Places to Visit in Australia
Solo travel in Australia is so easy that we’ve given it a 5 out of 5 star rating. Australia is known for its travelling culture so wherever you choose to start travelling you’re guaranteed to meet others en route. Backpacking Australia is really popular especially along the East Coast which is famous for its party atmosphere.
Because of its ease, many gap-year and younger travellers choose to visit here to experience life down under before entering the job market.
Travelling solo in Australia as a woman is fine as most people are friendly but be prepared for some strange souls in the outback, especially in Katherine and Tenant Creek. Oz is great for a first timer. There are endless supplies of hostels and hotels and everyone speaks English. It really is a traveller’s dream.
Below is our guide to how to travel solo in Australia as well as lots of practical information such as where to stay, which tour company to use and how to get around. Find out how to get from the airports and what to do in each place.
All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article.
Places to Visit in Australia
You can’t get much further from home than Australia and a trip down under is ideal for solo travel. It has sun, sand and plenty of surfer dudes to keep you entertained but with so many territories to see, where do you start? Follow our list of places to visit in Australia to help you to plan your trip.
If you like to party and meet other travellers then the East coast is the place to begin; fly into Cairns and travel down the Queensland coast. Cairns is also the gateway to Northern Australia where the rainforest meets the sea and from here you can explore Cape Tribulation which is home to thousands of mammals, reptiles and plants. Spend an evening in an eco lodge to get back in touch with nature.
Take the scenic railway through the Daintree National Park, see the waterfalls at Atherton Tablelands or take a stroll at the Mossman Gorge then relax at Cow Bay or the Four Mile Beach at Port Douglas.
The Great Barrier Reef runs along the Queensland coast and is a metropolis of coral and underwater life. Introductory dives are available for those who want to experience the reef for the first time from Fitzroy or Green Island (the instructor will even hold your hand).
Once you’ve experienced this wonder of the world head South for the real Australia where you can sample some Bundaberg rum in the fruit picking region.
Magnetic Island is a boat away from Townsville and they say that once you come here, you won’t want to leave. It’s a great place to hire a moke (a golf cart) and drive around the island but apart from the secluded beach of Radical Bay and the dairy-free ice-cream parlour, this island is no different to any other (unless you want to horse ride in the sea).
Fraser Island is a definite must-see. It’s a huge sand island with stunning lakes where you can drive a 4WD along the beach. This is more of a camping experience but beware of the dingos and the tiger sharks. Experience the great nightlife at Airlie Beach then take a sailing trip around the islands of the Whitsundays.
Whitehaven Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and you can see manta rays swimming along the shoreline. It’s also an ideal spot to clean any dull-looking jewellery in the crystal clear waters.
There’s not much in Brisbane except for the late Steve Irwin’s Brisbane Zoo and a riverside park. If you need more nightlife and some surf then Surfers Paradise is the place to be with its ‘Miami feel’ and has plenty of fun for a solo traveller.
This is the place to hang out, catch some sun and take a ride in the many theme parks. Choose from Dreamworld, Movie World, Sea World or Wet ‘n’ Wild. Stay in a hostel to find others willing to come along for the ride.
Just north of Brisbane is a region called Noosa with secluded beaches and cute arty shops with plenty of restaurants around Hastings Street. The main beach is great for swimming and there are no stingers here. If you prefer the hippy scene, visit Byron Bay for its incredibly laid back vibe or take a trip to Nimbin the ‘alternative capital of Australia’ for its arty, colouful community and lost souls.
Victoria is the next territory and known for its variety of sporting events. Melbourne hosts the Australian Open, the Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup and Aussie Rules football at the MGM. It’s also the fashion capital of Australia and is great for shopping and back-street cafe culture but you’ll need a local to find its exclusive hidden nightlife.
You’ll feel more at home in Melbourne with its four seasons in one day but if you’re looking for a more holiday-feel then take the tram to St Kilda where you can sit al fresco and watch people roller blading along the promenade.
From Melbourne you can cruise along the Great Ocean Road, one of Australia’s epic drives. Bells Beach is en route and has great point breaks and was actually the setting of the film with the same name. Off the coast of Melbourne is Tasmania, which has so much to see that we’ve given it its own page.
