A Complete Guide To Solo Travel in Australia
Solo Travel in Australia is safe and fun. I know something about it. Australia is a top destination for women who love solo travel or want to start with it and enjoy down under at a slow pace. From backpacking to road-tripping to hiking, Australia is one of the safest destinations for solo female travellers of any age who love the great outdoors.
My first solo trip to Australia was in 2004, on a gap year. Since then, I have travelled solo around Australia for +15 years, for +100 thousands km of adventures by air, land, and sea. Here is my Australia solo travel guide, with advice, tips and recommendations if you want to explore Australia solo.
Is It Safe To Travel Alone In Australia?
If you are wondering if it is safe to travel solo to Australia, as a woman, I say yes, it’s the perfect country for solos. Thanks to the low crime rate and the stable economy, Australia is the first-choice destination for venturing into solo escapes.
You get out of your comfort zone and see how to get by; on the other hand, you learn many little practical things that are hard to experiment with elsewhere. Australia is a top country for developing self-awareness and growing your confidence to do things yourself.
Solo Travel Around Australia Pros and Cons
Why Australia in the first place? Australia is such a big country; you may think isolation and vastness would make solos feel lonely. Based on my experience, I can tell you that it’s super easy to get around, meet people and feel comfortable. Here are some of the benefits:
- The natural beauty of Australia will hook up the curious traveller. Australia will amaze you if you love nature, the wilderness, and animals.
- Australians’ friendliness will make it easy for you to socialise, from striking up a conversation to making new friends and getting help.
- The easiness of the country. It’s easy to get around, and you will be safe and home.
Besides the many advantages, some disadvantages are worth mentioning here.
- Long distances
As a single traveller, you should constantly evaluate the case, consider what you can and can’t do alone, and assess your endurance when driving long distances.
- Limitations on activities
Most tours and activities in Australia are offered with a minimum of two participants, but there are plenty of other exciting things and options.
- The Cost
Australia is expensive, and travelling alone may cost more if you are only open to classic travel options. In most hotels, you will pay for a single room supplement. Fortunately, there are ways to travel Australia on a budget
BONUS TIP: I recommend starting with easy and short trip itineraries and then scaling up to longer trips. Try out more challenging ways to travel around Australia by yourself. Don’t try to do too much on your first visit. Make thoughtful decisions on the destinations, and get around.
Travelling Australia Solo: Where To Go
There are many exciting destinations for travelling solo in Australia. I highly recommend starting any solo journey from a city or a town and making all further arrangements.
The Australian Cities
If you are new to solo travel, building your itinerary with one or two getaways from Australian cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin, Hobart, etc., is good. These are the capital cities of each state in Australia and the best and easy way to start any solo adventure.
Sydney, New South Wales
Sydney is a spectacular city that also offers a lot of things to do solo. Ideally, I would combine Sydney and Melbourne on your first Australia Solo Trip.
From Sydney, most travellers choose the most travelled path, the North East Coast. I recommend travelling from Sydney to Melbourne. You can do it by bus or self-drive to discover more inland and coastal places. This is a great way to see Australia’s southeast coast sights.
Tip: Use the city train from the airport to get into the city. It only takes 15 minutes and is the fastest and cheapest (below 20 AUD). If you get a free Oval Card, it’s convenient to travel around the City on public transportation. No. 555 bus is free within the CBD.
Melbourne is a fantastic city if you love food, culture, and bushwalking. It’s probably the best destination with shorter driving distances and great outdoor experiences. Melbourne offers a variety of things to do alone that are hard to beat. You can also explore Victoria with short day trips from Melbourne within 100-300 kilometres, including the GOR and Wilsons Prom.
BONUS TIP: To get to the City from Tullamarine airport, use the Skybus. For 19.50 AUD, you get into the City in 30 minutes and further to St. Kilda and Mornington Peninsula. To travel around the CBD, use the free trams.
