Tips for surviving a long bus ride

Tips for surviving a long bus ride

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 03/06/2020

Reading time: 3 mins

When travelling through the Red Centre many tours and trips will begin in Alice Springs before heading towards Uluru. However, the drive between the two locations is long, so we’ve created some tips for surviving the long bus ride.

The distance between towns in the Red Centre is often underestimated by visitors and they can be shocked by the long drives needed. Though we ensure to stop plenty of times during our tour’s longest legs of travel, there’s a few things to keep you sane during the long ride.

  • Look out the window

    Okay, we know this sounds like your parents when you were six, but the Red Centre is stunning, and you should at least spend some time admiring it all rushing past you. You won’t be able to believe how the red landscape seems to stretch out forever in every direction.

  • Pack snacks

    Though meals are provided on our longer tours it is BYO snacks. Bringing some snacks to eat on the bus will stop you from getting hangry and irritable waiting for your next meal. This is especially a good idea for the first day of tours departing from Alice and heading to Uluru.

  • Have a nap

    Multi-day tours are exhausting and usually involve somewhat late nights and early rises. Use your bus time to take a bit of a nap and re-energise between stops. This is super useful for if you go on a sunrise tour to see Uluru. Get that bit of extra sleep in the bus to prepare for your big and exciting day ahead!

  • Get to know people

    Look around you. The people on this bus are the people you’re going to spend every second of the next few days with. So instead of just keeping to yourselves, get to know someone, make some new friends and get the most out of the trip.

    Ask people about where they are from, is it their first time in the Northern Territory, you’ll be surprised by some of the answers they have!

  • Take some quiet time

    Sometimes, if everyone is feeling tired after a long day, the bus will be quiet and calm. Enjoy your surroundings for a bit and then give yourself to re-energise. Pop in your headphones and watch a video or listen to some music. There’s no reception in the outback so be sure to download your Netflix episodes and music before you leave. It’s also worth making sure you have a battery bank with you, especially if you are going to use your phone for pictures too.

  • Be prepared

    Yeah sure, this whole article has been about being prepared but this one might come a bit left of field. The outback is hot. Really, really hot. And that means the aircon on the bus will run really, really cold. So, if you’re likely to get cold under an aircon for a couple of hours, pack a small sarong or wide scarf into your backpack to put over yourself when in the bus. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

Bus rides can be the best and the worst part of a trip. Hopefully, with these little tips, you’ll be more ready than ever to make your journey!

Related article: How much does it cost to go to Uluru?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.