Australia on Own vs Gap Adventures or other

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Australia on Own vs Gap Adventures or other

Postby worldtraveller » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:26 pm

Would like some suggestions from other people who have travel in Australia before.

I am thinking of doing a good Australia adventure. More so on the East Coast from Sydney to Cairns and then try for Outback as well

From looking at Tours with Gap Adventures, Intrepid, Contiki, it seems a bit expensive.

Would I be able to travel in Australia for much lower prices If i did an adventure on my own?

I like visiting all big cities, as well some beachs and I like to be adventurous. I like doing hiking and trekking and also like meeting locals.

With going on my own it is harder to meet other people and make friends, or just need suggestions.
vs going with a travel company i make friends but at same time, spend more $ at times as it seems.

For everyone out there who has been to Australia and travel both ways, what can you all suggest . I am a male from Canada 31. and like adventure.

Suggestions from everyone please.

Thank you everyone.
JR
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Re: Australia on Own vs Gap Adventures or other

Postby desiree2 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:05 pm

Hi
I live in Australia and overall it is far more expensive to travel Australia than say Asia which is probably why the tours are more expensive.
There is a lot of backpacker accommodation as well as a number of Youth Hostels (YHA). There are vast distances to travel like there are in Canada. We do have bus companies such as Greyhound which offer packages. It's probably the best way to go Outback. The bus companies would all do the route from Melbourne to the tip of Australia with stopoffs between. Hiring a car is relatively expensive. Food is probably the same price as in Canada (although I haven't travelled there so I could be wrong).
Check out the prices and locations for YHA and backpacker accommodation as well as the prices of transport and it might give you some comparisons with doing an organised trip.
Don't worry about meeting people - backpackers are notoriously friendly and you may meet up with people and join them as they travel. And if you get sick of their company you dont' have to stay with them. :D

Have a great trip
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Re: Australia on Own vs Gap Adventures or other

Postby londoner31 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:39 am

Hi,

I would really recommend an outback trip to Uluru / Ayers Rock.
You can find many offers on the internet, and these http://www.isango.com/australia-tours/ayers-rockuluru-tours_r6185#search are the best I have found for Uluru Tours in Australia's Northern Territory.

How are your plans going, did you get any other information to plan your trip ?

Cheers
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Re: Australia on Own vs Gap Adventures or other

Postby Zuleika » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:46 pm

I'd go by yourself.
There are tons of backpackers all over the place and its very easy to meet people in the backpacker hostels.
A lot of people start in Sydney, heading north, and people travelling for a year or more often buy a car or a camper van in Sydney and are looking for company on the road. I did exactly this and hitched a ride all up the east coast with a lad who had bought a camper van. I had to contribute to petrol of course but that was it. We didnt bother with camp sites but merely parked up on the beaches for the night - there are free showers, toilets and barbie areas everywhere. It was very cheap. And we had the freedom to go where we wanted and when we wanted.
Failing that, Greyhound is good value for money to get from A to B, and then you still get to meet people in the hostels. You are not restricted to time limits.
Finally - be wary of some of the tour companies - they are no more than drink fueled shaggin' wagons!! - Fine if you want that - annoying if you dont!!!
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Re: Australia on Own vs Gap Adventures or other

Postby nikimarcotte » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:53 pm

i travelled around australia started in sydney, went through melbourn, adelaide, alice springs, darwin then cairns back down to sydney with a tourist bus company called oz experience...there are a few other ones too, they mainly provide your transportation but they don't go directly between major cities they zig-zag to some out-of-the-way spots...you can get off the bus and stay pretty much anywhere along the way and when you want to leave you just call and book on the next bus coming through. it was a younger crowd, but found that was normal for australia anyways. i found so many places to stay that i didn't even know existed. half the places i thought i would like to spend more time at, i hated, so just jumped back on the bus and carried on to the next place. if you are restricted for time, you can also book whole legs of the journey straight through so you guarantee you get where you need to go.

i did greyhound a couple of times, hated it. no fun on the bus, you can't just ask the driver to pull over if you see something interesting and goes directly between major places, no side trips.

if you just book the transportation bit, then you have the freedom to shop around for different prices of accomodations and activites, or if you don't want to do the research, the driver will usually recommend a place each night, mention available activities and ask if anybody wants him to book a bed. the people on the bus change each time you get on, might run into some of the same people too, which can be nice.

whatever you choose to do, australia is an awesome adventure!
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Re: Australia on Own vs Gap Adventures or other

Postby japachap » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:55 am

YHA and BBA (or was that New Zealand?) are a good place to begin. You are the age I was when I spent a year in OZ. Depending on your timescale/budget and technical competance you may want to consider renting/buying a car/camper. Remember that distances on Oz are often in hours/days rather than miles/kilometers! I drove 21,000 miles around the country in an old Ford Falcon I spent two weeks repairing on a wet, muddy campsite... Great times!
There are plenty of cheap/free campings in Australia, though sharing a dorm in a backpackers once in a while is nice too!
Going it alone in Oz is relatively easy and you may meet a more varied crowd than 'just' (no offence meant here) teenies on tour...
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Re: Australia on Own vs Gap Adventures or other

