• Book a ticket Book your next trip on Australia’s largest coach network
  • Manage booking Edit your trip, choose seats & more
  • Timetables Find available schedules for your travel route
  • Find a stop See where our stops are located
  • Ticket information
  • Fare comparison See available types of fares & inclusions
  • Deals & discounts See our discount options and current promotions
  • Travel Sure Get peace of mind with refunds for any reason
  • Seat selection Skip the queue and reserve your favourite seat ahead of time

Not already a member?

Join Greyhound Rewards, it's free!

Travel passes

  • National Whimit passes Flexible, unlimited travel on our entire network
  • East Coast Whimit passes Unlimited travel between Melbourne and Cairns
  • Create your own Whimit pass Choose the number of days to suit your plans
  • Commuter passes Save money by buying your coach travel in bulk
  • Shop all travel passes

Travel pass information

  • Compare travel passes Compare our travel passes to find the right one for you
  • 7 reasons to Whimit Learn why Whimit is our most popular travel pass
  • Manage your travel pass

Looking for a way to explore Australia? Then look no further than our Travel Passes!

Our range of passes offers you the choice, flexibility and freedom you need to explore our country's diverse landscape.

$20 from every sale donated to tree planting projects

Accommodation

  • Nomads hostels An exciting, fresh new approach to budget-style accommodation.
  • Independent hostels Unique experiences, local charm and relaxed atmospheres.
  • Shop all accommodation

Travelling Australia on a budget?

Choose from our most popular hostel partners around Australia.

There are loads of options available - and they're pretty affordable too!

Base Bed Hopper Pass

Featured package

Our most popular travel package comes with 30 days of unlimited coach travel, you’re free to explore the East Coast at your own pace.

Experience beautiful Byron Bay, K'gari (Fraser Island), the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef

Travel inspiration

  • 2 week East Coast itinerary Sydney to Cairns in 2 weeks? It can be done!
  • East Coast travel guide Everything you need to know about this popular route
  • Australian outback guide Experience the unforgettable Red Centre
  • Coach vs. van travel Dreaming of #vanlife? Read this first
  • Surfing your way down Australia's East Coast Catch some of the world's best waves.

Travel & Accommodation Packages from $489

Discover Greyhound

  • About us Learn about our company and history
  • Network map See where we go on Australia's largest coach network
  • Coach features Luxury coach features that set us apart
  • Social Responsibility Environment, Community, Inclusivity
  • Careers View current vacancies across the network
  • News & media Read our latest media releases
  • Our other services
  • Bus charters Hire a whole Greyhound bus for your next function
  • Freight & parcel delivery Get an online quote for your next package delivery
  • Greyhound Rewards

Create an account to earn points on every trip and manage your bookings online.

  • Earn G-DOLLARS on every ticket
  • Save or use rewards on your very next trip
  • Make bookings and manage your trips quickly and easily with your online account

Learn more about Greyhound Rewards

Travel information

  • Coach tracker Track your bus in real time
  • Service updates Delay announcements and notifications
  • Travel assistance Travel conditions and information
  • Baggage Luggage allowance information
  • Bus travel FAQs See frequently asked questions
  • Fare comparison See available types of fares and inclusions
  • Deals & concession discounts Current promotions and regular discount options
  • Explore places
  • Destination guides Find inspiration for your next trip
  • Popular routes Explore popular routes on our network
  • Travel blog Read our travel tips for your next trip
  • Network map Explore Australia's largest coach network
  • Lost & found property Find your lost luggage
  • Ticket refunds & cancellations Get a refund or cancel a ticket
  • Contact us Get in touch with questions or feedback
  • Rate your trip Leave a review

Or call 1300 473 946

  • Network map
  • Coach features
  • Social Responsibility
  • News & Media
  • Service updates
  • Coach tracker
  • Seat selection
  • Bus travel FAQs
  • Find a stop
  • Travel assistance

Bus Tickets, Travel Passes & Packages

Australia's favourite coach travel.

travel by bus australia

Experience Emerald Sunflowers, sapphires & show time BOOK NOW

travel by bus australia

  • Book a Ticket Book
  • Manage Booking Manage
  • Coach Tracker Track
  • Timetables Timetables

No availability for the selected route. Please choose a different origin and/or destination, or contact us on 1300 473 946 for more help.

Invalid booking credentials, please verify your booking number and pin are correct.

Choose passengers

Travelling from, travelling to, departure date, return date, select service or location, date of travel.

Free WiFi

Free WiFi On selected services

Australia's largest coach network

Largest coach network Explore Australia with us

Seat selection

Seat selection Your favourite seat every time

Eco friendly travel

Eco friendly The greenest travel option

Rewards for every trip

Rewards program Earn rewards for every trip

In-seat USB chargers

USB chargers Power your devices on the go

The cheapest and most convenient way to travel around Australia.

WHIMIT TRAVEL PASSES FIND OUT MORE

Hop on hop off travel in any direction on any route on our network with our most flexible travel pass. Choose from nationwide or East Coast-specific.

COMMUTER TRAVEL PASSES FIND OUT MORE

Made for frequent travellers looking for no fuss travel and value for money on our most popular routes. Save money by buying your coach travel in bulk.

With over 180 stops around the nation on Australia’s most extensive coach network, there are so many places to see and explore.

Brisbane to MACKAY

Brisbane to ROMA

Mount Isa to TOWNSVILLE

Longreach to WINTON

Townsville to BOWEN

Brisbane to CHARLEVILLE

Mount Isa to BRISBANE

Charters Towers to TOWNSVILE

Townsville to Mount Isa

Toowoomba to ROCKHAMPTON

Melbourne to CANBERRA

Darwin to KATHERINE

Brisbane to SYDNEY

Longreach to MOUNT ISA

Melbourne to SYDNEY

Brisbane to TOOWOOMBA

Canberra to MELBOURNE

Adelaide to ALICE SPRINGS

Brisbane to BYRON BAY

Cairns to TOWNSVILLE

Sydney to BYRON BAY

Brisbane to CAIRNS

Sunshine Coast to BRISBANE

Brisbane to HERVEY BAY

Alice Springs to TENNANT CREEK

Bowen to TOWNSVILLE

Snow SERVICES

MORE POPULAR ROUTES

Our coaches are just the beginning. From unforgettable experiences to tour and accommodation packages, we'll help you make the most of your travel dollars.

BASE BED HOPPER PASS LEARN MORE

Base Hostel Bed Hopper Passes are fully-flexible, multi-night accommodation vouchers that make it easy to get your accommodation sorted when you’re ready to book.

SAVE WITH UNIDAYS LEARN MORE

A student's life is better and travel is cheaper with UNiDAYs. Get your unique promo code now for unlimited use anywhere on our network.

WHERE CAN WE TAKE YOU? LEARN MORE

We visit almost 200 destinations in every mainland state and territory right across Australia! To check out exactly where we operate, take a squiz at our network map.

travel by bus australia

Rocky Travel

7 great Bus routes in Australia for the first-time traveller

Michela Australia Travel Planning Australia Solo Travel , Getting Around Australia 4

Why travel by bus around Australia

Australia is a country of vast distances, vastness and diverse landscapes, so it’s challenging to figure out the most suitable ways to get around Australia . While going on road trips in Australia is the most adventurous – but also challenging – way to explore the country, it does not often appeal to first-time solo travellers who are likely unfamiliar with driving in Australia : left-hand driving and four-wheel-driving in the Outback.

Table of Contents

That’s where train and bus travel comes in. In fact, for many travellers, it’s a convenient way of getting around that allows exploring the country at a slow pace and in a more relaxed way.

Most bus services operate daily and overnight to cover long distances. Furthermore, by reducing the carbon footprint emissions per person, it’s also a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of touring Australia. Nonetheless, bus travel in Australia has a few downsides, too . Firstly you need extensive time to travel and get organised. Unless you buy a bus pass, it’s not the cheapest way to move around. With the dense interstate and intrastate train & bus network, proper research ahead is key to choosing cost-effective schedules and time-saving routes.

Bus travel in Oz is different than in other parts of the world. While metropolitan areas are well serviced daily, long-distance trains and buses to remote regions are available only a few times a week, when not once a week. Moreover, cancellations or changes to bus schedules and routes in Australia may occur without notice. So, it may take time to find the right source of information and find out how and when you can get around Australia .

Why Bus Travel Australia? – 7 bus routes for the first-time traveller

As an advocate of independent and solo travel in Australia , I have written many articles about getting around the country and giving advice to first-time travellers in Australia.

It’s wise for short-term trips to build an itinerary with a good combination of different transportation methods, including flying, car rental, train and bus, and day tours. Focusing on one or two transportation types, like self-driving or train and bus trips, is a good idea if you plan long-term travel in Australia . There are many reasons for choosing bus travel in Australia .

It’s possible to see much of the country by bus and train. Here are seven great bus routes travelling by bus around Australia that I can recommend:

  • Starting from Sydney There are many bus trips that you can add to your itinerary. The most convenient way to travel to the Blue Mountains from Sydney is a 2-hour train connection, but there is also an excellent bus service from the city. Moreover, you can travel by bus to the Northern Beaches, and it’s a 1.5-hour bus trip along the coast with stops to all the main places up to Palm Beach. You can go to the Royal National Park , in a 30-minute train ride and ferry connection. And in 2 hours by bus or train you can get to Wollongong  too.
  •   Port Macquarie from Sydney This beautiful coastal town lies halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, and the best way to get there is the bus route. There is a train service too, with a bus connection to Port Macquarie . It’s a pleasant journey and a great opportunity to see much of the countryside.
  • From Brisbane to Byron Bay This destination is on the itinerary of many travellers backpacking around Australia. There is a bus service that takes you there in 2 hours. Or you can catch the train to the Gold Coast for a first stop and then travel further to Lismore to catch the bus connection to Byron Bay . From Brisbane , you can also travel by bus to Hervey Bay, Fraser Island , or stop there and visit the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast of Australia .
  • The South East Coast of Australia by bus On my first solo trip, I travelled nearly 5000 km by bus and did all of the South East Coast . Not all destinations are covered by bus, though it did not serve Jervis Bay then. However, the coastal towns of Batesman Bay, Narooma, Merimbula, Lakes Entrance and more are on this bus route.
  • From Cairns to Sydney This is probably one of the most popular bus routes in Australia. For this bus journey, you need 2-3 weeks, and there are many interesting places to see along the Eastern coast. I covered this distance by Greyhound buses from Cairns to Sydney in 2004 and loved it. You can travel the other way, from Sydney to Cairns and then fly out to your next destination.
  • Darwin to Kununurra This is a long trip of over 800 km across the border between the Northern Territory and Western Australia. I travelled this route a couple of times in both directions. The bus service is cheaper than flying and a great way to see the Outback landscape south of Darwin . If you have time, you can keep travelling by bus from Kununurra across the Kimberley region on the night bus service that takes you to Broome by covering nearly 2200 km.
  • Brisbane to Cunnamulla If you want some of the real Outback in Australia then Cunnamulla is one of those places you must see. From the East Coast , you can enjoy the beauty of the landscape. There are three bus and train services to this fantastic Outback destination. I went by train on the Westlander Train. It’s a long journey, but it’s worth it.

Bus travel websites in Australia

Next to the bus company Greyhound – the largest regional bus network in Oz – there are many smaller regional bus companies. These operate their services intrastate to almost any place in the immediate surroundings of towns or major cities.

If you have time and can consider travelling by bus for a long time, then getting an Australian bus pass from Greyhound is the way to save money on transportation in Australia. While you can check single train and bus companies, you can get an overview of train and bus networks nationwide.

Bus Travel & Tours In Australia

What if you want to join organised bus travel in Australia? There are plenty of short to long bus routes to book organised trips and tours throughout the big country. They range from day tours to one week or longer. Check out the complete offer of 👉 bus and van tours in Australia .

Related Posts & Guides:

Travelling Australia Trip Itinerary Ideas For Australia Your Australia Itinerary Guide eBook

Go Back to Rocky Travel & Tours For Over 50

First published in 2018, last updated in Jan 2024

Pin it for later!

Plan your Bus Adventure in Australia

If you want to plan your bus route adventures in Australia , please use these websites below to organise your travels, or check out the complete guide to travel planning resources .

If you find this article helpful for your trip, I’d appreciate it if you could support Rocky Travel and book your tours, accommodation, rental car, or purchase my book using the links below. Thank you!

BOOK YOUR TRIP WITH THESE RESOURCES

Get Travel Insurance For Your Trip

Travel with peace of mind:  👉   Compare and Buy Travel Insurance . 

Book Accommodation WorldWide

Find the best deals for hotel, homes, villas with  👉   booking.com .

Join Small Group Tours Of Italy For Over 50

Explore Italy with our 👉  Small Group Tours Of Italy .

Find The Best Tours Deals For Australia

Scout for the best guided trips and tours with our  👉   Australian Tours Guide .

Plan & Book Your Australian Adventure

Create the perfect Australia Trip Itinerary with  👉  Your Australia Itinerary eBook  and/or   Book A Trip Planning Call .

Plan Any Trip With These Resources

Check out our 👉   Travel Planning Bible .

Michela Fantinel

→ Michela Fantinel

Related Posts

Australia Public Transport Card Review

Australia Travel Planning

A Review of Australia Public Transport Cards

How to Travel Australia on a Budget

How To Travel to Australia on a Budget

Guide to Long Term Travel in Australia

A Guide to Long Term Travel in Australia

Suze December 14, 2016 @ 6:27 pm

I didn’t realize that there was a good bus network in Australia. For some reason I imagined that everyone flew from one place to another. We’re hoping to visit next year as I’ve never been.

Rocky Travel Australia December 15, 2016 @ 6:40 pm

Flying is the fastest and preferred way of getting around Australia by most Aussies. For visitors flying is not ideal, as you will not be able to see much of the country. If you travel with your partner, you may like self-driving and go on road trips. Australia is a country for road-tripping! Domestic flights help cover longer distances across Australia; public transportation is the way to go when touring Australian cities and their surroundings! I hope you will make it to Australia soon!

Bailey Strempel January 17, 2017 @ 11:58 am

Awesome places! Great tips for road trips! After reading this blog, I want to to visit Australia once by bus trip.

Cez February 18, 2017 @ 10:24 pm

Very good into to have about how public transportation works over there, thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Privacy Overview

css.php

GetByBus Blog

  • Single ticket purchase
  • Return ticket purchase
  • Bus delays in Croatia
  • Luggage safety
  • Luggage storage at bus stations in Croatia
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • Airports in Indonesia
  • Airports in Japan
  • Airports in Laos
  • Airports in Malaysia
  • Airports in Philippines
  • Airports in Thailand
  • Airports in Vietnam
  • Airports in Australia
  • Airports in New Zealand
  • Airports in Albania
  • Airports in Austria
  • Airports in Belgium
  • Airports in BiH
  • Airports in Bulgaria
  • Airports in Croatia
  • Airports in Czechia
  • Airports in Denmark
  • Airports in Finland
  • Paris Airports
  • Airports in Germany
  • Airports in Greece
  • Airports in Hungary
  • Airports in Ireland
  • Milan Airports
  • Rome Airports
  • Airports in Montenegro
  • Airports in Netherlands
  • Airports in North Macedonia
  • Airports in Norway
  • Warsaw Airports
  • Airports in Portugal
  • Airports in Romania
  • Moscow Airports
  • Airports in Serbia
  • Airports in Slovakia
  • Airports in Slovenia
  • Airports in Spain
  • Stockholm Airports
  • Airports in Switzerland
  • Airports in Turkey
  • London Airports
  • Airports in Ukraine
  • Airports in Canada
  • Airports in Mexico
  • Airports in the USA
  • Airports in Argentina
  • Airports in Bolivia
  • Rio de Janeiro Airports
  • São Paulo Airports
  • Airports in Chile
  • Airports in Ecuador
  • Airports in Paraguay
  • Airports in Peru
  • Airports in Uruguay
  • Airports in Venezuela
  • Best Airports in the World

Bus Australia

Bus Australia

Covering an area of about 7.7 M square kilometers, Australia is an enormous country. Traveling by bus in Australia is, along with flying, the most common way of getting around the country. Due to its size, travelling between certain cities can take quite some time. Nevertheless, there are regular daily (or in worst cases weekly) buses between the largest Australian cities . On the other hand, the train network is not as extensive as bus transport. And although flying is a common way of getting around, it’s still somewhat more expensive than taking a bus. The latest research estimates that the coach sector in Australia (long distance buses, bus tours, charters) transport over 1.5 million domestic passengers each year.

Table of Contents

Intercity buses in Australia

As mentioned above, Australia is a huge country, consisting of six states. Therefore, it’s important to distinguish terms like intercity bus and interstate bus. Interstate buses refer to the ones driving from one Australian state to another, while intercity buses drive between cities in the same state. Basically there are three companies handling long distance interstate bus lines . However, in most cases travelers end up using Greyhound services, as they have the largest bus network. In some cases bus companies offer night buses on these long distance routes. Even though there are no sleeper buses available, there are regular 15 to 30-minute breaks, usually taking place at resting areas. Interstate buses are generally in good condition, usually equipped with WIFI, toilet, in-seat USB chargers, reclining seats and air conditioning. 

As for the intercity bus lines , each Australian state has several bus companies offering regular daily departures. In most cases buses depart from the state capital, and leave for other towns. Of course, not all buses have a starting point in the state capital; there are also buses connecting smaller cities and towns. 

NOTE : 

  • In larger cities, buses arrive at designated bus stations, however in smaller towns they might arrive at smaller bus interchange sites.
  • When travelling on night buses, it’s recommended to bring some warm clothes or a blanket, as it can get pretty cold in the evening and at night. 
  • When travelling with interstate buses, food is not usually available to buy on board, but you can bring your own of course.

