Greyhound’s new timetable rocks the bus but no one is getting off

September 29th, 2015 | | Accommodation

Rocky YHA OwnerA simple change in bus arrival times is having adverse affects on tourism in the Queensland town of Rockhampton.  The Brisbane to Cairns Greyhound bus now arrives into Rockhampton at 12.40am, 2.50am and 1.45pm. Some hostel owners are concerned that the two unsociable hours arrivals will put off travellers from stopping in Rocky.

The owner of the Rockhampton YHA, Auzen Mercader said, “Previously travellers would arrive at 6.30pm, spend a few nights here, check out the town and then be back on their travels … but no one wants to get off a bus at 3am and try to find accommodation.” Speaking to The Byte, Steph Hodges, who co-owns the hostel with Auzen, said the changes have completely disrupted their business. “It’s affected us massively,” she said. “The fact is, the backpackers are not getting off, they’re staying on the bus. With the old timetable they’d stay one or two nights, check out a rodeo, which is what you do in Rocky. Now, there are no options for them if they are to get off the bus in the middle of the night.”

Although Greyhound have said the timetable adjustments are only minor, Ms Hodges doesn’t agree and said the changes came without any warning. “Greyhound didn’t tell us anything, we actually heard the news from the drivers a few days before. “The drivers are pissed off too,” she added.

At this time of year, the majority of backpackers are heading south through Rockhampton, and although there is still the afternoon drop off, Ms Hodges said Greyhound haven’t done their business – or any others in the area, including Agnes Water – any favours.

“So far, no one has arrived in Rockhampton on the 1.45pm stop. Maybe in the New Year it will help. We’ll see.”


Does Greyhound care about your business or only its own? Have your say.

Written by Alex Harmon

Source: The Morning Bulletin


12 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    I’m sure telling everyone that the greyhound drivers are going around telling people they are “pissed off” with managment will help matters!

    Backpackers still have the option to arrive at 1:45pm if they choose but frankly who would really want to stop in Rockhampton, hardly a ‘must see’ on the backpacker trail

  2. Rex says:

    The same problem in Hervey Bay. The first bus to get there from Brisbane is at 4pm in the afternoon. And southbound if your not on a bus by 11am there are no more, that’s it! Greyhound made no prior announcements either so a lot of people got caught out.

    By the way Tim, that’s poor form bagging Rocky like that. Get a brain. Why should backpackers stick to the perceived “must sees” anyway. There are a lot of backpackers that don’t want to be herded around like sheep and want to see some real Aussies in action instead of hanging around with internationals. Rocky has a lot to offer in that regard. Yeha!

  3. Tim says:

    Hi Rex,

    Yes sorry, just looked at tripadvisors top twenty things to do in Rockhampton.

    Top three are:

    1. Capricorn cave
    2. Archer park Railway Musuem
    3. Visit local coffeehouses

    What super, high octane, extreme things for backpackers to do, imagine the jealously of their friends back home when they post a selfie in front of the ‘Purrey Steam Tram’ (just googled it, Archer parks best exhibit apparently).

    When a visit to a coffee shop makes number three, I would personally look elsewhere!

    • Rex says:

      Thanks Tim, exactly my point. Not everyone wants to see the must see’s you see…if you see what i mean.

      Most would seek out the Great Western Hotel though. A live rodeo in a pub, what a hoot! I’d like to see that!

      • Alex Harmon says:

        One of the best travel experiences I have ever had was in Rocky – I was given the chance to ride a bull during a rodeo training session. 3 seconds of sheer terror and a lifetime of being able to tell the story!

      • Tim says:

        Hi Rex,

        Tim again (the person you told to “get a brain”)

        Just been looking into your recommendation that MOST would seek out the Great Western Hotel for a live rodeo in a pub, it appears the Rodeo is only on once or twice a month and only on weekends, are you suggesting that MOST backpackers only visit Rockhampton once or twice a month? And only on a Friday or Saturday?

        Get a brain Rex, I think MOST backpackers will be travelling through Rockhampton when the rodeo is not on, can you come back with some better accessible suggestions for MOST to do please.

        Kindest regards, Tim

    • Kat says:

      I’m with Rex on this one. Rockhampton is seen as a gateway into inland Queensland where there is lots on offer! Bus Queensland begins its route in Rockhampton and heads south from there. Many farms rely on staff making their own way to the closest town and Rocky is by far the best way in (or Toowoomba if coming from Brissy). Also the Rodeo is a great night out, and I have met many travellers who have stopped off to appreciate the real Aussie outback, beginning in Rocky! The bus timetable was already a problem, and is now a lot worse! (I have spent many nights in the Rocky servo where the Greyhound stops waiting for the next bus inland to arrive!)

  4. Waz says:

    Totally agree Rex, Great Western is awesome night out- been there done that and even some nights ‘us punters’ can have a go…indoor rodeo in a pub, now there’s a story to tell of your travels. But wait lots of agents simply don’t tell the good stuff to try in Aus as they only sell what there told. But lets not go there. On the Greyhound note, yep stuffed Hervey Bay as well with adding another bus stop, happens to be outside 1 hostel? Go figure? Now just confusion for backpackers!

    • Dave says:

      Wicked Travel took over Palace Adventures and Next hostel last year (Next Hostel now renamed ‘Palace Hostel’, (any Palace Fraser Island tour includes two nights accommodation here), Greyhound “forms alliance” with Wicked Travel and stores re-branded ‘Greyhound Wicked Travel’, of course Greyhound will move its Hervey Bay bus stop to outside the hostel they have business interests in, that’s just common sense.

      Hardly stuffed Hervey Bay, considering Greyhound will probably be driving more backpacker business to the Wicked/ Indy stores who book Hervey Bay and these backpackers would otherwise be offered a peterpans/travel bugs/ happy travels/ website travel Dingos tour from Rainbow Beach

  5. Rex says:

    Oh dear Tim

    Sorry about the brain comment, I was out of line, but I just thought you were being inconsiderate in bagging Rocky when the original story was about a businesses that is being disadvantaged by the new Greyhound timetable.

    I meant MOST in the sense of those who did happen to visit Rocky would seek the Great Western out. Rocky obviously is not going to suit all backpackers in their schedule and MOST will be mustered straight past it to Airlie Beach.

    Get some compassion then. I don’t know Mr Mercader from the Rocky YHA, but i can feel his pain with the uncertainty this is bringing to his business. I imagine his heart and soul has gone into his business, but when a national company like Greyhound makes a new timetable that makes it hard for passengers to stop at Rocky they don’t consider the consequences of small operators.

    The same compassion could be applied to Hervey Bay rival backpackers hostel operators that have to cope with Greyhound delivering their clients to the Greyhound Wicked hostel. Again Greyhound does not consider the consequences.


  6. Realist says:

    Yes Rex, I agree! A bit of compassion should be shown throughout the industry, not only by Greyhound but also by another major Travel agent chain that books 80% of their clients on one particular Tour company!!

    Support for us fledgling owner operators busting our guts should be mandated in every large corporations manifesto!