Are you planning on travelling around Australia? Trying to figure out best way to travel Australia can be a bit daunting – the place is HUGE and there are so many options to choose from!
Luckily for your though I’ve spent years bouncing around this beautiful country and have tried and tested a variety of travel options on offer – from hop on hop off bus passes to camper vans and guided tours.
So to help you choose which suits your style (and of course budget!) here’s a full rundown of the best ways to travel around Australia…
Travelling Around Australia – What’s The Best Way To Travel Australia?
1. Greyhound Bus – Hop On Hop Off Pass
Easily the most popular options for travelling around Australia, we’d also consider this one of the best ways to travel Australia too. The Greyhound hop on, hop off bus passes cover the whole stretch from Melbourne to Cairns, with a range of passes for different routes;
- Melbourne to Cairns
- Sydney to Cairns
- Brisbane to Cairns
The Brisbane to Cairns pass also includes a free trip to/from Byron Bay as well for extra value and is the perfect excuse to slot in my favourite stop in Australia!
With multiple departure times per day and an easy to use online portal to manage your trips it’s a simple and budget friendly way to travel the East Coast. Standard passes are valid for 3 months of travel (from the first bus you take) or you can bump that up to 6 months for an extra $30AUD
Best For: Set itineraries and solo travellers
2. Greyhound Bus – WHIMit Pass
If you’re swaying towards the Greyhound Pass but want a bit more flexibility then the Greyhound WHIMit Pass is the way to go. You’ll have access to the whole Greyhound bus network (including the Red Centre, Northern Territory and some of Western Australia) and are only limited by the time frame of your pass.
Choose from 7 to 365 days of travel – the passes allow you to backtrack and break up your route with internal flights. Ideal if you just want to take things as they go, making this the best way to travel Australia as a whole.
Best For: Flexibility
3. Premier Bus
If you’re looking for the best value way to travel around Australias East Coast then the Premier Bus is definitely the way to go. Its the same format as the Greyhound hop on, hop off bus passes, however you’re slightly more limited as there is only a single departure per day.
If that doesn’t bother you though the passes are a good chunk cheaper, with Sydney > Cairns from $350AUD
Unfortunately though it doesn’t run all the way to Melbourne, so you’d need to either grab a Sydney to Melbourne pass ($100AUD) or and internal flight to include that into your itinerary.
Best For: Budget travellers
4. Stray Australia
Formerly known as Loka Travel, Stray Australia is the newest way to tackle the East Coast of Australia.
The mid ground between an unguided, hop on hop off bus pass and a fully guided tour this is ideal for solo travellers who easily want to meet some new travel buddies, but also don’t want to lock themselves into a fixed itinerary and closely resembles the Stray New Zealand and Kiwi Experience Passes over in NZ.
Your bus driver for each leg will fill your in on all the insider info about each destination and will also help sort accommodation and activities in each stop as well.
Along with this there are some epic stops that you wont get on the standard bus passes – including Barrington Tops or Spot X Surf Camps.
Stick with the minimum trip time or hop on and off as much as you like, the choice is yours!
Best For: Solo travellers, those wanting a little more structure
5. Campervan Hire
“Home is where you park it” – there’s nothing quite like exploring Australia by Campervan and it’s personally my favourite way to bounce around this beautiful country.
There are a huge range of Australia camper van hire companies and models to choose from – whether you want something budget friendly and compact or full on luxury with double beds and even your own shower!
The main Campervan hire companies I’d recommend would be the following;
- Jucy – great range of budget campervan hire from 2 person to 4 persons)
- Spaceships – awesome, compact campervan hire
- Hippie – the Hippie Drift is one of the most popular camper vans
- Apollo – ideal for those looking for a little more space and luxury
- Travellers Auto Barn – full range of camper vans for all styles and budgets
One thing I would keep in mind with camper vans are the extra costs. Fuel mounts up pretty quickly (especially on longer journeys and if there’s only a couple of you in the van!) and you’ll need to park up in a campsite in key destinations such as Byron Bay, Sydney or Airlie Beach – so factor those into your budget!
…or if you’re a bit more flush and staying in Australia to longer buying your own Campervan might also be worth looking into.
Best For: Couples and small groups, those wanting more flexibility
6. Car Hire
Although not as popular as Campervan hire, car hire in Australia is definitely slightly cheaper and a great option for those who want a bit more flexibility on the ground in terms of travel, but would prefer to stay at hostels or hotels along the way.
There is a huge range of pickup and drop off points across the country as well, so you could do you entire trip or just a short section instead.
Best For: Couples and small groups
So What’s The Best Way To Travel Australia?
Picking the best way to travel Australia for you can be pretty tough so I hope the above has helped make the decision a little bit easier! If you’re still a bit stuck here’s my run down of my top picks for different travel types though!
- Cheapest way for travelling around Australia = Premier Bus
- Most flexible way to travel around Australia = Greyhound WHIMit
- My favourite way to travel around Australia = Campervan
- Best way to travel Australia for solo travellers = Greyhound or Stray Australia
To be honest though, you’re going to have an absolute blast however you choose to travel around Australia – it’s an amazing place to explore!
If you need some more help piecing together your Australia itinerary head over to my buddies at RTW Backpackers who can hook you up with some exclusive deals and help your create your perfect trip! Click here for more info.
How are you planning on travelling around Australia?