Timetable and tickets

Timetables for the majority of intercity and interstate routes can be found online, as well as at the bus stations in larger cities. It is recommended to check the timetable beforehand, as COVID-19 pandemic altered many of the departures offered by various companies. Being a technologically advanced people, Aussies usually buy their bus tickets online. Tickets can also be bought at bus stations, but note that prices might not be the same as when buying them online. 

NOTE: 

  • Depending on the company, you can benefit by buying early bird and two-way tickets
  • On some routes there are special discounts for students and pensioners
  • Bringing extra luggage and / or bikes can result in additional charges

Domestic bus routes

Being a continent-country, all the bus routes in Australia are, of course, domestic. Majority of bus lines are focused on coastal cities and state capitals of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Probably the most popular bus route is the one from Melbourne to Sydney . Trip duration with buses can take anywhere from a few hours to an entire day, especially when going to remote destinations in Western Australia or Northern Territory. Below we have listed the most popular intercity and interstate bus routes . If your desired route is not on the list, you can use the search form above to find other travel combinations.

Bus from the airports

Australia has dozens of airports offering scheduled commercial flights. The largest and most important Australian airports have well-organized public transportation to their respective cities. In most cases, passengers can use public transportation (buses) to get there. At smaller airports where public transport is not available, there are dedicated shuttle bus companies with departures to the cities. Airports in larger Australian cities like Sydney or Brisbane also have trains driving to and from the airports. Of course, there are also taxis and door-to-door services available. In general, getting to the nearby city from the airport using public buses or airport shuttles is a relatively easy and affordable option.

Bus companies in Australia

There are over 2000 registered bus companies in Australia. As mentioned before, three of them handle the majority of interstate lines; Greyhound, Firefly Express and Premier Motor Service. However, there is a significant number of smaller bus companies operating intercity and urban lines for each of the six Australia states. In addition to providing scheduled bus services, some companies also serve as school and charter bus companies. There are also companies offering coach tours, bus rentals and similar. Below we have listed some of the most important bus companies in Australia.

Bus stations Australia

Bus stations in Australia are sometimes referred to as coach terminals. Every large city has at least one bus station, while some cities like Melbourne and Sydney have multiple. Many of the smaller towns don’t have a bus station, but rather a bus stop indicating where passengers can get on board. Below we have listed some of the most popular bus stations in Australia . Click on each station name to get more information about it.

Hire a coach in Australia

Bus rental in Australia is another popular way of getting around the country, especially when traveling as a part of a larger group. There are numerous companies offering coaches to rent, with the driver on board of course. These companies are usually the same ones which have organized bus tours to most popular Australian destinations like national parks or beach resorts. The quality of buses depends on the company, however most of them should be equipped with basic amenities like AC and toilet, especially when travelling multiple days.  

Public transport in Australia

It is estimated that in a three-month period over 12 million people aged 14+ use Australian public transportation. With the exception of Darwin, all larger Australian cities have an extensive multimodal transport system which includes buses, commuter rail, and in some cases watercrafts. Each city has its own company which handles public transportation. As for the public buses, they connect the greater city area and suburbs with the city centers (CBD). Traveling with public transportation is generally affordable and you can save some extra money by purchasing public transport passes. That could be a good idea if you’re staying a few days in the city. Tickets and passes can be bought from fare machines at bus stations, train stations, at major interchanges, and of course online. Below is the list of the companies handling public transport in each city.

  • Adelaide Metro (Adelaide)
  • TransLink (Brisbane)
  • Transport Canberra (Canberra)
  • Darwinbus (Darwin)
  • Translink (Gold Coast)
  • Metro Tasmania (Hobart)
  • PTV (Melbourne)
  • Newcastle Transport (Newcastle)
  • Transperth (Perth)
  • Transport for NSW (Sydney)

FAQ Bus Australia

As the rest of the world, Australia implemented numerous rules and regulations regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These regulations have also affected traveling to and around Australia. To be 100 percent sure you’re getting the correct information, we recommend checking the official website of The Department of Health . Also, it’s a good idea to check rules each state has implemented for anyone traveling by bus. As for the mandatory wearing of masks on buses, keeping a physical distance from other passengers and other rules, you can check that information with each bus company.

Generally speaking, traveling by bus in Australia is pretty safe. Bus companies keep upgrading their fleets, which has led to less accidents on the road. Although there are still older buses on the road, there is an ongoing initiative for removing older vehicles from the road as soon as possible. As for safety while you’re onboard the bus, just follow the usual guidelines; keep your documents and valuable items with you at all times. Bus stations in the larger cities are well equipped and usually filled with a lot of people, so you should also be safe there at most times.

Traveling by bus in Australia is the cheapest way of getting around. Although it might take more time to get to certain places, it is still more affordable than flying there. Public transportation is also not too expensive, especially if you decide to buy daily or weekly passes.

If you’re traveling on intercity or interstate bus routes, it is best to buy tickets online or at the bus stations. You can use GetByBus platform to find and purchase tickets. As for the public buses, tickets can be purchased at designated fare machines.

Traveling by bus is the cheapest way to get around Australia. Even on the most popular routes, it is still cheaper than traveling by train or plane.

For bus companies

If you operate an Australian bus company and would like to be included in this list, you are more than welcome to contact us , we also can offer you the access to an easy platform for managing bus rentals in Australia.

  6Comments

'  data-srcset=

I need to travel from Albury to Frankston and return at the end of this month. Can you accomodate me?

'  data-srcset=

Dear Gerardina,

unfortunately, we don’t have the route Albury – Frankston at this moment.

Best regards, GBB Team

'  data-srcset=

How long does it take from Sydney to palm beach on bus? Do they buses have loos on them?

Q2. How long does it take on bus from Sydney to get to the home and away set and do these provide loos on the buses? Thanks. Sue.

the travel time between Sydney and Palm Beach is about 2 hours. Regarding toilets, we do not have such information, we suggest you contact the bus company you’re traveling with.

Best, GBB Team

'  data-srcset=

DEAR MADAM I WOULD LIKE YOU TO ASK HOW TO REACH YOUR COMPANY HR EMAIL FOR HIRE A PUBLIC BUS DRIVER CAN YOU ADVISE ME PLS THANKS

unfortunately, we do not offer bus rental services, but if you’re not a big group, you might consider a private transfer .

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FLASH SALE💥   Book now for   up to 60% off!

Coach / Bus Tours in Australia 2024/2025

  • Western Australia Coach / Bus

59 Coach / Bus trips around Australia with 151 reviews

7 Day Perth to Exmouth Explorer Loop Tour

  • Coach / Bus

7 Day Perth to Exmouth Explorer Loop

A fantastic week full of wildlife, fun and sun

3 Day Melbourne to Adelaide Overland (One Way) Tour

  • Hiking & Trekking

3 Day Melbourne to Adelaide Overland (One Way)

Nice trip with friendly guide

Tassie\'s Wilderness Icons (6 Days) Tour

  • Walking Adventure
  • In-depth Cultural
  • Christmas & New Year

Tassie's Wilderness Icons (6 Days)

Great Itinerary! Fantastic way to tick off seeing the natural beauty of East Coast. Meals where great, actually if anything - there is almost too much food!
  • €100 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Melbourne to Adelaide Tour 2 DAYS Tour

Melbourne to Adelaide Tour 2 DAYS

Everything was great. Your buses are small with no space for a small cabin case to brought inside.

Tassie\'s Parks and Nature (7 Days) Tour

Tassie's Parks and Nature (7 Days)

Great tour showcasing the West Coast of Tasmania and its natural beauty.

Australia: Kakadu Dreaming (5 Days) Tour

  • Sightseeing

Australia: Kakadu Dreaming (5 Days)

Highlights of Australia 12 Days Tour

Highlights of Australia 12 Days

An excellent tour with and excellent guide. Thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

4 Day Albany, ANZAC, Tree Top Walk and Margaret River Tour

4 Day Albany, ANZAC, Tree Top Walk and Margaret River

Good direction at the departure site, great rhythms to the days of hitting all the significant tourist stops.

Top End & Central Australia Explorer Tour

Top End & Central Australia Explorer

Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island Escape (7 Days) Tour

Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island Escape (7 Days)

Australia coach / bus tour reviews.

I loved every aspect of this tour. Geoff was an AMAZING tour guide!!
I enjoyed the experience, overall it was the tours fault the ITN changed due to fires, overall it was good,
The way a tour should be excellent but stop using old information ( bloody frustrating) transport Margaret and TOM were wonderful

Top operators

INTRO Travel

"The Oz east coast trip with Intro is an amazing way to explore the entire east coast trip fast! It is well organised and as described, with the option to do extra activities along the way too. My leader was Molly who has fantastic. She got the group to each destination safe and sound, without any hassle, and with lots of laughs! She also was extremely knowledgeable about each destination we went to and about the general Aussie culture. She was extremely approachable to any queries that you had and gave me lots of tips and advice for working in OZ after! It is also a great way to make lifelong friends and travel safely. I would definitely recommend. I would also suggest bringing a suitcase or wheely backpack as it is much easier to travel with. 😊

INTRO Travel is an expert in:

Ultimate Travel

"amazing! Our tour guide Eli made sure we didn’t have to worry about anything because everything was taken care of. She was the best!! Always made sure we had something to do :)

Ultimate Travel is an expert in:

Trafalgar

"Everything was Excelent

Trafalgar is an expert in:

Regions in Australia

  • Australia Northern Territory (14)
  • Western Australia (14)
  • Australian Outback (12)
  • Kakadu National Park (10)
  • East Australia (9)
  • Tasmania (9)
  • Great Barrier Reef (8)
  • Australia West Coast (7)
  • Queensland (6)
  • Australia East Coast (5)
  • South East Queensland (5)

Travel Styles

  • 10 Best Coach & Bus Companies (with Reviews)
  • Australia Travel Guide | All You Need to Know
  • Best 4 Week Australia Itineraries 2024/2025 (with Reviews)

Discover TourRadar

  • Botswana Safari
  • Great Barrier Reef Tours
  • Italy & Switzerland Lakes tours
  • Western Journey
  • 3 Days Gorilla Habituation Experience
  • 3 Day Adventure Tour in Azerbaijan
  • 9-Days in the wild including 2 nights in Serengeti and 3 days in Zanzibar.

Bus Travel in Australia

inside a greyhound

>> See other modes of Australia transportation

Benefits of Bus Travel in Australia

  • You don’t have to spend all of your time in airports.
  • You don’t have to worry about driving in a foreign country.
  • You don’t have to worry about the time between scuba diving and getting on a plane.
  • You can usually get hop-on/hop-off packages.
  • You will generally meet other travelers like yourself along the way.
  • You may get discounts by holding a backpackers membership card.

Popular Australian Bus Companies

Two of the most popular bus companies in Australia are Greyhound and Oz Experience, the latter being targeted to the backpacker and independent traveler crowd.

Greyhound – Greyhound is a popular main bus line in Australia, and even though it is not primarily for backpackers, they have put together plenty of backpacker travel options. You can get hop-on/hop-off passes of different lengths and prices, full package deals or use them to get to major events around Australia. There are always deals and discounts listed on their homepage, so have a look if the budget airlines aren’t as cheap as you’d like. Visit site >>

Oz Experience – Oz Experience is a backpacker-targeted bus company that helps travelers looking to experience the east coast. They specialize in getting to the smaller, yet more loved, locations along the way. You simply choose your ticket, where you want to get off and on with them and the hostels and food is up to you. I would recommend this option for the younger backpacker, or at least the young at heart. Visit site >>

However, there are a number of smaller charter and tour bus companies around the country that can be looked into depending on your travel needs.

Charter Buses:

  • Murrays – Murrays offers coaches, buses and limousines (if that’s how you roll) throughout the major cities: Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Alice Springs and Tasmania. Visit site >>
  • Firefly Express – Firefly Express offers express service buses between Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide daily. Visit site >>
  • Premier Motor Service – Premier offers luxury coach travel to a plethora of locations around Australia. Visit site >>
  • TassieLink – TassieLink is a coach operator hitting Tasmania’s major locations. Visit site >>

Backpacker Buses:

  • Groovy Grape – Groovy Grape offers bus tours to places such as the Barossa Valley, Uluru and Coober Pedy. Visit site >>
  • Nullarbor Traveller – Nullarbor Traveller offers the trip from Adelaide to Perth. Visit site >>
  • Easyrider Tours – Easyrider specializes in backpacker tours in Western Australia. Visit site >>

Bus Travel in Australian Cities

Bus transportation is prevalent in most Australian cities and is an excellent way to get around to the see the major tourist spots. I will be putting together a guide for all the major cities and updating this post to include that information in the near future, so check back soon.

Photo credit .

If bus travel will take too long to fit into your schedule, why not search for a flight below?

Find cheap bus tickets in Australia

Easily compare and book your next trip with Busbud

Popular routes in Australia

What popular bus companies operate in australia.

Greyhound Australia

Why choose Busbud?

The best way to book bus and train tickets.

Busbud.com makes it easy for you to find, compare and book city-to-city bus tickets, all over the world. We save you the extra trip to the bus station. Use Busbud to book your trip online, in your own language and currency, wherever you are. With Busbud, you can buy tickets with confidence. We ensure that you make the most out of your bus trip by partnering up with reliable bus companies from all around the world such as Greyhound, Eurolines, ALSA, OUIBUS (BlaBlaBus), National Express and many others.

What are the top visited cities in Australia?

Buses to Brisbane

Plan your next bus trip in Australia

  • Bus from Airlie Beach to Cairns
  • Coach Sydney - Port Macquarie
  • Bus Sydney - Brisbane
  • Sydney - Melbourne
  • Bus from Byron Bay to Noosa
  • Coach Melbourne - Sydney
  • Bus Cairns - Airlie Beach
  • Rainbow Beach - Airlie Beach
  • Bus from Brisbane to Rainbow Beach
  • Coach Sydney - Gold Coast
  • Bus Noosa - Airlie Beach
  • Townsville - Cairns
  • Bus from Sydney to Coffs Harbour
  • Coach Airlie Beach - Townsville
  • Bus Townsville - Airlie Beach

Most popular airports and destinations

  • Melbourne to Melbourne Airport
  • Brisbane to Brisbane Airport
  • Frankston to Melbourne Airport
  • Hobart to Hobart Airport
  • Melbourne to Avalon Airport

Top bus and train stations

  • Buses to SYD Airport - International
  • Buses to Central Station
  • Buses to Surfers Paradise - Transit Centre
  • Buses to Butler st
  • Buses to SYD Airport - Domestic

Sustainable travel

  • Travel from Brisbane to Gold Coast
  • Travel from Gold Coast to Brisbane
  • Travel from Brisbane Airport to Gold Coast
  • Travel from Gold Coast to Brisbane Airport
  • Travel from Brisbane Airport to Brisbane
  • Travel from Brisbane to Brisbane Airport

Interested in more? Receive travel deals, trip reminders and other updates by email!

travel by bus australia

Travel Australia

travel australia

Travel Australia By Bus

travel by bus australia

Bus travel is the most popular way to get around Australia among backpackers. Coaches go virtually everywhere and many coach tickets allow you to hop on and off en route to your destination. There is a fairly comprehensive network of bus routes with lots of competition on the more heavily travelled routes between Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney and up the east coast to Cairns making it a cheap way to get around. Once you start to head west from Adelaide, there is less competition between various bus companies and the distances between towns are much longer making it a less cost effective transport option. Coach travel is split between scheduled coach operators such as McCafferty’s, Firefly, Premier and Greyhound and buses geared towards the backpacker market, such as Easyrider, Oz Experience and the Wayward Bus. Scheduled buses are usually cheaper and run more frequently but the specialist backpacker buses often go to out of the way places that you would otherwise miss out on.

New South Wales

Numerous operators provide coach services between Sydney and Brisbane (coastal and New England routes); Canberra; Melbourne; Adelaide (via Mildura and Canberra). Services to other cities and towns across Australia are by connections to one of those destinations. The main routes followed are – Sydney to Brisbane via Newcastle, Armidale, Toowoomba (17 hrs. 45 minutes) Sydney to Brisbane via Newcastle, Forster, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour (15 hrs. 25 minutes) Sydney to Melbourne via Albury (12 hours) Sydney to Adelaide via Mildura and Canberra (22 hours) Sydney to Canberra (4 hours)

Western Australia

Numerous operators provide coach services between Perth and Darwin via Geraldton, Carnarvon, Exmouth, Dampier, Broome and Kununurra. TransWA provides coach services to a large number of localities with the southern section of Western Australia. Many of these services link with trains.

South Australia

Numerous operators provide coach services linking Adelaide with Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Darwin. Only the smaller coach and tour operators have scheduled services to Perth. The main coach terminal in Adelaide is the Central Bus Station at Franklin Street, Adelaide. All interstate and Intra-state coaches depart from and arrive at this terminal. Sydney to Adelaide via Mildura and Canberra (22 hours) Melbourne to Adelaide via Stawall and Ballarat (9 hours 45 minutes) Melbourne to Adelaide via Gt Ocean Road and Grampians.

Northern Territory

Numerous operators provide coach services between Perth and Darwin via Geraldton, Carnarvon, Exmouth, Dampier, Broome and Kununurra; and Adelaide via Alice Springs, Coober Pedy, Woomera and Port Augusta. The main coach terminal in Darwin is the Transit Centre in Mitchell Street. All interstate coaches, airport and railway station shuttle buses and local coach tours depart from and arrive at this terminal.

