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Australia by bus - cheapest way to get the freedom feeling

Greyhound bus making a stop by the ocean

The perfect slow-travel adventure with our 30-day bus pass

Buses used the be the cheapskate way of travelling. Nowadays, it's comfortable too, and the affordability hasn't changed much. For places like Australia it's the perfect way to travel slow. Sit back, relax and enjoy the view. Using Greyhound Australia's coach network is an exciting take on the traditional road trip. Let us take you through some of the most beautiful stretches you can do by bus down under!

Up the East Coast: beauty and the beach

Let's get the obvious one out of the way first: heading up the east coast is probably on your list for Australia. On the stretch between Sydney and Brisbane is where you'll find the best beaches and surf spots. Departing from Sydney, the first place you can get off is Newcastle. If surfing is your thing, we suggest doing so too, since both Newcastle Beach and Merewether Beach are popular surf spots. They're hardly hidden treasures, but a good way to start off your coastal adventure. From Newcastle it's only a few stops to Port Macquarie, where you'll be able to visit the Koala Hospital and enjoy the picturesque coastal walkway. Next up is Byron Bay (we're obviously skipping a few steps here, but just get off the bus if you find some gems along the way!) – a must-visit for surfers with world-class waves and an awesome laidback vibe you would expect from Australian coastal towns. We probably don't have to explain the attraction of Gold Coast and Brisbane to you, but this is definitely a place you want to get off the bus and start exploring. Get the big city feeling with the impressive skyline, combined with great beaches like Surfer's Paradise. 

If you want to continue your coastal adventure, possibly even up to Cairns, we suggest making your way to Airlie Beach next. This is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands, where you can soak up the sun on some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world. It's no surprise part of the movie ''Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales'' was shot here. When you made it this far, we suggest checking out Townsville. This is the perfect spot to explore the Great Barrier Reef with snorkelling and diving tours departing frequently. The nearby Magnetic Island is an adventure lover's paradise with plenty of wildlife (yes, even koalas!) to spot and stunning beaches to explore. We suggest to try rafting and paddle boarding here for a not too intense workout. Finally, Mission Beach is the perfect spot to relax and unwind after your epic journey along the gorgeous eastern coastline of Australia. With gorgeous beaches, rainforest hikes, and some of the best seafood around, this is the perfect place to end your adventure. If you're not ready to go home yet, backtrack to Townsville, from where you can head west into the Outback instead!

National parks and natural wonders

If you're less about surf and more about nature, consider this alternative for the east coast route instead while sharing some of the same highlights. We'll start in Noosa National Park, a coastal nature reserve with stunning views, secluded beaches, natural pools and eucalyptus forests, making it the perfect place to spot Koalas while hiking. After enjoying Noosa it's not far (well, by Australian definition) to Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island featuring freshwater lakes and towering sand dunes. You can take a 4WD tour to explore the island's hotspots, including Lake McKenzie and the Maheno Shipwreck. Back on the shore in Hervey Bay, you can witness the majesty of the humpback whales as they migrate along the coast from mid-July through November. On your way to the next stop (the Whitsunday Islands) try to make a detour via Eungella National Park, where the biggest population of platypuses has a home.

Once you make it to the Whitsunday Islands, a stunning archipelago of 74 islands with crystal-clear waters and endless beaches. You can try sailing or other watersports here if you're up for it, gaining a new perspective on the big blue and all the animals in it. We bet you can't get enough of all the marine life though, so the next stop is the Great Barrier Reef. As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, skipping out on exploring the underwater world is almost a sin. Here you can experience some of the most diverse marine life on the planet by diving or snorkeling. Alternatively you can take a flight over the reef to experience the vast size of it (almost 2300 kilometres in total). It's hard to top that, but you know us, we'll try anyway! As the final stop, it's time to leave the ocean behind for a completely new environment, a rainforest! As the last stop of this route, you'll visit the Daintree Rainforest, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to some of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world and full of wildlife like cassowaries, tree kangaroos, and crocodiles. 

Follow the foodie trail

This route suggestion taking you through the wine valleys between Melbourne and Sydney is a lot shorter, but that makes it perfect to match up with the other options in this blog. Buckle up for lot's of food, drinks and culture! Start in Melbourne, where you can indulge in great coffee and cosy brunch spots like Workshop Brothers on the South Bank. Sip your coffee and enjoy the morning sunshine while taking in the views of the city. If you're more a fan of the bustling city center, try ''the Quarter'' on Degraves Street, perfect for a spot of people watching. After brunch, make sure to explore the city's vibrant street art scene and take a stroll through the iconic laneways. Next up, head to the Yarra Valley to taste some of Australia's finest wines and indulge in gourmet food experiences. The first stop after getting on the Greyhound is Albury, home to some of the freshest produce in the country. Make sure to stop at the local markets and pick up some treats for on the go. From Albury you can also visit Beechworth, and sample some of the region's cheese and taste the local craft beer scene. Once you reach Canberra, it's time to get active and explore Australia's capital city, visiting landmarks such as Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial. After all the sightseeing, land at Verity Lane market, where you can get great food from local businesses for fairly cheap prices. The last stop on your route is Sydney, where you can feast on some of the best seafood in the world at the iconic Sydney Fish Market, before climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge for breathtaking views of the city and its bay. 

The Outback adventure

If exploring the Outback is on your bucket list, we've got two options for you depending on where you want to start (or finish!). 

Adelaide to Darwin Route: This one is for you, lover of the road less travelled. This Greyhound bus route from Adelaide to Darwin is an epic adventure that will take you through some of the most stunning and remote landscapes in the country. Start in Adelaide and explore the nearby wine regions before heading north to Coober Pedy, known as the Opal Capital of the World. From there, continue to the stunning Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, home to the iconic Uluru rock formation and breathtaking sunsets. Here you get that true ''last man on earth'' feeling. Further north, visit the rugged Kings Canyon and explore the Red Centre before reaching Alice Springs, where you can experience Aboriginal culture and learn about the local history. Next, make your way to Katherine and explore the stunning Nitmiluk National Park before finally arriving in Darwin, a vibrant city with a fascinating history and plenty of delicious food and drinks to enjoy. All the stunning scenery make this an outback adventure you will never forget.

Townsville to Darwin Route: Our second suggestion for travelling through the Outback can be combined with the East Coast adventure we started out this blog with. You'll cross the heart of Australia on the bus route from Townsville to Darwin. As we mentioned before, Townsville is the main port to the stunning Great Barrier Reef. Definitely consider going snorkelling or diving here before hopping on the bus. Next up, head inland to Mount Isa, a remote mining town with a lot of history to uncover. From there, explore the stunning Katherine Gorge and take a dip in the crystal-clear waters. Continue to Litchfield National Park to see the stunning waterfalls and wildlife, before making it north to Darwin.

Got inspired? Let us help you make the most of it!

We've been where you want to go - even the Australian Outback. So why not fire all your questions at our Australia experts, and see how we can help you have the time of your life. Shoot us a message below!


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