Should You Use Public Or Backpacker Buses To Get Around Australia?

Melody Ayres-Griffiths via Creative Commons at https://www.flickr.com/photos/melodyayresgriffiths/

Should You Use Public Buses Or Backpacker Buses To Get Around Australia?

 

One of the biggest decisions for those who are thinking of going traveling in Australia is deciding how they are going to get around the country, and there are a range of options available. Buses are often the natural choice, as they provide a relatively inexpensive way to get around and don't have the up-front cost of renting or buying a camper van, and are cheaper than the limited network of the railways. It is important to look at whether backpacker buses or public buses are better suited to your traveling style, as the right option will not always be the same for every traveler.

 

What Is A Backpacker Bus?

 

The backpacker bus is a specific travel route or a small selection of routes where a bus will travel daily, and those traveling on the bus will almost always be backpackers. The benefit of using this kind of transport is that you will usually be able to meet like minded travelers who are exploring Australia, and these routes always tend to stop at the main sights along the way around the country. These buses do tend to attract a younger crowd, and will often provide free activities and stops along the route.

 

The Cost

 

When it comes to comparing the prices of buying bus tickets the cheapest option will usually be to use the public buses provided by companies such as Greyhound Australia, which has the largest network, along with Premier and McCafferty. If you are planning a journey such as Melbourne to Cairns, you can also buy a pass for that journey, with as many stops along the way as you like. There are two main backpacker bus companies, namely Easyrider Tours and The Oz Experience, and these are generally a little more expensive than the public buses, but spend more time taking in the sights and visiting local spots.

 

Traveling With Like Minded People

 

One of the big attractions of using the backpacker buses is that you will have a range of other people on the same bus who are all traveling around Australia, and this really can be a reassurance for those who are nervous or shy, and will make it easier to talk to others on the bus. The counter to this attraction is that traveling on a public bus will tend to give you more privacy, or if you are naturally gregarious it will often allow you to meet and talk with locals and others just passing along the same route as you.

 

Do You Prefer Independence Or A Fixed Route To The Major Sights?

 

Another factor to bear in mind when you are trying to decide whether or not to use a backpacker bus is to think about what you actually want to achieve during your trip, and what you traveling style is best suited to. Traveling by a backpacker bus does tend to ensure that you get to visit all of the main sights, but you will be restricted by the routes offered by those companies. The counter to this coin is that you will get a lot more freedom when it comes to traveling on a public bus, but as these services are usually designed to get from A to B, you may have to get off at an attraction, and then catch the next bus along.

 

Alternative Ways To Get Around Australia

 

Although buses are a great way to see this wonderful country, there are plus and minus points to bear in mind when you are considering alternatives too. If you have time to spare, or are traveling with friends, then buying or hiring a camper van can be a good alternative, and will give you plenty of freedom. The train network is also a comfortable way to travel, but in Australia it is worth bearing in mind that passenger trains may be subject to the changing timetables of freight trains, and can be quite expensive compared to bus travel.