Numerous operators provide coach services between Melbourne and Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide. Services to other cities and towns across Australia are by connections to one of those destinations. The main routes followed are: Melbourne to Sydney (12 hours min.) via Canberra (8 hours min.) Melbourne to Sydney (19 hours 10 minutes) via Sale (5 hours) and Bega (9 hours 50 minutes) Melbourne to Brisbane (22 hours 30 minutes min.) via Ballarat, Dubbo and Moree Melbourne to Adelaide via Stawall and Ballarat (9 hours 45 minutes) Melbourne to Adelaide via Gt Ocean Road and Grampians.

Numerous operators provide coach services from the Roma Street Transit Centre, Roma Street, Brisbane. Brisbane and Cairns (17 hrs. 30 mins.) Airlie Beach, Whitsundays (6 hrs. 30 mins.) Mt. Isa (26 hrs. 15 mins.); Noosa (2 hrs. 50 mins.) Surfers Paradise (1hr 20 mins.); Sydney via coast road (17 hrs. 30 mins.) Sydney via New England Hwy (14 hrs. 30 mins.) Melbourne direct (24 hrs. 45 mins.) Melbourne via Sydney (37 hrs. 30 mins.)

A number of coach operators provide coach transport services and organised tours from Hobart. Intercity and regional bus services are provided by: Redline Tassielink Regional Coaches Metrotas – metropolitan services in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie

Design by W3layouts

The ultimate guide to getting around Australia

Tasmin Waby

Oct 24, 2023 • 9 min read

Cropped shot of girlfriends out on a road trip

A road trip is a highlight of a visit to Australia, but there are other great ways to travel too © pixdeluxe / Getty Images

Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world, with very different regions and climates. Deciding where to go – and how to get there – requires some major planning.

At first glance, flying and train fares in Australia look expensive (and a lack of competition does mean there are few bargains), but when you compare car rental, insurance, fuel and accommodation costs, a flight from Sydney to Perth suddenly looks a little more appealing.

If you don't have time to spare, you're likely to rely on internal flights to cover large distances – an alternative is to focus your trip on one region.

When deciding on the best way to get around Australia, weigh up how much time you have, what level of luxury you require and the carbon footprint you want to leave behind.

If you're short on time, you'll need to take internal flights

Flying is the only way to do more than one state on a shorter stay. Australia's main domestic airlines service major cities and key tourist sites – like Yulara for Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park – with regular flights. Major players are Jetstar , Qantas  and Virgin Australia .

Traveling by long-distance bus is a great budget option

Australia's extensive bus network is a reliable way to get between towns and cities, but distances are often vast, so be prepared for long days or nights. Most Australian buses are equipped with air-conditioning (essential in summer), comfortable seats and toilets; all are smoke-free, and some have wi-fi and USB chargers. Ask about hop-on hop-off fares, which give you more flexibility. Some operators also offer discounted fares for seniors, students and children.

The main bus companies in Australia are Greyhound Australia , Firefly Express , Integrity Coach Lines (in Western Australia), Premier Motor Service (NSW) and V/Line in Victoria, which runs a mix of buses and trains.

Another way to get around by bus is on a tour. Some offer the whole package, including accommodation and meals; others are less formal options to get from A to B and see the sights on the way. Popular outfits running coach tours include AAT Kings , Adventure Tours Australia , Autopia Tours  and  Untamed Escapes .

The Ghan railway train speeding across Australia from Adelaide to Darwin.

Explore Australia on an epic train journey

Long-distance rail travel in Australia is something you do because you really want to − not because it's cheap, convenient or fast. That said, trains are more comfortable than buses, and there's a certain "romance of the rails" that's alive and well in Australia. The most notable long-distance rail journeys in Australia are the Indian Pacific between Sydney and Perth, the Overland between Melbourne and Adelaide, Great Southern between Brisbane and Adelaide, and The Ghan between Adelaide and Darwin via Alice Springs.

Intra- and inter-state trains operators include Queensland Rail , which runs the high-speed Spirit of Queensland service between Brisbane and Cairns; NSW TrainLink from Sydney to Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra; and V/Line within Victoria, which links up with coach connections into NSW, SA and the ACT.

Road-tripping in Australia is an amazing experience

Whether you're focusing your visit on one state or several, exploring Australia by road is the ultimate way to discover this vast nation. For 4WD or motorcycle adventures, you'll also need specialist skills, guidebooks, maps and equipment. 

Choosing whether to hire a vehicle or buy one will depend on the length of your stay and how far you’re traveling. Here are the pros and cons to consider in the hire vs buy debate:

Hiring a car or camper means you've got a reliable vehicle

For a shorter trip, car rental is probably more cost-effective – you’ll get a newer, safer and more reliable vehicle. If you have any issues, you get roadside support, and your costs are fixed at the daily car hire rate. Large rental companies have offices in major cities and airports, and most require drivers to be over the age of 21 (sometimes 25). It’s slightly more expensive to do a one-way hire.

Campervans are also available for rent, which would cover some of your accommodation costs. You still need to pay to overnight at campsites or find designated spots where you can free camp. Australia-based companies that hire campervans include Apollo , Britz , Hippie Camper , Jucy , Maui , Mighty Campers , Spaceships  and Travelwheels . To compare car hire deals, go to CarHire.com .

All the usual advice applies for car and van hire. Read the contract. Understand the small print, including accident excess cover (you can buy your own separately, but you may need to put down a large "holding" deposit with the car hire firm). Make sure all your drivers have the appropriate driving licenses and travel insurance. Always thoroughly inspect the vehicle before leaving and note any pre-existing damage. Given the scale of Australia, you should ask for unlimited kilometers as you’re most likely going to travel big distances. Find out if you can take the vehicle on unsealed roads.

Uluru at sunset from back of the campervan

Buying a car or a van might be best for longer trips

Buying your own vehicle gives you the freedom to go where and when your mood takes you and may work out cheaper than renting in the long run. The downsides of DIYing are the admin costs and repairs.

When you buy a vehicle in Australia, you need to transfer the registration (Aussies call it "rego," of course) into your own name within 14 days. Each state has slightly different requirements. When selling a vehicle, you need to advise the state or territory road-transport authority of the sale and change of ownership name. If you just don’t change the registration or give the vehicle away, you’ll still be liable for subsequent fines and future rego certificates from the new owners.

Sellers are required to provide a roadworthy certificate when transferring registration in most states. If the vehicle you're considering doesn't have a roadworthy certificate, ask for one before you agree on the price. This can cost $100 but will save you money on unknown repair costs. Road transport authorities have lists of licensed vehicle testers. Note that registering a vehicle in a different state from the one it was previously registered in can be time-consuming and more expensive, something to be aware of when planning to sell at the end of your trip.

It's prudent to have a vehicle checked by an independent expert before you buy it, and state-based automobile clubs (for example, the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria) offer vehicle checks. Road transport authorities (RTAs) have lists of licensed garages you can book directly. 

a van driviing the isolated Pentecost River Crossing on Gibb River Road

Five common driving hazards you need to know

There are a lot of things to think about when hitting the road in Australia. Here are five risks you need to keep in mind.

1. There may be animals on the road, particularly at night

Many Australians avoid traveling once the sun goes down because of the risks posed by nocturnal animals on the roads. Kangaroos are common on country roads, as are cows and sheep in the unfenced outback. Kangaroos are most active around dawn and dusk and often travel in groups – if you see one hopping across the road, slow right down, as its friends may be just behind it. If you injure an animal while driving, you can call the local wildlife rescue line, which is sometimes signposted along the route. 

2. Drive slowly and carefully on dirt roads in the countryside 

Unsealed road conditions vary wildly depending on the road and the weather. Cars and vans perform very differently on dirt when braking and turning corners. Don't exceed 60kph (37mph) – if you go faster, you won't have time to respond to a sharp turn, animals on the road or an unexpected pothole. A wet dirt road means mud and can quickly become impassable – something to keep in mind if traveling in tropical northern Australia during the summer "wet season" (November to April).

3. Look out for "road trains" on the highways

A lack of rail infrastructure in Australia means you’re likely to cross paths with road trains (trucks with two or three trailers stretching for as long as 50m) on the highway. Overtaking is risky. On single-lane roads in more remote places, get off the road when a truck approaches; they don’t slow down for cars. Stones or debris can clip your car as it passes, so get as far out of the way as possible.

4. Fill up with fuel at every chance in remote areas

In cities and towns, service stations are plentiful, but distances between fill-ups can be huge in the countryside – pay attention to your fuel gauge and those yellow road signs announcing the next roadhouse. Filling your tank whenever you can is the best precaution, especially if you need to take a diversion thanks to a flooded road or some other weather-related event. Electric recharging spots are popping up all over Australia, making hybrid and electric road trips a viable alternative.

5. Do not ignore tiredness when driving  

Be wary of driver fatigue; driving long distances (particularly in hot weather) can be utterly exhausting, and falling asleep at the wheel is a very serious risk. Stop and rest regularly − do some exercise, change drivers and have a coffee. Do not drive if you’re feeling drowsy.

Adventure on Fraser Island

Drive responsibly and minimize your impact

If you’ve committed to buying a car or van and driving around Australia, there are some ways to minimize your environmental impact on your journey:

  • Ensure your vehicle is well-serviced and tuned.
  • Travel lightly and drive slower to reduce fuel consumption.
  • Stay on designated roads and vehicle off-road tracks (if you’re 4WDing).
  • Don't drive on walking tracks, and avoid driving on vegetation. Cross creeks at designated areas.
  • Always take all your rubbish if you’ve been camping overnight.
  • Consider ride-sharing with fellow travelers where possible.

Road trip around Australia on this 3-month-long itinerary 

You have a 90-day tourist visa and want to see all of Australia, right? It’s not possible to see everything , but you can conceivably do both coasts and the outback if you’re prepared to keep moving (ideally taking turns behind the wheel with travel companions if you're driving this route). 

We suggest you begin in Perth . Drive the west coast via Albany (to the south), then up to Broome via Ningaloo and the Pilbara and over to Darwin . Turn south through Alice Springs and detour via Uluru . Continue straight down the Stuart Highway to Adelaide , then make your way to Melbourne , either inland or via the more scenic coast. Now you’ve got about a month to six weeks to get to far north Queensland via the beaches of southern New South Wales, the waterfalls inland from Byron Bay and the Daintree rainforest north of Cairns . If you skip Sydney and Brisbane (you’ll be dusty by now, and finding places to park is a pain), you can always pop back via bus or plane after you’ve offloaded your vehicle – which has just had an extra 20,000km (12,400 miles) added to its mileage.

This article was first published Jun 29, 2021 and updated Oct 24, 2023.

Explore related stories

travel by bus australia

May 21, 2024 • 11 min read

Looking to travel for Pride festivities in 2024? Here are 12 cities all over the world that offer a plethora of joyous parades, street fairs and parties.

travel by bus australia

May 8, 2024 • 5 min read

Where to go in June 2024 Sicily

Apr 15, 2024 • 10 min read

Sandboarding-at-Lancelin-Sand-Dunes-IMG6009-credit-Jessica-Wynne-Lockhart.jpeg

Apr 4, 2024 • 5 min read

travel by bus australia

Mar 29, 2024 • 19 min read

travel by bus australia

Mar 26, 2024 • 8 min read

Where-Locals-Go-Australia.png

Feb 27, 2024 • 6 min read

travel by bus australia

Feb 15, 2024 • 7 min read

travel by bus australia

Feb 9, 2024 • 12 min read

1290933961

Jan 5, 2024 • 20 min read

Zebedee Springs, The Kimberley, Western Australia © Tourism Australia

Australia Recommends 2024

Sydney, NSW © Tourism Australia

Come and Say G'day

Uluru, NT

G'day, the short film

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria © Tourism Australia

Discover your Australia

Kangaroo Island, South Australia © Tourism Australia

Travel videos

Elysian Retreat, Whitsundays, QLD © Tourism Australia

Deals and offers

Jacarandas and Sydney Harbour at sunset, Sydney, NSW © Destination NSW

Australian Capital Territory

Bondi, Sydney, NSW © Georges Antoni and Ken Butti

New South Wales

West MacDonnell Ranges, NT © Tourism Australia

Northern Territory

Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, QLD © Tourism Australia

South Australia

Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, TAS © Pierre Destribats

Western Australia

Aerial shot of Emily Bay on Norfolk Island © Rose Evans (Norfolk Island Tourism)

External Territories

Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW ©  Daniel Tran

The Whitsundays

Kangaroo, Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, WA © Tourism Western Australia

Mornington Peninsula

Paddleboarding, Noosa, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Port Douglas

Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay, NSW © Destination NSW

Ningaloo Reef

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Coast, QLD © Tourism Whitsundays

Airlie Beach

Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. © South Australian Tourism Commission

Kangaroo Island

The Basin, Rottnest Island, Western Australia © Tourism Western Australia

Rottnest Island

Lake McKenzie, K’gari (Fraser Island), QLD © Tourism & Events Queensland

Hamilton Island

Lord Howe Island, NSW © Trevor King, Destination New South Wales

Lord Howe Island

Tiwi Design, Tiwi Islands © Tourism NT/Shaana McNaught

Tiwi Islands

Little penguins, Phillip Island Nature Park, VIC © Phillip Island Nature Park

Phillip Island

Bruny Island Paddle, Southern Sea Ventures, Bruny Island, Tasmania © Southern Sea Ventures

Bruny Island

Cape Naturaliste, near Dunsborough, WA © Tourism Western Australia

Margaret River

St Hugo Wines, Barossa Valley, SA © Tourism Australia

Barossa Valley

Grampians National Park, Victoria © Robert Blackburn, Visit Victoria

The Grampians

Audrey Wilkinson, Hunter Valley, NSW © Audrey Wilkinson

Hunter Valley

Sea turtle, Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, QLD © Tourism & Events Queensland

McLaren Vale

Glass House Mountains, Sunshine Coast, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Glass House Mountains

Bubble Tents, Capertree, Mudgee Region, NSW © Australian Traveller

Alice Springs

Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia © Tourism Australia

Uluru and Kata Tjuta

The Kimberley, WA © Tourism Australia

The Kimberley

The Arkaba Walk, Elder Camp, Flinders Ranges National Park, SA © Adam Bruzzone, South Australian Tourism Commission

Flinders Ranges

Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu National Park, NT © Jarrad Seng, all rights reserved

Kakadu National Park

Eyre Peninsula, SA © David Edgar

Eyre Peninsula

Hamersley Gorge , Karijini National Park, WA © Tourism Western Australia

Karijini National Park

Monkey Mia, Shark Bay World Heritage Area, WA © Tourism Western Australia

Great Barrier Reef

Blue Mountains, NSW © Destination NSW

Blue Mountains

Cassowary in Daintree Rainforest, Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland

Daintree Rainforest

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, VIC © Greg Snell, Tourism Australia

Great Ocean Road

Spicers Peak, Scenic Rim, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Purnululu National Park

Boat Shed, Lake Dove and Cradle Mountain, Cradle-Mountain Lake St Clare National Park, TAS © Adrian Cook

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

Wangi Falls, Litchfield National Park, NT © Tourism NT, Dan Moore

Litchfield National Park

Saffire Signature Experiences, Freycinet Marine Oyster Farm, Coles Bay, Freycinet National Park, TAS © Tourism Tasmania

Aboriginal experiences

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC © Robert Blackburn, Visit Victoria

Arts and culture

WOMADelaide 2019, Adelaide, SA Ⓒ Grant Hancock

Festivals and events

Detour Restaurant, Brisbane, QLD © @detourrestaurant and @dine.agency

Food and drink

Raging Thunder, Tully, QLD © Tourism Australia

Adventure and sports

Three Capes Track, Tasman National Park, TAS © Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service

Walks and hikes

Great Ocean Road, VIC © Tourism Australia

Road trips and drives

Waterline Charters, Wessel Islands, NT © Aussie Fly Fisher

Beaches and islands

Nature's Window, Kalbarri National Park, WA © Tourism Australia

Nature and national parks

Wombat, Symbio Wildlife Park, Helensburgh, NSW © Destination NSW

Eco-friendly travel

Group of friends participate in a body clay ritual at Peninsula Hot Springs © Peninsula Hot Springs

Health and wellness

The Dune Pavilion Deck with views of Uluru at Longitude 131 in the Northern Territory © Baillies Longitude 131

Family travel

Table Cape Tulip Farm, Wynyard, Tasmania © Tourism Australia

Family destinations

Hellfire Bay, Esperance, Western Australia © Tourism Australia

Family road trips

Merewether Baths, Newcastle, NSW © Destination NSW

Backpacking

Ellery Creek Big Hole, West MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory © Tourism NT/Salty Aura

Work and holiday

Sand Dune Adventures at Stockton Beach, Port Stephens, NSW © Tourism Australia

Beginner's guide

Man in a wheelchair looking up at the canopy of the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland

Accessible travel

 Mrs Macquarie's Chair, Sydney, NSW © Destination NSW

Planning tips

travel by bus australia

Trip planner

Cape Tribulation, Tropical North Queensland, QLD © Tourism Australia

Australian budget guide

 Aerial of car driving through palm trees in Tropical North Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland / Sean Scott.

