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How to Travel Solo in Australia Safely and on a Budget

 

Solo Travelling in Australia 

Australia is a destination recognised across the world, thanks to its vibrant coral reefs, sweeping outback landscapes and bustling metropolitan centres, which is why it’s one of the most visited backpacking destinations in the world.

Despite travel restrictions, around half a million backpackers visited Australia in 2020 alone, and with backpackers accounting for around 13% of tourism spending in the country, the country is primed for those travelling solo in Australia.

With thousands of exceptional sites, dozens of sandy-beached cities and countless unique hostels to meet other like-minded travellers at, solo travel through Australia can be a life-changing experience.

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Travelling Solo in Australia Safely

Undertaking any travelling experience can often be a daunting prospect for many, let alone travelling on your own, which is why we have put together some of the best advice on travelling solo in Australia safely.

 

Is Australia Safe to Travel on Your Own?

Australia in general is a very safe country, with a stable political system and a low crime rate, with 2020 seeing a decrease in general crime

The country is perfect for backpackers with well-established travel hostels that provide useful information on tours and more.

Australia’s highly regulated hostel system and strongly inter-connected transport network make it easy for travellers to reach the many beautiful sites and cities.

To help you get the most out of exploring the land down under we have provided some of the best tips and tricks for travelling solo safely in Australia

Girl walking along the beach with an Australian flag

 

Our Top Safety Tips when Travelling Solo in Australia

1) Swimming at Beaches

Australia is well known for its many fantastic beaches, including the famous Bondi Beach and the lesser known Misery beach which was voted “Australia’s Best Beach” in 2022.

A day spent lounging on the country’s sandy shores is a must for most travellers. But, there are some rare dangers found under the waters of Australia’s ocean that you would do well to keep in mind.

To stay safe, you should remember to practice good beach safety by avoiding swimming at beaches that are known for dangerous rips (rip-tides) or overpowering waves.

It is also recommended that you never swim alone at night or at beaches that don’t have lifeguards.

 

2) Marine Wildlife

Marine animals, such as jellyfish (also known locally as “stingers”), are common in Australian waters and can cause pain or reactions when touched.

Sharks, including bull and tiger sharks, are also sighted in the waters. Although they can be encountered at any time of the year, their peak season is between November and April.

Don’t let this scare you though.

I’ve lived in Australia for over 30 years and have never seen a shark in the ocean, or been stung by a blue bottle jelly fish.

*Touch wood*

And as you travel around, you will usually spot signs at the beach that alert you of any dangers – whether it be wildlife, rips or other things to consider when swimming in the area.

  • What to do if you get stung by a blue bottle jellyfish

One of the most common stingers found washed up on Australian beaches is the bluebottle jellyfish, a type of invertebrate which is easily identified by its long blue tentacles and blue balloon bag.

While less dangerous than the rarer box jellyfish, if the tentacles of a blue bottle touch your skin, they can cause pain, irritation and sometimes a skin rash on the contact point.

If you are stung by a blue bottle, ensure to brush the tentacles off first and flush the area with hot but not boiling water. After that, you may find some relief by applying a cortisone cream.

If the pain is not relieved, or there are signs of an allergic reaction, you should seek medical assistance at the lifeguard booth (if there is one), a pharmacy or local medical clinic.

Blue Bottle Jelly Fish

 

3) Other Wildlife

Yes, Australia is renowned globally for its diversity of wildlife – from enormous spiders, snakes and crocodiles to adorable wallabies, koalas and echidnas.

Australia does tend to have the reputation of containing all the animals that want to kill you. But as a local, I swear it’s not that bad!

Like anywhere in the world, wild animals should always be respected and in many cases, observed from a distance.

For example, kangaroos and wombats can often be quite aggressive of their territory, and their claws can create a lot of damage.

If you’re exploring the waterways of Queensland or the Northern Territory, you should be very careful of crocodile-infested waters and always keep an eye out for informative “Beware” signs in these areas.

Wombat | Be careful of wildlife in Australia

 

4) Driving Solo in Australia

In Australia, driving is pretty straightforward.

In most areas, we have well-maintained roads, strict driving laws and enforced speed limits.

You will want to ensure that you stay on the left side of the road and keep aware of speed signs. Given the maximum speed limits change regularly, it can be easy to get a speeding fine, especially in the cities.

If you’re adventuring on a long road trip, ensure to take regular breaks to avoid fatigue.

On most regional and country roads, there are zones where you can stop for a quick power nap if you need it.It’s always better to have a quick nap as opposed to running off the road due to being over-tired.