Adelaide South Australia
Adelaide, if you like a less party place and are more into food and wine experience, love beaches and nature at its best. South Australia offers excellent vineyards and a gorgeous coastline. A must-do thing is a trip to Barossa Valley. And, of course, the getaway to solo road-tripping on Kangaroo Island. Here you can read more about more things to do in Adelaide and places to visit nearby.
Perth Western Australia
Perth is a great city for solo travellers with many things to do. For outdoor enthusiasts, Perth is a top destination for travellers who want to explore Western Australia, a fabulous getaway to more places down south, and adventurous 4WD road trips. You can also go on short day trips from Perth City.
Brisbane is the hub if you travel north along the East Coast and explore more of Tropical North Queensland. From Brisbane, you can go to the Sunshine Coast and The Gold Coast and farther north up to Cairns. It’s super well-connected by bus and air and has an efficient train network. Check out our guide below.
Create Your Australia Solo Itinerary
Here are the best tips for creating the perfect Solo Itinerary Trip around Australia.
East Coast from Sydney to Cairns
If you love to spend time on the East Coast of Australia, you have 4.000 km of coast to stop along your way. The easiest way to travel is to get a bus pass from Greyhound and go on a hop-on-hop-off ride, but fly and driving is the best way to go if you feel more adventurous.
Plan in 3-5 stop-over cities and main towns where to start your further explorations. Be prepared for crowds. This is, in fact, the busiest coastal stretch in Australia, where most backpackers gather.
Let’s take a deeper look at each segment and itinerary ideas for your solo getaways:
- Queensland’s coastline stretches from Brisbane to Cairns to Cape York, home to many Northern Australian attractions. It is also the most visited state by locals and international travellers alike; for women who love to travel solo, probably the best destination among all places in Australia. If you don’t fancy travelling to isolated areas and enjoying more of the vibe, Queensland is the place.
- Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. I recommend spending some time in Cairns, hiring a car, and touring the region of North Tropical Queensland. It’s easy to get around and offers excellent escapes in the national parks and the Atherton Tablelands.
- Snorkelling and diving are the main activities you can try on the Great Barrier Reef, but you can try plenty of fun water sports and outdoor activities
- Gold Coast, from Coolangatta to Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, is not only for families with kids and a great place for single women. There are excellent spots for beach and walking holidays.
- Fraser Island is also great but for more adventurous experiences like dunes and 4WD adventures. I’d recommend going on a tour when visiting Fraser Island, as 4WD on the island is challenging.
Bonus Tip: If you only have one week or ten days, I’d pick these solo destinations: Cairns, Cape Tribulation, Cooktown and the far north destinations in Queensland, including the Atherton Tablelands, Townsville, and Magnetic Island.
Bonus Tip: If you have 3-4 weeks, I will try to focus on 3-4 destinations as well, including the Gold Coast with Byron Bay, the Sunshine Coast with Noosa, Fraser Island on a 2-day guided Tour and Cairns with North Tropical Queensland.
Explore the Outback by yourself or in a group
- You don’t have to venture out on challenging road trips across the country to see some of Australia’s Outback. You can go from Sydney to Broken Hill by train to uncover offbeat towns.
- All the major Outback attractions are also doable on easy road trips like Uluru and Kings Canyon. You can fly from Sydney or Melbourne to Alice Springs and hire a car to visit Uluru.
- Broome is another great place in North Western Australia for female solo visitors. Starting from Perth and heading up the West Coast. There is a wealth of fun things to do in Broome, including walking, biking, swimming, beach driving, wellness activities, shopping, and 4WD beach driving.
- The Top End Region is full of fantastic national parks, such as the Kakadu National Park. If you are adventurous, you can keep going on a round-trip and traverse the Kimberley to see more Outback towns. If you don’t fancy a demanding 4WD, join a Kakadu tour in Darwin.
- Darwin is the northernmost Australian City, and because of its isolation, it’s not likely to be on everyone’s itinerary, especially if you are alone. But a trip up to the Top End of Australia is worth it.