Itinerary planner

Kangaroo, Lucky Bay, Esperance, WA © Australia’s Golden Outback

Find a travel agent

Beach House on Wategos Beach, Byron Bay, NSW © Tourism Australia

Find accommodation

Indian Pacific, Lake Hart, SA © Andrew Gregory

Find transport

Snowy region, Jindabyne, NSW © DPIE-Murray Van Der Veer

Visitor information centres

Deals and travel packages

Sydney Airport, New South Wales © Sydney Airport

Visa and entry requirements FAQ

Passengers using SmartGate © Australian Border Force

Customs and biosecurity

Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, NT © Tourism NT/Matt Cherubino

Working Holiday Maker visas

Bronte Baths, Bronte Beach, Sydney, NSW © Tourism Australia

Facts about Australia

Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, SA © South Australian Tourism Commission

Experiences that will make you feel like an Aussie

Great Barrier Reef, QLD © Georges Antoni / Tourism Australia

People and culture

Castle Hill, Townsville, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Health and safety FAQ

Sorrento Pier, VIC © Visit Victoria, Ewen Bell

Cities, states & territories

Mount Lidgbird and Mount Gower, Lord Howe Island © Tom Archer

Iconic places and attractions

  Wildflowers, near Hamelin Pool, WA © Tourism Western Australia

When is the best time to visit Australia?

Ringer Reef Winery, Bright, VIC © Visit Victoria

Seasonal travel

Human Progress Pride flag, Sydney, NSW © Daniel Boud

Events and festivals

Silverdale Olive Orchard, Coral Coast, WA © Australia's Coral Coast

School holidays

Sydney New Year's Eve, Sydney Harbour, NSW © Destination NSW

Public holidays

Sydney Harbour, Sydney, NSW © Destination NSW

How to get to Australia's most iconic cities

Gantheaume Point, Broome, WA © Tourism Australia

How long do I need for my trip to Australia?

Self-drive, Marrawah, TAS © Tourism Tasmania

How to travel around Australia

Car driving on road next to the ocean in Lagoons Beach Conservation Area © Pete Harmsen/Tourism Tasmania

Guide to driving in Australia

Maui Motorhome parked on the coastline in Tasmania © Tourism Australia

How to hire a car or campervan

Family strolling alongside Tilligerry Creek © Destination NSW

How to plan a family road trip

 Car drives along the Matilda Way in Outback Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland

How to plan an outback road trip

wishlist

Marrawah, Tasmania © Tourism Tasmania

Getting around Australia

You may have heard Australia is a big country, but did you know, despite its size, it's easy to get around?

Link Copied!

Getting around by plane

Qantas A330 over Sydney Harbour, Sydney, NSW © Qantas

Qantas A330 over Sydney Harbour, Sydney, New South Wales © Qantas

Flying is the best way to cover Australia’s large distances in a short time. Australia’s domestic airlines – including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Rex – serve all state capital cities and many regional cities, making it an easy way to travel between  Australia's iconic destinations . Competition between domestic airlines means that some great value fares are available, especially if you book in advance.

Getting around by car

Canungra Valley, Gold Coast, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Canungra Valley, Gold Coast, Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland

Australia has a vast network of well-maintained roads and some of the most beautiful  road trips  in the world. When travelling long distances, you'll find rest stops and service stations at regular intervals. 

You’ll find car rental companies at major airports and central city locations; so hire a car, 4WD or caravan and hit the highway. 

Learn how to hire a car in Australia

Public transport and tourist bus services

Big Bus Tours, Sydney, NSW © Big Bus Tours

Big Bus Tours, Sydney, New South Wales © Big Bus Tours

Take the pressure off travelling around the city by utilising public transport and hop-on hop-off tourist buses. Services are inexpensive (children generally pay a concession fee) and will take you to all the major attractions without the hassle of finding parking. Some services, such as Melbourne’s City Circle Tram, are completely free! In Sydney, there are caps to weekly transport rates, so you will never pay more than the maximum weekly fare, regardless of how often you use the transport network. Most buses, metros, trains and trams can accommodate prams and other access requirements, making them a great option for getting around.

 Greyhound Australia © Greyhound Australia

Coach travel in Australia is comfortable, efficient and reasonably priced. Australia’s national coach operator,  Greyhound , offers a range of travel passes.

Getting around by train

The Ghan © Heather Dinas Photography

The Ghan © Heather Dinas Photography

There are spectacular rail journeys in Australia, such as  The Ghan  and  Indian Pacific , which sweep across the continent, offering comfort and a sense of nostalgic romance. The Indian Pacific travels between Sydney and Perth, stopping at Broken Hill, Adelaide and Kalgoorlie; the legendary Ghan travels between Adelaide and Darwin, taking in Australia’s Red Centre and the tropical Top End.

Embark on a luxury train journey

Getting around by ferry

Spirit of Tasmania © Spirit of Tasmania

Spirit of Tasmania © Spirit of Tasmania

The Spirit of Tasmania operates a nightly passenger and vehicle ferry service between Geelong, Victoria's second-largest city, and Devonport in Tasmania with extra services during peak periods. SeaLink ferries connect Cape Jervis in South Australia (approximately 108 kilometres/67 miles south of Adelaide) and Kangaroo Island several times a day. There are also ferry services in our capital cities, connecting suburbs around Sydney Harbour, on the Swan River in Perth and on the Brisbane River.

Finding your way on foot

Murray River Walk, SA © Murray River Trails

Murray River Walk, South Australia © Murray River Trails

Australia's cities and towns are great for exploring on foot, with well maintained footpaths and scenic walkways that will take you through parklands, along coastal cliffs and through urban laneways.

You can also tackle some of the longest tracks and trails in the world here – impressive journeys of a thousand kilometres (620 miles) or more that can take several weeks to complete. From the Overland Track through Tasmania's World Heritage-listed wilderness to the Larapinta Trail across the West MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory, these hikes let you discover spectacular landscapes while stretching your legs.

Explore Australia's best walks and hikes

Travelling with a disability

Deep Creek Conservation Park, Fleurieu Peninsula, SA © John Montesi

Deep Creek Conservation Park, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia © John Montesi

In Australia, airlines, trains, buses and ferries are accessible to people using a wheelchair or mobility device. Australia’s airports provide services for people with disabilities and are able to assist with baggage, getting around the airport and getting on and off the plane. For more information visit the  Australia For All , Can Go Everywhere and  People With Disability Australia  websites.

Distances and journey times for common routes

Travelling from Sydney

*Via Melbourne and Adelaide

Travelling from Melbourne

travel by bus australia

Download our Australia Visitor Map

Get your copy of our visitor map, complete with travel tips and road safety information to help you plan an incredible journey around australia., more articles like this.

Great Ocean Road, VIC © Visit Victoria

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience.  Find out more . By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to set cookies.

Acknowledgement of Country

Indigenous symbol - Natural Beauty

We acknowledge the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners of the land, sea and waters of the Australian continent, and recognise their custodianship of culture and Country for over 60,000 years.

  • New Zealand (English)
  • United States (English)
  • Canada (English)
  • United Kingdom (English)
  • India (English)
  • Malaysia (English)
  • Singapore (English)
  • Indonesia (Bahasa Indonesia)
  • Deutschland (Deutsch)
  • France (Français)
  • Italia (Italiano)
  • 中国大陆 (简体中文)

*Product Disclaimer:  Tourism Australia is not the owner, operator, advertiser or promoter of the listed products and services. Information on listed products and services, including Covid-safe accreditations, are provided by the third-party operator on their website or as published on Australian Tourism Data Warehouse where applicable. Rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum available prices of products and services. Please visit the operator’s website for further information. All prices quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD). Tourism Australia makes no representations whatsoever about any other websites which you may access through its websites such as australia.com. Some websites which are linked to the Tourism Australia website are independent from Tourism Australia and are not under the control of Tourism Australia. Tourism Australia does not endorse or accept any responsibility for the use of websites which are owned or operated by third parties and makes no representation or warranty in relation to the standard, class or fitness for purpose of any services, nor does it endorse or in any respect warrant any products or services by virtue of any information, material or content linked from or to this site.

GoNOMAD Logo

GoNOMAD Travel

Inspiration and links to plan your trip.

Getting Around Australia: Buses, Trains and Planes

Maslin Beach, in the south near Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. Marie Kimber photos.

Caravans, Footpaths, and Walkabouts in Australia

By Marie Javins

Whether you’re a jolly swagman or just a seppo* looking for a two-week holiday, Australia is a friendly, inexpensive, and English-speaking destination. Geographically, it’s nearly as vast as the continental United States, but the center is mostly desert.

The majority of Australia’s population of 25,499,884 lives on the coast. Don’t try to visit the entire country at one time — it is massive even when covered by airplane. Instead, focus on a few regions.

The most popular routes cover the East Coast from Cairns to Melbourne, with side trips to Alice Springs or Darwin thrown in.

Fly Across the Outback

If you have some spare room in your budget but not in your schedule, fly as much as possible. Qantas is the main Aussie airline but it has some regional competition, such as Virgin Australia that offers heavily-discounted fares on select routes.

Qantas offers the multi-leg Qantas Explorer which can only be purchased in conjunction with an international ticket and allows stops in up to 30 cities–much less than the cost of individual tickets. Other Australia discount carriers include Jetstar and Tigerair.

Get the Airline Newsletters

There are actually a lot of ways on how you can fly to Australia without spending a lot of money. After you’ve decided to visit Australia, sign up for airline newsletters so you’ll know the latest promos and discounts. If the airline offers free membership to their programs, make sure to sign up. Travelers love to save money without compromising their comfort, and signing up for these newsletters and memberships can be your ticket to achieve this goal.

You’ll continue to experience comfort when you arrive in Australia because websites such as   Jayride.com offer airport shuttle services in Melbourne to travelers like you. Make sure to book for this service days or weeks before your arrival so you can save time from rubbing elbows with other travelers and locals.

If you decide to fly to different regions within Australia, you should check out Flyparks. With this online parking comparison site, you can save on Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and even  Adelaide Airport Parking .

Australia’s national bus network is Greyhound Australia . It goes to places the train doesn’t go near. Bus passes are reasonably-priced, and coaches are comfortable. Be forewarned though — as distances are great and stops are few in the Outback, you may find yourself on more than one 20-hour bus trip. Local and regional bus companies often provide competing services on similar routes.

If you’re eyeing to use this transportation around Australia, sit down and research the routes of these buses. If you know locals in Australia, ask the best route to take if you want to reach a specific destination. This is especially important if you already prepared an itinerary for your trip.

Being prepared during your trip to Australia will make it very easy for you to tick off all of the items in your itinerary and ensure that you’re not wasting a lot of money during the process. Researching the routes and its corresponding payments will allow you to financially prepare for your trip and avoid any scams that are usually pulled off by the locals to scam foreigners.

Australia's train routes. Seat61.com photo.

Australia by Train

Australian trains won’t get you off-the-beaten-path; in fact, they’ll barely get you to the beaten path itself. The seats and sleeper cars are comfortable even in economy class but the routes don’t cover most rural areas so you’ll have to supplement your rail travel with local buses or operators.

Each state has a different body that governs its rails, but info on most lines can be found at either “Australia by Rail” or at Western Australia’s rail site. A variety of passes covers the east and south, and substantial discounts are available to students and seniors. The beloved “Ghan” service has been extended from Alice Springs to Darwin .

The Man in Seat 61 Australia railroad travel tips

Drive Yourself

Renting a car in Australia is much like renting a car in North America or Europe, and many of the companies are the same. But “caravan” rental (“r.v.” to us Seppos) is far more common down under. Dozens of places offer caravan rental. Happy Car provides a comparison of every car rental company in Australia.

Try “Britz” or for the budget-minded “Wicked Campervans.” Many companies also offer 4WD rentals and motorcycle rentals.

If you’re leaning towards this direction, scout for car rental options before traveling to Australia. Reach out to at least three car rental companies and inquire about their costs and services.

Doing this ahead of time will allow you to make the most out of your trip and avoid wasting money from looking for transportation the moment you step in Australia.

Just make sure that you’re aware of the road signs and routes around Australia so you won’t have to be stressed looking for directions.

Reselling Cars Can Be a Challenge

Travelers can buy and insure used cars in Australia, but re-selling can be difficult under time constraints when you want to go home. One way around this is to enter into a “buy-back” agreement, where the seller agrees to buy the car back for 30 to 50 percent of your purchase price.

Australians drive on the left. Seatbelts are compulsory, drunk driving is taken seriously, and kangaroos sometimes wander onto the road. Be cautious. North American AAA members have reciprocal rights with Australia’s AAA.

Travel in a Pack

When you have a limited amount of time or are traveling “on your Pat,**” consider going with a group. You may not be the sort of person who normally goes on group tours, but consider that all your arrangements are made and you won’t waste time digging up tickets and hotels.

Operators such as Contiki and the hop-on/hop-off Oz Experience cover most of Australia and offer inexpensive youth-oriented coach trips,

Local operators are recommended in rural areas where there is no other way around without your own vehicle. Areas such as Kakadu National Park, Uluru (Ayers Rock), and the Queensland Hinterlands are difficult to see by public transport.

Salamanca market Tasmania

Bike Australia’s Coast

You’d have to have “a kangaroo loose in the top paddock” to bike the circumference of Oz, but there are several shorter routes that cyclists rave about. Australia has both a hill and a population shortage, making it a cyclist’s dream. Biking is not recommended on major highways, and bikers should drink plenty of water and always wear sunscreen.

Helmets are compulsory. Beware of enormous “road trains” in remote areas. Some outfitters offer supported bike tours. Find out about mountain biking in the Northern Territories at this website .

The most famous sea voyage within Oz is the 10-hour “Spirit of Tasmania” trip from Melbourne to Devonport, Tasmania . The ship travels at night during low season but also offers day sailings during the Australian summer. 20-hour trips to and from Sydney are available three times a week.

Other Australian sea transport is primarily regional: Sydney’s harbor offers several ferries that will zip you to nearby communities, the Whitsundays are popular for sailboat and yacht rentals, and dozens of small ships will take you from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef.

To Thumb or Not to Thumb

GoNOMAD does not recommend hitching in Australia. Many people do it, but hitching is never completely safe and in Australia, some hitchhikers have encountered deadly situations. If you must hitch, use a backpacker service instead of standing by the open road.

  • “seppo” is Aussie rhyming slang for “American.” “Yank” rhymes with “tank,” thus a “yank” becomes a “septic tank,” and as everything is shortened in Australia, a “septic tank” becomes a “seppo.” Take it in stride. It’s Australian humor, not an insult.
  • “on one’s Pat” is Aussie rhyming slang for “alone.” “Pat Malone” rhymes with “alone,” and “on his/her Pat” is short for “on his/her Pat Malone.” Why do they do this? Don’t ask me… this “sheila” is completely confused by a culture where one talks on the “dog and bone” instead of the “phone” and where “dead horse” somehow means “ketchup.”

Finding the Crocs

Crikey! How does a budget-minded backpacker on walkabout get to the Crocodile Hunter’s “Australia Zoo” without a set o’ wheels?

No worries, mate. Courtesy shuttle buses make the rounds through Noosa, Maroochydore, Alexandra Headlands, Mooloolaba, and Caloundra. And if you’re coming from further afield, take the train to Beerwah or Landsborough and catch a courtesy bus there.

Greyhound Australia has morning and afternoon stops right outside the Australia Zoo’s gates. Catch it at Brisbane Transit Centre for the hour-long ride, or even board as far away as Byron Bay .

And if you can’t make it up to the Sunshine Coast, there are plenty of crocodiles, wombats, and Tasmanian devils at zoos all over Australia. Try the picturesque Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney, or just keep your eyes peeled as you wander through the country.

You’re bound to come across a kangaroo, wallaby, or kookaburra in your travels.

Contact the author

Eurail Passes: What to Know about Buying a Europe Train Pass

Airline Miles and Points: Going to Cooler Places for Less

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

  • Latest Posts

' src=

  • Hidden Japan: A Guidebook to Tokyo and Beyond - June 4, 2024
  • El Salvador: You Went Where? - June 3, 2024
  • Fathers Fancy These Fine Things - June 2, 2024

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Insert/edit link

Enter the destination URL

Or link to existing content

Get Daily Travel Tips & Deals!

By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use .

travel by bus australia

Everything You Need to Know About Getting Around Australia

'  data-srcset=

The Editors

We are the editors of SmarterTravel! Together we have appeared in countless travel publications including ABC News, Huffington Post, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, and more. We dedicate our days to creating and producing expert travel content, including packing tips, general travel advice, destination inspiration, and helpful videos. Follow us across social media on YouTube , Pinterest , Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter or drop us a line to say hi at [email protected]!

Travel Smarter! Sign up for our free newsletter.

Getting around Australia takes a little planning. It’s a huge country, only slightly smaller than Canada and the U.S., with big distances between major cities. Fortunately, low-cost airlines offer competitively priced flights on the main domestic routes, and highways connect most of the country. Long-distance passenger trains (plus buses that connect at train stations for travel to outlying areas) are also available in some parts of Australia. Read on to learn everything you need to know about Australia transportation.

Australia by Air

Getting to Australia is a long haul—approximately 14 to 16 flying hours from the West Coast of North America, and another four to five hours if connecting from the East Coast. Flights from Europe typically connect in Asia and take nearly a full day.

The majority of North Americans will arrive at Sydney International Airport (also known as Kingsford Smith), Melbourne, or Brisbane. Major airlines connecting the two continents include Qantas , United Airlines , Air New Zealand (via Auckland), Virgin Australia , and Air Canada .

Flying within Australia is easy between major cities. The Sydney-Melbourne leg is the busiest with plenty of services, and fares for this 1.5-hour flight are quite competitive. Flights between Sydney and Brisbane also take 1.5 hours, while it’s five hours in the air from Sydney to Perth.

Qantas, its low-cost subsidiary airline Jetstar , and competitor Virgin Australia have most of the country covered. As all three carriers also operate international flights, it’s important to ensure you’re at the correct terminal for the correct flight.

