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11 October
WRITTEN BY Sophie

Everything you need to know about Travelling by Greyhound Bus

Social media Sophia is our gal when it comes to exploring Aussie in style, she cruised up and down the east coast more times than we can count BUT she did it each time by bus using the Greyhound Hop on Hop off pass…. So she knows a thing or two about how they work and is now here to answer your questions

So with the help of the RatPack crew you’ve planned to travel Australia, AMAZING! But now you’re thinking, wow Australia is actually bloody massive, how am I going to get around without spending a fortune… so you have a few options to travel around Australia, cheap domestic flights, buy a car/camper, rent a car/camper, rideshare or to really see aussie, by bus!

I chose the most popular and social option which was to do it by bus, Greyhound to be precise.. What Greyhound offer is these awesome hop on hop off passes where you can travel in one direction and hop off at any point along the way as much as you like. These buses go a few times a day and are SO convenient for getting you from A to B, not only do they get you where you need to go, but you’ll also get there comfortably. Yep, we’re talking reclining leather seats, usb ports, wifi, aircon, toilet on board and regular stops at servos where you can get food – yay! I travelled all the way from Cairns – Sydney (3,300km) using the Greyhound hop on hop off pass and had an awesome time.

How does it work?

So when you buy your pass on the RatPack site eg. (Cairns <> Sydney, Cairns <> Brisbane) you will instantly given a booking number and a pin that is your unique log in for the greyhound website. You’ll have your own log in area which will take you to the ‘manage my booking’ page. On this section you’ll be able to pop in your dates of travel and where you want to travel too and simply add the buses to your itinerary, it’s super easy! It’s in this section that you can also delete buses too if plans change, because we all know that very often that does happen!

How to choose a pass

There are lots of combinations of passes to choose from based on your route and what you want to see. Note: any of the passes below you can start in either location.

  • Cairns <> Sydney – the most popular choice, choose this if you want to get the full east coast experience and have 3 weeks+
  • Cairns <> Brisbane – best if you have less time but want to see all the hotspots aka Fraser Island, the Whitsundays & the Great Barrier Reef (note- this has an extra add on that allows you to go to Byron Bay too!)
  • Cairns <> Melbourne – The ultimate! If you have maximum time and want to cruise the whole east coast all the way round to Melbourne this is your best option, value wise it works out all in all as cost effective as flying!

 

Greyhound Bus Pass – Cairns to Sydney, Hop-On / Hop-Off, 3 Month

 

Getting the bus

Your itinerary will tell you what time and where your bus will pick you up from, I recommend getting there at least 15 mins early, it’s always better to have extra time right? Also allow yourself plenty of time to get to the Greyhound stop, I hate rushing {and i’m guilty of being slow when walking} so rather have more time to get there then working up a sweat with all my stuff. Google maps or maps.me is your best mate when it comes to finding the stop, you’ll be able to use this without wifi/data. Yay!

Once at the stop, when the greyhound arrives wait for everyone to get off and collect their luggage and then you can put your luggage on the bus where the driver tells you (this is important that you put it in the right spot). Then you’ll be checked in by the driver, have your ticket (print out or on your phone) plus a form of ID (driving license is good) once you are checked in and ticked off, you can board the bus yay!

On the bus

There are no set seats for the greyhound buses so it’s all about first come first served, the better seats with more leg room are at the back but just note that they are by the toilet! I personally like to have a window seat to rest my head and to look out! {note out

Each seat has its own USB charger port, check this works before you commit to that seat, you don’t want to be in a seat with a dodge charger do you! You’ll also have wifi which on the rare occasion I’ve been able to stream Netflix.

You’ll stop off at servos (yes i’m so aussie these days) where you can go to the loo, grab a snack or chill just make sure you remember what time you have to meet back!

How to make the time go quickly?

It goes without saying that on the Cairns – Sydney route you will have some looooong buses and some of those are overnight which is awesome because it saves you on accommodation yay! I think my longest buses I did were 14 hours – bloody long time but I managed to sleep for 8 hours of that!

Things you could do:

  • Watch Netflix that you’ve downloaded
  • Research your next location
  • Book your hostels for your next place
  • Upload your pictures to fb/insta
  • Update your journal
  • Read
  • Make friends with the people around you
  • Catch up on sleep

Greyhound Bus Pass – Sydney to Cairns, Hop-On / Hop-Off, 3 Month

Surviving overnight buses

So… if you are travelling the east coast you will have at least 2 overnight buses, but don’t worry they are FINE! Just be prepared and you are onto a winner. My best tips are:

  • Take a jumper – it can get chilllllllllly
  • Take plenty of water & snacks – one dinner and one breakfast
  • Earplugs and an eye mask – essential if you want to sleep!
  • A sarong/scarf as a little blanket
  • Fluffy socks – I’m all about that comfort
  • Put your charger or powerbank in your day bag
  • Take a book {FYI – the lights will be turned off during the night}

Where to stop off?

You’ll see that there are loads and loads of stops to choose from, so to help we’ve picked out our favourites and the highlights of the east coast:

  • Cairns – the home of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Mission Beach – head here for the best skydive experience!
  • Townsville – the entrance to Maggie island
  • Airlie Beach – where all of the whitsundays trips start
  • Agnes Water/1770 – cruisy little hippy town
  • Hervey Bay make sure you stop here for the whale season from July – Oct!
  • Rainbow Beach – the entrance to Fraser Island
  • Noosa – head here for the national park and for Fraser Island
  • Moololaba – the sunny coast version of Surfers Paradise
  • Brisbane – the only city on the east coast, great food & nightlife
  • Surfers Paradise – think miami aussie style, epic theme parks & clubs
  • Byron Bay – the home of RatPack and all things surfy
  • Sydney – the unofficial capital and an iconic city

The Extra Deets

Your pass is valid for 1 year after the date of purchase and then you have 3 months to use it after your first date of travel, you can take up to 20kg on the bus but if you need any extra items aka a surf board you’ll have to let them know before and you’ll have to pay an additional fee. We recommend arriving 20 mins at least before the departure time. There’s aircon & toilets on the bus so that’s got you covered for those long old journeys.

So all in all, its an easy, cheap and convenient way to travel and I couldn’t recommend it more! It’s my go to way for travelling Australia.Drop us a DM

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