Bonus Tip 1: I suggest flying from Sydney or Melbourne or Adelaide, and if you want to experience something unique, take a train ride on board the Ghan (I loved that train ride). If you are on a budget, travelling by bus from Kununurra to Darwin is also viable.
Bonus Tip 2.: If you are on long-term travel, I’d include the Red Centre that you can visit by flying to Alice Springs can add a train ride north to Darwin and take the bus to Kununurra in the East Kimberley.
Hiking Solo in Tasmania
Tasmania feels very different from the rest of the country, and it’s a paradise for hiking and camping. I loved exploring Tasmania Solo on my backpacking trip. I joined a 5-day guided tour and recently went on a road trip and hiking the Three Capes Track.
Tip: The best way to explore Tasmania is to go on a Solo Road trip to Tasmania’s East Coast.
Backpacking Solo in Australia
There aren’t many warnings that come to mind when I think of Australia as a backpacker and travelling solo. Australia and New Zealand are top destinations for backpackers, and thousands travel alone, mainly on a hop-on-hop-off bus pass.
Backpacking is the way to go if you want to travel to Australia on a budget.
In Australia, once you are in remote areas, you are cut off from civilisation and often, there is no internet or phone coverage. I have put together a guide for women who want to travel on a budget and Australia to get started with their solo backpacking adventure.
Solo Road Trips of Australia
I cannot stop emphasizing that Australia is all about Road Tripping. But I’m also aware that it’s easier to use public transportation or join a tour rather than hire a car and hit the road completely alone when you are on your own. I have gone on +10 solo road trips around Australia and loved them.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) from Alice Springs
If you are a newbie, the road trip from Alice Springs to Uluru is the best. This is the most accessible road trip ever. Alice Spring is just 440 km on sealed roads straight ahead with no traffic. The distance to travel in a loop is nearly 900 kilometres, but if you add Kings Canyon, it will be 1500 km in 4 days. Read more about my Tips for Travelling to Uluru.
Albany, WA, from Perth
You can plan it as a long weekend getaway or an extended itinerary when including Margaret River. It’s easy to drive, and there are many stop-overs along your way. I have done one of the loveliest drives in Western Australia. This is the place if you love beautiful beaches, forests, hiking, national parks, and excellent food. Here is our guide about what to see and do in Albany, WA.
Cairns to Cape Tribulation and Atherton Tableland
If you are unsure what to pick and where to go on a driving adventure on the East Coast of Australia, I wouldn’t think twice; head north to the Tropical paradise. Fly from any city, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Perth and hire a car locally. I took the most varied driving route in scenic landscapes, outdoor activities, beaches, indigenous culture and heritage sites, and food experiences—a road trip from Cairns to Cape Tribulation in North Queensland
Below, you can read more about all the road trips of Australia I recommend to solos.
How To Travel Around Australia by yourself
If you plan a trip to Australia, the most important thing when creating your Australia Itinerary is to make sure you choose transportation you feel comfortable with but at the same time fits well with your time frame and schedule.
Here below my best tips for travelling alone around Australia:
Flying within Australia
Planning a trip to Australia implies a few internal flights. If you plan to hit up more destinations across the country, you may have to put up with 4-5 flights. Once you get to your destination, the best way to explore places is by renting a car, going on a tour or gon on a hop-on-off by bus.
Here is our guide about baggage rules and allowance in Australia.
Bus Experiences For Solos in Australia
Bus travel in Australia is the most popular way of getting around to go alone after flying. Australia has an excellent bus network, mainly on the East Coast. Make sure your bus schedule is 100% confirmed before purchasing your bus tickets. There is also the possibility of buying a variety of Bus Passes from Greyhound.
Travelling by train in Australia isn’t expected. Although the train network is perfect within cities and suburban areas, there are also long-distance rail journeys that are more of a holiday than just a transportation mode. It is expensive to travel on these trains, though.