Virgin Australia and Jetstar started as as low-cost, no-frills airlines where passengers paid extra for food and beverages (apart from tea/coffee/water). Nowadays Virgin Australia offers complimentary snacks and beverages (as well as meals on select routes), and allows passengers to check a single bag for free. Jetstar is more restrictive, with a strict carry-on baggage allowance (and hefty fees if your hand luggage is overweight) and no food included. Jetstar permits one complimentary checked bag. Fares on most Australian airlines are cheapest when booked online.

A handful of smaller regional airlines also serve country towns and remote Outback areas. Regional Express Airlines , known as REX, flies to towns in New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, and Victoria, with limited service in Western Australia; Skytrans flies to remote regions in northern Queensland from a base in Cairns; and Par Avion operates in Tasmania. Aircraft on these regional airlines are often quite small, and fares can be expensive, as there may be little or no competition on the route.

9 Must-Dos Before Booking a Long-Haul Flight

Renting a Car in Australia

Car travel is popular in Australia, and most Aussies take to the road over Easter and during the six-week holiday season from mid-December to the end of January. North Americans will find it easier and cheaper to travel outside of peak season, particularly between February and April (before Easter) and in October or November when prices are cheaper and the weather is pleasant.

All the major international rental car brands are based in Australia. An international driver’s license is not required if your own driver’s license is written in English. Prices can be quite high, with lower rates for seven-day hire. Low-cost companies charge less, but they may use older cars and/or restrict the areas of travel. Local company Bayswater Car Rental , which has depots in Sydney and Perth, is popular for its low rates and affordable insurance.

All rental car drivers will incur a charge, called an excess, if they damage the vehicle. This excess can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and insurance can be purchased to bring down this cost.

Australians drive on the left side of the road and should only use the right-hand lanes on freeways when overtaking. Speed limits vary from 70 to 110 kilometers per hour (between 43 and 68 mph) on freeways and from 40 to 60 kilometers per hour (25 to 37 mph) on city and suburban streets. School zone speed limits (usually 40 kph) are rigorously enforced. Police regularly carry out random breath testing (RBT) for drivers to detect alcohol levels. If you’re caught with more than a 0.05 alcohol reading , you’re under arrest.

Most metropolitan motorways in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne charge a toll, paid electronically via an e-tag device attached to a car’s windscreen. Overseas travelers must pay toll costs or be fined. Visitors can pay online or purchase a 30-day toll pass through a service called Linkt . To get a pass, drivers go online, pay a small set-up fee, and register their credit card and the license plate of their rental vehicle. The freeway toll machines detect the vehicle, then charge the toll back to the associated credit card.

Prepare for long distances if you’re driving in Australia. From Sydney it’s a 10- to 12-hour drive to Brisbane and slightly less to Melbourne, although no one should attempt to drive such long distances on unfamiliar roads all in one trip. (We recommend making at least one overnight stop along the way.)

Take particular care when driving in the Outback or other remote regions. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is highly recommended (and some rental car companies won’t let you take other types of vehicles into the region). Bring plenty of water, especially if you’re traveling during the hot summer months. Keep in mind that gas stations are few and far between, so you’ll want to fill up when you can.

What You Need to Know About International Car Rentals

Australia Campervans, Motorhomes, and Caravans

Campervans, motorhomes, and caravans can be rented from a variety of outlets (note that it may prove costly to choose a caravan, as you’ll also need to rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle to tow it). Campervans are perfect for a couple without much luggage who don’t mind roughing it. The cheapest versions will simply turn the back area into a sleeping area; other vans have a pop-up enclosed roof where the double bed is fitted.

Motorhomes are more luxurious and usually have a bed above the driver’s cabin, another bed that assembles on the kitchen table, and often a small bathroom with toilet. There are many camping and caravan sites (called caravan or holiday parks) dotted along the coast of Australia and in regional towns, providing bathroom facilities, power, barbecue areas, a convenience store, and often Wi-Fi.

Jucy and Britz are two of the most popular local operators.

Getting Back to Nature in Tasmania, Australia

Australia by Train

Two of Australia’s most iconic train journeys are the Indian-Pacific (IP) and the Ghan, privately run tourist rail services operated by Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions . They are far from cheap but well worth taking for the sheer experience of traveling the length and breadth of the country in comfort with fascinating stops along the way.

The aptly named Indian Pacific links the two oceans from Perth to Sydney over four days and three nights. The Ghan links Adelaide in the south with Darwin in the north in a journey spanning three days and two nights. You can opt for a longer journey with the Ghan Expedition, which runs over four days and three nights.

Journey Beyond also recently introduced its Great Southern service, which runs between Adelaide and Brisbane over up to four days.

Queensland Rail offers great scenic train journeys on coastal and Outback routes at affordable rates. One of our favorites is the Spirit of Queensland, a 25-hour, 1,044-mile route between Brisbane and Cairns. There are traditional tourist trains as well, providing jaunts on barely used railway lines in remote areas that include tours and stays in country hotels.

In NSW it’s possible to take trains in four directions from Sydney—north, northwest, west, and south—to cities including Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, the Blue Mountains, and the Outback towns of Moree and Broken Hill. Economy and first-class cabins with sleepers are available on long journeys such as the 11-hour and 14-hour trips to Melbourne and Brisbane, respectively.

In Victoria trains travel from Melbourne to the gold fields towns of Bendigo and Ballarat, the Murray River town of Swan Hill, and the Great Ocean Road town of Warrnambool, with buses feeding off the main rail arteries.

In Western Australia, Transwa links destinations such as Perth, Kalgoorlie Boulder, and Kalbarri.

What to Pack for Australia: 35 Essentials

Australia by Bus

Traveling long distances is also possible by coach (bus), with some trips cheaper than train travel. Greyhound Australia has the country covered, while smaller companies such as Premier and Murrays operate in certain regions. Greyhound has travel passes for hop-on/hop-off options. Vehicles usually have restrooms, USB charger points, and Wi-Fi. The only way to get around Tasmania without a car is by coach. Tassielink connects most of the state, with services supplemented by regional operators.

More from S marterTravel:

  • 25 Ways to Save on Australia Travel
  • 10 Ways to Survive a Long-Haul Flight
  • The Best Places to Stay in Australia, from Wilderness Lodges to Beach Resorts

Original reporting by Caroline Gladstone . Sarah Schlichter contributed to this story.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Top Fares From

travel by bus australia

Don't see a fare you like? View all flight deals from your city.

Today's top travel deals.

Brought to you by ShermansTravel

Oslo to Bergen: 6-Night Norway Fjords...

travel by bus australia

Luxe, 7-Night Caribbean & Mexico Cruise...

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

travel by bus australia

Ohio: Daily Car Rentals from Cincinnati

travel by bus australia

Trending on SmarterTravel

Looking for a Campervan? Get a Quote Now!

Can You Travel Australia By Bus?

Image of Lily Kerley

Lily Kerley

February 5th, 2024

5 minute read

Can You Travel Australia By Bus? Image | East Coast Tours Australia

You can absolutely travel across Australia by bus. Not only is it possible, but it is also one of the cheapest travel options for backpackers on a budget.

Australia has plenty of long-distance bus companies, referred to as coaches here, all with unique and expansive route networks that can take you to most states across the country (except to Tasmania of course!). Pretty much, you don’t need to fork out on a rental car or domestic flights to travel around Australia! 

While it is more difficult to find coach services to take you into regional areas and the outback (we recommend opting for a guided tour here, or checking out Greyhound Australia’s destinations ), the East Coast is abundantly accessible by busses and coach services. With a variety of Australia-wide and East Coast-specific coach passes that allow unlimited travel along a coastal route, it is the most affordable way to traverse the wonders of this idyllic backpacker destination. 

How does bus travel work in Australia?

What are the best coach services to travel australia.

  • Pros & Cons: Should I travel Australia by bus?

Similar to local public bus services, coaches have a variety of stops in which you can hop on and off so long as you have pre-booked a ticket or unlimited pass . A lot of longer services depart from bus stations in major cities, where there is often a coach support desk. Most long-distance and overnight buses will have in-seat charging and onboard toilets, as well as intermittent meal stops. In short, you won't get stuck on a public or school-like bus on a long journey. Most coaches in Australia are comfortable, spacious and purpose-built.

The frequency of departures depends on the coach service you choose, varying from multiple major city services per day to only certain days of the week. Coach services in Australia have luggage allowances, usually permitting one large suitcase in the undercarriage area and one carry-on bag aboard the bus. Pack like a pro for your next long-haul coach journey with these tried-and-tested essentials to bring on the bus .

Arrivals sign at Airlie Beach Proserpine Airport pointing travellers to coaches

If you want to see the WHOLE of Australia (we’re talking about doing the full lap and cutting into the desert), you will be hard-pressed to curate your journey solely by bus. The biggest black spots across coach networks are in the outback, particularly regional Queensland, Western Australia, and New South Wales. The Northern Territory and South Australia have routes that cut across the middle of the country, from Adelaide to Alice Springs to Darwin, however surrounding bus services are sparse. Nevertheless, for travel across the whole country, your best choice would be a national Greyhound Whimit Pass . This golden ticket allows you unlimited travel anywhere on the Greyhound network map (the largest network in the country), in any direction for your selected period of time. If your only form of transport is coach services, you will definitely save money and travel cheaply with a Whimit Pass.

If you’re looking to travel only the East Coast by bus, there are a few more options when it comes to coach services. Both Greyhound and Premier Coaches offer routes along the entire East Coast, from Cairns to Melbourne and beyond! Your existing travel plans and value on certain aspects will determine which coach service to book with, so check out our handy guide to choosing between Greyhound and Premier Coach Services when travelling the East Coast Tours.

Premier Motor Services Bus blue and white decals

Pros & Cons: Should I travel Australia by bus? 

Pros of travelling australia by bus.

  • The first and biggest pro of getting around with bus and coach services is that you will save money . Whether you want to do Australia on less than $300 a week or simply want to save your dollars for incredible guided experiences , spend less on your journey and make the magic last longer! 
  • The second best thing about travelling Australia by bus is the flexibility allows, especially if you buy unlimited passes like the Greyhound Whimit or the Premier Value . You don’t have to commit to flights or a rental car, all you need to do is confirm your seat on the next bus, making it the perfect choice if you haven’t planned the who, what or when yet! 
  • The third and most Paolo Coelho-esque perk of coach travel is that you get to enjoy the journey and revel in the in-between travel moments. Get comfy and gaze out at the ever-changing landscape of the “sunburnt” country, as you amble through bush, coastline, rainforest and cities and take it all in. Not to mention, if you’re really going with the flow, hop on and off your bus to discover hidden gems totally off the beaten path! 

Cons of travelling Australia by bus

  • One of the most noticeable cons of bus travel in Australia is time. As the sixth largest country in the world, it does take quite a bit of time to drive from place to place. Unlike Europe, where you can enter multiple countries by driving in one day, you can drive for days in Australia and still be in the same state! As such, if you want to cover a lot of miles and tick off key bucket list locations but are limited on time, we recommend domestic flying or renting a car for optimal time management. 
  • Similarly, if you have some really specific destinations on your bucket list, and are set on DIYing your experiences without guided tours, it can be hard to get off-grid without a car. So, if you want to chase waterfalls and find hidden beaches, a car or campervan can come in handy on your next Aussie road trip.

In short, if you have ample time in Australia and want to save money, bus travelling is ideal for you! However, if you’ve got a particular itinerary with spots unavailable to coach networks or want complete travel autonomy, it can get a bit tricky.

Two girls with beach clothes and hands up at Cairns amongst the palm trees

Ready to hit the road and see the East Coast?

Check out our range of coach options , hire vehicles and inclusive, tailored itinerary options  , start your own journey.

2 Week Brisbane To Cairns Express Tour Image | East Coast Tours Australia

2 Week Brisbane To Cairns Express

4 Week Sydney To Cairns Explorer Tour Image | East Coast Tours Australia

4 Week Sydney To Cairns Explorer

2 Week Cairns To Sydney Budget Tour Image | East Coast Tours Australia

2 Week Cairns To Sydney Budget

3 Week Melbourne to Cairns Express Tour Image | East Coast Tours Australia

3 Week Melbourne to Cairns Express

5 Week Sydney To Cairns Ultimate Tour Image | East Coast Tours Australia

5 Week Sydney To Cairns Ultimate

1 Week Cairns To Brisbane Budget Tour Image | East Coast Tours Australia

1 Week Cairns To Brisbane Budget

 4 Week Sydney To Cairns "G’day Mates" East Coast Tour Tour Image | East Coast Tours Australia

4 Week Sydney To Cairns "G’day Mates" East Coast Tour

Related articles.

Greyhound Bus Pass Australia: Complete Guide  Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Greyhound Bus Pass Australia: Complete Guide

Are Overnight Buses Worth It? Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Are Overnight Buses Worth It?

Best Bus Services in Australia Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Best Bus Services in Australia

How To Travel Australia Without A Car Image | East Coast Tours Australia

How To Travel Australia Without A Car

Useful links, information, our policies.

The Travel Shop Australia Logo

copyright Copyright 2024 East Coast Tours | All Rights Reserved

Version: 2.2.3

Backpacker Banter

What’s The Best Way To Travel East Coast Australia? (2023 Update)

Travelling up the East Coast of Australia is one of the worlds most popular backpacking routes – but what’s the best way to tackle it?

I’ve been getting a lot of email from readers lately asking about travelling the East Coast of Australia , an area of the world I’m pretty clued up on having spent heaps of time there over the last few years.

I’ve already chatted about how long you should take to travel the East Coast and how much you should budget for Australia so since it’s a topic a lot of you guys want more info on I thought I’d put together a stand alone blog post for you all showcasing some of the ways you can travel around on this awesome part of Oz.

So if you’re looking at heading that way – on a working holiday visa or just some time backpacking –  there’s a heap of options for you to choose from…

Updated for 2023

What’s The Best Way To Travel The East Coast Of Australia?

Greyhound australia.

Out of all the options on the list, the Greyhound Australia Bus is easily the most popular – simple, easy and budget friendly!

They’ve had a few pass options in the past, but currently they have two Greyhound Bus Passes options for people looking to travel around Australia.

greyhound travel passes hop on hop off km austraia oz epic gap year-2

The first is the  Greyhound WHIMit bus passes – which offers unlimited travel across the entire Greyhound network valid from 7 days to 3 months depending on the pass you choose – including backtracking and even their routes to/from the Red Centre!

This is perfect for those who aren’t sure of their plans but who have a set time frame in which to travel.

Price wise it really depends on your length of travel:

  • 15 Day Greyhound WHIMIT Pass = $349
  • 30 Day Greyhound WHIMIT Pass = $439
  • 60 Day Greyhound WHIMIT Pass = $499
  • 90 Day Greyhound WHIMIT Pass = $629

Secondly is the new Greyhound East Coast Australia Passes. They’re pretty similar to the WHIMit, however there are two main differences:

  • The limited to routes between Melbourne and Cairns (so no Red Centre, NT or WA routes)
  • They comes in 7, 15 or 30 day options – so they’re ideal for shorter trips.

Oh, and they’re slightly cheaper too:

  • 7 Day Greyhound East Coast Pass = $249
  • 15 Day Greyhound East Coast Pass = $319
  • 30 Day Greyhound East Coast Pass = $389

The Greyhound Bus Passes tend to be the option of choice for self guided East Coast Australia Package Deals  as they’re cheap, flexible and hit up all the major spots. Plus you can self manage your trips using their online portal – so you can quickly check bus times and reschedule your bus trips when your travel plans change.

This would be my personal choice if I was doing the East Coast again as it’s cheap, flexible and takes in all the major stops. If you’re looking for a full list of where the Greyhound stops check out this post  – it’s also the option I suggest using for the trip in my How To Spend 1 Month In Australia, Sample Itinerary post

Premier Bus

The other main hop on, hop off style bus service is the Premier Bus . It’s the same as Greyhound in structure – running up/down the East Coast stopping at all the major destinations en route.

For the budget conscious the Premier Bus Passes are cheaper than Greyhound (roughly $100 per pass) so if money is the deciding factor this is the option to go with!

However with these savings come some disadvantages. Firstly you won’t be able to include Melbourne on any hop on hop off pass (although you can buy a Sydney to/from Melbourne pass with Greyhound on top) but more importantly is the fact Premier only has one departure per day compared with the multiple ones on Greyhound.

For some this won’t be an issue and the savings are worth it – but for certain route and overnight options this can be a huge inconvenience – especially into Noosa and Rainbow Beach when you have to attend safety briefings the night before your Fraser Island tour.

Still if you plan well and need the save as much money as possible it’s a solid option!

Stray Australia

2023 UPDATE: Unfortunately Stray Australia is currently not running their hop on, hop off options for 2023, but hopefully they’ll be returning soon!

The new kid on the block so to speak is Stray Australia (formally Loka Travel). The brainchild of the guy who launched Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience, it’s a hybrid and mid ground between the hop on, hop off bus passes and a full blown tour.

loka tour east coast australia hop on hop off gap year-12

Basically it’s guided throughout, but you can hop off at any destination and extend your stay. This means it attracts a broad range of travellers – those who like to wing it and those who want some more structure, meaning there’s always a great group vibe and dynamic whichever pass you choose.

The Stray travel passes also mix it up a bit in terms of transport too – buses up to Noosa and then trains from there to Cairns. This cuts down travel time and also makes the journey heaps more comfortable too!

Stray Australia also takes in some more off the beaten track destinations too – including wine valleys and cattle farms. This means you’ll get to meet heaps of locals and see a different side to Oz.

They have now also launched the Freestyle Tour Passes too, which include your first nights accommodation in each stop and top tours like Fraser and Whitsundays, sos you can use them as a mini tour option as well. And with up to 12 months to complete your trip, it’s a great flexible option for those staying in Australia for longer.

A Guided Tour

If you’re travelling solo, are nervous or have a strict budget or time frame then a straight up tour through Australia might be a solid shout.

