There is nothing that can make you feel as liberated and independent as traveling on your own. With dynamic cities, a remote outback, beautiful coastlines, and a bunch of cool backpackers to meet, Australia is one of the best countries to visit solo.
Travelling solo in Australia is super safe, it’s easy to get around, and there are plenty of adventures to be had. No wonder tons of gap year tourists and solo females choose to explore this massive island country. The only downside is that it isn’t the most affordable place to visit, but put in perspective, travelling Australia alone is well worth the price.
With an active outdoor lifestyle and a big beach scene, visiting Australia solo gives you the space for personal growth and development. Hostels make it easy to meet and make friends – and just about everyone speaks English here. Locals are friendly and funny, so you’ll never have an issue finding your way around!
If you are looking to travel the land down under on your own, here are my top recommendations of where to go, what to do, and how to prepare for your trip.
- 5 Things to Do in Australia When Traveling Solo
- 5 Best Solo Destinations in Australia
- The Best Travel Apps for Solo Travel in Australia
- Safety Tips for Solo Travel Australia
- Tips for Solo Traveling in Australia
- How to Meet People When Solo Traveling in Australia
- Final Thoughts for your Solo Trip to Australia
5 Things to Do in Australia When Traveling Solo
With incredible natural scenery, including mountains, barrier reefs, and deserts, Australia embodies an outdoorsy and active culture. Whether you’re backpacking the East Coast or hitting up Western Australia, is a haven for solo travellers. Check out these five activities you can do on your own in Australia…
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1. Island Hop Through the Whitsunday Islands
If there is one natural attraction worthwhile visiting on your Australian solo travel adventure, it’s the Great Barrier Reef coastline. With 74 sandbanks and tropical islands, there’s no need to choose just one island in the Whitsundays to visit.
Instead, joining a group island-hopping trip along this picturesque coastline is an incredible way to see this Great Barrier Reef region. (If you’re looking to snorkel the reef itself, Cairns is a better option).
Since most islands are protected as a national park, you must visit with a planned tour. From luxury yachts to paddle boats, there are ways to explore the Whitsundays for all budgets.
2. Experience Australian History in the Red Center
The Red Center is the heart of old Australia. Set right in the middle of the country, this is an impressive landscape of deserts, mountains, rocky gorges, and some of the most sacred Aboriginal sites. The region isn’t overpopulated with tourists, purely because it’s challenging to get to.
Uluru and Kara Tjuta are two exceptional locations in the Outback worth visiting to gain a deeper understanding of the Aboriginal culture and heritage. Here, you can watch the colours of the rock change at sunset while listening to local string melodies on the didgeridoo.
3. Hang out at the hostels
Look, solo travel in Australia is just as much about kicking back and enjoying the simple life with new amazing travel buddies as it is about seeing world-famous attractions. All my most fond memories here involve nothing more than sharing a box of goon and a couple of joints with strangers who become dear, dear mates.
4. Taste the Best Wine of Barossa Valley, Adelaide
Famous for being one of the world’s most significant wine-producing regions, Barossa Valley near Adelaide is home to over 150 wineries, as well as many of the world’s longest-continuously produced wine variants.
Aside from great wine, the region is one of the best Australian solo travel destinations, resembling a Tuscan dreamscape. Naturally, one of the best things to do here is to taste the famous wines, dine at exceptional establishments, and stroll through the lush vineyards. This is a great activity to enjoy solo, but also an easy way to meet other travellers and locals.
5. Take A Bike Tour Through the Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne
Located just south of the busy city of Melbourne, The Mornington Peninsula is a suburban landscape that blends seaside charm with lush vineyards. You’ll find golden beaches, vineyard-lined hills, and exciting forests here, with each landscape offering its own choice of adventure and activity.
One of the best ways to experience the region is to join a bike tour through the peninsula. There are plenty of tours to join, stopping off at well-known restaurants, hot springs, and gorgeous beaches.
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5 Best Solo Destinations in Australia
Sometimes the best company is your own. Whether you prefer your own space or want to meet like-minded travellers, here is our pick of the best places to travel solo in Australia:
After visiting Melbourne, I can safely say it is my favourite city in Australia. With a considerable amount of buzzing neighbourhoods to explore, Melbourne is also one of Australia’s most popular cities. It has been called one of the most livable cities in the world, so it certainly is worth a visit to see what the hype is about.
Melbourne is best known for its high-end food scene, Australia’s best coffee, and incredible art exhibitions and museums. It’s also the fashion capital of Australia, with streets lined with trendy boutiques and vibrant nightlife.
You can’t say you’ve visited Melbourne without driving the Great Ocean Road. Expect an Aussie road trip packed with incredible scenery along this scenic drive, passing the famous surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, kangaroos hopping across golf courses, and the Twelve Apostle rock formations. Aside from renting a car, this activity won’t cost you a cent!
Selina Central Melbourne is an excellent example of Selina’s good reputation. Centrally located with a communal kitchen, bar, and co-working space, it’s the ideal budget city accommodation.
