Turners Beach, Yamba, NSW © Destination NSW
11 tips for solo travel
With friendly locals, stunning scenery and endless places to discover, Australia is the perfect destination for solo holidays. Use these tips to start planning your solo travel adventure.
While booking early is a good idea to guarantee a spot for your bucket list experiences, it's also smart to leave some wiggle room in your travel plans. Whether you decide to explore a city with newfound friends, experience a slower pace on one of Australia's stunning islands or take off on a spontaneous road trip, you'll find that unexpected adventures Down Under are often the most memorable.
Stay in hostels
Hostel-hopping between Australia's vibrant cities and quirky towns is by far the best way to spend your nights when solo travelling. Hostels are not only an affordable option, but are also a great way to meet fellow travellers. Most hostels are centrally located and they sometimes offer free or discounted activities to join such as wellness classes and walking tours.
Travel like the locals
Living like a local in any major Australian city means using public transportation. Whether you're riding the tram through Melbourne or catching a ferry across Sydney Harbour, it’s usually the easiest and cheapest way to move around. If you feel like getting active, walking or hiring a bike are great options, perfect for impromptu stops along your journey.
Take a class
Trying a new activity is a great way to soak in the Australian way of life and meet people with similar interests. Whether you're learning to swim among the corals at Australia's best diving spots, trying an outdoor yoga class, catching a wave or painting a masterpiece, the class you sign up for may just be one of the highlights of your trip.
Wander new cities
Walking tours are a great way to find your bearings in a new city and learn insider tips and tricks from a local. You can also opt for specialist walking tours that bring a little extra flare. Sip your way through a tour of Perth's hidden bars and street art, explore the graffiti-lined laneways of Melbourne or book a spooky ghost tour of Sydney's historic Rocks precinct.
Join a group
The remote regions of Australia are breathtaking and incredibly unique, but they can also be a challenge to tackle on your own. A group tour takes care of the logistics for you and makes sure you have the best experience in every location. Whether it’s a live-aboard boat in the Great Barrier Reef or an Aboriginal rock art tour in the Northern Territory, you’ll gain valuable insight into Australia’s nature and culture.
Feast on cheap eats
In Australia, good food doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Melbourne is brimming with great dining options, such as the bustling Queen Victoria Market and Adelaide’s food scene boasts a delicious array of affordable cuisines. Most local pubs have daily food specials, and many restaurants offer BYO – which means you can bring your own beer or wine to drink with your meal.
Find some freebies
Travellers on a budget will be delighted by the number of things you can do in Australia for free. Many of the country's best museums do not charge admission fees, including Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria. For no cost at all, you can also explore Sydney's vibrant Vivid light show during winter, and you'll often catch free live music at local pubs on the weekends.
Experience Aboriginal history
Exploring Aboriginal cultures is a meaningful way to delve into the history of a region when travelling alone, and you can join a cultural experience almost anywhere in Australia. From city walking tours that will transport you through history, to bush tucker tours that will have you foraging for native ingredients, there are incredible Aboriginal experiences in all major cities.
Pack a selfie stick
You'll usually find a friendly Aussie nearby who is happy to take a photo for you, but selfie sticks are an essential item to pack as a back-up plan. Avoid missing any instagrammable snaps on your solo adventure by keeping yours handy for moments when you find yourself in the perfect pose next to one of Australia's cutest animals, or all alone exploring magical national parks.
Fund your travels
If you’ve come to Australia on a Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) or Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417), you might want to find work along your travels. In larger towns and cities, restaurant and bar work is always available and working in hospitality is a fun environment for meeting new people (while making some money, of course!). Stop into local cafes, eateries and bars to enquire about work.