How to travel the East Coast of Australia? (Pros and Cons of agencies)


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How to get around in Australia?
There are several ways to get around in Australia. Of course buying a car or campervan is a popular option. However, if you only have a certain amount of time for travelling around, buying and selling car at the end is a risk for your budget.

Hiring our buying a car:
Pros
-you can stop where ever you want and probably see the most beautiful places
Cons
-petrol is expensive
-the distances are big
-hiring a campervan is expensive
-selling a car at the end of your trip can be a pain in the arse if you don’t have that much time

By bus:
So many people travel by Hop-On Hop-Off Busses. Mainly there two big bus companies you can choose from:
Greyhound (425 AUD; 281 €; £207; 8):
http://www.greyhound.com.au/

Premier Bus (295 AUD; 195 €; £143; 4):
https://www.premierms.com.au/newhome/home.asp

Greyhound Bus versus Premier Bus:
The main difference between those two companies is the price. Greyhound is more expensive and you can even notice by checking the look of their websites. We travelled with both companies already and the busses of both companies are good and reliable (but problems can always happen). Anyways, Greyhound bus provides WIFI on the coach (which does’t work most of the times – this is what fellow backpackers told us) and the busses depart twice a day (there is only one departure time per day for Premier bus customers). In fall 2014 we travelled from Cairns to Sydney with the Premier bus. No incidents happened and the bus always left on time. So we would always go for the Premier bus.

Booking a package with an agency like backpackers world travel or Peter Pans:
http://www.backpackersworld.com/
http://peterpans.com.au/

Cons
-you are not flexible at all – everything is pre-booked
-you meet the same people all over again as many travellers have the same schedule (can be fun, but you also meet all the jerks all over again at different spots)

Pros
-you won’t miss out on hostels and tours (everything is pre-booked – yeah, can be good too)
-agencies can give you a discount on tours and hostels
-easy traveling

Our advice:
-go to different agencies and asked them to beat the price
-we paid 2.300 AUD/person (1.524 €; £1.120; .670) for the whole tour:
Hop on hop off bus ticket (Premier), accommodation and all tours like Cape Tribulation, Great Barrier Reef + Green Island, Magnetic Island, 3 day sailing trip – Whitsunday Islands, 3 day tour on Fraser Island, one day surf class, Grasshoppers Nimbin Tour.

Highlights of the East Coast of Australia:
-Cairns (3 days)
-Mission Beach (3 days)
-Magnetic Island (2 days)
-Airlie Beach (3 days – necessary stop/gateway to Whitsunday Islands)
-Whitsundays (3 days)
-1770 (2,5 days): Castaway and Scooteroo – 3hr Chopper Motorbike Tour of 1770/Agnes Water
-Rainbow Beach (2 days – introduction for Fraser Island)
-Fraser Island (3 days)
-Noosa (3 days)
-Brisbane (2 days)
-Surfers Paradise (4 days)
-Byron Bay (3 days): Nimbin tour and surf camp
-Sydney

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