New South Wales
Sydney lies in New South Wales and although it is not the country’s capital it has everything you would expect to find in one. Australia’s actual capital, Canberra, is 250km inland. The Parliament Building is the main focal point of the city which overlooks the lake but don’t make the long trip here expecting too much as the capital is very understated.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House are must sees for day tours in Sydney.Sydney makes solo travel in Australia so easy with so much to see and do. Take a boat ride around the harbour or travel across to Taronga Zoo for spectacular pictures of giraffes against a Sydney back drop.
Darling Harbour at dusk is the perfect place to people watch and has some great bars. If you prefer somewhere more upmarket, Woolloomooloo has swanky restaurants and plenty of yachts to admire.
If you like markets, you’ll love Paddington market which is reminiscent of Covent Garden with arty stalls. Known for its surfing, Bondi is the most popular of the beaches but the waves of Coogee, Manly and Bronte are just as good. Dee Why beach is lesser known and is a great escape from the crowds.
Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and there is a lot to do both in and around this city which has a country-town feel. Get out into the Adelaide Hills to see waterfalls, fairytale villages and the world’s largest rocking horse.
Sample wines at the Barossa Valley and see how chocolate is made in the chocolate factory, camp overnight at Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre within the Flinders Rangers. It’s a unique experience and you need an entry permit to enter the park.
Kangaroo Island is worth a visit and is only 90 minutes from the mainland. You can get up close and personal to seals on Seal Bay and join a wildlife safari to learn about the Australian animals. The beach-side suburb of Glenelg is worth a stroll and there are great restaurants here. If you don’t fancy getting any tan lines as you sunbathe, Maslin Beach is the place for nudists.
From Adelaide you can travel by train on the Ghan across the outback to the Red Centre, home to many aborigines or to the modern city of Perth via the Indian Pacific railway. Perth is popular with expats and is only worth seeing if you have the time as it’s a long way from the rest of the country.
There are some great beaches such as Cottesloe and Scarborough. Kings Park is a tranquil place to relax and see black swans.
Fremantle is a vibrant little city with buzzing markets but the main attraction has got to be the old prison, which gives you an eye-opening tour of prison life. Rottnest Island is unique and you can cycle around this wildlife nature reserve.
When you stray away from the cities into the more male-dominated outback, you may find you get more attention as a woman travelling solo and being whistled at is not uncommon. If you don’t mind the attention, it’s worth a trip to see the real Australia. You shouldn’t miss Coober Pedy, the world’s only underground town where you can sleep in an abandoned mine shaft.
The Red Centre is steeped in Aboriginal culture and resembles a scene out of the Flintstones. Learn how to throw a boomerang, ride in a hot air balloon or play a didgeridoo at Alice Springs.
Visit the Flying Doctors Museum or the reptile centre to learn more about Australia’s snakes and lizards. Then it’s on to the wonder that is Ayres Rock or Uluru, as known by the Aborigines, which can be reached by a six hour drive or a flight.
There has been much controversy about climbing the rock but a walk around the burial caves and ancient art paintings at the base is a good substitute. Don’t forget to include Kings Canyon (the setting for the movie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and the Olgas when you go.
Head north to Darwin via Lichfield or Kakadu National Park where you can see crocodiles and wetlands or hire a bike at Katherine Gorge and cycle to the springs. If you’re going to the Northern Territory it’s worth investing in a fly net for this tropical climate.
Tennant Creek is an odd little place and half of its population are aborigines. If you can handle the strangeness it’s worth a stop to see the Devils Marbles, an important site from the Dreamtime or visit Kalgoorlie for a real gold rush town.
Cruise past the rugged red cliffs of the Kimberley region then west to Broome, known for its pearling industry to drive a 4×4 along the northern stretch of Cable Beach. Many people skip this region but if you have the time it is worth travelling to. Nambung National Park is where you’ll find the Pinnacles Desert, an area of pointy formations made out of limestone.
Australia is the place to sleep under the stars in a swag and experience a hot sunny Christmas. If you decide to spend the Christmas holidays in Australia you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Santa jet skiing along Sydney Harbour. There really is no other place like it.
Combine your trip to Australia with a stopover in Asia.
Beware of box jellyfish in the sea during wet season (December to February). Stinger suits are provided if you intend to snorkel.
Accommodation in Australia
Australia is brimming with accommodation and you’ll never be short of places to stay whether you prefer hostels or a swanky city apartment. Finding accommodation in Australia is easy with motels, farmstays and even boat houses to spend a night or two.
