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!
Its funny and rather disconcerting to see that one indepenedent traveller can write up there own assesment of an experience without getting shot down in flames. By people who seam to be on the OZ experience payroll mainly. Maybe she didnt' do enough research but we've all been guilty of that, and what if she had an had still found it awful, I for one an glad to read a fellow travellers words of advice, even if I don;t choose to follow them. So thanks lady. Personally I'll be sticking to the greyhound bus
I'm even more confused now than ever. I'm 33 and my girlfriend is 29 and really don't know how to get from Cairns to Sydney. From March next year we have both managed to get 4 months unpaid leave from work so want to do all the stuff we missed out on after uni (if we'd gone). We are on a really tight schedule arriving in Oz at the end of April/beginning May for about 1 month so have to make sure we make the most of our time. Anyone else in their 30's who has done the same trip and if so what would you recommend and to anyone in their 20's, where there many 30yr olds on the Oz experience?
We used the Greyhound service(age 30+), and it worked out great during our trip! you will not need the "extra" service OZ provide. The greyhound and the OZ have more or less the exact stops, and greyhound have more departures! The day trips you want to do are easy too book both in advance or on the location. (some can even be book at your greyhound centre)
I guarantee you will find “others” during your trip at your hostels or on the daytrips.
we did the trip in 25 days! my tip is to spend most of time in the north! the big cities in the south are just like any other city in the western world. Don't spend more then 3nights in Sydney and Melbourne. We did Brisbane on two days, one night! its enough!
Use the night buses save the days for sightseeing!
Thanks for that. Did you meet up with many people on the greyhound buses, cos after 2.5 months with my Mrs i think we'd end up killing each other. Cheers
Also how much did you spend a day on accom and food etc and did you book hostels in advance? Thanks
That's all up to you, and your social skills ;-) the best way we found to find other travelers were during to activities we did during the days. (scuba diving/Fraser/Sailing e.g.)
We stayed at mid-class hostels during our trip, the price is higher in the south then in the north.(I don't remember our average rate) If you know what hostels you want to stay at and when pre-book them! We did our trip in sep-okt (low session(??)) and we had to spend a few hours online every second day to search and book the hostels.
By people who seam to be on the OZ experience payroll mainly.
Yes, some of the Oz Bus staff contributed to this thread, but most who disagreed with the opening poster are not Oz bus staff. Also, only one of the Oz bus staff members was in any way shooting the opening poster down. The other was polite and reasonable.
But, yes you are right, it is disconcerting that people so often seem to lose their communication skills, when somebody says something they dont agree with.
Iv been on this thread for a few months now....in oz doing oz experience at the mo, after coming from cairns to harvey bay so far on the way to sydney...everyone-do oz experience. Its so so so good! Meeting people of all ages, reallt nice drivers, they do really cool stops too. Greyhound seems to be always running late. It was 3 and a half hours late at mission beach! Seems to suck! Oz experince all the way! Im off to rainbow beach at 4pm! Dont look any further than oz experience if your confused!
I plan on being on the oz experience for 2 months with 2 other lads, between april - end of june, just a small section of my round the world trip, and ill be honest from these posts. Oz Experience seems like a no brainer choice for me, im looking for a decent social and party atmosphere, with like minded people wanting to see the world and make the most of life. Doesnt mean getting wasted every night although that probably will be on the agenda every now and then, as im sure no1 can deny when aged 19. But I would prefer nothing more than to sightsee and chillout, ill be honest Australia is a big place and most of my family live out there, and theres plenty of space and time to pick between chilling and partying! I know countless people that have been there and done the trip themselves and never heard any negative feedback, although this is girl is entitled to her opinion i spose, just seems abit 'ott', to have gone out of her way and dented the reputation of a perfectly gd company.
Greyhound may be a little bit cheaper, but seems generally abit dull, yeh u will meet people and make freinds all the same, wherever u go. Just depends on the type of person u are but from this thread suggests.
Want to have *fun*, have a true oz expereince and make freinds along the way --> Oz Experience
Want to sleep, wake up, see australia's sights, and move on quickly --> Greyhound (seems hostels are where the social side lies here)
They both seem flexible, and seem to do what they say on the tin. But oz experience seems like the obvious choice for anyone willing to have a thorough expereince, that will stick around for life!
Come on people! The Oz experience is not a bad option at all. I speak from experience of travelling the East coast via a different method...
I travelled up the east coast of Australia in a car that I bough with my girlfriend. At first we were buzzing becuase it was a landcruiser 4x4, really cool we thought and we could not wait to gwt out there and explore! We though this would be much cheaper in the long run as we could then sell it after wards.