You’d think this one is obvious, but it happens a lot. So, please be careful!

It’s also wise to keep an eye out for crossing wildlife when driving in rural areas, especially at dawn, dusk or late at night. Especially due to the reduced visibility and increase in the number of animals crossing the road.

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5) Summer Months

Summer months in Australia can often reach extreme temperatures, especially when you head further inland. The strength of the UV rays can also be dynamite.

There are some smart safety tips you can follow to ensure you don’t come away from your solo travel adventure sunburnt to a crisp.

Firstly, in the hotter regions, make sure to wear sunscreen and always stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

It’s also wise to carry some hydrating sachets in your first aid travel pack to help keep your electrolytes well topped up when the sun is blazing down.

Try to avoid spending too much time in direct sun during the hottest time of the day, usually mid and early afternoon.

Bondi Beach | Solo Travel in Australia Tips

 

How to Save Money When Travelling Australia on a Budget

Solo travel in Australia can often be expensive, especially when compared other nearby destinations like South-East Asia.

But, solo travellers can still get to see a large chunk of Australia’s landscape, even when on the tightest of budgets.

To help you get the best bang for your Aussie buck, we’ve provided some of our top tips and advice for saving money when travel solo in Australia.

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Cheap Accommodation

The best way by far to save money when solo travelling in Australia is to use alternate accommodation, with a focus on hostels and Airbnb.

Thanks to the plethora of apps now available, you can easily find affordable accommodation from the moment you touch down in Australia.

Couch-surfing can also be a fantastic way to solo travel in Australia.

It not only helps to cut costs, but also allows you to experience the nation from the perspective of a local and make some friends along the way.

Another way to save money, especially when heading out of the city, is to stay at one of Australia’s many camping spots.

Campsites in Australis can provide a memorable space to stay, for a fraction of the cost.

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Cheap Flights 

Due to the significant distance between cities in Australia, domestic flights are frequent and relatively cheap, especially when booked in advance.

You can use apps like Google Flights, Skyscanner and Hopper to find budget flights to your solo travel destinations for the best prices possible.

Also make sure to practice smart booking choices, like taking flights on off-peak days such as Wednesdays or Saturdays.

 

Cheap Adventures / Experiences

Discovering some of Australia’s most impressive sites and cities is easy thanks to a variety of tourism-focused initiatives, including free walking tours in cities like Melbourne and Sydney.

You can also easily learn about the history of Australia by taking advantage of free entry to a variety of museums, including Sydney’s historic Australian Museum or Melbourne’s National Gallery.

You can also easily find a lot of discounted experiences online by visiting coupon sites, which allow you to experience wine valley trips, boat tours and more for a fraction of the price!

Some of these include:

Finally, you can enjoy countless city parks, hiking routes and more for absolutely nothing, as well as explore dozens of national parks that cover thousands of miles of Australia.

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Food and Drinks

Dining out in Australia can be pretty expensive, but you can often find some cheaper alternatives. However it does depend on the places you visit, with most basic meals costing between $15 and $20 AUD.

An easy way to save money on food is to enjoy more home-cooked meals, rather than eating out all the time. Even buying food from local markets can help you to save some coin.

Australian Market | Save money buying food at markets

 

Best Ways to Get Around Australia

Due to its size, travelling in Australia can sometimes be a challenge for solo travellers, with a lot of choices involved.

To help you travel smarter, we’ve listed some of the best options below.

 

Self-drive vs Group Tours

Due to the vastness of the Australian outback and the distance between its cities, many solo travellers chose to self-drive or take a group tour out to sites like the famous Uluru.

Group tours are often considered the more expensive option but often come with benefits like lunch included in the price.

While self-driving gives you the flexibility to travel on your own schedule, it is important to be aware of the distances between destinations and ensure enough time to get between them (within daylight hours).

Also, keep in mind the cost of fuel and budget accordingly.

If driving in a remote or rural area, it can be a good idea to pack an additional carton / bottle of fuel, just in case. Especially given the likelihood of limited petrol stations on remote routes.

It is also wise to pack lots of water, food and car part supplies (eg. spare tyres) when you travel alone in Australia’s outback regions, due to the remoteness of any other settlements.

 

Public Transport

The public transport network of Australia is well developed, clean and affordable in coastal regions.

If travelling solo, you can usually access train, tram, bus and ferry connections between most cities, and make use of pre-paid travel cards.