Postby eltanner » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:42 am

You could definitly do Oz cheaper on your own, and it's really easy to travel around in, as well as make friends... but what kind of time frame are you looking at? If you've got loads of time then go for it on your own, but if you're looking to do the full east coast AND the outback in a three week holiday then a tour might be the way to go (or at least for part of it). Australia is set up really well with trains, buses and roads, but it is a HUGE country, and takes time to see. Most people seem to suggest minimum three weeks going up to Cairns, but I probably spent over four weeks making my way from Sydney to Cairns and I flew to Cairns from Brissy!!! Travelling on your own you get the freedom to stay longer when you want, to change plans whenever you want, and basically just discover a little more. But if you are on a restricted time frame than you might not get to see as much.

When I went from Adelaide to Melbourne I ended up going with a tour company because I wanted to see the Great Ocean Road, and I also wanted to make it to Melbourne in time for the Melbourne Cup. The tour itself was FANTASTIC, and I met loads of great people and saw loads in the three days it took. A couple weeks ago I decided to go back to the Grampians (a 'mountain' area) to do some hiking. I went there for a weekend on the bus, and in my three days did some hiking, wandered around the town and had an incredible time... however there's no WAY I could have covered all we did with the tour... and we were only in the Grampians for one day! Because I didn't have my own transport, and there were no local buses, I couldn't make it to some of the viewpoints I'd been to on the tour, and in fact if it wasn't for the tour I never would have known this place exsisted! But on the other side, when I went by myself I got to do the whole 10km hike to the pinnacle, as opposed to the 6km abridged hike we did on the tour.

There's pluses and minues to each side, it just depends on what you want to get out of it!
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Re: Australia on Own vs Gap Adventures or other

Postby onyx007 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:49 am

I was there in 2003, the first three month in a school in Perth and then I did really "around Australia in 80 days". As I liked to see all of Australia I took guided tours with the company "Adventure Tours".

I've travelled from Perth up the West Coast to Broome and through the Kimberley via the Gibb River Road and the Bungle Bungles to Darwin. This part of the journey was the best thing, because it's just a great landscape and not to touristy like the East Coast.
In Darwin I visited the Kakadu N.P., Kathrine Gorge and Litchfield N.P.
From there I took I flight to Alice Springs and there I've been to Kings Canyon, the Western McDonell Ranges and of course Uluru than it was with another tour down to Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Grampians, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Canberra to Sidney.
From Sidney to Cairns it took me another two weeks with Byron Bay, Surfers Paradise, Fraser Island.

Last year my little sister did the same but in opposite direction, and she had even time to visit Tasmania.

If you have time and if you easy make friends than go on your own. But if you like to see as much in a short time than I recommend a tour.
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Re: Australia on Own vs Gap Adventures or other

Postby georginal » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:03 pm

I did Oz several years back and did a mixture of tours and by myself. The tours are a great way of meeting people, although you'll always do that in the hostels anyway. When I was on the East coast I did that myself by Greyhound. Could have easily have spent more time than the 3 weeks I had left in OZ doing it. Another option would be just just to get there, wait until you get checked into a hostel before you sort out any travel plans. There will be loads of backpackers looking to get up and down the coast, some wanting to share campervans, some just wanting lifts from A to B. If doing it again, I'd book the flight, get to a hostel and just check hostel notice boards and get chatting to see what other people are doing. If you have to wait more than a few days then maybe thats the time to book the bus ticket.
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Re: Australia on Own vs Gap Adventures or other

Postby estella » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:20 pm

Zuleika wrote:I'd go by yourself.
There are tons of backpackers all over the place and its very easy to meet people in the backpacker hostels.
A lot of people start in Sydney, heading north, and people travelling for a year or more often buy a car or a camper van in Sydney and are looking for company on the road. I did exactly this and hitched a ride all up the east coast with a lad who had bought a camper van. I had to contribute to petrol of course but that was it. We didnt bother with camp sites but merely parked up on the beaches for the night - there are free showers, toilets and barbie areas everywhere. It was very cheap. And we had the freedom to go where we wanted and when we wanted.
Failing that, Greyhound is good value for money to get from A to B, and then you still get to meet people in the hostels. You are not restricted to time limits.
Finally - be wary of some of the tour companies - they are no more than drink fueled shaggin' wagons!! - Fine if you want that - annoying if you dont!!!

Thanks for the excellent advice! It seems that there are a lot of options for touring Australia affordably. This is something that is certainly on my bucket list, and hope o do sooner rather than later. There is one thing that I would like to add that no one has mentioned here. It seems to me that if you are going to embark on an adventure such as this one, it might be a really good idea to purchase short term medical insurance before you go. I know that this is something that I plan on doing before my trip. Who knows what can happen to you while your out there. There are all sorts of dangerous critters, and any number of potential ways to injure yourself. Buying insurance may add to the cost of the trip, but if you ask me, it can easily save you from being in debt for a very long time due to unexpected medical expenses.
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