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Oz Experience Bus - DON'T DO IT!!

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A warning to anyone planning a trip down the east coast of Australia - Don't sign up with Oz Experience! Maybe it's good in other parts of Australia, but I feel like I got ripped off big time!
11 years ago, December 17th 2008 No: 61 Msg: #57799  
B Posts: 285
Not everyone sees all experiences as the glass half full. I noticed that alot of the Aussie tour guides painfully smile because they get all sorts of odd people who are never happy no matter what they do. Just like KdK said, she should have done more research prior to booking her itinerary. That doesn't mean OZ experience is a bad tour guide! It just means she should have done her homework to find something she would enjoy.

I spent almost a whole year planning my trip to Australia to suit my needs, wants, budget, interests and I could have not had a more fantastic trip. I had bus trips, plane trips, camping trips, helicopter trips, campervan trips.....It was so diverse what I did, and I saw so much of Australia in so many different ways, I couldn't possibly think of one thing bad that happened.

So lesson learned KdK? Hopefully. Reply to this

11 years ago, January 30th 2009 No: 62 Msg: #61748  
N Posts: 1
me and my partner did the same planned our trip by our selves using loads of different means of transport, cars, coach trips, trains, plains, buses, trams, helicopter ride over the great barrier reef!
started in melbourne and worked our way up the east coast, all the way up to port douglas, then drove to alice springs, not to mention a luxury two week crusie across to newzealand!!
we arrived in oz with £3000 which was spent wildly in the first month!!!! and we still managed to do all of this, with alittle bit of planning, saving, working, while we we there. we had the time of our life...
the coach trips we did go on always seemed to be rushed and to a tight schedule which was ok for a day but i wouldnt of wanted my whole trip like that. we made our own choices and could stay somewhere as long or as short as we wanted. we could change our minds too.. when you are in hostels people there have already been places and advise you what to do or not! it is great playing it by ear... its very exciting.
for the last 5 weeks of our trip in oz we drove by wicked camper van from brisbane to port douglas via loads of different stops then over to alice springs ( in the summer, probably not the best idea, very hot but we managed it and what an experience) the wicked camper van was small and compact with every thing we needed, we had no troubles along the way at all, ( like some people we meet had!) seeing other vans was great too, we where in a little community, beeping, waving, stopping for a chat, even camping with other people who where driving wicked camper vans. our five week trip was definatly one of the most memorable experences, we felt so free with nothing to tie us down😊 then to top it off we found a super duper deal in a ozzy news paper for a luxury cruise to newzealand £400 for both of us!! bargin! luckly we had saved some money though out the year and brought two tickets! it was a perfect end to a perfect trip! when in melbourne we had meet two poeple who came from newzealand and became great friends so we even had somewhere to stay for a month when we arrived! while on the crusie we meet some great people from scotland who had paid £5000 for the cruise!! amazing we where even aloud on the huge ship after five weeks of being free travelers, i supoose the point im trying to get across is that you can have a fantastic time at your own pace if you save, work, plan and manage your time properly oh and keep an eye out for bargins.....i will never forget my ozzy experince and have not regrets 😊 Reply to this

11 years ago, March 6th 2009 No: 63 Msg: #65063  

10 years ago, June 3rd 2009 No: 64 Msg: #74809  
B Posts: 5
Hi, im 23 and so is my girlfriend. We are going to aus in feb 2010 so ill be 24. Im up for meeting loads of new people but not young drunken idiot kids who dont know how to do their own washing! I do like to party but at the same time id like to enjoy and relax as well....i dunno what to do...greyhound or oz exp!!! SO CONFUSED 😞 Reply to this

10 years ago, June 4th 2009 No: 65 Msg: #74975  

Oz Exp sounds like my idea of hell (I am old though, hehe).

I've no idea why someone would travel half way around the world only to go on a package tour. If you travel by Greyhound and stay in hostels you'll still meet loads of people. But you'd also be free to construct your own timetable, see only the things you're interested in and explore at your own pace.

Just my thoughts. Reply to this

10 years ago, June 10th 2009 No: 66 Msg: #75650  
Having just traveled from Cairns to Sydney using the Oz bus, I can tell you that it isn't really a package tour, more of a greyhound with extras. The people I saw using the bus ranged in age from 18 anywhere up to about 30. The stops that are included on the way down are well worth a visit and I wouldn't have thought to go to places like a Cattle Ranch had it not been a stop along the way.

True the schedules are inflexible and there are mandatory overnight stops that can't be avoided. But the places that you do stop in, the Kroombit Cattle Ranch and Surf Camp are good fun (possibly a couple of the nicest places I've been to down the East Coast). While you can arrange a whole load of tours through OzEx, many people that I traveled with just used the bus as a means to get from a to b. Granted some of the drivers are a bit pushy when it comes to tours and such but most of them are really cool guys who just want to make sure that you get the most out of your experience.

