Standing in front of Uluru, Australia

How to Travel Australia Alone

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My first ever solo backpacking experience was to Australia. I spent a total of 6 weeks traveling up the east coast from Sydney to Cairns, then flew to Alice Springs for a 3-day Uluru Tour. From there I flew to Melbourne for the Grand Prix, then I continued my adventures in New Zealand.

 

For a first-timer to traveling alone, Australia is an ideal location because it’s an English-speaking country, it’s set up for backpackers and it’s easy to make friends. At first it was a little bit daunting and the thought crossed my mind; “What if I don’t meet anyone?” but as soon as I landed I realised my fears were completely unfounded. Not once on my trip was I ever alone. When I touched down in Sydney, I met lots of people in my hostel in Bondi Beach and I still talk to some of them to this day. I became good friends with a girl on the Oz Experience bus, (who was also traveling solo) and we were pretty inseparable for the next few weeks.

Don’t be nervous or apprehensive; here are my top tips for how to travel Australia alone:

Go prepared

Skim Boarding Australia

First of all, make sure you purchase adequate insurance to cover you for things like emergency medical expenses and lost or stolen items.

Also make sure you have the right Visa for your trip. If you’re from the UK and traveling as a tourist for less than 3 months you can apply for the eVisitor visa online, or you might want to spend a year in the Land Down Under by applying for a Working Holiday Visa. You can also apply for an Australia visa through a private visa bureau that takes most of the work out of your hands for a slightly higher fee. Just make sure you use a reputable one.

Do your research about the activities you would like to do, but don’t have too many fixed plans in place, because the likelihood is you’ll meet people along the way and you might want to change your itinerary. Perhaps also something like β€œbut make sure you use a reputable one”.

Try Oz Experience or Greyhound

Oz Experience Crew in fancy dress

I chose the Oz Experience bus and I would recommend it to anyone traveling alone. Basically you choose a route and purchase a bus pass before you go, and it works like a hop-on-hop-off tour.  Everyone doing the Oz Experience is traveling on their own time scale- some fast, and others a bit slower. But as I made my way up the east coast, I did find that I would bump into people I had met before and soon I found I had a new crew of friends. The bus drivers are fantastic at getting everyone to socialise by playing games on the bus, and we often broke the long journeys up with cool activities such as barefoot lawn bowls. It’s a flexible, safe way to travel around Australia, and the drivers will help you book extra tours and excursions too.

The alternative is the Greyhound bus, which is a bus service that will take you between the main cities. This is just a point to point service and personally I think the Oz Experience seems a lot more fun for a solo traveller.

Stay in Hostels

If you’re backpacking Australia and want to meet other people, hostels are a great place to do that as they have common areas where you can swap stories over a few beers. My favourite hostels in Australia included  Surfside Bondi Beach, Holiday Village Byron Bay, Cool Bananas Town of 1770, Habitat HQ St. Kilda, Base Magnetic Island and Global Backpackers Airlie Beach.

Take a tour

Kangaroo Island Tour

I’m not usually a ‘tour person’ but I booked some fantastic tours and I quickly became good friends with the people in my tour groups. My favourite tour was a 4×4 excursion to Fraser Island because we spent several nights camping under the stars, driving on the beaches and cooking meals together. Other memorable tours I’ve taken part in included a 3-day tour to Uluru and Kings Canyon, a tour of Kangaroo Island and a tour to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. I booked a Whitsunday Islands sailing trip, but unfortunately there was a cyclone and we had to sail back after just one night.

Find a road trip buddy

I was lucky enough to make a friend who also wanted to drive the Great Ocean Road, so we rented a vehicle in Melbourne and off we went. If you’re looking for a buddy to do a road trip with, look on the noticeboards in the hostels. The noticeboards will often have info about vehicles for sale (if you’re staying a while) and messages from people looking to do a road trip. Alternatively I would recommend you check out the Gumtree website and the Rideshare and Travel Partners section!

Road Trip Australia

I had an incredible time traveling alone in Australia, and there definitely isn’t anything to be worried about! It’s an amazing place and you’ll make so many memories.

18 thoughts on “How to Travel Australia Alone”

  1. Hey!
    This helped me a lot. I was a bit scared to go all by myself at first but when I read this I felt more confident and acually convinced that I can do this. I’ve read about the Oz experience before but I’m a bit confused over wich route to choose. Which one did you pick? Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. I’ve recently found myself with no option but to travel alone down the East Coast after splitting up with my boyfriend of 7 years, and being too proud to admit defeat and go home. The idea of travelling alone is terrifying me but I have to do it, and reading this has actually got me feeling a lot more relaxed about the whole thing. I hope I have the same awesome experiences you clearly had. Thanks!

      1. I’m heading to Australia by myself in February 2019!! I’m so excited but due to work can only stay there a week going to Sydney how much would I be able to do in a weeks time in Australia?

    1. When are you travelling down there? I’m English,in Perth house/dog sitting for a bit, and then getting to Cairns on 24th March and heading down the coast until 20th April, so could be fun to link along the way πŸ™‚

      I can give you my email address if that helps.

      Best,
      Dom.

    2. I’m in somewhat of a siniliar situation – have you started your travels ? Just looking for suggestions. πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Victoria,

    I’m planing on traveling alone east coast australia in november. I’m thinking of joining the oz experience. What package did you choose? Did you book hostels in advance or when you arrived to the place?
    Thank you for a good blogg post πŸ™‚

  4. Hi, lovely article thank you!

    Now that Oz Experience has joined up with Greyhound do you think the activities included for the price are worthwhile or do you think I am better booking these alone? I’d really like your thoughts on this as it is quite expensive for the Cruiser pass in comparison to the amount needed to travel up the east coast so just want to make sure I have value for money. Not sure whether to maybe go for the medium option on Oz Experience and book a few activities separately. I am travelling alone!

    Any help would be massively appreciated!

    Thanks xxx

  5. I am planning a trip to NZ and East Coast Australia but I am 41 and wondering by so many pictures of young travelers……am I going to feel old or is there a lot of different ages staying in the hostels and tours ect?

    1. Hi Cheyenne, there will be lots of young people, yes. Australia is where lots of people go when they’re just out of school or in their 20s. Of your age group there were usually one or two in the hostels. But I wouldn’t worry about it, if you are social person and you take tours, I’m sure you will make friends. I think ultimately it is all about your own attitude πŸ™‚

  6. Nayeema Nizamuddin

    HI, Can you send me a link to the OZ Experience Pass….I cannot seem to find a link on their website. Please and thank you,

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