You can also take advantage of city-specific public transport apps that provide live tracking information on transport links throughout the cities.

For example:

 

Budget Airlines 

Due to the immense distances between cities like Melbourne and Perth, budget airlines are one of the best options to save time when travelling in Australia, with airlines like JetStar offering trips for as little as $250 AUD.

While this is much more expensive than taking a bus route, solo travellers can save days at a time by using budget airlines.

 

Australia Solo Travel | Driving is one of the best ways to get around

 

Best Places to Travel Solo in Australia

Every state in Australia offers a unique plethora of sights, activities and experiences for solo travellers to encounter.

To help you maximise your solo travel in Australia, we have put together a list of the top 3 sites for each of Australia’s states.

 

1) Queensland

Australia’s North-Eastern state is one of its most visited destinations thanks to the plethora of sites on offer for solo travellers.

Consisting of 7000km of coastline, idyllic beaches and marine parks, Queensland a must-see destination for anyone visiting Australia.

Here are some of the top attractions in Queensland to check out:

  • The Great Barrier Reef – The world’s largest coral reef is a UNESCO heritage site consisting of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands. Home to hundreds of marine species, it is one of the most breath-taking marine locations in the entire world.
  • Brisbane – Brisbane is a capital of art and culture, with a thriving nightlife scene to match. Make sure to visit the beautiful Brisbane Botanical Gardens which overlooks the city on the towering Mount Coot-tha.
  • The Sunshine Coast – The Sunshine Coast stretches along the coast and encompasses beach resorts, surf spots and rural hinterland. Here you can explore colourful beach towns, sand dunes, mangrove forests, and idyllic lakes.

Click here to learn more about Queensland

Solo Travelling in Australia | View of Queensland coast

 

2) Victoria

Australia’s most southern mainland state is one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. Here you can enjoy truly magnificent natural landscapes. It is also known for its superior food and wine culture.

Here are some of the top attractions in Victoria to check out:

  • The Great Ocean Road – Stretching along winding cliff fronts, past towering ocean-carved monoliths, the Great Ocean Road is considered a national heritage sight. A 240-kilometre stretch of road along the south eastern coast of Australia, connecting the picturesque cities of Torquay and Allansford.
  • Melbourne CBD – A cosmopolitan metropolis, Melbourne is a vibrant city with beautiful greenways, colourful graffitied alleyways and enthusiastic cafe culture. It is also known for its quality wine, dining and entertainment precincts. You will never be bored in Melbourne.
  • The Twelve Apostles – A collection of limestone stacks found off the shore of Port Campbell National Park, the Twelve Apostles cut a dramatic scene on the Australian coastline.

Click here to learn more about Victoria

Image of Melbourne CBD, Victoria, Australia

 

3) New South Wales

By far the most iconic state in all of Australia, New South Wales is home to the impressive city of Sydney, sandy beaches and dramatic rows of vineyards.

Here are some of the top attractions in New South Wales to check out:

  • Sydney Opera House – An iconic symbol of Australia, the Sydney Opera House sits dramatically on the harbour front and is a must-see for any visitor to Australia.
  • Hunter Valley Wine Region – Explore acres of beautiful vineyards and savour some of Australia’s finest wines while discovering the breath-taking beauty of the Hunter Valley region.
  • Blue Mountain State Park – A landscaped defined by towering misted peaks, lined with dense forests of eucalyptus trees. Visiting this region will have you standing in awe of untold lockouts, waterfalls and more.
  • Oh, and you can’t forget the infamous Bondi Beach.

Click here to learn more about New South Wales

View of Blue Mountains, NSW

 

4) South Australia 

South Australia is a state defined by true parallels, with striking outback landscapes to its north and lush coastal valleys to its south.

Here are some of the top attractions in South Australia to check out:

  • Adelaide – A scenic city with stunning architecture, historic art culture and one of the best indoor food markets in the world. Exploring Adelaide is a must for all solo travellers in Australia.
  • Kangaroo Island – A beautiful island set off the coast of Australia. Much of Kangaroo Island is a nature reserve dedicated to the protection of native wilderness like sea lions, koalas and of course, the kangaroo!
  • Barossa Valley – Another of Australia’s iconic wine valleys, solo travellers can spend hours exploring the countless wineries, vineyards and towns that this idyllic landscape has to offer.

Click here to learn more about South Australia

Explore the Barossa Valley, Australia

 

4) Western Australia

For those travelling solo in Australia, the western half of the country is a natural haven unlike any other.

