Have you got a question?
Are we a tour company?
No we are a rental company. We rent a fully equipped minibus and trailer to drivers and passengers wishing to travel in Australia.
The start and finish dates and places are set, but the route in between is not. So choose the route you like the most and then start your own adventure with your new friends on the bus.
How does it work?
Share Bus is a shared rental of a minibus and trailer with camping equipment. Basically you’ll have everything you need, a group of people to travel with and it’s pretty affordable.
It’s completely self-guided by the backpackers on the trip. So you share camping, cooking, driving, set-up, etc. It’s actually a really beautiful experience.
We give you a guidebook to help you decide what to do (including day by day location, recommended free camps and pay camps and activities), the trailer is organised in an awesome way to find everything, and you have advice. Pretty much everything is included (i.e. fuel, national park entry, tolls, all equipment, insurance and roadside assistance, consumables like cleaning stuff and sunscreen, camping equipment like tents, mattresses, pillows, lanterns, tables, benches, games, snorkels, inverter for electricity, gas cooker, grill, etc. There is lots of stuff)
How does the rental deposit work?
You will each sign an individual rental contract with us and either choose to be a non-driver or a driver.
A $250 deposit/bond will be paid by each person via debit or credit card, to be returned after the rental. You can expect your deposit to be returned about 1-2 weeks after the end of the rental. This allows us time to check the vehicle, trailer and every piece of equipment, as well as allow processing time for the banks.
If there is an accident, fine, damage to the vehicle, trailer or equipment or the setup is returned unclean, you may lose part of your deposit to pay for the repair/replacement costs. However, you will not lose any of your deposit for regular wear and tear. If there is an accident, we are covered by insurance, however a $5,000 excess applies if the driver is at fault.
As a group you will decide whether the driver will pay for the excess, or you will split it between yourselves, or a combination of the two. If you do not come to an agreement you could all lose part of your $250 deposit. Its possible to buy excess reduction insurance from a third party company to reduce the excess to $300 or $0. It’s a good idea to help each other with parking.
What is the cancellation policy?
We confirm your booking with full payment. We will not offer any credit or refund for changes of mind, general illness or injury, because you want or need to return home etc. We recommend getting travel insurance if this might be problematic.
Transfers and Date Changes
You can transfer the booking to another person up to 2 business days before your booked date, without any penalty or fees. If you provide us the contact details of the person taking your spot we will help them book on (you may onsell your place). It is free to change your booking to another date or route that departs in the next 6 months following your trip date if you notify us two or more weeks in advance, depending on availability. If you notify us less than 14 full days in advance you will not be able to change your date.
We will provide you one of the following choices:
If a border rule only allows (or changes to only allows) vaccinated travellers to enter, and you are unvaccinated and therefore cannot enter, we will provide you no credit or refund (not vaccinating is your choice, but also your risk to take – not ours). You will still be able to change dates or sell your place to someone else as per our changes/transfers policy
What do I need to pay extra for?
Your main extra cost will be food and low cost pay camps. Regarding food, we have all the equipment for cooking and everyone normally cooks together as group. Therefore it is not a big cost and works out as around $5 to $7 per day.
People normally free camp about half to two thirds of the time. Even if you want to free camp all the time you should bring some extra money for pay camps, as some areas don’t have free camps available. Expect anywhere from $40-$120 per trip, depending on the trip and the decisions of the group.
Other than that you only need to bring money for optional extra activities (i.e. whale shark tours, pub meals, bottle of wine, kayak hire, etc). Parks entry and fuel are included with your fee; so you don’t need to worry about those! Plus you’ll also find plenty of beaches, hikes, forests, lookouts, waterfalls, etc which are free to visit.
What do I need to bring?
The main thing to remember is your own sleeping bag. We don’t provide these for hygiene reasons.
However, we also recommend bringing your own water bottle (we have tanks on the bus, but this is important for going on hikes, and making sure water is always accessible to you). Plus your own swimwear, good shoes, headlight (we have a few lanterns but a personal light source is useful), and warm clothes. Even if you’re camping in warm weather, make sure to bring a jumper and other warm clothes as it could still get cold at night. This list of recommended items is included in the guidebook.
