One of the best things about Australia for solo travellers, is its prominent travelling culture, the laid back nature of the locals and the endless stunning landscapes on offer.
Australia is extraordinarily welcoming to backpackers, and has a huge solo traveller presence, especially along the East Coast and around the Melbourne and Sydney city districts. If you plan on travelling Australia alone, never fear, as you will always find company from all over the world, make incredible friends, and create memories to last a lifetime along the way.
The First Step – Planning.
Due to the vast nature of the continent, Australia is easy to get around, as there are flights, trains, buses and trams servicing all of Australia… The only catch, it can be quite expensive by yourself. This is why the planning stages of a solo trip around Australia are so integral. Be sure to coordinate almost all of your flights and accommodation prior to arriving in Australia, as last minute cheap flights and accommodation, are extremely hard to come by. Whilst planning is highly recommended, it is understandable that there is a thrill from leaving a part of your trip abroad unplanned. So if you intend on doing so, be sure to spend your last planned moments in hostels, where you can meet people with whom you can travel with and make great friends, and to have as a contact, in the unlikely event that you may be caught in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation.
The best part about travelling alone is that you only need to budget for yourself. So you can choose where to spend or save. If you are a shopping aficionado, you might hit the boutique districts of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, or if you are an adrenalin buff seeking thrills and daring experiences, you might adventure your way along the coast of Queensland to enjoy scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef and cage diving with sharks. Again try and find yourself a group of friends you have made from your travels for larger trips e.g. up the East Coast or down south to Melbourne, in order to split costs. Otherwise, hostels in general are a great starting place to plan a holiday within Australia, as they often offer discounted prices for large tour groups. If a budget is not a problem for you however, the world (or Australia) is your oyster! There are so many magical experiences which you can enjoy from staying in luxurious farm stays, and boat houses to adventurous touring.
Must See Places for Solo Travel.
Australia has some of the most mesmerising landscapes to explore, from arid red deserts and sweeping sand hills to rolling waves and incredible beach culture, to lush green rainforests, taking a step back into the time of Gondwana. Here are the top few places that are best suited to solo travel and capture the Australian essence.
The East Coast of Australia has a notorious party scene starting from Sydney and heading north to Queensland. It is recommended to spend a decent amount of time in Sydney – maybe a week or more – as there are so many pockets of culture in such a tight knit setting. Head to Bondi for the touristy high life, or venture further down south through Maroubra and Cronulla and enjoy the prominent surf and beach culture. And you can’t come to Australia without taking a surfing lesson. Let’s Go Surfing offer day tours all along the East Coast.
Next stop is Australia’s favourite relaxed coastal destination, Byron Bay. An extremely laid back, “hippy” culture in a beautiful part of the country. With an extremely loud and proud culture, Byron Bay is always up for a good time. Or travel up to Surfers Paradise for a real party scene.
Make sure to venture your way north through to Cairns – where the rainforest meets the sea. Australia has such a unique rainforest landscapes including the Daintree, home to thousands of mammals and reptiles and of course, our native kangaroos, wombats and koalas.
Of course, when on solo tour around Australia, you must visit one of the seven wonders of the World… The Great Barrier Reef (GBR). This reef stretches along the coast of Queensland and is accessible from many touch points, including Cairns, however one of the most miraculous lodging experience involves staying on one of the islands of the GBR like Green Island or Heron Island. Here you will wake up to sea turtles and spend the day relaxing in the resort or exploring the island’s local wildlife and marine life.
If you are after the Red Centre experience, be sure to hire a care or go on a tour through the Kimberley’s, all the way down to Uluru. Discover the heritage of Australia’s first ancestors and get in touch with nature in a real desert setting. Get to know the native animals of Australia and meet incredible people along the way.
Head over to Western Australia if you find the opportunity and really spend some time here. The locals are amazing and extremely welcoming, as well as a relaxed lifestyle which involves the beach and the bush. Go scuba diving along the Ningaloo Reef and enjoy the stunning beaches of Australia’s West Coast. Then head on down south to the Margaret River wine region of Australia and sample some of the country’s finest drops.
Tips for solo Travel in Australia.
– In Australia tipping is not expected, so don’t stress about factoring in that extra 10-20%, the price on the menu is all! Bartering or bargaining is not practiced in Australia, and there is a lack of market/ bazaar style shopping. Establishments choose a price and fix it. That is all.
– The drinking water is safe to drink in almost all destinations. If you see a sign saying “recycled water” or “grey water” however, do not drink from these taps, they are used primarily for irrigation and contain waste.
– ATMs and telephone booths are all over. You will never be without money or communication. The Telstra phone booths even have free WiFi if you need internet.
– Australians drive on the left hand side of the road. Check out this website to see if you are eligible to hire a car with your overseas licence, as the rules differ between states and territories.
– You will need an Australian tourist visa of some sort depending on where you are coming from, how long you are staying, and what you plan on doing here. Be sure to check in with the Australian Government website to confirm that you are applying for the correct visa.
– Remember electrical plugs are different in Australia, be sure to bring an adaptor or buy one over here for around $15AUD. Also bring a power bank or powerboard, as this will make a world of difference to you as you charge your devices.
– Australia is perfect to visit all year round, depending on what you are after, sun and snow are both at your disposal. There are four distinct seasons across Australia, and there is a wet and dry season in the tropical north of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. Remember Australia’s seasons are opposite to the Northern Hemisphere. Although Australia is not famous for their snowfields, you will be able to find snow for 5 months of the year between May and September.
Travelling Solo can be scary at times, but it is a truly unmissable experience, and what better place to go than down under… And remember, wherever you go in Australia, you will always find friends.