Driving Alone Around Australia
Driving in Australia is not for everyone. If you plan longer than seven days in remote areas, you can consider hiring a campervan with two berths perfect for solo self-drives. Camping sites in Australia are of excellent value, and in some remote areas, there are free campsites, too, if you feel more adventurous.
Here are my tips for solo women who want to go on road trips: driving solo in Australia:
Accommodation in Australia For Solo Women
Australia is a friendly destination offering many options for staying overnight and for women who travel alone. There are suitable types of accommodation in cities and suburban regions. I recommend a list of accommodation options for women travelling alone around Australia.
Hostels and Backpackers
I would start by staying in Australian hostels, regardless of your budget and whether you intend to go backpacking. You can choose from a private room with a shared bathroom (some hostels offer en-suite bathrooms), female dorms (4-8 beds) to twin rooms if you want to share with another female. I recommend using YHA in Australia.
Airbnb in Australia
Airbnb in Australia is very popular and not only among solos. Through Airbnb, you can find unique places in beautiful houses with a special ambience that you will not get in any hotels. Furthermore, in remote regions, there are only fewer types of accommodation available.
If you haven’t tried it out yet, here is a complete guide on using Airbnb.
Camping Solo in Australia
Camping is not something for everyone, but if you love adventure and want to discover more of the lesser-known sites, you will enjoy camping in Australia. Having tried it myself, I know what it’s like camping in the middle of nowhere and soaking in a place’s pure isolation and peacefulness. Camping isn’t always as relaxing as you may imagine, though. I found it quite demanding, and you must be well prepared.
Check out my Australia Solo Camping Tips
Housesitting in Australia
Housesitting is suitable for those wanting to travel long-term. I will first consider a house sit in Australia if you plan a vacation from 6 weeks to 3 or more months.
Housesitting is the best way to reduce accommodation costs and support long-term travel. I have done that over the past five years and loved it. I wouldn’t have been able to solo travel long-term and spend between 3-6 months in Australia without these housesitting tips for Australia.
Hotels for Solos
Hotels are notoriously famous for being expensive when you travel alone. Paying for the so-called “invisible person” isn’t fun and can drain your budget. Hotels in Australia aren’t cheap.
I prefer a smaller family-run B&B or a small boutique hotel if you don’t fancy hostels or private accommodation. They offer a cosy ambience, a more personal approach and many facilities. It’s always worth browsing through booking.com; sometimes, you may also find a good deal from big hotel chains.
How To Plan Solo Female Travel in Australia
If you think you can visit Australia on a 2 or 3 weeks itinerary, you will not see it all even if you have six or ten months. In 15 years of travel, I have probably seen 75% of the country. So you get a picture of how big Australia is. And planning a trip to Australia isn’t easy.
Australia Itinerary Guide Book For Solo Travellers
What if you could have a step-by-step guide to help create your Australia Itinerary?
From choosing the right places and allocating the right time to each destination to crafting your solo adventures in all segments and variations, my Australia travel guidebook will take you through all the essential steps to create the perfect solo trip. I’m the author of this guide book which has helped many solo travellers plan their adventures in Australia. This guidebook is the outcome of my solo traveller experience. If you want to purchase the book, click the link or image below.
Tips for Solo Travel Itineraries of Australia
Here are my best travelling tips for women planning to travel solo to Australia:
Make a distance-proof travel plan.
First, use Google Maps to check travel distances in Australia. Let’s say you want to travel from Sydney to Adelaide; Google Maps also identifies all travel options to your destination. Do this search for each trip leg to have a complete picture of the time you need to get from A to B and how to fit this into your holiday best. Here you find 7 of the best travel apps for Australia.
Consider alternatives to flying.
It’s easier for solo travellers to fly from A to B, as flying is the fastest way around the country. I recommend going on solo road trips with rental cars or using public transportation like regional trains, coaches and buses because this is by far a better way to experience the vastness of the country and the rich landscape diversity of Australia.
