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Buses and Trams

Australia - Buses and Trams

Public transport in general is very good throughout the whole country. The bus networks in all of the major cities are adequate; they can cover all of the main areas of the city and the outlying towns. If you want to go farther afield it may be wise to book a coach. You can take coaches right across the country if you wish, or if you just want to travel between two cities this is also possible.

Each state has its own bus companies and there is a national service run by Greyhound, who can give you a complete tour of Australia for a relatively reasonable rate. Some long distance bus and coach services offer discount tickets and it is possible to buy a ticket for a particular route and as long as you use it within the allotted time frame you can get on and off the buses wherever you choose for some sightseeing.

The Greyhound coach service is perhaps the biggest coach network in Australia. The only state not covered is Tasmania. There are several types of passes you can buy for trips on Greyhound coaches. These include the Aussie Explorer pass and the Aussie Kilometre pass. The Aussie Kilometre pass is perhaps more flexible than the Explorer as you do not travel on a predetermined route. You buy a pass in blocks of kilometres and they are valid for 12 months and with them you can visit any destination within the Greyhound network in Australia.

The Aussie Explorer Pass enables you to travel on many pre-set routes, but you can also get on and off at stops along route. You can buy passes that are valid from between 45 days and 365 days and some even have free tours to such sightseeing spots as Uluru National Park (formerly known as Ayers Rock). There are some rules and restrictions associated with these tickets, and they include not backtracking on the route. Once the ticket has been used, even if it is only for the first part of the journey then you will no longer be eligible for a refund.

Greyhound passes are also valid for journeys in the Indian pacific train between Perth and Adelaide. There is no longer a Greyhound Coach Service between these two cities. You can however enjoy a wide choice of passes which include the All Australian Pass. This pass covers the whole country (excluding Tasmania) at a distance of around 23,047km. This is the most expensive pass as it covers the largest area including the journey on the Indian Pacific train, and a trip to Kakadu National Park. The ticket is valid for 365 days and the journey must begin within 6 months of purchase.

The Aussie Highlights pass is more centred on the Eastern coast of Australia and the outback. You can stop at Cairns in the north, Melbourne, Sydney and Alice Springs. This is another pass that is valid for 365 days and the total route covers 13,191km.

If you would prefer to visit the West Coast then the Best of the West pass is ideal. Again this takes in the outback, Alice Springs and Kakadu National Park. Your train pass is also included between Perth and Adelaide.

As well as buying tickets for touring the country, you can also buy tickets just to go a short distance. The Greyhound Day passes are valid or a set number of days, from 3 days to 30 days. They do however have a distance limit. For example, those traveling on a 3 day pass have a distance limit of 1000km. those tickets that are valid for more days have a longer km limit, but do cost more to purchase. You can also buy tickets that allow a certain amount of travel days within a set time, for example you can choose to buy a ticket that allows you to travel for 15 days within a 60 day period. This is ideal for those who want to sightsee several places along the route and spend time in each one. You can easily book your Greyhound tickets online and their website will give full information of the routes and costs.

Although Greyhound is the main national bus and coach service each state also has their own bus services that operate various routes throughout the cities and towns. The state of Victoria has the most services and therefore the most competition. This helps to keep the cost of bus travel low which in turn encourages more people to use it.

Each bus company has its own website which offers contact details, information regarding bus time tables and routes. Some may have fares information, but most of them will have an information page to keep its service users up to date with details such as disruptions to service including bank holiday hours of operation and road works which may alter the bus routes slightly.

To find out which bus companies operate in your state you can visit www.buslines.com.au. There is a full list of company names with links to each website. This will then provide you with all the information you need to plan your bus journey and buy tickets online if possible.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

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