Generally the experience on the bus is of course made up by who ever is traveling at the same time, but being a hop on hop off bus the likelihood of traveling with the same people for the entire journey is very remote. Yes you'll get "young drunken idiots" but you'll find them in anyplace you stop in Australia.

So I would say to anyone thinking of using OzEx or Greyhound in Australia that if you have a relaxed schedule without a pressing timetable then the Oz bus can be great because of the extra places they visit. If however, you have a tight schedule or you know where exactly you want to go then travel with Greyhound or Premier or even hire your own camper van.

It also pays to do the research about what is included on the pass that you buy, some will be more like a package tour and the whole journey in a couple of weeks but there are passes that you can travel at your own pace
Reply to this

10 years ago, June 15th 2009 No: 67 Msg: #76360  
DO OZ EXPERIENCE
I have to disagree with everyone that is putting Oz Expereince down, about 4 weeks ago me and a friend got back from a 6 week holiday travelling the east coast, from Sydney to Cairns, and I would recommend Oz Experience to anyone thinking of doing the same kind of trip. It doesn't matter how old you are you will still enjoy it we travelled with people at all different ages.

Nothing is ever perfect, so yes we did have a couple of little problems. One of these problems was that one of the bus drivers messed up one of your trips, we booked everything in the first week of being there I.E our Whitsundays trip and Fraser Island and our skydives which we didn't do untill Cairns. The bus driver who booked these trips didn't give the sailing company the date we planned to go, therefore meaning we did not get the boat we wanted. Oz experience found us another boat to go on, and did not charge us any extra, it turns out the boat we got moved to was so much better than our planned boat.

Also the other little criticsim we would have would be that, there aren't enough buses running in a day, whereas greyhound there are about 6 buses a day leaving at all different times. With Oz there is one bus a day and the time is set by them.

Apart from these minor problems, Oz expereince was definately the right company to go with, they make the trip more enjoyable, and if it wasn't for the fun aspect the drivers force on the buses, I wouldn't have met all the people I did, and wouldn't have made lots of new friends that I am meeting up with back home.

We saw a greyhound bus pull up to a stop we were waiting at and the faces of the people on it were enough to make you want to jump in front of the bus, they all looked miserable, whereas Oz Exp you could probably hear the bus coming a mile off.

I think if you are a type of person that wants to have fun, and make a lot of new friends then Oz Expereince is the bus for you, yes they do play music quite loud but if you don't like it put your headphones in, and yes at times the music can be cheesy but who doesnt like a bit of cheesy music from time to time. The stop they made at the croc farm, was only about an hour or so not exactly a life time, and it was an enjoyable trip. Another stop that you had to stop at was the cattle station, this was definately worth while, it's your way of experiencing a little but of outback Australia, with horse riding, quad biking, and a goat rodeo. The bus drivers can be a bit over the top, again so what some you are only with for a couple of hours then you change.

To sum it all up, if you want to meet new people, and you want to make the best out of your trip, and basically just want to have FUN then I definately suggest Oz Expereince! Reply to this

10 years ago, June 22nd 2009 No: 68 Msg: #77277  
Nics and Slester - thanks for those good reviews! I'm travelling with a few friends next month using the Oz Experience and getting more scared by the minute that my first travelling experience will be a disaster!
However, you have calmed me down lots. Did you find the best thing to do was plan ahead so you knew which buses you were going to get etc? Or did you just wait until the day? We have a very tight schedule (1 month - Sydney to Cairns) and are worried that we will spend half the time on the bus and not see anything! We Desperately want to do Fraser Island, Whitsundays and the reef. But we are struggling with the website and not sure how to plan. Any advice on this would be great please.
With the cattle ranch - I am severely allergic to animals - is this going to be a massive problem? Is there anyway we can not stay there?
Was the bus in good condition? toilets onboard?
Sorry for all the questions - hope you can help! Reply to this

10 years ago, June 23rd 2009 No: 69 Msg: #77337  
Hey Racks, whatever you decide the thing is to make sure you make the most of it. With a month to travel that distance i would try and plan maybe week by week.

Because you're traveling as a group it would be a good idea to book the whitsundays and fraser island a while beforehand. But maybe try booking when you're in Oz as all the backpacker agents (tribal travel, peter pans, travel bugs etc) will probably have some kind of deals with packages including fraser and whitsundays at good prices, they're usually found along the same road so its easy to compare prices. Alternatively you could wing it like i did and turn up in the place and try and book for the next day (this can bring discounts as companies try to sell out the available spaces) but i wouldnt recommend it for a large group or a tight schedule.

