Bus travel in Australia is comfortable and well organized. Long-distance buses, also called "coaches," have air-conditioning, onboard toilets, reclining seats, and even attendants and videos on longer routes. By law, all are required to provide seat belts, and you are required to use them. Smoking is prohibited on all buses.
Australia's national bus network is run by Greyhound Australia (no connection to Greyhound in the United States), which serves far more destinations than any plane or train services. However, Australia is a vast continent, and bus travel here requires plenty of time. The journey from Sydney to Melbourne takes 15 hours, Adelaide to Perth takes 39 hours, and Brisbane to Cairns takes 30 hours. If you plan to visit specific regions, it could be worthwhile considering flying to a major hub, then using buses to explore the region when you get there.
Oz Experience is a private bus company aimed at budget travelers. They work in a similar way to Greyhound, and their routes take in both major cities and adventure destinations. They have a great selection of routes—you buy a pass, and then have unlimited stopovers along that route. You book onto each section by telephone as you travel. Oz Experience also has a hostel booking service, and will take you to the door of your hostel for no extra cost. For example, their Bruce Cobber Pass takes you along the coast between Sydney and Cairns and costs A$519.
You can book passes and individual tickets on Greyhound and Oz Experience buses online through their websites, over the telephone, or in person at their desks in bus terminals.
Greyhound Australia (1300/473–946. www.greyhound.com.au.)
Oz Experience (1300/555–287. www.ozexperience.com.)