There’s heaps of different options on the market – including G Adventures and Intro Travel .

These usually work out more pricey than the bus pass options and are fixed times and dates – so it’s not for everyone. The fixed price and massive amount of inclusions do however have their advantage if you’re working within fixed time frames and money.

Personally I’m not a huge fan of the whole organised tour thing, especially since the East Coast of Oz is so much fun and easy to travel off your own back. Each to their own though and if it’s something you don’t feel comfortable doing solo or you really want to kick back and have all the key things organised for you this would be the option for you.

Campervan/Car Hire

If you want a bit more flexibility in your routing and really enjoy a road trip experience hiring a car or campervan could be worth a look.

britz backpacker campervan hire australia gap year east coats

The main advantage hiring a campervan in Australia is the fact you can obviously stop off wherever and you’re in control of your itinerary. Unlike buying a van it also means your hire is a fix cost ( except fuel of course ) and you don’t need to worry about selling it at the end.

If you add in breakdown and pay the extra for a full comprehensive insurance it also means there’s little in the way of worries about mechanics and what not too.

It can work out costly if it’s just a couple of people or over a long time period though and you do need to have set start/finish dates and places., but for shorter trips and groups it’s a great alternative way to travel.

I campervanned Perth – Darwin on the West Coast of Australia and it was heaps of fun, just don’t underestimate the travelling distances and times!

Check out companies like Spaceships , Jucy , Britz and Travellers Auto Barn – all of which have different models and prices. Or let the guys at RTW Backpackers find you the best deal with their Australia campervan hire enquiry form!

Ultimate Australia Guide backpacker travel working holiday oz

Buy A Campervan/Car

campervan backpacker australia east coast

If you’re looking to be in complete control of your trip buying a campervan or car is the best option by far, in fact this is what I did on my working visa in Australia!

I bought a van, chucked a bed in the back, built a mini kitchen/BBQ thing and loaded my surfboard on the roof – easily the best travelling decision I’ve ever made!

HOWEVER this option does come with a rather hefty price tag and there are some serious pitfalls you need to avoid!

Do some homework before buying and it might even be worth paying a mechanic to check it over, the last thing you want is the engine to blow up 100km down the road after buying it…which actually happened to my buddy!

I lucked out with my van, the only extra cost was a replacement battery ( because I left the lights on! ) and sold it at the end of my trip with only a minimal loss. If I’d sold it in either Sydney or Cairns I would have easily made all of my money back!

campervan east coast of australia

Apart from dictating your own timescales and routes this option all means you can save some serious money on accommodation too.

There are heaps of spots around Oz where you can camp for free, although in key areas ( like Sydney, Byron Bay and Melbourne ) you may well have to pay for a camping spot, so keep that in mind.

If you’re sensible thought and buy a non graffiti covered car or van you can sneakily stay in residential areas to save some money.

I spent 3 weeks in Melbourne on a residential street and 2 weeks at Bondi Beach ( amongst others! ), just be quiet, considerate and don’t push your luck too much as they can hand out some hefty fines!

Vanlife isn’t always as Insta worthy as it might seem though so make sure you do your research and prepare for van life properly!

Find The Option That Suits You

As you can see no matter what your style of travel, budget or time frame there’s a good selection of ways to travel the East Coast of Australia – so check them all out and figure out which suits you best.

What I can say though is no matter which way you opt to travel around the East Coast is always full of treats and I’m sure you’ll be back for more…I’m always looking for a way to pencil it into my travel plans again!

If you’re heading there soon check out RTW Backpackers for heaps of awesome packages and travel passes.  Or let me help plan your Aussie adventure with my East Coast Australia Trip Planner !

Click here for more info and to book your Australia travel options

Have you travelled the East Coast of Oz?

Which option did you go with or did you use an alternative i’ve not covered, related posts.

greyhound bus pass route map australia hop on hop off backpacker east coast

Travelling Around Australia – The Greyhound Australia Bus Pass Guide

australia international borders open 21st feb 2022 backpackers tourist visa entry requirements

Australia Opens For Tourism From Feb 21st!

best hostels in byron bay australia backpacker flashpacker couples budget party

The Best Hostels In Byron Bay (2023 Update)

australia opens borders nsw international travel covid 1st nov announcement

Australia Is Opening Up From 1st Dec 2021!

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

37 comments

Aww, this brought back memories! I’ve done the buses, next time I want to use a campervan! Just need to learn how to drive … haha

The campervan is haps of fun – especially if you have a solid idea of where you want to head! Good luck with your test!

I’m looking at hiring a camper van to travel between Melbourne and Sydney. Any ideas on costs??

Hey Kerry – it really depends on size of the van, length of your trip and the season you’re heading there so it’s best to check out the sites for a quote.

Hi Kerry!! Its nice that you are planning to travel Australia!! I have travelled there once and booked online. I will recommend you to follow Aussie Campervans which offers best campervan suppliers for road trips in Australia. It consist of a huge collection of campervans , Motorhomes and RVs. There you can compare the rates in campervan on the basis of your requirement. Get a quote and enjoy the journey in the budget.

Now im thinking…….i land in sydney in january 2016…..do i do Sydney to Cairnes, or Cairnes to sydney? either way im flying back to the uk from sydney, will be using a greyhound pass in between. Whats the most popular? Which way do most backpackers go?

Hey Joe – sounds like an epic plan to me! To be honest you’ll have to get a flight in between the two anyway so it’s more personal preference, you’ll follow the better weather up the coast to Cairns, but over 5 weeks it won’t make heaps of difference. There’s plenty of people going both ways so if you’re landing in Sydney I’d use that as your starting point!

great thanks, cant wait to get started! :)

Have you heard much about the LOKA bus? They’re a lot more expensive but sound pretty fun rather than the greyhound bus. Hoping to do Sydney to Cairns next January but there are just so many options!

Hey Nicky, Yeah I’ve just patterned up with them on my other site – Epic Gap Year – actually after one of my buddies did it and had a blast! Greyhound is defo still the best option price wise but it depends what you want to get up to really, I think the LOKA fits the gap between bus pass and tour pretty nicely! For more info check out http://www.epicgapyear.com/travel-passes or drop me an email

Hey Chris!! I first read your blog in january and it’s one of the main reasons why I decided to book my east coast trip. Like I’ve always wanted to do it but I was so scared! I’ve been on the road for three weeks and I’m in byron bay now! I think I saw you walking on jonsons street two days ago and I was like WOw haha I got so excited it was like bumping into a celebrity!! On here it says you’re in byron so it could have actually been you! Well thanks for the inspiration! Have a great time Caty

Hey Cate – stoked I convinced you to hit up the east coast – you loving it here? Indeed I’m in Byron Bay at the moment – staying at Aquarius Hostel! Let me know if you’re around for a while and we’ll grab a beer! hahahaha like a celebrity?! Awwww that made my day!

Just stumbled upon your blog and I love it! I’m currently planning my WHV year in Australia for June 2016 and I’m so excited It’s been my dream ever since I can remember. I’ll be starting at Adelaide and working my way up to Cairns. I’ll be working inbetween and I just wanted to ask if it’s easy to get a job out there and save money? I want to work for a few months and then spend the rest of the year with the money I’ve hopefully saved to travel and explore properly. Where would be the best place to settle and work for a couple of months? Thanks in advance!

Ellie x PS- you’re hot!

Hey Ellie – first off thanks for the PS, totally made my day!hahaha! Stoked to hear you’re heading to Oz, good on you for following your dream trip! The only thing I’d quickly mention is Adelaide will be pretty cold in July, so keep that in mind! With finding work it really depends on how fussy you’re being and how proactive!haha! Land with your CV all ready to go and check out sites like seek.com.au to see whats around even before you land. Hostels are a great way to find jobs too and work for accommodation is an epic way to cut down your costs. Personally I’ve always worked in Byron Bay (love that place!) but there’s work everywhere if you’re prepared to put in the time finding it. Basically if you want and put in the effort it you’ll find it!haha!

Let me know if I can help out at all!

Liked your comments about Oz Experience and Greyhound now being essentially the same thing. Really good summary of East Coast trips! I actually did the Premier bus and found it suitable for my needs. One bus a day. Timetable not too bad, met lots of fellow backpackers on there. I know it doesn’t have such comfy seats and Wi Fi like the Greyhound….but i enjoyed saving over $100!

hahaha it’s pretty true though hey Carla – same same but different! Yeah Premier is a solid should too, although the single departures aren’t going to suit everyone, the savings might though!

Quality blog I am flying to sydney on the 19th December so I ca be there for new years and then going to travel up the east cost.. Bit of stupid question really I know its going to be HOTTTTT but is there any clothing I will need other than shorts and and t shirts haha

Hey Kraig, Stoked to hear you’re heading to Sydney for xmas and new year, it’s epic fun! I’d pack a hoodie and a pair of trousers too just to be safe – especially if you’re doing trips like Fraser Island as the evenings can get a little chilly if you’re camping!

Hi. Would you recommend buying the greyhound bus pass in the UK or when I get over to Australia? Thanks.

Hey Louisa, It works out the same either way – check out http://www.epicgapyear.com/travel-passes for more info :)

Absolutely loving your blog! I’m planning my WHV year at the moment, starting May 2016! Very excited and the east coast is my no 1 priority! I may be traveling on my own, which is quite nerve racking, but it’l be an experience to remember! I was just wondering, what time of the year would you recommend for the East coast? I am thinking of doing my farm June-Aug and then setting off to work and travel :) Thanks for all your info on your site! Such a huge help!! :)

Hey Tina, Nice to e-meet you and stoked you’re loving the blog! You’ll love the WHV experience in Oz, so much fun! With the East Coast it really depends how long you’re spending going up/down. Peak summer (Nov/Dec/Jan is best in the south for weather whereas ‘winter’ around June-Aug the weather will be better in the north. If you need any travel passes check out my other site – Epic Gap Year – you can even get the Oz Essentials sorted for free

http://www.epicgapyear.com/destinations/australia/

hi chris, my plan is to go traveling the east coast for 6 weeks from mid august – end of september via greyhound bus and i’m deciding on either doing melbourne to cairns or sydney to cairns, what would you recommend for the short time that i am there?

thanks rachel.

Hey Rachel, I’d say you could easily do the Melbourne to Cairns route in that time, depending on what extra stuff you wanted to fit into your time in Melbourne. Check out my post on East Coast travel times for some sample itineraries and see which suits your plans!

Thanks so much for these guides – they’re incredibly helpful! Wonder if you could provide some advice please? I’m looking at how to do Sydney to Cairns in 2 weeks this August with my boyfriend who is visiting me while I travel on my big trip away. What would you recommend as the best way to travel up the East Coast? We’ve looked at both campervan hire and greyhound passes and just aren’t sure of the best mode of transport to maximise the time we have in each place. Thanks so much Lyndsey

Hey Lyndsey – stoked the site is helping you out! Hmmm with only two weeks to play with there’s a lot of ground to cover, have you thought about just doing a smaller stint with him, say Brisbane to Cairns? That way you spend less time travelling and more time enjoying stuff! Just an idea! With that time frame though I’d say Greyhound is your best bet as you can make use of overnight bushes (like Sydney to Byron) so maximise your actually time in places. I’ve actually just launched another site – OzBackpacker.com – so have a look around that and let me know fi you need any help packing everything together! Take it easy Chris

Hi! I’m coming to Sydney in March 2017 and booked my flight to Byron bay to start my east coast adventure! Not really sure I want to do one of thes ‘topdeck’ trips as there’s some activities I’m not fussed about and I want to go with the flow! Do you think that’s a good idea? And what travel service do you recommend? Greyhound or Loka? Thanks! :-)

Hey Chloe, Stoked to hear you’re heading to Australia! If you’re looking for flexibility I’d maybe book an open dated package so you’ve covered the cost of the main trip (greta for budgeting) but can lock in the date when you know them for sure. Greyhound v Loka is a tough call – Greyhound is heaps cheaper, but Loka is greta for meeting new people and experiencing some of the awesome Loka special stops!

If you need help booking anything check out my other site – RTW Backpackers – and I’ll sort you out with some discounts!

http://www.rtwbackpackers.com/tour-category/east-coast-packages/a

We are hoping to camper van from cairns down to Sydney with two children, aged 8 and 6 in tow… any recommendations in where to go to book … all seem pretty pricey…..many thanks

Hey Heidi, The prices really depend on the van and time of year you’re going so it can rack up in price. Check out RTW Backpackers for some good options – the Jucy Condo is one of my personal recommendations;

http://www.rtwbackpackers.com/tours/jucy-campervan-hire-australia/

Really awesome tips, so much of it resonated with me from my own trip! All these ever-changing laws are so difficult to keep track of though, aren’t they?!

Awesome tips!! I think The best way to travel east coast of Australia that is planning!! If you travel not only Australia but other country you must follow your budget and plan!!

Thanks for helping tips Chris

Campervan for sure!

such a fun way to travel hey? Although admittedly not the cheapest!

Decided to explore Australia after a long time of dream. Glad to come up on this guide for a more clear view. Super-excited to start my journey. Let me know how to arrange a camper van so that it will be a more enjoyable experience.

Share Bus is also another option you didn’t mention. Its a shared rental of a minibus,trailer and camping equipment between a group of backpackers. The start/end dates are fixed but the rest is totally flexible to do what you want. Not expensive, plus you get a group of travel mates and everything needed for a camping road trip. You should check it out!

Bus from Sydney to Melbourne from $68

Compare all timetables for the bus from sydney to melbourne, cheapest bus trips today, cheapest bus trips tomorrow, cheapest bus trips saturday, cheapest bus trips sunday, cheapest bus trips monday, cheapest bus trips tuesday, cheapest bus trips wednesday, frequency of bus connections between sydney and melbourne, facts about the bus from sydney to melbourne.

Compare all providers like Greyhound Australia and Firefly Express that travel 7 times every day by bus from Sydney to Melbourne in one click! Book your bus ticket from Sydney to Melbourne starting from $68!

Cheapest bus connections from Sydney to Melbourne

Every day, 7 buses from 2 bus companies leave Sydney for Melbourne: in the table below, you will find the cheapest prices for a bus ticket for this route, starting from 06/06/2024 and for the following days.

The cheapest time to travel from Sydney to Melbourne

How to save money travelling from sydney to melbourne.

Book the ticket from Sydney to Melbourne in advance! The earlier you book, the cheaper usually the price is. Also, you will be sure to have a place on the bus from Sydney to Melbourne, compared instead if you buy it at the last moment, or directly at the station.

Beloved bus companies from Sydney to Melbourne

Greyhound australia from sydney to melbourne.

Here you will find the key facts about the Greyhound Australia bus route Sydney to Melbourne:

All bus stations and stops in Sydney and Melbourne

In the map below, you can see where to find all bus stations in Sydney and Melbourne.

Service and Comfort on the bus from Sydney to Melbourne

Faqs about the sydney to melbourne bus, how much does a sydney melbourne bus trip cost, how much could i save by comparing buses from sydney to melbourne, on average, how many connections are available from sydney to melbourne each day, how long does a bus journey from sydney to melbourne take, what time is the first bus from sydney to melbourne, what time is the last bus from sydney to melbourne, which bus companies operate the sydney melbourne route, is there a direct bus between sydney and melbourne, what can i take with me on the sydney to melbourne bus route, what equipment is available for the sydney melbourne bus route, available seat classes which are offered on the bus route sydney to melbourne.

The cheapest option available for your ticket, it usually comes with reclinable seats and AC.

Alternate transport types from Sydney to Melbourne

Cheap train tickets from sydney to melbourne, more bus routes from sydney and melbourne.

Bus Sydney to Canberra

  • Bus Routes from Sydney
  • Sydney to Coffs Harbour
  • Sydney to Geraldton
  • Sydney to Toowoomba
  • Sydney to Townsville
  • Bus Routes from Melbourne
  • Melbourne to Coffs Harbour
  • Melbourne to Gold Coast
  • Melbourne to Istanbul
  • Melbourne to Perth, WA
  • Sydney to Adelaide Airport
  • Sydney to Brisbane Airport
  • Sydney to Canberra Airport
  • Melbourne to Adelaide Airport
  • Melbourne to Canberra Airport
  • Melbourne to Sydney Airport

gmx

The CheckMyBus App

Free Download

App Store

We value your privacy!

  • Getting around Australia: Transportation Tips

Book your individual trip , stress-free with local travel experts

Select Month

  • roughguides.com
  • Australasia
  • getting-around
  • Travel guide
  • Itineraries
  • Local Experts
  • Travel Advice
  • Accommodation

Plan your tailor-made trip with a local expert

Book securely with money-back guarantee

Travel stress-free with local assistance and 24/7 support

  • Getting to Australia and getting around

There are daily flights to various Australian cities from across Europe, North America and Southeast Asia. Fares depend on the season, the highest being the two weeks either side of Christmas and the lowest during the “shoulder” seasons, which run from late February to June and from October to November. Because of the distance involved from most popular departure points, flying at weekends does not alter the price.

Flying to and around Australia

Travel by train in australia, bus travel in australia, travelling australia by car, roads, outback driving and breakdowns, car, 4wd and camper van rental, campervan and motor-home rental agencies, buying a car, motorbikes and scooters in australia, hitching in australia, driving interstate, four-wheel driving: some hints, travel ideas for australia, created by local experts.

Explore Western Australia from Perth to Broome

12 days  / from 2900 USD

Explore Western Australia from Perth to Broome

Western Australia is the country's largest state, covering more than a third of Australia. This self drive itinerary allows you to explore sunny Perth, stunning national parks and waterfalls, the remote wild west outback, empty beaches and much more.