How wrong we were. After driving from cairns to sydney (and sleeping in the car which was NO fun) the engine blew up and we lost... $7500! That is about £2500. Gone. nothing to show for it - and that does not include what we spent on fuel and insurance and break down cover. In total, we blew about £3500 in 6 weeks.
We were gutted, not only because we could have bought a Cheap Oz Experience Pass for about £250, we could have spent the rest of the money eating out or staying in 5* hotels and not come close to spending that amount of cash.
The loosing the money was really stupid, but that is not the only reason we were disappointed. If you get a car or a camper, you meet no one! Seriously, the camps sites are full of old people in winebagos, when you could be having a laugh in some cool back packer bars... The driving is very lonely in a car, and believe me we did about 3000 miles in 6 weeks, that is a long way people, meeting people on the bus takes the pain out of the miles.
As for the grey hound, well, yes it is probably cheaper, but it is not a travellers bus network, and probably takes longer with more stops and is less sociable. I would go with Oz experience.
From reading all the replies about the Oz Experience....I was totally turned off by all the bad comments.
But the recent comments has made me feel more confident....I think I am going to pull the trigger on the Oz Experience.
I am a 25 year old male coming from the USA traveling alone. I will be starting my Oz Experience from Sydney to Cairns on Feb 25th 2010. I plan on spending 25 days for the trip. Do you guys think that is enough? Any tips or things I should plan? Do I need to pick where I want to stop before arriving or could I just wing it once I get the pass?
Thank you in advance.
I would like to say that 25days is not enough when using Oz...
Im in surfers paradise doing the east coast at the mo with oz experience. 25 days is plenty of time! Time saving tips-dont stay too long in places, gets boring and there is no need t all.
If your not doing sky diving or white water rafting then skip mission beach.
Make sure you do the whitsundays in airle beach-if your not into diving then just do a day trip to whithaven beach, most boats are dive boats. If you wana do diving we dids it on a boat called wings2-brilliant fun and brilliant dives.
Def do fraser island FROM harvy bay-saves time oz experience bus wise and then only 1 night in rainbow beach.
If your doing a diving course-cheapest on magnetic island. If your not then 2 nights on magnetic is plenty, make sure you stay in base-only decent hostel with decent pub and anything happening. Do forts walk on magnetic too.
Surfers is cool for going out-imagine ibiza!
Eh...... dunno about byron bay yet-but looks set to fantabulous!
In sydneydo the regular touristy stuff!-open top bus tour makes it seem like you can get to everything!
25 days is plenty-a little rushed but not by too much at all.
Money wise- accom about 25 a night, food...20 if eating well and beer-stick to backpacker bars and look for happy hour everywhere!
The oz experience bus- do the one from cairns to sydney, costs $595 and when your on it-its a bargin! Its better than greyhound or premier by any means..everyone that seems to have a bad time on it....i dunno why-its good fun and easy and always on time, if your stuck to a limit of days do it-rarely late! If you have any questions about what to do on your trip my e mail is im 24 and traveling with my girlfriend and loving it! If your worried about coming over...just do it...it gets a lot easier when your here!
If you send me on an email ill send you on our itinery thing and point out what was good and bad etc
Best of luck
Hi All! Was good to read through all the comments on this site... I've been living in Townsville (Australia) now for a year and with 2 other girls we are planning to go on a trip on the East Coast in June-July 2010.
We are 25,26 and 28 years old, and I wasn't confused if we weren't right in the middle of the age group mentioned for OZexperience and Greyhound.... We love to have heaps of fun and parties, but 'party' means different things to every age group...
As I wrote, I'm living, studying in Australia and worked in the universtiy club last year. I saw drunk 18-20year old people every week a bit too much (to say), and recognized that this age gap is really HUGE... Their 'partying style' if we can call like this is completely different from ours, and they make a separate groups at the universtiy as well... So from this point, if the OZexperience bus is half of these people, I already know that my travel buddies -who are even older than me- not gonna like it...
The other thing is that we'll only have like 3weeks to travel from Cairns to Sydney. Ok, we're gonna skip Townsville and Magnetic island during the trip as I'm living there, but still concerned that it's gonna too much a rush... Concerning the schedule, Greyhound seems to be a bit better if you have such a short time... more buses a day and you can make your own schedule more flexibly... or did anyone try to make the same trip in 3weeks?
