A wrap up of 10 years of solo travels in Australia
2014 marked 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 myself and driving alone. A few years later in 2011 I started road tripping around Australia and really liked it.
On my Australia Trip 2013 I covered about 2000 km by car, completely on my own! In 2014 I did more amazing solo road trips in Australia .
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 and 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 build confidence and feel comfortable when travelling alone at night.
Places on my solo travels Australia where I felt 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 solo travels in Australia I have discovered beautiful places, that at times had been hard to leave. Places that were somehow familiar to me and where I immediately felt at home.
Here are a few places that I can call home in Australia.
I’m a fan of big cities, nor in Europe nor in any other continent. But Melbourne has got something special. I loved it from my first trip. What I liked most is how relaxed people are in the city. You can tell that people love their city and are happy with it. Of course there is always something that needs to improve. But I would dare say that this Australian city is no. 1 in Australia for making travellers feeling like at home. And not making the city CBD too expensive to get around and stay. In fact the Melbourne free-trams in the CBD is the highlight of the many free and cheap things to do in Melbourne.
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. Darwin can be tricky though. It’s very much centered on local lifestyle and to first-time travellers to Australia may not seem so tourist-friendly. You need to ask around and find your way as the infrastructures in the city are not really focussed on travellers.
Adelaide is a city with an evolving story. I have been there 4 times on my travels in Australia. While at the beginning 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. No wonder Adelaide entered the Top 10 cities of the world to visit in 2014.
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 solo road trip to South Western Australia I was in awe of the beauty, the richness and the diversity of this region. 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 an 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 great food hooked me to the point that I changed my initial plans and extended my stay of 2 more days. I am keen to see more of the beautiful South Western Australia and visit Denmark, Albany and further down to Cape Esperance. Again on a road trip. Here you can read about my recent solo trip by car down south.
North Tropical Queensland
North Tropical Queensland is a region of Australia I like very much for its distinctly Australian character: The rainforest and the wealth of tropical vegetation with its amazing native tastes and 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. Fortunately this year I have been travelling in September with good dry weather, one of the best months for discovering North Tropical Queensland.
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 Kununurra 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 formations and the presence of the second largest water system that makes it to an interesting and very unique ecosystem. The region spreads over 1000km. I hope I can go back soon, as I’d like to discover the western and northern regions of Kimberley Australia too. 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 Western Australia.
My picks for the best places to Travel Alone in Australia
In over a decade of solo travels I have been to hundreds of places. Although I don’t have a favourite one there are many places to travel on your own along with different ways of getting around that made me fall in love with Australia. I hope this blog post and recap of my favourite places will inspire you to take the plunge and leave on your solo adventure. On this blog post you can keep reading about my solo travel adventures in Australia in 2014 and 2015.
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