I would definitely recommend booking fraser island in advance. (it is such a brilliant experience even in the rain!)

Buses run less frequently during the Oz winter (maybe 3 or 4 a week) but the plus side is they're relatively empty so it is possible to book the day before, just make sure you plan out on what days you want to take your buses so you dont run out of time. You mention wanting to see the reef and cairns is probably the cheapest/best place to see it.

The buses are easy to book online once you have your PNR number, once you get to sydney just phone their office and they'll give you your number and can book your buses for you as well.

Also to help you make the most of your time, have a think about what you're looking for in the travel. If you want more partying music and general liver destruction allow more time for places like sydney, surfers paradise, airlie beach and cairns. If you're looking for something more chilled then places like byron, rainbow beach, Agnes water, surf camp might be worth spending more time in.

But seriously the best reviews of places come from people you meet traveling while you're out there. As a first time traveler Australia is really easy to get around, you can organise as much or as little on your own as you want.

As to your allergies, if you've got serious allergies of cats, horses, goats, spiders, snakes, cows then it could be a problem. Especially if it is a life threatening allergy, I would discuss it with the OZ Ex people, im sure they can sort you out.

Good luck and happy travels. Reply to this

10 years ago, July 29th 2009 No: 70 Msg: #81413  
Hi all ...

me and two friends all just over 30, is planing a Cairns to Sydney trip... and OZ was a option. But after reading this thread ... the confusion is total.. we are all well build Vikings (180 centimetres).... and flying to the "other" side of the word, just for riding in overground small buses is not an option..

Reply to this

10 years ago, August 4th 2009 No: 71 Msg: #82003  
hey kaurie, good choice!! defo stay at airlie beach a few nights.
Reply to this

10 years ago, August 4th 2009 No: 72 Msg: #82114  
Hi everyone I've actually booked onto Oz Experience for Oct - Dec 09 I'm 23years old and really looking forward to it, jus a lil nervous about everything I've read although it wouldn put me off, dont get me wrong a like to party but pref along with people a similar age to me. Wondered if anyone who has been on Oz experience could let me know what kind of age group it attracts? and/or If any one else is traveling along with the Oz Bus the same time as me, thnx
Reply to this

10 years ago, August 4th 2009 No: 73 Msg: #82124  
We looked at the time table for the greyhound busses today.. they are much better!! and do more or less the same stops.. Reply to this

10 years ago, August 23rd 2009 No: 74 Msg: #84018  
Hi im really shocked by this thread n shocked that it was only third down the list when i typed in oz experiance into google me and my boyfriend done almost our whole tour around oz with oz experiance/ adventure tours
AND HAD THE BEST TIME OF OUR LIVES!!!

serioslsy if any one has any questions just ask we only left in june 09 so its all still fresh

I just turned 20 n my boyfriend 21 when we started, we did a week in a wicked campers n that was horrible the camper was bearly holding together ate deisel and unless you throughally research every thing you want to do and were your going to park up and sleep every night it can be so much hassel i couldnt wait to start our oz experiance also i love my boyfriend to bits but being constantly with each othe rin such a small space was a nightmare we didnt really get much chance to meet other people,

we loved the fact you met so many different people and did so many things we would never have done like the cattle ranch, it was amazing!! my boyfriend was very reluctant but througly enjoyed it too.
we had some great drivers that were really enthusiastic about there jobs, obviosly there were a couple but its totally what you make of it if!!

i will say though in terms of the age range the east coast is definatly more of a party scene with younger minded people say 18-27 average (i also met a 34 year old woman i got on so well with were still in contact)
were as from darwin to melbourne seemed slightly older by older though i there was one 40 year old woman but the average age was probly between 21 and 33 and to be honest i preferred this it brought so much more to the groups

ask me anything though im more than happy to give you my opion on any thing

p.s it is what ya make it

Reply to this

10 years ago, August 24th 2009 No: 75 Msg: #84103  

Hi im really shocked by this thread n shocked that it was only third down the list when i typed in oz experiance into google ....


The good news is the information is well balanced. As well as the complaints about Oz bus there are the posts and threads complimenting them, and also the Oz bus staff have a thread here on TravelBlog to answer questions. Reply to this

10 years ago, August 24th 2009 No: 76 Msg: #84106  
B Posts: 5
Hi all- hope this helps:
Iv been looking at this thread for the last few months and in that time iv called / emailed and spoken to people who have done the oz experience bus vs getting a campervan! What iv found is that if you take a camper van you get to spend as long as you like getting to a place and WILL save money on accomodation and everyone iv spoken to that has done this seems to have enjoyed it so-camper van seems good!
On the other hand- oz exp. lets you meet other people and you get to stay in hostels which soundds like such good fun to me. Yeah it'll end up costing a few hundred dollors extra but it seems kinda worth it. If your going to go do australia-have fun doing it.
the plan me and my girlfriend have is to use everything!!! Oz exp. from november till christmas doing the east coast staying in hostels etc. Thinking of spending xmas and new years in sydney so gona get the train from Cairns to Sydney! Then after a few weeks in sydney for the holidays we are gona get a campervan and do the gold coast because i really wana drive some of it! After that who knows.
So my advice ( take in mind i haven done it yet just researched in depth ). If you are going for a few months- use oz experience! They give you a good laugh and show you a lot! If staying longer then do everything!

