Touring Australia by Bus

Hop on the bus, Joey

If you have a yen for friendly, backpacker-like escapades and want to tour Australia in a communal bus packed with 18- to 35-year-olds, look no farther than Oz Experience (

This hop-on/hop-off service allows you travel at your own pace with any of seven passes, most valid for 12 months.

The East Coast route

The passes cover various legs of a main route winding up the east coast from Sydney to Cairns (gateway to the Great Barrier Reef).

The bus stops along the way for surf lessons, kayaking with dolphins, sailing, jetboating, skydiving, whale watching, and nature excursions (all optional extras) at Byron Bay, Surfers Paradise, Brisbane, Noosa, Hervey Bay, Agnes Water, Airlie Beach/Whitsundays, and Townsville/Magnetic Island.

The staff on board the bus can offer plenty of information—and a wristband for discounts at some sights and activities—but most sightseeing, hotels, and meals are on your own—or as optional extras purchased as part of a package.

Prices for the entire route start around A$650 (though packages with all the touring ring in at A$860–A$1,300), with shorter legs within it available.

Australia's Greatest Hits

Some buses continue on in a mighty loop through pretty much all the most famous places in central and eastern Australia (suggested travel time for all of it: 45 days). First it wends its way from Cairns down to Sydney, as on the regular route detailed above.

Then the bus continues on through Canberra and Melbourne, along the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide, then up through the Outback of South Australia and the Northern Territory, stopping at the Mad Max mining town of Coober Pedy, the Outback capital of Alice Springs (gateway to Uluru/Ayers Rock), and the National Parks of the Top End (Katherine, Litchfeild, Kakadu) before ending at Darwin. (Or, you know: vice-versa).

You can ride any portion of this between any two of the major stops (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Alice Springs, and Daarwin), or buy the entire loop as part of the Fair Dinkum package. This one is a whopping A$3,569—but that includes plenty of touring along the way, from Great Barrier Reef excursions and surf lessons to overnight tours of Fraser Island and Kangaroo Island, a stay in the underground motel of Coober Pedy, a three day tour of Alice Springs and Uluru/Ayers Rock, and another 3-day tour around your choice of parks in the Top End.

Tours Under $995 G Adventures

Related Articles



This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in August 2013.
All information was accurate at the time.

about | contact | faq

Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.