Explore South Australia and the Northern Territory

16 days  / from 3300 USD

Explore South Australia and the Northern Territory

Explore South Australia and the Northern Territory on this self-drive adventure. Start in Adelaide and make your way over the Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, and Alice Springs to the Kakadu National Park and ultimately Darwin.

Cross Western Australia to Darwin

23 days  / from 4150 USD

Cross Western Australia to Darwin

Western Australia offers wonderfully remote outback experiences: from spectacular national parks to sandy deserts, pristine beaches to working cattle stations. This itinerary allows you to explore the way from Perth to Darwin in depth and at your own pace, in your own rental car.

Flying is the most common means of interstate travel in Australia. As a rough idea of prices, a typical one-way flight from Sydney to Melbourne costs from around $90 and from Perth to Darwin $275. These three airlines cover the majority of interstate flights. Regional routes are served by smaller airlines such as Regional Express, also called Rex , which focuses on New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, and state-based companies such as Air North in the Northern Territory.

Budget operators like Jetstar and Virgin Australia have joined national operator Quantas to slash ticket prices, so flying is now the most common means of interstate travel. As an idea of prices, a typical one-way flight from Sydney to Melbourne costs from around Aus$120 and from Perth to Darwin Aus$230. These three airlines cover the majority of interstate flights. Regional routes are served by smaller airlines such as Regional Express, also called Rex , which covers New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, and state-based companies such as Air North in the Northern Territory. If you are flexible about travel, many airlines offer massively discounted sale fares online – a huge saving in time as well as money considering the distances – so keep an eye on websites.

If flying with Qantas, you could save money with a Walkabout Air Pass, which covers up to three discounted domestic flights; you’ll need to purchase it when you book as part of a package with your international flight. As ever, prices fluctuate by the season, and, in the US and Canada, according to your departure point. If you know your travel plans and can face the extra effort, it is worth double-checking that the pass will actually save money; some travellers discover that budget airline bargains can work out cheaper than the discounted flights included in a pass.

Sightseeing flights are available throughout Australia – the best and most spectacular are included in the relevant sections and local tourist boards can also advise. They cover everything from biplane spins above cities to excursions to the Great Barrier Reef and flights over well-known landscapes. A flight from Alice Springs to Uluru in a small plane, for example, enables you to visit the Rock in a day, but also observe the impressive central-Australian landforms from the air.

The southeast has a reasonably comprehensive rail service: interstate railways link the entire east coast from Cairns to Sydney, and on to Melbourne and Adelaide. Each state operates its own rail network. For rail buffs, Australia has two great (or perhaps just long) journeys: the Indian Pacific from Perth to Sydney, travelling for three nights and 4352km across the Nullarbor Plain; and the seasonal Ghan , which takes three days to go from Adelaide to Darwin via Alice Springs. Holders of backpacker, student or YHA cards receive a discount of around a third. Both services are operated by Great Southern Railway , and are geared towards the holiday experience more than the act of getting from A to B.

There’s also the option of transportation for vehicles up to 5.5m long, with prices dependent upon the distance and direction travelled: while it costs Aus$1189 from Adelaide to Darwin, the reverse journey is Aus$649, for example. Great Southern Railway also runs the Overland 828km interstate service between Melbourne and Adelaide (11hr; from Aus$99), also with the option of car transport (from $259).

Other than these, there are a couple of inland tracks in Queensland – to Mount Isa, Longreach and Charleville, plus the rustic Cairns–Forsayth run and isolated Croydon–Normanton stretch – and suburban networks around some of the major cities. Only around Sydney does this amount to much, with decent services to most of New South Wales. There are no passenger trains in Tasmania.

Trains are usually more comfortable than buses and can be a little faster – Brisbane to Cairns takes 25 hours by train, and 29 hours by coach – for only a little extra expense. Some also get seriously booked up – Queensland trains, for example, require a month’s advance booking during holiday season. Generally, it’s cheaper – and faster – to fly.

Rail Australia is a good one-stop shop for cross- and interstate train travel, with route maps of all lines and links to the relevant train operators.

Due to budget air fares, bus travel is no longer necessarily the cheapest way to get around, and is certainly the most tiresome. It may also mean arriving or departing in the middle of the night. Nor are services daily, as you might think, especially in Western Australia, although on the plus side they can be faster than trains. Where buses are useful is access: the network reaches much further than the train network and visits small towns between cities; occasional bargain fares crop up on popular routes like Sydney–Byron Bay.

The buses are about as comfortable as they can be, with reclining seats, air conditioning, toilets and DVDs. If possible, try and plan for a stopover every twenty hours – try to sit out a sixty-hour marathon trip and you’ll need a day or more to get over it. Discounts (10 percent, or 15 percent if you buy your ticket before entering Australia) are available on many fares if you have a YHA, ISIC or recognized backpacker card such as VIP, or if you are a pensioner.

The major interstate bus company on the mainland is Greyhound Australia , which covers the entire country. Along the east coast, Premier Motor Service calls in everywhere along the highway between Melbourne and Cairns, while in WA, Integrity Coach Lines goes from Perth to Broome, looping inland, too. Firefly Express runs from Sydney to Adelaide via Canberra and Melbourne and usually has the cheapest fares for these routes. Tasmania is covered by Tassielink and Tasmanian Redline Coaches .

A one-way fare from Sydney costs about Aus$135 to Adelaide (23hr), Aus$95 to Brisbane (16hr), and Aus$80 to Melbourne (12hr). Longer trips to, say, Darwin or Alice Springs will be several hundred, so are not worth considering unless you are passionately anti-flying. Return fares are only marginally cheaper than two singles.

Where bus travel scores over air (aside from its environmental impact) is its plethora of passes, though bear in mind that you won’t save money over shorter routes and that passes are non-refundable. Greyhound offers a range of passes lasting between three days and twelve months on which you can break your journey as often as you like and travel in any direction. Year-long Kilometre Passes are the most flexible, giving you unlimited travel up to 25,000km in any direction until you have used up the distance paid for – these work out around 10¢ per kilometre; 1000km will get you from Sydney to Melbourne, 25,000km will get you all around Australia. Greyhound also has dedicated Adventure Packages that include travel and popular tourism products: a Fraser Island tour, sailing in Whitsunday and a reef dive on the Sydney–Cairns East Coaster, for example.

Stick to the east coast and public transport will cover most needs. But to explore Australia fully, you’ll need your own vehicle. Only then will the national parks, remote beaches and Outback towns that make the country unique be within reach. If your trip is of four months or more, buying a vehicle may also be the cheapest way to go. On shorter trips renting is the best bet – if not for the whole time then for short periods between bus rides, thereby allowing you to explore an area in depth.

Most foreign licences are valid for a year in Australia. An International Driving Permit (available from national motoring organizations) may be useful if you come from a non-English-speaking country. In 2013, fuel prices averaged $1.45 per litre for unleaded petrol: prices increase by around 10¢ in Darwin, jack up about a quarter along the Outback highways and rise further in remote stations. The rules of the road are similar to those in the UK and US: drive on the left (as in the UK), and wear seat belts at all times. The speed limit in all built-up areas is 50kph or less. Outside built-up areas, maximums are either 90kph or 110kph on longer stretches, except in the Northern Territory, where common sense is your only limit between towns. Whatever else you do in a vehicle, respect the distances in Australia. Never drive tired and be tempted to push on through; similarly get out of the car every few hours. Drinking alcohol is also forbidden: random breath tests are common even in rural areas, especially during the Christmas season and on Friday and Saturday nights. One rule that might catch you out in towns is that roadside parking must be in the same direction as the traffic; in other words, don’t cross oncoming traffic to park on the right.

The main hazards are boredom and fatigue, and animal collisions – a serious problem everywhere (not just in the Outback) at dawn, dusk and night-time. Driving in the Outback is by far the most dangerous tourist pursuit in Australia and every year several people get killed in single-vehicle rollovers or head-on collisions, particularly Europeans on short see-it-all holidays in cumbersome 4WDs or motorhomes. Beware of 50m-long road trains: these colossal trucks can’t stop quickly or pull off the road safely, so if there’s the slightest doubt, get out of their way; only overtake a road train if you can see well ahead and are certain your vehicle can manage it. On dirt roads be doubly cautious, or just pull over and let the road train pass.

Around the cities the only problem you’ll face is inept signposting, but the quality of some interstate roads isn’t always great and some minor routes are pretty shabby. Conditions, especially on unsealed roads, are unpredictable, and some roads will be impassable after a storm, so always seek reliable advice (from local police or a roadhouse) before starting out into the big nothingness. Make it clear what sort of vehicle you’re driving and remember that their idea of a “good” or “bad” road may be radically different from yours. Some so-called “4WD only” tracks are navigable in ordinary cars as long as you take it easy – high ground clearance, rather than four-driven wheels, is often the crucial factor.

Rain and flooding – particularly in the tropics and central Australia – can close roads to all vehicles within minutes, so driving through remote regions or even along the coastal highway in the wet season can be prone to delays. The spectacular stretches of highway between Broome and Kununurra and Cairns to Townsville are notorious for flooding during summer cyclone season. Several remote and unsealed roads through central Australia (the Sandover and Plenty highways, the Oodnadatta, Birdsville and Tanami tracks, and others) are theoretically open to all vehicles in dry winter weather, but unless you’re well-equipped with a tough car, don’t attempt a crossing during summer, when extreme temperatures strain both driver and vehicle.

On poor roads and dirt tracks, the guidelines are to keep your speed down to 80kph, stick to the best section and never assume that the road is free from potholes and rocks. Long corrugated stretches can literally shake a vehicle apart – check radiators, fuel tanks and battery connections after rough stretches; reducing tyre pressures slightly softens the ride but can cause the tyres to overheat, making them more prone to punctures. Windscreens are often shattered by flying stones from passing traffic, so slow down and pull over to the left.

At all times carry plenty of drinking water and fuel, and if you’re heading to the Outback let someone know your timetable, route and destination so that a rescue can be organized if you don’t report in. Carry a detailed map, and don’t count on finding regular signposts. It’s advisable to carry a high-frequency (HF) radio transceiver to pick up the Royal Flying Doctor Service bases. Better still, hire a satellite phone and Global Positioning System (GPS) finder – an extra cost worth bearing when it is literally a lifesaver.

In the event of a breakdown in the Outback, always stay with your vehicle: it’s more visible to potential rescuers and you can use it for shade. If you’re off a main track, as a last resort, burn a tyre or anything plastic – the black smoke will be distinctive from the average bushfire.

To rent a car you need a full, clean driver’s licence and to be at least 21 years old, rising to 25 for 4WDs and motorcycles. As ever, double-check the small print before signing: mileage limits, extras and extent of accident cover. The multinational operators Hertz, Budget, Avis and Thrifty have offices in major cities and at airports, but a lack of competition makes standard rates expensive at Aus$60–80 a day for a small car. Local firms – of which there are many in the cities – are generally better value though we have heard tales of unscrupulous operators who sting travellers with unwarranted fees; expect around Aus$50 a day with unlimited kilometres. One-way rental might appear handy, but is usually very expensive due to drop-off fees.

Four-wheel-drive vehicles are best reserved for specific areas rather than long term because rental at around Aus$90–150 a day is steep even without fuel. Camper vans, typically a Toyota Hiace, cost from Aus$90 a day for a two-berth campervan in low season (up to Aus$160 in high season) with unlimited kilometres – good value when you factor in the saving on accommodation costs – plus one-way rental is often possible. Like cars, most campervans are limited to sealed roads, but they give you the chance to create your own tour across Australia. Remember, though, that the sleeping capacity stated is an absolute maximum, which you wouldn’t want to endure too long. Furthermore, in the tropics the interior never really cools overnight unless you leave the doors open – which brings the bugs in. Consider sleeping outside under a mozzie dome or inner tent. Larger operators – nationwide firms like Britz, Apollo and Kea, for example, plus larger local outfits – rent 4WD campervans fitted with 180-litre fuel tanks that are only limited off-road by your 4WD experience or roof heights. Average prices for 4WD campers average Aus$180–200 per day year-round. The downside of all campervans is that they are thirsty and require drivers to appreciate the altered driving dynamics of an already high vehicle fitted with a heavy body. Novice renters regularly drift off the road, overcompensate and roll a heavy camper. Finally, a few companies such as Spaceships rent modern hybrid campervans. These are basically converted “people-movers”, so more car than van, that make up in driving comfort and fuel-economy what they lack in accommodation; a good option if you have a tent, too.

Buying a used vehicle needn’t be an expensive business, and a well-kept car should resell at about two-thirds to half the purchase price at the end of your trip. A good place to evaluate vehicle prices and availability online is at tradingpost.com.au.

If you don’t know your axle from your elbow but are not too gullible, car yards can provide advice – some in Sydney even cater specifically to travellers – but don’t forget you’re dealing with used-car salesmen. Buying privately saves money. Backpackers’ notice-boards in exit points from Australia are the best places to look. A huge advantage of buying from backpackers is that you usually get all sorts of useful stuff thrown in – camping gear, eskies and spares. The disadvantages are high mileage and low maintenance. Unless you know what you’re doing, call in the experts: state automobile associations offer rigorous pre-purchase inspections for about Aus$200, which isn’t much if it saves you from buying a wreck. The Australian Automobile Association holds a huge backlist of vehicle tests online, which might help make a decision.

You’ll also need a roadworthiness certificate to have the vehicle transferred from its previous owner to you. This means having a garage check it over; legally, the previous owner should do this, and theoretically it guarantees the car is mechanically sound – but don’t rely on it. You take this to the local Department of Transport with the certificate, a receipt of purchase, your driver’s licence and passport; it is then registered in your name for a percentage of the price. For Western Australia-registered cars, the process is the same, except that a road worthiness certificate is not required.

If the annual vehicle registration is due or you bought a vehicle interstate, you’ll have to pay extra for registration (aka “rego”), which is around Aus$300/600 for six/twelve months depending on the state and engine size. Note that cars with interstate registration can be difficult to sell.

Registration includes the legal minimum third-party personal insurance. We advise increasing this cover to protect against third-party damage and theft, or better still, comprehensive insurance. Joining one of the automobile clubs for another Aus$150 buys you the peace of mind of free roadside assistance (within certain limits), and discounts on road maps and other products. Each state has its own club, but membership is reciprocal with overseas equivalents.

Motorcycles, especially large-capacity trail bikes, are ideal for the Australian climate, although long distances place a premium on their comfort and fuel range. If you aim to return to your starting point, look out for dealers with a buy-back option as bikes can be more difficult to sell privately than cars. Whether you’re planning to ride off or on the bitumen, plenty of water-carrying capacity is essential in the Outback. Outback night-riding is risky due to the possibility of collisions with wildlife; make sure your lights and brakes are up to it and keep your speed down to under 100kph. Motorcycle rental has become widely available from the main southern cities. All types of models are on offer so talk to the rental outfit about your plans before you commit. In Sydney, Bikescape has a good selection. The Adventure Motorcycling Handbook , published by Trailblazer Guides, is a definitive manual for preparation and riding off the beaten track and includes Outback tracks.

The official advice for hitching in Australia is don’t. A better option is to line up lifts through backpackers’ notice-boards and share fuel costs. This gives you the chance to meet the driver in advance, and most likely stop to see sights en route. In out-of-the-way locations, roadhouses are a good place to try as the owners often know of people who’ll be heading in your direction. We strongly advise against a thumb on the open road. If this is the only option, never hitch alone and ensure you are dropped at a settlement. Remember that you don’t have to get into a vehicle just because it stops: choose whom to get in with and don’t be afraid to ask questions before you do. Ask the driver where he or she is going rather than say where you want to go. Try to keep your pack with you; having it locked in the boot makes a quick escape difficult.

When driving across state borders bear in mind that your car may be subject to a customs search by officers on the lookout for fruit and fresh produce, which often cannot be carried from one state to another, to minimize the spread of plant pests and viruses. You’ll see large bins at the side of the road as you approach a state border line for this purpose: dump any perishables here before crossing; otherwise, you risk receiving a large fine if pulled over and caught with them.

The Outback is not the place to learn how to handle a 4WD and yet this is exactly where many tourists try to do so. Take essential spares – spark plugs, fuses, fuel filters, radiator hoses and a fan belt – plus a shovel, hi-lift jack and gloves, and one of the “how to” manuals easily found in bookshops. The following basic hints should help.

  • Know how to operate everything – including free-wheeling hubs (where present) and how to change a wheel – before you need it.
  • Always cross deep water and very muddy sections on foot first.
  • Don’t persevere if you’re stuck – wheel spin will only dig you further in – and reverse out. Momentum is key on slippery surfaces such as mud or sand – as long as you’re moving forward, however slowly, resist the temptation to change gear, and so lose traction.
  • Reducing tyre pressures down to 1 bar (15lb psi) dramatically increases traction in mud and sand, but causes tyre overheating, so keep speeds down. Carry a compressor or reinflate as soon as possible.
  • If stuck, clear all the wheels, create a shallow ramp (for all wheels), engage four-wheel drive, lower pressures if necessary, and drive or reverse out in low-range second.
  • Keep to tracks – avoid unnecessary damage to the environment.
  • On beaches observe other vehicles’ tracks and be aware of tidal patterns.
  • Consider a rented satellite phone for remote travel.

The Rough Guides to Australia and related travel guides

In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice.

The Rough Guide to Australia

Travel advice for Australia

From travel safety to visa requirements, discover the best tips for traveling to Australia

  • Eating and drinking in Australia
  • Travel Health Australia
  • Sports and Outdoor activities in Australia
  • How to get to Australia
  • Travel Tips Australia for planning and on the go
  • Travelling with children in Australia
  • Best time to visit Australia

Find even more inspiration here

Maui Island, Hawaii, seen from above

  • Travel Tips

Andy Turner

written by Andy Turner

updated 26.04.2021

facebook

Ready to travel and discover Australia?

