A wrap up of my solo travels in Australia
2014 marks 10 years of solo travels in Australia. In 10 years I have experienced Land Down Under in different ways and have developed my own way of travelling alone around the country. On my first solo trips in 2004 and 2008 I was a bit afraid of being alone on the road and preferred travelling by bus and joining short tours rather than hiring a car and being alone on the road. A few years later in 2011 I started road tripping and really liked it. Last year I went on 3 solo road trips and covered about 2000 km by car, on my own.
How I conquered the fear of travelling alone at night….
I am a day-traveller. I don’t really like to travel at night even when I am in the company of someone. At the beginning of my solo travels in Australia I did not feel comfortable with the idea of travelling alone at night as in Australia it’s not uncommon to travel at night. On my first trip to Uluru I travelled with Greyhound and had to wait for a bus connection in Erldunda in the middle of the night. Likewise I was dropped off at 3.30 in the night the bus when I reached my hostel in Lakes Entrance and waited for a train connection at 4.00 am in a Queensland’s railway station. Thanks to the friendly Aussies I never felt unsafe and this is what made me feel at ease when travelling alone at night.
Places of Australia I feel at home
Australia is a great country to travel alone, especially for women. Some time ago I wrote about why I love Australia with the special moments I treasure. On my travels in Australia I have discovered beautiful places, that were hard to leave. Places that were somehow familiar to me and where I immediately felt like at home. Here are a few places that I can call home in Australia.
I love Darwin. This is a place I felt at home straight away after my arrival. I love the relaxed atmosphere, the wide open view over the harbour, I love Darwin’s isolated beaches and phenomenal sunsets. On my first visit I remember walking into a Church on a Sunday morning and sitting with locals made me feel part of the community.
It’s a city with an evolving story. I have been there 4 times on my travels in Australia. While at the begninnig my feelings were neutral, my excitement started to grow over the years as I have seen Adelaide showing its distinctly twofold character. A quite place to live in but at the same time a dynamic character with lots of events and interesting things to do. I love biking and Adelaide with its parklands is a great place for cycling to the beach.
Margaret River was a huge surprise to me. In 2008, when I first travelled to Western Australia, my idea of the South West was pretty ignorant, I thought there were only forests and surf beaches. When I started my road trip to the South Western Australia I was in awe of the beauty, the richness and the diversity of this area. I really could think of settling there for a while and making it to my home for a while.
Places of Australia I have been back again
I have been twice to Uluru and really hope to go back a third time in the next years. There are many places in Australia where you can feel the energy and a deep peacefulness emerging from the earth. Sighting the Uluru from the road is special and unsurpassed feeling that goes deep under my skin. Next time I’d love to take a scenic flight over the Uluru and see it from the air as well as to sleep under the stars.
Great Ocean Road
I have been twice on a road trip along the Great Ocean Road. Once on a organised small tour and once a road trip on my own. I loved the freedom of discovering it at my own pace and making wildlife encounters along my way. I’d like to return and do more of the walks, maybe walk tracks of the 90km Great Ocean Road walk.
South Western Australia
Margaret River hooked me up so that I extended my stay of 2 more days. I am keen to see more of the beautiful South western Australia and go to Denmark, Albany and further down to Cape Esperance.
North Tropical Queensland
This is a part of Australia I like very much for its distinctly Australian character, the rainforest and the wealth of tropical vegetation with its gorgeous local produce. I have been travelling around by bus on my first trip and by car on the second trip up to Cape Tribulation and around Cairns, but always had bad luck with the weather. Next time I’d love to go again on a solo road trip in the dry, sunny season!
Places of Australia I’d love to discover
This is a list of places of Australia I haven’t discovered yet or have seen only a small fraction of the region. High on my list.
Western Australia – the Kimberley and Shark Bay
I have been to Kununnurra and visited the Eastern Kimberley on a scenic flight over the Ord River to the Bungle Bungles. This area is very impressive because of its geological formation and the presence of the second largest water system that makes it to an interesting unique ecosystem. The region spreads over 1000km and next time I’d like to discover the western and northern regions of the Kimberley. I visited The Shark Bay with Coral Bay, Shell Beach, Monkey Mia on a short road tour and would love to discover more of this remote and ancient part of Western Australia.
How do you prefer travelling around Australia on your own? Tell us about your solo travels in Australia?