Travelling alone seems a bit overwhelming for some individuals. It’s life-changing, nerve-wracking (for some first-timers), and takes a lot of preparation to make sure everything goes smoothly because you’ll be all by yourself in a country you’ve never stepped in.
But it seems that aspiring travellers nowadays are becoming more confident, especially in venturing out on solo travelling. In 2019, statistics show that 58% of millennials prefer to travel alone. Why? Because the younger generation travels for the sake of experiencing a deeper level of freedom and to discover new cultures. And do you know where most of the first-time solo travellers go to? Australia.
Australia is the #1 international destination for solo travellers and backpackers, ranks as the 13th best country according to Global Peace Index (GPI) and Safe Around (SA), which makes it one of the safest countries to travel to in the world.
No wonder why as much as 75% of female travellers prefer Australia as the first country they’ll visit, regardless of short-term vacay or months-long stay and numbers are still expected to go higher by 2020-2021.
Whether it’s your first time to travel solo or not, here’s a solo traveller’s guide we’ve compiled in case you fancy going to Australia, the 6th largest country in the world.
What You Need To Know About Solo Travelling In Australia
1. Pros and Cons of Travelling Solo
Here are some of the benefits and challenges when travelling solo in Australia:
- Australia is one of the safest countries to travel if you’re a first-timer or a solo female traveller
- Get to witness some of the world’s finest wildlife and geo parks and meet cute animals
- The locals are extremely sociable and friendly, it’s easy to be in large circles of groups even when you’re only a tourist!
- You’ll enjoy travelling in AU if you’re someone who likes long trips
- Staying for a few days is not enough, AU is a large country
- Planning to stay longer? Consider your travel budget in advance.
If you can easily stand hot temperatures, Australia’s not the best place for you.
2. Travel and Daily Essentials
It’s important to bring the following essentials wherever you go in Australia:
- Important travel and legal documents – This includes your visa, passport/ETA, credit or debit card, large amount of cash, and driver’s licence (if you plan to drive a rented car).
- Sunscreen and a hat with good coverage – Considering that Australia is a warm country, might as well bring your trusted high SPF sunscreen and a hat which you’ll need while exploring.
- Camera or phone + power bank – Don’t forget to preserve your travel memories on quality phone and bring powerbank in case your gadget runs out of power.
- Sturdy, all-around backpack – You wouldn’t be bringing your luggage while you’re out and about in a park. Always keep a durable traveller’s backpack with all your important items in it.
- Breathable apparels – From your daily outfits and even your sweater, make sure that your clothes are easy to move in and comfortable (unless you’re visiting Australia during winter, consider bringing thick sweaters instead)
- Comfy pairs of shoes – You’ll spend most of your vacation walking and touring the wonders of the place you’re going to, it will be better to wear something that won’t easily hurt your feet.
3. Overall Travel Budget
Expense when travelling to Australia depends on the places you’ll go, activities to do day and night, travel expenses and joining on tours. Typically, plane tickets would cost depending on what country you’re from or when you’ll be flying while an average expense for a solo traveller would approximately AUD $130-$150 a day if you’re going to splurge a bit.
But most travellers on a limited budget can survive on $100 a day. If you’re planning to stay for at least a week and you want to splurge a bit, it might cost you an approximate AUD 1300-1,500. Better plan your travel itinerary well and have some extra money on hand when travelling in case of emergency or unexpected purchases might occur.
However, if you’re planning to stay on a budget, it would be best to keep life hacks in mind such as being able to save more by staying in hostels along with other tourists or even giving it a shot at living with the locals in exchange for doing works of labour or running errands.
4. Best Times Of The Year To Visit Australia
In case you’re planning activities you’ll do or places to go at this point, here’s what kind of weather you can look forward to for the following months of the year.
March to May – It’s officially the fall season wherein many tourists flock because of the warm weather but not as busy as December to February. Be sure to pack mostly light clothes only even if the temperature might range from mid-50F to 60F.
June to August (or early September) – Getting a little chilly now at 40F-60F since it’s winter season ‘round this time, it is considered the cheapest months of the year since flight and lodging rates are relatively lower. Here’s the best time to bring your thick sweater.
September to November – Much like the spring season, these months are the most preferred times to travel during the year because of the perfect temperature. Not too hot, not too cold. You can usually plan any kind of activity around these times, depending on the places you’re going to.
December to February (or early March) – It’s going to be definitely the warmest months of the year ‘round in Australia and also the busiest time of the year since holidays are approaching. Be sure to book early when you plan to travel around these months.
5. What Kind Of Travel Experience You Want
Fortunately for travellers, there are different turfs for people with different interests all over Australia. Most common activities that tourists like to do in Australia are:
- Water activities (surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, swimming)
- Wildlife adventurous activities (trekking, animal interaction, skydiving, camping, long trips)
- City Sightseeing
- Cultural immersion (festivals, ancient history tours, nightlife activities)
- Art-related activities (museums/galleries)
- Culinary experience (food, bar, or cafe-hopping depending on your preference)
6. Where To Go
It’s great to include a little bit of everything on your itinerary list, from the most popular spots to the country’s undiscovered gems. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Great Barrier Reef (Queensland)
- Sydney Opera House (Sydney)
- Sydney Harbour Bridge (Sydney)
- Uluru (Northern Territory)
- Bondi Beach (Sydney)
- Royal Botanic Gardens (Sydney)
- Barossa Valley (Adelaide)
Meanwhile, here are some of the most underrated destinations you might want to consider:
- Lord Howe Island (NSW)
- Kangaroo Island (South Australia)
- Broome (Western Australia)
- The Ningaloo Reef (Perth)
- Echuca (Victoria)
- Wineglass Bay (Tasmania)
- Nitmiluk National Park (Northern Territory)
Because Australia is such a big country, it’s almost impossible to tour most parts of Australia only by land if you’re planning to hop from one place to another. Going from Sydney to Melbourne alone takes more than 9 hours already! This country might be blessed with dry vast lands and surrounded by coasts — most common modes of transportation will be by plane, by land, and by sea.
City hopping is quite expensive if you want to enjoy as many places as you can within a limited time because you’d need to ride the plane for faster routes, but if you’re planning to stay longer in Australia (say, like a month or even more!), start hitting on the road by renting a car would be the most versatile option. Better yet, it also helps you save more if you’ll be able to find a travel buddy along the way so you can have someone to share the expenses with.
9. Important Reminders While Travelling
Last but not the least, here are other safety tips you need to take note of when travelling alone:
- Stay informed about the news on the place you’ll be travelling to. Australia has recently had numerous cases of forest fires, as well as the volcano eruption in White Island, so you better keep these factors in mind. Safety must be above all before you decide to travel alone.
- Don’t just go for what’s the hottest on the list on the Internet. Make your way down every alley and find the best, cheap eats you can find. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Australia without having to splurge too much.
- Socialise with the locals and you’ll appreciate Australian culture even more. Just enjoy the moment, make new friends and memories while you’re travelling.