Get support from our local experts for stress-free planning & worry-free travels.

  • Where to stay
  • Travel advice

How can we help you today?

Popular searches.

  • Contactless payments
  • Routes and timetables
  • Concessions
  • School student travel
  • Opal Travel app

Queensland is slashing public transport fares but Australia has 'a long way to go' in getting cars off the road, expert says

Image shows congestion and traffic delays. You can see cars, grey road on a gloomy day.

How did you get to work this morning?

Nationally, most Australians opt to get behind the wheel, according to the previous Census.

But there might soon be fewer cars on the road — at least potentially in Queensland.

Over the weekend the state government announced bus, train, ferry and light rail fares would be dramatically reduced to a flat rate of just 50 cents .

The pre-election trial will run for six months starting in August, and is aimed at easing congestion and cost of living pressures, and getting public transport usage back to pre-pandemic levels.

While experts welcome the reduced fares, they say there's more to do in improving the way Australians get around.

Australians overwhelmingly drive to work

The most recent census found that 53.1 per cent of us drive to work each day.

However, it is worth noting that the last census captured data from 2021, which saw 21 per cent of Australians working from home, up significantly from the pre-pandemic figure of 4.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, the percentage of commuters who rode public transport to work languished in the low single digits, down from just over 10 per cent in the previous census.

Dr Mark Limb, a senior lecturer in Urban Regional Planning at the Queensland University of Technology, says the state's reduced fares will "certainly" get more commuters using public transport.

"People's use of cars at the moment is quite a rational decision that people take and they do it because cars are generally cheaper and often faster as well," Dr Limb told ABC News.

"But I think this will sort of tip that equation for a whole bunch of people of whom this 50-cent public transport ride policy will make the public transport option that cheaper option and therefore they will take it."

A 'long way to go' in improving Australia's public transport

In Queensland alone, two major public transport projects are currently underway: the Cross River Rail and the Brisbane Metro.

The Brisbane Metro is due to start operating at the end of this year while the Cross River Rail — a project that runs for 10 kilometres, including under the Brisbane River and CBD — is due to open in 2026.

"I think we still have a long way to go in terms of improving our public transport to be kind of World City standards here in Brisbane," Dr Limb says.

He says Australia as a whole would benefit from more interconnected services and a higher priority placed on public transport to get traffic flowing faster.

"We could always do with more. More regular, more frequent services would help in almost every route.

"More interconnected services across the city rather than just being a CBD service where you get services linking up all the various centres of the city.

"And also just making sure we have priority for public transport so we can have, a bit like the busways, have bus lanes and things like that so buses aren't sitting in traffic.

"So that as a comparable choice to a car that suddenly becomes a lot faster when the public transport options are moving literally faster through traffic."

What can Australia learn from other countries' public transport?

Dr Limb says when you compare Australia to countries that are known for their public transport services — like Japan — then "we're a long, long way behind."

"A lot of the times I think it is just a matter of how much resourcing we prioritise towards this compared to what the amount of resourcing we throw into our road system," he says.

"We currently have quite a bit of a mismatch around that compared to other places that perhaps do disproportionately fund public transport better."

In the 1960s, Japan built the world's first high-speed rail network — the Shinkansen, colloquially known as the bullet train.

It has since become a favourite mode of travel and a symbol of a country that has been at the forefront of technology.

"I lived in Japan for about four years and I can never once remember the train being closed for track works ever," he says.

"They simply just manage that around their services rather than bending their services towards their maintenance schedule."

Dr Limb says Australia's public transport systems would benefit from better "linking concepts" as well because public transport "obviously doesn't take you door to door."

"Making sure we have those active transport connections really well-linked in terms of high-quality pedestrian environments, safe and easy to access cycling environments."

People grab bicycles outside a train station in Amsterdam.

"In other countries, you'll often find, like in the Netherlands for example, their train service has a bike system associated with it.

"You get off at the other end [and] they have bicycles that you can hire quite cheaply to take you to the next spot, and then similarly you can drop them back at the station or take them home at the other end as well."

"So I think things like that are the sort of things we need to think of.

"The fare is obviously important and I think people will absolutely respond to it."

  • X (formerly Twitter)

Related Stories

Donna spends $90 travelling to brisbane for work every week. a new trial will see that slashed to $5.

A person getting off a bus in Brisbane.

Prices slashed to 50 cents in 'radical change' to how much Queenslanders pay for public transport

A person boarding a bus in Brisbane.

This European country doesn't charge people for public transport. Could Australia do the same? 

A train on a bridge driving past apartments with larger city buildings in the background.

  • Business, Economics and Finance
  • Community and Society
  • Government and Politics
  • Rail Transport Industry
  • Regional Communities
  • Road Transport Industry
  • Transport Industry
  • Travel and Tourism (Lifestyle and Leisure)
  • Urban Development and Planning

Search form

Thales has completed the sale of its ground transportation systems business.

Share this article

With around 9,000 employees, Ground Transportation Systems is a global leader in Rail Signaling and Train Control Systems, Telecommunications and Supervision systems and Fare collection solutions.

Through this divestment, Thales reinforces its strategic focus on 3 long-term high technology growth markets: Aeronautics & Space, Defense & Security, and Cybersecurity & Digital Identity. ​

The impact of the sale will be accounted for in Q2 24.

Note : In accordance with standard IFRS5, the financial data for the “Ground Transportation Systems” operating segment for 2022 and 2023 had been classified under “discontinued operations” following entry into exclusive negotiations with Hitachi Rail with a view to disposing of this business.

For information from Hitachi Rail, please contact:

Adam Love at [email protected] or on +1 437 234 4024

Ed Brown at [email protected] or on +44 7850 071 287

For press information about Hitachi Rail, please go here .

  • Thales has completed the sale of its Ground Transportation Systems business - Press release - 31 May 2024.pdf

travel by bus australia

PT Len and Thales Sign JV Agreement to Strengthen Indonesian Defence

travel by bus australia

Thales’ FlytEDGE – the first cloud-based IFE in the world Winner of Crystal Cabin Award

travel by bus australia

Thales’ FlytEDGE digitally remasters the inflight entertainment experience

FIFA

How to get to Wellington Regional Stadium

Match ticket holders can travel free on all Metlink Bus and Train services on Wellington Regional Stadium match days.

FIFA

Public and General Transport Public and General Transport

Match ticket holders can travel free on all Metlink Bus and Train services on Wellington Regional Stadium match days. For more information on routes, please visit www.metlink.org.nz

Walking Directions Walking Directions

Located on Waterloo Quay, Sky Stadium is a short walk from the central business district of Wellington. Head to the Wellington Railway Station. Once there, join the elevated walkway that takes you directly to the Stadium entrance. There are three access points to the walkway:

from Thorndon Quay just north of the Railway Station

from near Shed 21 on the Port

directly from the Railway platforms (8/7, 6/5, 4/3)

The walkway is 650m long with harbour views. It takes approximately 5-10 minutes to walk the length of the walkway.

Cycling Cycling

Bicycle stands are available at no cost on the ground floor of the Sky Stadium car park underneath the Western pedestrian ramp. There is no motorcycle or motorised scooter parking available at the Stadium during the tournament.

There is limited parking for e-scooters on the Fran Wilde Walkway, along the eastern fence line before the entry gates.

Please note Stadium event days includes events falling on a weekend, or weekday where the car park is closed to commuters. Motorcycles are not permitted on the Fran Wilde Walkway at any time, and no bikes of any kind may park along the Fran Wilde Walkway on event days. Please contact the Stadium directly for further information.

Travel by trai n Travel by trai n

Numerous services from throughout the Wellington region arrive and depart at the Wellington Railway Station. From the station, it is a short stroll along the Fran Wilde Walkway to reach the Stadium. For further information, visit Metlink or call 0800 801 700. Special fares may apply.

Take a bus Take a bus

The bus terminal is adjacent to the main walkway entry point near the Wellington Railway Station at the southern end of Thorndon Quay. From the station, it is a short stroll along the Fran Wilde Walkway to reach the Stadium. For further information, visit Metlink or call 0800 801 700.

Take a taxi Take a taxi

There are no pick ups or drops offs at the Stadium on event day, unless you have accessibility needs. Before and after an event, the drop off and pick up point for taxis and shuttles is at the Wellington Railway Station at Bunny Street, or Thorndon Quay.

Catch a ferry Catch a ferry

From the Interislander Ferry terminal you can catch the shuttle to the Railway Station and take the short stroll along the Fran Wilde Walkway to reach Sky Stadium.

From the Bluebridge Ferry terminal, you can walk north along Waterloo Quay and join the walkway.

Catch the East by West Ferry from Days Bay Wharf to Queens Wharf, then walk north along Waterloo Quay to the Stadium.

Please note that ferry travel is not a part of the integrated transport options for ticket holders on match days.

IMAGES

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel in Australia

    travel by bus australia

  2. Big Bus Sydney

    travel by bus australia

  3. Bus Travel in Australia: 7 great routes for the first-time traveller

    travel by bus australia

  4. Greyhound Bus Pass Sydney To Cairns

    travel by bus australia

  5. Travelling by bus to the NT

    travel by bus australia

  6. Volvo Buses wins Greyhound Australia order for 30 new coaches

    travel by bus australia

VIDEO

  1. Why Australia Use Bus Tracks?

  2. Some buses of Transperth in Perth

  3. TRAVELING AUSTRALIA IN A BUS

  4. Extremely Close Bus Pass SB26FU Adelaide Metro

  5. Australia Bus Trip |Australia Road

  6. SRF116: 1987 NORTH SYDNEY & WILLOUGHBY BUS DEPOTS

COMMENTS

  1. Bus Tickets, Travel Passes & Packages

    The cheapest and most convenient way to travel around Australia. Hop on hop off travel in any direction on any route on our network with our most flexible travel pass. Choose from nationwide or East Coast-specific. Made for frequent travellers looking for no fuss travel and value for money on our most popular routes.

  2. All buses to and from Australia

    Travel throughout Australia by bus with affordable buses. Companies, such as Greyhound Australia, Firefly Express and Integrity Coach Lines all offer cost-effective transportation to major cities and attractions throughout the country.With CheckMyBus, you can compare ticket fares to find the best deals when traveling throughout Australia.

  3. Bus Travel in Australia: 7 great routes for the first-time traveller

    Why travel by bus around Australia. Australia is a country of vast distances, vastness and diverse landscapes, so it's challenging to figure out the most suitable ways to get around Australia.While going on road trips in Australia is the most adventurous - but also challenging - way to explore the country, it does not often appeal to first-time solo travellers who are likely unfamiliar ...

  4. Buses In Australia For Your Travel Plans

    Use Busbud to book your trip online, in your own language and currency, wherever you are. With Busbud, you can buy tickets with confidence. We ensure that you make the most out of your bus trip by partnering up with reliable bus companies from all around the world such as Greyhound, Eurolines, ALSA, OUIBUS (BlaBlaBus), National Express and many ...

  5. Traveling Australia by Bus: What You Need to Know

    The most flexible bus pass in Australia is the Whimit Pass. You can travel in any direction and hop on and off as frequently as you want. No need to plan your trip only going one direction. There are five options available: 15 Day National Whimit Pass: $369. 30 Day National Whimit Pass: $465.

  6. Bus Australia

    Intercity buses in Australia. As mentioned above, Australia is a huge country, consisting of six states. Therefore, it's important to distinguish terms like intercity bus and interstate bus. Interstate buses refer to the ones driving from one Australian state to another, while intercity buses drive between cities in the same state.Basically there are three companies handling long distance ...

  7. How to explore Australia by bus or coach

    Popular bus routes between Australian cities: Adelaide to Alice Springs (20½ hours) Brisbane to Cairns (29 hours) Cairns to Alice Springs (35 hours) Brisbane to Sydney (19 hours) Sydney to Melbourne (12 hours) Melbourne to Adelaide (12 hours) Firefly buses run the Adelaide­-Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney route (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

  8. 10 Best Coach / Bus Tours in Australia

    Find the best Australia Coach / Bus tours with TourRadar. Choose from 59 holiday packages with 151 real tour reviews. Book now and save with TourRadar.com! Shop 2,500 operators. ... It is also a great way to make lifelong friends and travel safely. I would definitely recommend. I would also suggest bringing a suitcase or wheely backpack as it ...

  9. Bus Travel in Australia: Australia Travel Guide

    Two of the most popular bus companies in Australia are Greyhound and Oz Experience, the latter being targeted to the backpacker and independent traveler crowd. Greyhound - Greyhound is a popular main bus line in Australia, and even though it is not primarily for backpackers, they have put together plenty of backpacker travel options.

  10. Buses In Australia For Your Travel Plans

    Bus Sydney - Coffs Harbour. Melbourne to Melbourne Airport. Frankston to Melbourne Airport. Hobart to Hobart Airport. Melbourne to Avalon Airport. Avalon Airport to Melbourne. Find bus tickets online for your next trip to Australia. Compare the prices of bus companies (FlixBus, BlaBlaBus, BlaBlaCar) and book with Busbud today.

  11. Travel Australia By Bus

    Travel Australia By Bus. Bus travel is the most popular way to get around Australia among backpackers. Coaches go virtually everywhere and many coach tickets allow you to hop on and off en route to your destination. There is a fairly comprehensive network of bus routes with lots of competition on the more heavily travelled routes between ...

  12. Getting around in Australia

    Major players are Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia. Traveling by long-distance bus is a great budget option. Australia's extensive bus network is a reliable way to get between towns and cities, but distances are often vast, so be prepared for long days or nights. Most Australian buses are equipped with air-conditioning (essential in summer ...

  13. Travel around Australia

    Australia has a vast network of well-maintained roads and some of the most beautiful road trips in the world. When travelling long distances, you'll find rest stops and service stations at regular intervals. You'll find car rental companies at major airports and central city locations; so hire a car, 4WD or caravan and hit the highway.

  14. Australia Bus Tickets

    Book buses and trains on the go with the Wanderu app. Download our app and snag the best travel deals across North America & Europe. Learn more. Search bus tickets and schedules to 15 cities in Australia. Compare offers from 1 different bus services, all in one place, and book online directly with Wanderu.

  15. Getting Around Australia: Buses, Trains And Planes

    Busabout. Australia's national bus network is Greyhound Australia. It goes to places the train doesn't go near. Bus passes are reasonably-priced, and coaches are comfortable. Be forewarned though — as distances are great and stops are few in the Outback, you may find yourself on more than one 20-hour bus trip.

  16. Everything You Need to Know About Getting Around Australia

    Australia by Bus Traveling long distances is also possible by coach (bus), with some trips cheaper than train travel. Greyhound Australia has the country covered, while smaller companies such as ...

  17. Can You Travel Australia By Bus?

    Cons of travelling Australia by bus. One of the most noticeable cons of bus travel in Australia is time. As the sixth largest country in the world, it does take quite a bit of time to drive from place to place. Unlike Europe, where you can enter multiple countries by driving in one day, you can drive for days in Australia and still be in the ...

  18. What's The Best Way To Travel East Coast Australia? (2023 Update)

    7 Day Greyhound East Coast Pass = $249. 15 Day Greyhound East Coast Pass = $319. 30 Day Greyhound East Coast Pass = $389. The Greyhound Bus Passes tend to be the option of choice for self guided East Coast Australia Package Deals as they're cheap, flexible and hit up all the major spots.

  19. Bus Sydney to Melbourne: Compare prices and save money

    Facts about the bus from Sydney to Melbourne. Compare all providers like Greyhound Australia and Firefly Express that travel 6 times every day by bus from Sydney to Melbourne in one click! Book your bus ticket from Sydney to Melbourne starting from $68! Cheapest Bus. $68. Fastest Bus.

  20. Bus

    Travelling with prams and young children. Mobility aid specifications. Bus network maps for routes in Greater Sydney, timetables, fares, accessibility, safety, travel courtesy, travel with children, prams and animals.

  21. Perth to Sydney

    Virgin Australia, Jetstar, and Qantas fly from Perth (PER) to Sydney (SYD) hourly. Alternatively, Journey Beyond - Indian Pacific operates a train from Perth to Sydney Central Station twice a week. Tickets cost $1,600-5,000 and the journey takes 3d 2h. Airlines.

  22. Getting around Australia

    Bus Travel in Australia. Due to budget air fares, bus travel is no longer necessarily the cheapest way to get around, and is certainly the most tiresome. It may also mean arriving or departing in the middle of the night. Nor are services daily, as you might think, especially in Western Australia, although on the plus side they can be faster ...

  23. Trip Planner

    Use the Trip Planner to plan a trip on public transport by metro, train, bus, ferry, light rail, coach or by walking, cycling, taxi or rideshare anywhere in Sydney and NSW, with real-time information where available.

  24. A 'long way to go' in improving Australia's public transport

    Queensland is slashing public transport fares but Australia has 'a long way to go' in getting cars off the road, expert says ... Queenslanders will pay 50 cents to travel on a train, bus and ferry ...

  25. Thales has completed the sale of its Ground Transportation Systems

    Ed Brown at [email protected] or on +44 7850 071 287. For press information about Hitachi Rail, please go here. Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) announces the completion on 31 May 2024 of the sale of its Ground Transportation Systems Global Business Unit for an enterprise value of € 1,660 million to Hitachi Rail.

  26. How to get to Wellington Regional Stadium

    Take a bus. The bus terminal is adjacent to the main walkway entry point near the Wellington Railway Station at the southern end of Thorndon Quay. From the station, it is a short stroll along the ...