10 Tips for Traveling Solo in Australia | Top Universities

10 Tips for Traveling Solo in Australia

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Carly Williams

Updated Apr 23, 2019



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Australia is one of the most popular destinations for solo travelers—it’s full of friendly people, a ton of opportunities to meet new people, and a relatively safe place to travel alone. It’s a popular choice for gap-year travelers, career breakers, students, and generally anyone who wants to have a good time while soaking up the Aussie sun.

A warm Aussie welcome will greet you wherever you go, from city lights of Melbourne all the way up to the rainforest in Cairns. Many travelers plan a trip and end up staying a lot longer than they planned, while some never leave at all.

1. Have a plan (somewhat)

A lot of people don’t realize how large Australia truly is and underestimate how much time it’s going to take to see everything they want to see. Especially if you are traveling by bus or train, you could spend an entire day getting from one place to the other. This doesn’t mean you have to plan each day to a tee, but It’s a good idea to have a general timeline.

2. Book things as far in advance as possible

Especially if you are traveling during high season (in the summer months from December-February), it’s a good idea to book accommodation and tours as well in advance as possible. The last thing you want is to not be able to tick off a bucket list item just because you waited too long.

3. Head to a travel agent

As mentioned above, in order to ensure that you don’t miss the boat on tours such as diving The Great Barrier Reef, four-wheel driving on Fraser Island, and sailing through The Whitsundays, it’s a good idea that you head to a travel agent upon arrival. A popular choice is Peterpans Travel, where an agent (who has actually done the trip themselves) will sit down with you and plan your entire trip for you.

4. Take advantage of freebies

There are a ton of freebies available whilst traveling in Australia that a lot of travelers don’t take advantage of. For instance, if you go to a travel agent to plan your trip, they will usually give you a discount card that is valid at different restaurants, museums, and a ton of different tourist attractions. Major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney also have free walking tours and your hostel may even offer you free breakfast. Every penny counts!

5. Book group tours

Obviously one of the best ways to meet people as a solo traveler is to book group tours throughout your trip. Don’t worry, most of the people that book these tours are solo travelers themselves, so everyone is in the same boat. You will travel around with likeminded people and might even find some people that are traveling the same route as you to tag along with. It’s all about making meaningful connections. After all, you’re never really alone when you travel solo!

6. Take advantage of hostel events

Hostel events such as quiz nights, group dinners, city tours, and pretty much any social gathering are literally catered to the solo traveler. Most hostels will have daily events happening, so make sure you take advantage of these in order to get to know the people you are staying with. Whether you participate or not can make or break your time in the hostel, so it would be silly not to.  

7. Utilize public transport

Public transport is the easiest and cheapest way of getting around Australian cities, with most offering a loadable card or simply a single ticket. Lots of cities also offer free shuttle services in the city center, so save your Uber money (we all know how easy that can rack up) and take the bus.

8. Take a bus over a plane

Especially if you’re traveling up the east coast of Australia from Sydney to Cairns, there are bus companies that offer great deals on hop-on-hop-off routes. So basically, you pay a flat fee and get on and off whenever you please. Both Greyhound and Premier Motors offer this service, and it’s an extremely popular way to travel the east coast on a budget. You will also meet like-minded travelers on these long bus journeys, which is ideal as a solo traveler.

9. Be open to meeting people

Traveling alone can be scary, especially when it comes to meeting new people and striking up a conversation with a complete stranger. The way I look at it, I can probably guarantee that most people traveling are thinking the exact same thing and have the same insecurities as you do. So, they’ll probably be relieved that you made the first move. And honestly, once you’ve done it once or twice, introducing yourself to people you come across with will become more and more natural.

10. Appreciate being on your own

While there will be times throughout your solo travels that you will feel lonely and homesick, it’s also a time where you have complete freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, without having to cater to another person’s plans. If you feel like staying in a place longer, you can. If you want to leave, you can do that too. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, while traveling with another person requires a great deal of compromise. Being comfortable on your own is important, and going on a trip solo is one way to ensure that you will get there.  

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