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, to be returned after the rental. 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.
Is there a cancellation policy?
We confirm your booking with full payment. If you change your mind we won’t refund you.
However, you can find someone else to take your place on the bus without any penalty from us.
It is also free to change your booking to another date or route if you can notify us two or more weeks in advance.From November 2020 we are offering a full refund if an unexpected border closure due to covid stops you from being able to go on your booked trip.
What do I need to pay extra for?
Your main extra cost will be food. We have all the equipment for cooking and everyone normally cooks together as group so it is pretty cheap. It works out at about $5 to $7 per day (~$150 for a 3 week trip). You’ll also be able to free camp most of the time, but you won’t always be able to. Therefore, bringing an extra $40 to $50 for a few low cost pay camps is a good idea. Other than that you only need to bring money for optional extra activities (i.e. whale shark tours, 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, I can 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 pretty 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. You can also try cooking other things in the fire in alfoil as well. Garlic bread done like this is delicious. We include some other suggested meals in our guidebook.
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 50-70% of the time, only occasionally staying at 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 places. 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 between 24 to 25; although the exact average depends on the 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 often some trips get full 7 to 10 days 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 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.