Go Road Tripping
If you are a first-time solo traveller to Australia, start with easy and short drives, use two-wheel cars, drive on bitumen roads, drive short distances and enjoy the freedom and rewarding experience of self-driving solo trips.
Allocate the right time to each trip leg
Whether your trip is two weeks or three months, timing is critical. For Uluru and Kings Canyon, you will need four days and four nights. For the Great Ocean Road, three days allow you to see it at a slow pace and spend a whole day at the 12 Apostles.
Don’t travel solo to join groups then all the time.
If you’re travelling solo and are a newbie, you may want to start with one-third of the time on your own and the rest of it on tours, or maybe half-half between guided trips and a half on your own. The aim is to travel solo and by yourself as much as possible.
Go on Tours when it makes sense
Sometimes going on tours in Australia can be golden because you see places you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. From river cruising, wildlife viewing, indigenous and cultural explorations, outdoor adventures, snorkelling or scuba-diving, or hands-on food and wine tours. See this guide on what to consider when taking a guided tour.
Match the itinerary to the purpose of your solo trip
Do you want to learn to surf, hike in national parks, watch wildlife, or indulge in food and wine tastings? If you start with a clear idea about the type of activities and travel you have in mind, it will be easier to match destinations and optimise your time.
Travel Australia at the best time of year
If you are keen on snorkelling and water sports, Northern Australia is your place, and you need to travel in winter between May and October to make the most of your time. December to March will be an excellent time to visit Australia in the Southern part; if you are a beach-goer or love hiking, that’s the best time to visit Australia.
Group Tours For Solos
Many women plan to travel alone but join a Tour of Australia. It’s easy to opt for a guided tour and not take the time and effort to craft your adventure and go alone. Some parts of Australia are challenging to explore solo. Then, it is better to choose designated tours that fulfil the purpose, i.e. they allow you to explore remote regions or do special activities in Australia that you wouldn’t otherwise see or do alone.
Here are crucial things that you should consider when selecting tours in Australia:
Group Tours in Australia vs Solo Travel
Be clear about the primary purpose and reason for joining a group tour. Is it the destination, the activities, or the fear of travelling alone? In the beginning, it’s easier to go on guided tours; it takes off much work, like researching and planning. But there are reasons to refrain from joining tours.
TIP: Try not to lock in all your time with tours. Leave the easy part for yourself, and go on excursions that cover the most challenging part of your trip.
What type of Australia Tours to choose
Day tours in Australia are the best choice. In this segment, you have all-day tours covering activities like snorkelling, sports, outdoor adventures, food & wine and many more. But 3-5 day tours can be great too. They are traditionally active tours, like hiking, bushwalking, sailing, 4WD-adventure and more, where it is fun going with a group.
Cost of Tours in Australia
Australia Tours are known to be expensive. But depending on the destination and the type of transportation, a tour may turn out cheaper than the entire cost of travelling solo. If you travel solo, you will have to choose guided trips that are a good alternative to exploring the places you have in mind and saving money on transportation in Australia.
Here is an article about how to Weigh up all the pros and cons of solo vs groups.
TIP: Don’t overdo with tours in Australia, they are not inexpensive, and they can quickly drain your budget, so the rule of thumb is not to invest more than 20-30% of the time on tours.
Walking Tours in Australia
I know that being on the road alone can be pretty tiring. That’s why building in breaks with day tours or multi-day guided trips it’s a way of rewarding yourself and refilling with energy. Having someone else who looks after the organisation of your journey for one or two days, including where to stay overnight and what to do, is a treat you deserve.
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More Inspiration for Travelling Solo in Australia
On RockyTravel, you will also find hundreds of articles where you can learn about all the top places to visit, with tons of Australia Travel Planning Tips.
Click on the links below to read more about how to travel alone as a woman to Australia.
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