Experience about camper vans: I went on a road trip with my friends last year... We hired a camper van(wicked) and that was a real adventure!😊 Going on the road for hours and hours while there's nothing on the road just kangaroos and other animals, the whole trip was a real ozexperience... BUT! would never do it again like this... Lots of lots of driving and somehow by the time we got to the next city all the campings for vans were closed... After 6pm in the smaller cities we ended up with parking our van next to the road somewhere... Also, our van got broken not only once in 5days (ok, it was from 1984😊) so we spent kinda a whole day with waiting for a mechanist on the top of a mountain or in the middle of the bush... and many other things, wouldn't say it was the safest trip either, and make sure there are at least 2cars going together if you travel through OZ... We needed each other's help all the time (e.g. our front light stopped working when it was already dark so we used the other van's back light to see the road in the middle of nowhere...and stuff like that😊 and also an advise, don't watch the movie 'Wolf Creek' before you go on any trip in Australia...!!😊
So getting back to the main dilemma, we for sure not going to hire a van especially not for a 3weeks' tight scheduled-trip, but then what do u think for our age group and schedule is the best choice: OZexp. or Greyhound??? thank you in advance...
Finished the east coast and in melbourne now looking for work.. did it in 3 months ( prob too long to do it ) but 3 weeks will be kinda rushing it no matter what company you decide to travel with. My advice is still oz experience! Dont stay too long in places, there's not an overly need to. Just know what you wana see when you get to places! Do kroombit on your way from cairns with oz experience (its a cool cattle station ). You wont be disappointed whatever way you do it-my advice is oz exp though
I've just finished a 2 week trip with Oz Experience from Sydney -> Rainbow Beach (Fraser Island) and for the first leg of my trip I went from Sydney -> Byron Bay on an overnight Greyhound. Then Oz Experience buses up to Rainbow Beach and a Greyhound back down to Brisbane for my flight back to work.
Quoting from the blog I've been writing about my trip:
"I just want to mention how awesome Oz Experience are and how truly dire Greyhound are. The drivers throughout the trip from Oz Experience were fun, knowledgeable, good drivers and definitely added to our enjoyment. The Greyhound drivers (I encountered) were unhelpful, regimented and reminded me of old grumpy school trip bus drivers. Oz Experience drivers reminded me of going on road trips with friends back home."
I'd treat Greyhound as bus to take for a necessary trip that's off your oz experience schedule. Otherwise plan your oz experience itinerary, book your buses and enjoy all of your trip, not just the bits where you aren't on a bus.
Hey everyone, thanks for all the great tips and advice.
I'm heading down to Oz (from the states) by myself at the end of April, and will be there for the ENTIRE month on May. This will be my first trip ever to Australia, and a life time dream come true. I'll be flying into Sydney for a few days, then traveling out from there. After reading everyones posts I think I have definitely decided on taking Oz Experience. I'm certainly not in my teens anymore, but I still feel like this will be the easiest way to meet people (since I'll be traveling alone) throughout my time in Australia. My only problem is, after my few days in Sydney I can't decide whether I should take OzEx north toward Brisbane and Cairns, or south toward Melbourne and Adelaide. I definitely can not leave Oz without seeing Uluru, which is why I thought heading south toward Adelaide, and then continuing north to Alice Springs would be a great way to get there. Plus seeing the outback on the way seems like a great experience. However after reading everyones experiences on their trips between Sydney and Cairns I thought that sounds great too. UGH!!! I just can't decide!!!! hahaha
Anyway, any advice y'all can give on these 2 different excursions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance, and safe travels.
surely you can just use the ozexperience bus as a means of transport though and not as a package holiday? Especially if like me you will be on it for 2 months so spending longer in each place?
I did the oz route from sydney to cairns and absolutely loved it! yeah i understand you have to be a certain type of person to enjoy it, but as you said you clearly didnt research it properly therefore telling everyone it was awful is an overreaction from someone whos bitter about a wasted trip you wrote that terrible review after ONE bus and obviously didnt give them the benefit of the doubt.
you signed up for an 'expierience' but you didnt want to see any of australias national animals? if you bothered going on the rest of the trip before complaining youd realise that the crocodile farm is the ONLY stop where you have to spend any money- the rest are just fun, social stops which break u the long bus journeys.
i honestly think KdK has given oz ex an unfair review. its a certain type of sociable person that enjoys it and clearly it was the wrong trip for her!
Why don´t you do an arrival package aimed at meeting other travellers? This is usually a good way of meeting people from the start of the trip.
I did this with Xtreme Gap, their programme called the "Australia Adrenaline tour" which is a combination of an Oz experience pass and a group arrival pack in Sydney. It worked out well for me as I went to Australia on my own, and met a couple of people in the group, we then travelled together up to Brisbane and then went our seperate ways. By then I was eased in to the traveller life style and did not mind going solo.
Most people head up the east coast on a Bruce pass finishing in Cairns, but you can extend it (you have to take an internal flight to Darwin) to then head down to Uluru. I would do that if I were you.
Good luck and sink a few beers for me out there!