You just have to visit Byron Bay – Australia’s premier beach town. What was once a sleepy coastal town blossomed into a hippie centre in the ’60s. Today, it’s home to an eclectic mix of high-fashion socialites and laid-back surfers, with a patchwork offering of trendy bars, low-key restaurants, yoga studios, and incredible beaches.
The best thing to do when travelling solo in Australia’s Byron Bay is to enjoy time on the beach, typically packed with locals and visitors on any given day. When the sun sets, make your way to one of the town’s vibrant restaurants and enjoy a drink with new friends at a rooftop bar.
The town is by no means cheap, but there are ways to save money. Staying in budget accommodation is one of them. Naturally, the most affordable activities here involve spending time outdoors. Start by hiking the Cape Byron Walking Track and cycle to The Farm in Byron Bay.
The colourful community welcomes newcomers, and staying in a hostel here is the best way to find an in with the in-crowds. The Surf House is Byron Bays’ premier hostel. Just a few minutes from the Main Beach, the hostel has a rooftop bar and unique shared rooms perfect for solo travellers in Australia.
The heart of Australia’s active lifestyle, Cairns is a friendly town known for its incredible natural beauty. Set between the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest (two listed UNESCO World Heritage Sites), backpack up to Cairns for the gateway of Tropical North Queensland with a subtropical climate.
Again, the best (and most affordable) things to do here involve spending your time in nature. Rent some snorkelling gear and explore the underwater world of Ciarns, or take the more adrenaline-pumping alternative and jump 50 meters off Australia’s only bunjy jump. If you don’t want to do the jump, the platform alone offers some of the best views of the surrounding region.
The Daintree Rainforest, just an hour’s drive away, can be visited on a group tour or even when travelling Australia solo, and it is an exciting activity to uncover more about the ancient rainforest cultures.
As the day draws to a close, there’s no better place to grab a bite than at the Cairns Night Market, which has a lively atmosphere perfect for meeting locals and other travellers.
For the perfect combination of a relaxed and social atmosphere, Travellers Oasis Backpackers offers comfortable, safe, and clean accommodation for budget solo travellers.
Although the capital of Tasmania, Hobart is a small and historic city surrounded by nature. Best of all, this city is an incredible location for solo travellers, with tons of activities that are safe and fun to do alone.
Some of the best things to do in Hobart include taking a tour of Bruny Island, where delicious chocolate and cheese meet spectacular wildlife. Visiting the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, watching a performance at the Salamanca Arts Center, or admiring an art exhibition at Mona are musts for culture vultures. If you want a quick intro to the city’s major attractions, hop on a hop-on-hop-off bus.
Open yourself up to a social event at the Cascades Brewery, Australia’s oldest operating craft brewery. You never know; you might just meet a new friend willing to summit nearby Mount Wellington with you.
In the historic village of Battery Point, Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse is close to restaurants and markets. The locally owned hostel has a large shared kitchen, living room, and laundry facilities.
Adelaide is an Australian solo traveller’s paradise for a few reasons. It’s easily accessible, with a compact city centre that makes it easy to explore on foot. There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy and a bunch of cool people to meet in Adelaide’s great hostels.
When it comes to natural scenery, Adelaide deserves an accolade. The capital city of South Australia is perfectly-positioned just a short drive from the iconic Outback. While possible to do alone, I recommend visiting the outback with a tour group or a new group of friends. This way, you can access off-the-beaten-track hikes and trails and explore million-year-old mountains more confidently.
Adelaide is also known for its stretched-out coastline, overflowing with abundant sealife that feeds the country’s high-end seafood scene. The city is also the host of many sporting events and festivals. If you’ve always wanted to lay eyes on a koala bear, plenty of these cuddly creatures call the Adelaide Hills home.
Adelaide Central YHA is one of the best backpackers in the city. With newly renovated rooms, free Wi-Fi, and other modern facilities, it offers safe, clean, and friendly budget accommodations for solo travellers.
The Best Travel Apps for Solo Travel in Australia
- Hostelworld: The best app for searching and booking hostels and backpackers
- Booking.com and Airbnb: Great for finding hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation
- PackPoint: A helpful app to help you make sure you pack all the necessities for your trip
- Couchsurfer: Suitable for budget travellers but not recommended for solo female travellers in Australia
- Viator and Get Your Guide: Useful for browsing and booking tours and day trips
- Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble: Designed to meet and socialize with others in your vicinity
- Trail Wallet: A great way to stick to your budget when travelling in an expensive country
- Backpackr: A social media app designed for meeting travellers nearby
- WhatsApp Messenger: The leading messaging app used by most locals in Australia
- Holafly: An e-SIM application that allows you to download a data-only SIM card without installing a physical card
It’s also a good idea to join local Facebook groups designed for travellers or ex-pats in Australia. Groups like ‘Melbourne Meetups,’ ‘Traveling Tasmania,’ and ‘Australia Backpackers’ are some of the most popular.
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Safety Tips for Solo Travel Australia
Unlike many other destinations, your most significant safety concerns as a tourist in Australia are the unfriendly wild animals, as opposed to crime. That said, any big city poses a risk of petty theft and unwelcome crime, so vigilance is essential.
