This post was first published in 2015 but has since been updated with more information and tips for travelling Australia alone.
When I was 25 I took a month off work and set off on my first ever solo backpacking trip to Australia. I hadn’t traveled much before. I wasn’t what you’d call a complete travel virgin, but I’d only ever traveled with friends or family before. I wanted to experience Australia with a friend. I spent months trying to convince my friends to join me, but they all had their own excuses. “I can’t get the time off work”, “I just can’t afford it”, ” Australia is too far”, etc, etc. I didn’t want to put the trip on hold and I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of traveling around Australia. So despite my parents’ concerns, I bought my plane ticket and set off on an adventure of a lifetime.
At first, I was terrified of traveling Australia alone, but the minute I arrived all of my fears disappeared. The trip became the start of a much bigger solo adventure that took me all around the world. Since that first trip of solo travel in Australia, I’ve embarked on solo trips to several other countries, including Turkey, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, China, and parts of Europe.
Having experienced solo travel in many different places, I am now convinced that Australia is the absolute BEST country to travel to for your first solo backpacking trip. And here is why.
Australia is English Speaking
There is a certain level of comfort in knowing that despite being so far away from home you can still communicate in your own language. (This is, of course, assuming that English is your first language or at least a language that you speak fairly fluently). You can read the signs, follow instructions, order food, or ask for help and guidance without having to deal with a language barrier.
If you can manage to get by speaking English at home, then travelling Australia alone will be simple.
A word of caution: Australians do use a lot of odd words and expressions that will make you question whether they actually speak the same English as you do, so make sure to read up on a few local slangs before you go travelling Australia alone.
It’s Easy to Get Around Australia
The backpacker trail and infrastructure has been in place in Australia for decades making traveling around Australia fairly easy.
There are buses, trains, ferries, cheap airlines and even rental vans equipped with generator to keep your appliances running during your stops and get you from point A to point B without major hassle. You can research fares, review schedules, get accouterments like a backpacking chair, and book online months before the start of your trip, or you can play it by ear and book just one or two days in advance.
The ease of travel is a huge benefit for those you want to solo travel Australia, especially for those who are prone to changing their itineraries to follow new friends and new experiences. Thumbs up for that, Australia!
Read Next: How to Get Around Australia on $1/day
Planning Your Solo Adventure in Australia is a Breeze
If planning your own trip around Australia sounds like a pain in the butt, there are lots of companies here that will happily do it for you. Australian tour companies love solo travelers and cater to them at all price levels.
There are luxury tours for the sophisticated solo travelers that want a 5-star experience, comfort tours suitable for those looking for a great holiday without the scary price tag, and plenty of options tailored for backpackers who are after the cheapest price with the most basic amenities.
The best part about it is that most travel agencies and tour companies don’t charge single supplement fees in Australia, so you don’t have to pay extra as long as you are happy to share a room with another traveler of the same gender.
You’re Not the Only One Doing Solo Travel Australia
Every day you will bump into others travelling Australia alone. They’ll be enjoying breakfast at the table next to you in your hotel/hostel, they’ll be taking the Greyhound bus from Melbourne to Sydney, they’ll be your dive buddy touring Western Australia, or the person sitting next to you in your 4×4 on the Fraser Island tour.
They’ll be dancing on tables at Byron Bay’s Cheeky Monkeys, sharing their goon (Australian boxed wine) with you as you sail the Whitsundays, and cheering you on as your catch your first wave after your first surf lesson on Surfers Paradise
They too are coming to Australia hoping to meet other travelers to share their amazing Down Under experience and they’ll be just as thrilled to meet you as you are to meet them.
Australians are Friendly and Really Laid Back
If you’d rather mingle with the locals than be glued to the hip to the only other [insert your home country here] traveler you meet in your hostel, then you are in luck. Australians are a friendly bunch.
They are often well traveled and love meeting other travelers. You can find them sun tanning on the beach, perusing the local farmers markets, sipping coffee in little hole-in-the-wall cafes, or having a lazy Sunday on a patio.
Step away from the main tourist sights and attractions and you are bound to find lots of chances to interact and make friends with the locals.
One easy way to meet locals when you are travelling Australia alone can be to choose accommodation that isn’t full of tourists. Airbnb not only offers entire flats in residential areas, but you can also rent a room and meet your host. Most Airbnb hosts are really welcoming and full of insider tips, and they may even invite you to hang out with them.
Don’t have an Airbnb account yet? Sign up now and receive a $40 USD credit to put towards your first Airbnb stay!
Travelling Australia Alone is Safe
There is nothing more important to a solo traveler than their safety. When you travel alone, there is no one else to watch your back. You may be more susceptible to crime and general travel scams, so you have to exercise extra cautions and be aware of potential safety risks around you.
But luckily in Australia safety concerns are minimal. The crime rate in the country is low and while general precautions should of course still be taken, Australia constantly ranks as one of the safest countries for solo travelers.
If you have been dreaming about traveling Australia alone and needed a little encouragement, then rest assured that Australia ticks all the boxes for solo travel. So pack your bags, leave your fears behind, and set off on an adventure like no other. Solo travel Australia awaits!
We can’t stress enough the importance of travel insurance, especially in a country like Australia. Whether you just plan to explore the cities, do a little bit of hiking, or go extreme (think surfing, scuba diving, or ever skydiving), being protected on your travels is an irreplaceable peace of mind. We learned about the importance of travel insurance the hard way and now we never travel without coverage.
Get a quote through our recommended insurance provider, World Nomads.