50+ Lifestyle And Living | The history of Greyhound Australia

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Origins: AR Penfold's Bullnose Whippet car had a Greyhound radiator cap, which became the world's most recognised symbol for coach travel. Photo: Supplied.

Origins: AR Penfold's Bullnose Whippet car had a Greyhound radiator cap, which became the world's most recognised symbol for coach travel. Photo: Supplied.

Operating for more than 110 years, Greyhound Australia has grown from servicing just one town to a network covering most of the mainland and is Australia’s leading coach company.

“Australia’s only national coach service provides comfortable, hassle-free and affordable travel with a safety record second to none” the company says proudly.

As one of the oldest coach companies in the world, the national fleet operates 365 days a year, carrying 5 million passengers more than 38 million kilometres annually.

The A.A. Withers Bus Company started in Victoria in 1905 with the introduction of day tours around Melbourne. It was this company that opened the virtually unknown route to the Australian Alps to coach tourists. Following a name change, Pioneer took a transcontinental trip from Melbourne to Darwin in 1927, and just seven years later took a group of pioneering tourists right around Australia.

Meanwhile, in 1928, Mr AR Penfold began a passenger service between Toowoomba and Brisbane in response to a rail strike, which had halted most transport out of the town. His Bullnose Whippet car sported a Greyhound radiator cap, which has since become the most recognised symbol for coach travel around the world. The original Whippet car used by Penfold in 1928 is still in mint condition and registered for road use.  

Interstate services commenced in the late 1960s, and during this time Greyhound the company acquired coaches with luxuries such as air-conditioning and on-board toilets, offering passengers the fast and comfortable long-distance coach travel we enjoy today.

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Greyhound Pioneer Australia emerged in 1993 when Australian Coachlines Pty Ltd, which had bought Greyhound and Pioneer together the previous year, merged with Bus Australia.

McCaffertys then purchased Greyhound Pioneer Australia in 2000, forming the only national coach operator in the country, before selling their interest in the business in 2003 to usher in a new era of Greyhound Australia.

Greyhound Australia now employs over 600 people, servicing those millions of passengers every year through its express and resources business. Travelling across the country every day, passengers can get to their destinations both on and off the beaten track, and truly experience the beauty of Australia.

With a name synonymous with speed and intelligence, Greyhound Australia continues to bound ahead of the pack when it comes to travel.

With a name synonymous with speed and intelligence, Greyhound Australia continues to bound ahead of the pack when it comes to travel.

“Every Greyhound bus is driven by an experienced coach captain, with a wide variety of ticketing options for passengers to travel at their own pace. The coaches are fitted with everything a modern traveller desires: seat selection, online coach tracker, free WiFi, and USB chargers.”

Every bus in the fleet is fitted with large, panoramic windows and oversized, reclining leather seats to sit back, relax and enjoy the view. Most buses also have on-board bathroom facilities.

Travel with people just like you, to places that look just like the brochures. It’s a mighty fun way to see this country, “and who knows? You might just make a few new friends along the way.”