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Visiting National Parks, alone without car

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Can I travel through Australia with Greyhound and/or OZ Experience (some sections with the Greyhound and a special section with OZ Experience maybe) and still visited the National Parks? Or am I stuck with cities, villages, beaches and tourist spots?
4 years ago, August 3rd 2009 No: 1 Msg: #81897  
N Posts: 1
Hello everyone,

I have read many topics on this and other forums, search Google and spend hours and hours reading travelingblogs, but i still haven't found an answer to my quistion. Hope i will find it here!

Iam planning to travel a couple of months, maybe 6, in Australia but i dont have a drivers licence.
I want to see almost everything there, but i dont think i will spend weeks on the coast.
Iam not a real party animal or "surfer dude". I want to learn how to dive tough.
Also i want to see the outback and nature of australia. And now comes my quistion:

How can i visited the National Parks without a car?

I have a bit of experience with hiking (multiday hikes, bringing all gear like tent and stove etc).
But now that iam alone i dont want to make it to grazy. Its to unsafe if you get lost or break a leg etc.
still i want to do some hiking, day hiks or overnight hikes in cabins.

I know about the Greyhound and OZ Experience bus, i have read alot of "wich one to take" topics.
But somehow nobody seems to talk about hiking! About the National Parks.

Well the real quistion is:

Can i travel trough australia with Greyhound and/or OZ Experience (some sections with the Greyhound and a special section with OZ Experience maybe) and still visited the National Parks?
Or am i stuck to city's, villages, beaches and touristsspots?

Cycling dont seems like a option because of the extreme tempratures and the lack of experience from my side.

Thank you.

Jerryv
Reply to this

4 years ago, August 15th 2009 No: 2 Msg: #83224  
My initial reaction is that it is going to be pretty hard to see the things you want without a car given the extremely long distances involved.

I'm not sure of the coverage of Greyhound and OZ Experience but if you get close to where you want to go you can maybe try hitchhiking into the national parks. Although you need to be very well prepared.

Be aware though that Australia is extremely hot and unforgiving, especially in the summer, and is not the place to wander aimlessly off the beaten track. You can very quickly get lost and are often hours from any medical treatment let alone an actual hospital. Reply to this

4 years ago, August 16th 2009 No: 3 Msg: #83311  
Jerry, I think it would be quite difficult to visit a lot of the parks without a car. My best advice is to search hostel notice boards when you are in Australia, or online before you get there (although I'm not sure where!) for people looking to get a few together to share a camper van or car. I teamed up with a pal I met in Australia who luckily for me was happy to do all the driving (I have no licence), and previously he had advertised with another pal for those interested in travelling the west coast of Oz and taking in all the NP's. He ended up getting two camper vans between 6 people, only half of which can drive. I think you can be quite lucky finding generous people who are willing to drive for those that can't. Reply to this

4 years ago, August 16th 2009 No: 4 Msg: #83316  
With Greyhound, you can get to many areas near National Parks, but not directly into the parks.

For example in W.A., you can get to Kalbarri or Exmouth via Greyhound (be prepared for very long bus rides), then from these points you can take tours or shuttles into the National Parks.
Because these bus rides are so long, there is also the chance of meeting other travelers who might be interested in sharing the coast of hiring a car to get to the national parks (I did this in Exmouth).

On Oz Experience, you do go to some national parks, but these are more gentle walks than hiking expeditions. For better hiking experiences, I would either join a more local tour or find other travelers to hike with, which with patience is easy to do at the hostels (check the notice boards). For example, to hike in Lamington National Park (not too far from Brisbane), you should be able to arrange with a local tour company to drop you off at Binna Burra and pick you up the next day at O'Reilley's, or vice versa.

It is very easy to travel around Oz. There are countless tour companies wanting your business, and there are always notice boards in hostels full of advertisements for people wanting to do ride-shares or looking for hiking buddies. Always check out visitor info centres, because they can often tell you the best way to get onto the trails! They'll often know about any car shuttles for hikers or tour companies that run hikes.

Another option: Budget a few one-way tours. They're a great way to see the remote areas of the country, as they get you from point A to B and you actually get to do stuff along the way.

If you're traveling in W.A. (Western Aus), Western Exposure does do 3 days of hiking in Karijini, and a day in Kalbarri National Park, both of which are fantastic. There are several companies that do the Gibb River Road and the Kimberly region (I did Wilderness Adventures, which took me from Broome to Darwin on a 9-day trip).
In the Outback, there are heaps of companies all over the Northern Territory that do various safaris, and taking Adventure Tours down from Darwin to Alice is not a bad way to see spots like the Devils Marbles and Katherine Gorge (which you don't get to see via Greyhound). Actually, I'm pretty sure there is now a company in Alice Springs that runs hikes on the Larapinta trail...see if you get any Google results for that. I think there is something similar for the Bibbulmun Track in southwest WA.
Down in Tassie, Under Down Under and Adventure Tours, as well as heaps of smaller companies, also hike in various National Parks. Actually, since hiking is so big in Tassie, I am sure you will easily be able to find some hiking buddies to do some overnight hikes.

I would highly recommend looking at which areas you want to hike (Bibbulmun track, Larapinta, Overland Track, Queensland's Great Walks, etc), then narrow down your internet search to include those park/track names, and key words such as "hiking", and "tour" or "shuttle". One of those "Walking in Australia" books might come in handy too, giving you transport options to and from the parks.

Feel free to message me if you have more hiking in Oz questions. My partner is an avid Aussie hiker :) Reply to this

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