Friday, 22 April 2016

# 11 - Bus Tour

OK, I'll keep this one relatively short.  I know we're at number 11, but this one is another doubler.  We did a number of bus tours in Sydney, all of which I've reviewed already in other posts.  Rather than go through one of them again in detail, I'll briefly go through the three different kinds of bus tours we went on during our time in Sydney.

City Tours

First up, is a City bus tour.  None of the hop on hop off bus tours were actually in the top 100 when we completed it.  I talked about them a little in #43 Sightseeing Tours.  The short version is that they are a great way to tick off the main tourist sites, with no need to do any real planning in advance.  On the downside, they are quite expensive for what you get, and with a little bit of planning, you can generally get to all the same places on public transport for a lot cheaper.  They certainly have their place, but they're not ideal for everyone.

Bondi Beach - worth a bus journey to see
Wine Tasting Tour

Next up, is a wine tasting tour.  This was in the top 100 in its own right.  In fact it was in the top 100 on multiple occasions.  It was mentioned under #16 Beer Tasting Tour (the wine tasting tour included a stop at a brewery), #21 Wine Tasting Tour, and of course, the incredibly generic #43 Sightseeing Tours.  Of course, you don't need to do wine tasting tours by bus, but it is one of the easier and more common ways to do this.  A wine tasting tour on a bus is a long day, but a great way to get an overview of a spectacular region.  Since you're not doing the driving, you can also indulge a bit more, and make sure you sample plenty of the local vino.

I'll take the bucket thanks
Blue Mountains Tour

Lastly, we also did a bus tour of the Blue Mountains.  We went to the Blue Mountains on a number of occasions, including an independent trip via a rented car, a private four wheel drive eco tour, and a bus tour with Dingo Travel.  The bus tour is a good option, depending on your requirements.  A day trip to the Blue Mountains is a long day, and while self drive gives you maximum flexibility, it can be quite tiring.  Meanwhile, a private tour gives you the best of both worlds.  You have the flexibility of a self drive, but with the advantage of someone to drive you around, and of course, to show you some of the secret spots you wouldn't find on your own.  However, it is quite an expensive way to see the area.

No, there are THREE sisters
The bus tour is somewhere in between, and is a cheaper option to see the sights without having to drive yourself, or spend too much time planning.  It's worth noting that we did a small bus tour, but there are plenty of big coach tours, at least judging by the car park at Scenic World.  We didn't do one of these, so this may be unfair, but the larger bus tours seem to involve lots of long queues and jostling for position to get a photo along with big groups of other tourists.  I wouldn't recommend them, but it may be the right option for some people

The most photographed three sisters outside of the Kardashians
Bus tours are a great way to see a wide range of locations without having to do any driving or planning yourself.  There are obviously a very broad range of options, and they vary from the excellent, to the down right unpleasant.  Given the vague nature of the category, I don't really think it deserves a category of its own, but as I've said on other posts, we weren't in charge of the categorisation.  Take it up with TA...

Do you enjoy a bus tour?  Want to stick up for TripAdvisor and their choice of categorisation?  Please leave any questions or comments below.

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