Solo travel has become a very popular option in recent years for young millennials. If you’re like most people, the thought of traveling alone sounds scary and a bit crazy. Luckily, there are so many cities and countries that are perfect for solo travelers to make the experience as easy as possible. Australia is the perfect country to visit for first timers because it is built for the backpacking community. Here are 3 things to add to your itinerary if you’re planning to do solo travel in Australia.
Solo Travel in Australia
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1. Take a Tour of The Great Ocean Road
If you’re planning on visiting Melbourne (pronounced Mel-bin), be sure to book a tour of the Great Ocean Road. Most hostels have a tour desk so you can book when you arrive. They usually have partnerships with the tour operators so they can get you a small discount. I recommend booking through the hostel rather than online because they tend to work with tours that market to backpackers. So there’s a good chance you’ll be around others in your age group and possibly other solo travelers!
The Great Ocean Road
What to Expect:
The Great Ocean Road tour is a stunningly scenic drive down Australia’s coast, featuring some famous surf beaches and the 12 Apostles. The tours usually last about 12 hours so you’ll need to plan to block out an entire day for this, but trust me it’s worth it! You’ll spend the day in a tour bus/van with a group of other tourists who you’ll become quite close with. This is a great way to meet other travelers and most tend to be extra friendly when they see you’re traveling alone. You’ll want to make friends here because it will make the long day more enjoyable, and you won’t have to resort to using your selfie stick!
The 12 Apostles
Since these tours last all day, one meal is usually included in the price. Make sure you eat breakfast before and bring some snacks for the road. There will be a designated stop for the meal that isn’t included so make sure to pack money in your bag. The tour I booked was through the tour desk at the United Backpackers hostel which I highly recommend for solo travelers. I stayed in an all-female dorm which happened to have only solo female travelers! This was great because we were all in the same boat looking for friends. You could even see if anyone in your room is interested in joining your tour.
The Great Ocean Road
2. Stay at the Wake Up! Sydney Central Hostel
The Wake Up! Sydney Central hostel is hands down one of the best hostels I’ve stayed at. This is a great choice for solo travelers because they have daily social events to get you involved. The facilities are top notch and it is extremely clean, which isn’t always the case with hostels.
What to Expect
One of the best things this hostel offers are the free walking tours. One of their employees, usually a fellow backpacker, will take a group from the hostel on a free walking tour of the city or the beach. This is a fantastic way to meet other solo travelers and to get some great tips on where to go while in Sydney.
The hostel holds social events every night in their basement bar. I loved this option as a solo traveler because it meant that I could freely drink alcohol without the worry of how I would get home – I could just walk upstairs to my room when I was done! There’s usually some sort of food or drink discount which was nice because most backpackers don’t have a ton of money to spend. The events are actually fun too! Trivia nights, beerpong tournaments, DJ dance parties – there’s something for everyone. And most of the people staying at the hostel go to these events so if you don’t feel comfortable going down alone, grab someone from your room.
Wake Up! Sydney Central
3. Take a Boat Tour in Airlie Beach
Airlie Beach is a backpacker hub that is perfect for solo travelers. It’s a tiny beach town up north near Cairns, which is filled with hostels and tour companies for backpackers. The town itself is great for solo travel in Australia because there’s such great nightlife, but what I recommend is taking a boat tour.
Which Tour to Book
There are a ton of different options depending on what kind of experience you’re looking for. Party boats, adventure tours, overnighters, half day trips – you will definitely find something that suits your preference. I personally opted for the overnight adventure tour which I highly recommend! As a solo traveler I found this to be a great option because the boat held about 15 backpackers which wasn’t overwhelming and was mostly female – the guys tend to opt for the party boat tours. You can book a boat tour from one of the many tour companies found in Airlie Beach.
Airlie Beach Boat Tour
What to Expect
The tour included hiking to the stunning Whitehaven beach, snorkeling the colorful reefs, and kayaking through the Whitsunday Islands. A huge perk of taking the overnight tour is that you get to see the night sky filled with millions of visible stars, due to the distance from the mainland. It was the most amazing experience and we were lucky enough to see the milky way and Mars, which looked like a red star!
Solo Travel in Australia
Most cities up the east coast of Oz are geared towards bringing in backpackers. You won’t have a problem finding something to do wherever you decide to go, but you can always ask other backpackers for tips! Since a majority of the backpackers in Australia are traveling solo, they’ll know the best places to go and things to do.
If you’d like any help planning your first solo trip to Australia, please email me at email@example.com. You can find out more on my Work With Me page.