ALSO- AND THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!! If you are over 26------dont do oz experience unless your very young at heart and are up for late nights with young ones!!! Im 23, think i might be a bit old for it but not THAT old yet!!! If you wana have the craic use oz exp! If your more into sight seeing, always taking it easy-use a campervan!!! Its up to yourself though, depends on what type of person you are! Just think of it- if your 26...... when you were 20 and your friends from school were going to oz for the year.... a lot of the people who will be doing this weren't in secondary school yet!! But its case by case i guess!! Im rambling- HAPPY TRAVELING 😊 Reply to this

10 years ago, September 6th 2009 No: 77 Msg: #85377  
Well guys,

im a travel agent for 1 of australias leading backpacker travel agents and we sell Oz experience passes all the time. I have never had anyone complain about Oz. and to see some of the remarks on here is just crazy.

I believe you my dear is what we call in the industry "POSHPACKER" maybe its the Hilton and First Class flgiths that maybe more your style.

I have and always will recommond OZ experience to any of my backpacker clients and since im a backpacker travel agent thats all my clients.

GO HARD OZ EXPERIENCE you guys rock Reply to this

10 years ago, October 9th 2009 No: 78 Msg: #88933  
I am seriously considering doing the knobs and bells east circle trip which does the whole of the east coast the round going from sydney-brisbane-cairns-slice springs-uluru-adelaide-melbourne-canberra. i am planning on going in january or february time.

I am 18 and travelling on my own which is why i like the sound of oz experience because it sounds like its a good way to meet people so i dont have to worry about not knowing anyone. i was wondering if anyone knew the ideal amount of time to spend on the journey. I am planning on going for around 5-6 months in total but i dont know if thats too long and if il get bored after a certain amount of time at a place.

If anyone has any advice on the ideal amount of time or if anyone else has done the same trip i would be greatful for any advice. cheers Reply to this

10 years ago, October 10th 2009 No: 79 Msg: #88941  
seb, that sounds like a fantastic trip, i wish i had that kind of time to spend in australia. uluru is such an amazing place, though i did a tour with The Rock Tour in their winter (it was overcast, damp and cold in a desert!) and absolutely loved it.

6 months will mean that you get to stay in the places you like for as long as you like, it could also open up working opportunities, i wasnt in one place long enough to replenish my funds.

From the sounds of it you will be around the Great Barrier Reef before April which means you will have to wear a stinger suit to "protect" you from the jelly fish, all they do is make you look like an over grown smurf, either way the GBR is an absolute must along with Fraser Island (a definite highlight for me) and the Whitsunday Islands (check out whitehaven beach).

With that amount of time, places like Town of 1770 and Agnes Water are perfect for a week of relaxtion away from commercialism and the pressing back packer life (plus the beach is astonishing) for that 1770 backpacker is a must.

One site I found really useful to book my accommodation through was hostelworld.com. Once you're a member you dont have to pay the admin fee they charge, (after 5 bookings you become a member for free).
Also you will probably run into Global Gossip. If you like your internets like I do then make sure to register the card for free internet time. Having said that, hostels arent always the best place for the web.

Because of your timeframe you will be always changing buses. Dont feel pressured into staying with the same one. Just because a group has been on the road together for weeks does not mean you should just tag along. Its your journey, its your trip so do it your way.

Couple of good places to stay in, Central Palace in Cairns, Central Base in Brisbane, Dolphins in Noosa (so chilled I loved it), Nomads in Byron Bay (only recently opened really nice and quite cheap).

The best advice you will get is from talking to people along the way and if your plans are quite flexible then who knows where the journey may lead and I hope you have a good one. Reply to this

10 years ago, October 12th 2009 No: 80 Msg: #89152  
Thank you very much. I do indeed like my internet and i was thinking of taking my laptop. is that a good idea or not? along with perhaps finding wireless in a few places i was also thinking i need it to upload my pictures onto. Is it at all wise to take it?

Also i don't know if you went to Darwin at all but i am wanting to know if it is worth the extra money and travel time to go there?

I would be grateful for any advice from anyone. Reply to this

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