a working visa!
- Buses run daily
- Plan your own itinerary — flexibility to go where you want to go, when you want to go
- Get given a taste of authentic Aussie experiences such as surfing
- Reserve your hostels in advance — no panic on arrival
- Meet like-minded travellers to share your holiday of a lifetime with
- Cost from £225
- Valid for 3 months in one direction (other passes are available to allow different directions, routes and longer durations)
- Over 1100 different pick up/drop off points
- The quickest and most direct route to travel from point A to B
- Buses run daily
- Option to add a hostel package to your pass – have your hotels booked and paid for before you leave!
Whichever one you choose, there’s one thing guaranteed: you will have an amazing time. Both passes offer the piece of mind of not having to worry.