Ride Bus Down Under

If you're planning to spend some time in Australia, look into purchasing bus passes.

Greyhound Australia continues to offer a trio of bus passes, although the rates have gone up.

The Greyhound Australia bus pass permits unlimited travel, which means you can backtrack to destinations as often as you want, for six time periods. You can buy a seven-day pass for $107, 10 days $136, 14 days $196, 21 days $224, 30 days $309 and 60 days $462.

Your pass starts on the date you begin to use it. Extensions are available for about $15 a day, but they must be set up before the expiration of your original ticket.

The Great Bus-Pass combines accommodations with bus travel. For example, a seven-day bus-travel pass includes accommodations for five nights and costs $202. You can get a 10-day bus pass with seven hotel nights for $267, 14 days and 10 nights for $354, 21 days and 17 nights for $540. The rooms are all at Flag Inns on a double occupancy basis. There is an extra charge if you're traveling alone.

With this program you book your first hotel night in advance, and then use vouchers to plan the rest of your travel as you go.

The Aussie Explorer Pass allows you 12 months to complete any of four basic routes around Australia. No backtracking is allowed. You have to travel in one direction until you return to your starting point. A Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide-Ayers Rock-Townsville-Sydney route (or vice versa) costs $253.

Each Greyhound pass offers discounts on car rentals and half- and full-day sightseeing tours. You can get discounts on accommodations with the Aussie Explorer and Greyhound Australia passes.

Prices for the passes are in effect until March 1, 1988. To get these rates, you have to buy the passes in the United States. Some of the passes can be bought in Australia, but the rates may be a bit higher.

Contact travel agents or Greyhound-International Sales at (800) 828-1985.

Deluxe Coachlines is offering a Koala Pass that permits unlimited bus travel within six time segments. A 10-day pass costs about $131, 14 days $178, 22 days $244, 32 days $329, 62 days $455, 90 days $653. A feature with these buses is the showing of films on most routes. Rates are good until Dec. 31.

The 10-day pass must be bought in the United States. The other passes can also be bought in Australia. Children up to 14 get a 20% discount off these rates, except for the 10-day pass.

Call travel agents or East-West Airlines, Deluxe's general sales agent in the United States, at (800) 354-7471.

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