Travelling by coach allows you to see new landscapes without the stress of driving in a foreign place. You get to meet new people, and experience a place in a different way.
Spending 20 hours on a bus is not that glamourous though, especially on a bus packed to the rafters with people, driving through the night.
Today was the fourth time I have travelled a vast distance on a coach, and it does not get better the more you do it. Stiff neck. Motion sickness. Fatigue. Sore extremities. The list is endless. Not to mention my phone and iPad battery running out, leaving my 5yo old cousin with absolutely nothing better to do than run a muck.
Even though the long distance thing is pretty horrid, I do thoroughly enjoy the bus. Premier Motor Service is the one I tend to travel on because it is cheaper than its competitor, Greyhound Australia. Premiers price difference is understandable once you realise the differences in the services.
Operating for more than 110 years, Greyhound (A.A. Withers) started as a service for just one town, Melbourne. Their network now covers most of the Australian mainland, with over 600 employees, and more than 5 million passengers every year travelling on the Greyhound.
Greyhound offer a massive variety of services; from express tickets and travel passes, to tours and travel packages. It doesn’t matter what you want to get out of your visit to Australia, Greyhound are more than willing to offer it to you. Greyhounds new Get You There Guarantee is probably my favourite thing about them. The idea is that if you do not get to your destination on time, your next trip will be for free! For those of you who have never travelled by coach before, I mean, they are NEVER on time and things are ALWAYS breaking down. So to have this guarantee is really good for your peace of mind.
Greyhound is much more suited to long distance as they have comfortable leather seats, offer free WiFi, and have USB charging points with every seat. That is why there is such a big price difference. I think a lot of people forget how absolutely massive Australia is, possibly forgetting that their trip will take 24 hours just to cross the state which is why keeping your devices charged and having access to the internet is such a big advantage. Greyhound have much more value for money when it comes to such long distance travel, and yet I still book with Premier every time.
Premier Motor Service dates back to August 1929 when Cecil Haigh commenced local services from Bomaderry station (Nowra). In December 1987, John King purchased Nowra Coaches, and what is now known as the Premier Transport Group formed, with services from Cairns to Melbourne. Premier boasts their 5 star luxury coaches, and pride themselves on comfort and style. You can get similar passes up the East Coast of Australia with Premier as you get with Greyhound, and the overall comfort of Premier is not that different either. The biggest difference being that of the WiFi and charging points. What most Premier drivers do like to do is follow behind the Greyhound in order to use their WiFi…I personally do this when I am driving on the highway as well 😉 Watch the video below to get a glimpse of what Premier is like.
I think the reason I have always booked with Premier is because I have always had really good experiences with them in comparison to Greyhound. My one experience on the Greyhound was pretty horrible… I had just got back from Italy, I was jet-lagged, and I had a 10 hour bus ride before I got home. Greyhound were running late, they then left a passenger in Tamworth, and to top it off the toilet was clogged and leaked all down the walkway. We ended up needing to wait for a new coach on the side of the road for a few hours. Whatever the reason, I am happy booking with Premier, especially for short distance trips. I would love to try Greyhound again and give them another chance! Maybe soon…
In the meantime, if you are travelling through Australia, I would recommend a Hop On-Hop Off Pass. Do your trip in short stints and make the most of your time here. There are lots of little places (other than Airlie Beach, Rainbow Beach, and Cairns) that the coaches stop at which may surprise you.