Western Australia is Australia’s largest state and consists mostly of wild outback, incredible coastlines, unique rock formations and of course, the city of Perth – which is a metropolitan beacon in the west.

Here are some of the top attractions in Western Australia to check out:

  • Ningaloo Reef – Australia’s second barrier reef, this marine wonder offers travellers the chance to swim with the mighty whale shark amongst a colourful coral forest. You can even swim with manta rays in some areas which is pretty cool.
  • Perth  An adventure lover’s paradise, Perth offers countless activities for solo travellers including island hopping, dune riding and more. Perth is a super chill city – it feels like a big beach town.
  • Explore Coral Bay – By far one of Australia’s most picturesque coastal towns, here you can relax on pristine beaches or indulge with some freshly caught seafood.

Click here to learn more about Western Australia

Travelling Australia Solo | Visit Western Australia

 

5) Tasmania

Australia’s largest island, Tasmania is a trip unlike any other, with 40% of the island consisting of protected landscapes and national parks.

Tasmania is an incredible destination for adventure travellers and outdoor enthusiasts, with such a wide range of adventure sports and hiking opportunities available.

Here are some of the top attractions in Tasmania to check out:

  • Explore Australia’s wild side – With countless miles of rainforest, scenic lakes and unlimited vistas, Tasmania is by far one of the most diverse natural landscapes in Australia.
  • Tamar Valley Wine Region – A unique wine region, Tamar Valley is filled with pristine hiking trails, set amongst acres of winding grape vines. And, you can stop for a cheeky wine while you’re at it.
  • Hobart – Tasmania’s capital, Hobart is Australia’s second oldest settlement and is filled with colonial buildings, historic sites and boutique market squares.

This is a must visit destination if planning a trip to Tasmania.

Click here to learn more about Tasmania

Go hiking in Tasmania, Australia

 

Australia Solo Travel Itinerary

Given the vast size of the country and the incredible amount things to do, those travelling solo in Australia can often find planning an itinerary daunting.

And with so much distance to cover and every destination holding a countless list of unique activities, covering it all can seem impossible. That’s why we think the best way to travel Australia is to break it down into sections.

Plot your route first, list out your must-see sites and break them down by state. This will allow you to plan your itinerary accordingly.

If you’re struggling to narrow down your itinerary choices for each state, don’t worry.

Below we have included some of our top tips for first-time travellers in Australia when road tripping around Australia.

 

Solo Road Trips in Australia for People on a Budget

Given the breath-taking scenery along the coastline, people travelling solo in Australia often chose to explore this breath-taking country on the road by hiring a car.

To help you find the most iconic stretches of highway in all of Australia, we have put together a list of some of Australia’s best road-trip routes.

 

1) Victoria

  • The Great Ocean Road – Stretching over 243 kilometres along Victoria’s southern coast, on this route, you’ll get to explore the impressive surf and shipwreck coast while also discovering some of Australia’s most notable landmarks.

 

2) Tasmania

  • 10-day Tasmania Self-drive – On this easy-to-do 10-day self-drive, you will be able to easily explore stunning national parks, historic penal towns and various attractions of Tasmania.

 

3) Western Australia

  • Perth to Broome Road Trip – Western Australia’s immense and winding coastline provides some of the world’s best coastal views. This is definitely something you can look forward to when driving Perth to Broome route. You will have the chance to explore scenic coastal towns, beautiful outback scenery and more during this unforgettable journey.
  • Perth to Esperance – Travel along an adventure-studded route on this fantastic road-trip that takes you from the state’s bustling capital to the hidden paradise of Bremer Bay and beyond!
  • Esperance Great Ocean Drive – With sparkling white sand beaches splashed by turquoise oceans, the Esperance great ocean drive provides you with access to some of the most pristine swaths of coastal beauty.

 

Girl loving Australia Road trip | How to travel solo in Australia safely and on a budget

 

In Summary

Solo Travel in Australia | How to Travel Solo in Australia Safely and on a Budget

Australia is truly a land like no other.

It provides solo travellers with access to life-changing views, vibrant cities and countless activities.

Thanks to its unique sites, diverse range of hostels, extensive public transport network and some of the best natural wonders in the world, Australia is the perfect solo destination.

With a tourism industry primed for solo travel in Australia, you will be able to make friends, discover wonders and explore the land down under no matter your budget or itinerary.

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Hey guys, I’m Ash & welcome to Adventure Travel Pro!

As a seasoned traveller, I share knowledge, advice and inspo for newbie solo travellers and thrill seekers.

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