What will I eat?
We have a gas stove, grill, large esky, all the pots and pans and a butane stove, so you are free to cook what you like! On most trips you’ll be able to stop in a town every few days to do some grocery shopping. You can cook rice, pasta, salads, BBQs, curries, risotto or whatever you feel like that is possible on a stove-top.
We recommend trying wrapping food in alfoil and then putting it in the fire to cook! (if its not fire ban season). For example you can wrap potatoes, zucchini and meat and cook it in an alfoil packet.
What will the accommodation be like?
You will probably camp every night except for the last one! Although sometimes groups stay in a hostel or Airbnb for one night if they are in a city, or the weather isn’t good. Generally the groups free camp about 50%-65% of the time, and otherwise stay at low cost pay camps.
This means there is often limited access to facilities like showers. However, you can use an app to find shower blocks available to travellers in most locations in places like tourist information centres, or at the beach. If you are staying in a pay site you’ll have easy access to all facilities like water, showers, power, etc. Our equipment is pretty good, so you will be quite comfortable for sleeping and eating anywhere if you choose to free camp.
What is the equipment included?
Go to the Resources/Documents page to see the most current equipment list, with everything provided on board. We include everything you need for camping, cooking and fun! Please remember to bring your own sleeping bag, head torch and water bottle! You may also need warm clothes at night, some good sneakers and any medication. We supply a basic first aid kit on the minibus, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own.
What kind of vehicles will we drive?
Our minibuses are 2012-2014 model Toyota Hiace Commuter buses. There are 12 seats on each minibus. Our trailers are custom made by us with help from some other businesses, so they are perfect for camping!
Who will I travel with?
Our trips mostly attract long term backpackers and travellers in Australia! This means most people will be on working holiday visas, although sometimes people who are doing shorter trips will join, as well as the occasional Australian exploring their own country.
We generally have people aged from about 19-33 on our trips, with people from across that entire range. The average age normally works out as around 25. However, that could vary slightly up and down depending on the particular group. You will be travelling with people from all over the world.
When should I book?
If you book 4+ weeks in advance you can get an early bird discount. Otherwise you can book up to 2 days in advance, as long as the trip isn’t full. That being said, some trips are more popular than others and they can fill up a week or two before the trip.
Is there a guide or similar?
No, it’s just backpackers on board. We give you a guidebook with recommend places, camps and activities and are here to support you via messenger or phone call if you have any questions though.
What happens if there is a breakdown or accident?
If there is a minor breakdown (like a flat tyre or battery), you can call RAC and they will come to fix it within one hour.
If there is more major breakdown (which is not your fault) we will organize a fix as soon as possible. We will organise transport to the nearest town, and ask you wait for the vehicle to be fixed by a mechanic. In the meantime we will provide you a replacement vehicle and organise caravan park accommodation with facilities. We will also refund you $24/day per person for each day you do not have our vehicle and/or trailer. We can also extend your trip by up to 2 days if it is possible with our schedule and your schedule.
If there is an accident you could lose your security bond and may be charged the full excess. For your trip, you will either have the option of continuation or cancellation. Cancellation would mean the remaining days of your trip will not be refunded. For continuation, if the vehicle is repairable you can wait until it is fixed, and then continue your trip. We may extend your trip by up to 2 days at no cost, depending on availability. If the vehicle is not repairable, we will provide a replacement vehicle if possible. However, you would need to pay the cost of relocating the vehicle to you including any fuel, flights, time etc. (If you can pick up the replacement vehicle yourself you could avoid these costs).
How much luggage can I bring?
We have space for your bags in the trailer but we are not a luxury coach! Please limit your luggage to 1 big bag and a small one (i.e. your regular bag and a day backpack). The small one will be kept in the vehicle. Please try to limit your luggage to 20kg. If you have more than that please contact us to find out if its ok as if the bus isn’t full it might fit.