Watch your belongings at all times, especially in crowded places or where you might be distracted. When you go out at night, always keep an eye on your drinks, especially if you are a solo female traveller in Australia. Although spiked drinks are uncommon here, you can never rule out risk.
I always share my live location with family and friends back home, as well as with a new friend I trust in the city I am visiting. I also recommend staying in a female-only dorm if you are travelling solo as a female-identifying person.
Steer clear of unfriendly animals in the outback while hiking or at the beach. There are a few dangerous animals to keep an eye out for. I’m talking about box jellyfish, snakes, spiders, sharks, crocodiles, and even octopuses.
Lastly, use all the sun protection. The sun is powerful in the land down under, and sunstroke can put a real damper on a great adventure.
Tips for Solo Traveling in Australia
- Staying in hostels is the easiest way to make friends in any new place. Many of the best hostels in Australia even have bars and organize daily group activities. The perfect combo between a villa and a hostel, Stoke Beach House is one of Sydney’s premier surf hostels.
- Plan some booked adventures or tours. Even if group tours aren’t your thing, I advise booking a few activities in advance. Not only are these a great way to meet other travellers, but they offer a different perspective of a location. This Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Course is an excellent example of a tour that could be booked out fast!
- Take advantage of freebies. Travelling solo in Australia can get expensive – fast. Check social media groups to find free events in the area you visit. Most big cities offer free cultural days where you can visit different museums, castles, and historic homes at no cost.
- Keep some flexibility in your itinerary. While booking some pre-planned activities is a good idea, keeping your plans flexible is essential. When you meet the right people, you’ll want to chop and change your itinerary and the places you visit.
- Plan your own trip – it’s your Australian backpacking adventure. Template itineraries found on the internet can be helpful for research, but I recommend that you plan your own trip according to the activities you most enjoy.
- Use public transport. Australian cities have some of the world’s most efficient and affordable public transport systems. Take advantage of this service and save costs on Uber and taxis, which are a sure way to blow through your budget super fast.
- Be social, but appreciate spending time on your own. Travelling alone can be lonely, but it is also so rewarding. Be friendly with others in your hostel and tour groups, but also remember to be satisfied spending time alone.
- One of the best tips for solo travel in Australia is to visit during the right time of year. September to November and March through May are the best times to visit the country. These months fall between seasons, meaning you’ll skip the crowds while taking advantage of lower prices before tourist season begins.
- Get good travel insurance. I can’t stress this enough. Although the country is safe regarding crime, Australia is home to its fair share of dangerous animals. Make sure you have insurance that covers things like snake bites and jellyfish stings.
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How to Meet People When Solo Traveling in Australia
- Use social media: Facebook groups advertise different events you can attend to meet new friends. Dating apps are another way to meet people. Most apps can be switched from dating to friendship, making it easy to find people with similar interests within your vicinity.
- Stay in a hostel: When choosing where to stay in Australia, opting for a hostel is one of the best ways to meet new people. Especially if you stay in a shared room, it’s hard not to make friends when sharing accommodation with others.
- Attend cultural events: Besides tours, joining other cultural activities, including cooking courses and cultural immersion experiences, is another excellent way to meet others while travelling solo.
- Keep an open mind and be confident and friendly: Make sure you keep an open mind about meeting new people. Be available when others need advice or directions or want photos taken, and remain approachable by being friendly and welcoming.
- Join group tours: Whether you join a tour hosted by your hostel or an independent tour guide, group tours and activities are one of the best ways to meet others while abroad. Chances are those joining the same trip will have similar interests to yours!
- Join a gym or sports team: Short-term memberships at sports clubs, gyms, or co-working spaces are an excellent way for solo travellers in Australia to meet other travellers.
- Join a pub crawl: Often organized by hostels or youth organizations, pub crawls (or other social events) make it easy to visit new areas of the city while meeting new friends in a casual social environment.
- Volunteer: Volunteering in Australia with a local organization is not only a great way to give back, but it is also great for meeting others with similar humanitarian interests as your own.
Final Thoughts for your Solo Trip to Australia
Australia was an absolutely mental place to visit alone. It was the first solo trip I took that kick-started my deep passion for self-exploration through global exploration.
The country is an outdoor lovers’ paradise, and there is nothing more liberating and character-building than travelling solo. Put these two together, and we have ourselves a winning location for solo travellers. With an incredible outdoorsy scene, incredible natural beauty, dynamic and safe cities, and plenty of budget accommodations available, solo travellers in Australia could spend their days learning to surf in Byron Bay and evenings dancing the night away with new friends.
With cultural influences from Aborinonals and British settlers, as well as other island nations, Australia has a unique history and cultural scene. The country is most famous for its natural wonders and wide open spaces, including ‘The Outback’ and ‘The Bush.’ But it’s also famous for its metropolitan centres, with four mega-cities; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.
Massive and varied, the country truly has something to offer every traveller. Whether you enjoy spending your time lounging on beautiful beaches, tasting incredible food, or adventuring into the unknown Outback, you’re guaranteed to have an exciting time travelling solo in Australia.
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