Booking.com offers BnBs and hotels from 3 star to the luxurious 5 star and even includes dorm rooms if you’re travelling on a budget. Guest houses are a sociable way of staying in family homes.
Plus there’s Airbnb which connects you to unique travel experiences and isn’t just limited to staying in a local’s spare room. You can save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.
Homestay is an alternative to Airbnb. They connect you to hosts in over 160 countries and give a real homestay experience instead of just handing over keys. They offer a unique mix of stays such as a stay in a beachfront townhouse or in a bus in Byron Bay. You can even video call your host family before you go to find the perfect host. Check homestays and prices here
All of the accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with a Solo Female Friendly endorsement.
Read More………. www.girlabouttheglobe.com
5 PERFECT DESTINATIONS IN ITALY FOR SOLO TRAVEL
Italy isn’t all cozy gondola rides in Venice and romantic Vespa rides through Rome. There are some incredible cities that ooze with experiences for solo travel, you just need to know where to go.
Not to say that a trip to the floating city of Venice isn’t worthwhile, but it can feel more suited to an idyllic couples getaway than a solo adventure. Not to worry; we’ve got you covered. From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the spectacular coastline, the dream Italy trip can be yours – whether you’re thinking of adventuring on your own, or solo on a small group tour.
So, now for the good stuff. Here are five great cities in Italy for taking in the country’s history, culture, beauty and – of course – delicious eats.
Naturally, we couldn’t talk about travel in Italy without swooning over the food. It’s hard to hone in on just one food mecca, but Bologna surely gives other cities a run for their money. Located in the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy, Bologna is nicknamed la grassa aka “the fat one”… It’s the place to indulge in ragù alla bolognese, mortadella sausage, tortellini and tortelloni (oh yes, you bet you can taste the difference).
It’s no secret — Bologna’s food is great company on its own, but there’s more to look forward to than that. For solo travelers, cultivating your relationship with food is but one of this historic city’s perks.
Bologna is also nicknamed la dotta, meaning “the learned one” as it’s the oldest university town in Italy. This learning culture makes Bologna all the more welcoming for solo travelers who, like students, bring a spunky energy and thirst for experiences (and for aperitivo). Many students speak English, which makes it all that much easier to learn the story behind the many massive graffiti murals and ask for help navigating through its roughly 40km of gorgeous porticos. That said, the medieval city center is perfectly compact, so easy to stroll through.
The city of Siena in central Tuscany, just south of Florence, is made up of stunning pink-hued medieval buildings built on top of three hills. It’s equal parts peaceful as it is rich in action. And then there’s the Palio horse race. Siena is famed for this race that takes place twice every summer (mid July and the end of August) in the main square, Piazza del Campo.
On the car-less roads, you can visit wine caves and sample some of the most delicious Chianti, Brunello, and Montepulciano wines that are exclusive to the region. Venture underground to explore the tangle of caves that house massive aging barrels. Buff up on your wine knowledge and food pairings as you hop from one sampling from the next – you’re well on your way to becoming a wine connoisseur!
The World Heritage Site also has many sweet shops for panforte di siena, a traditional fruit cake, and ricciarelli, Sienese almond cookies. And if you thought Siena couldn’t get any sweeter… One of the oldest universities is located there. Even more excitingly, you’ll find that Siena has very friendly people who are often out and about enjoying the city – just as you are.
Cinque Terre is made up of five fishing communities lined up along the Italian Riviera: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known for the mosaic of pastel houses that stretch along the coast. Stunning stuff. When in Italy for solo travel, this is the perfect place for “me” time.
One of the main attractions is the footpaths leading from one city to the next. It’s a foolproof way to explore the city and stay active, whether you want to spend the hike in your own head or chat with people you meet on the trail. There are different sections of the trail, each offering their own level of difficulty, so you can choose to challenge yourself or take it at your leisure.
Hiking is the best way to experience the rugged coastline from innumerable numerous vantage points and capture postcard-worthy photos. You’ll also get views of vistas, olive groves, and vineyards — a solid slice of la dolce vita.
Cinque Terre isn’t only a playground to be explored by foot. Pop into a kayak near Portofino or take a dip in the ocean and kick back on the beach. After, head down to the docks where fisherman and sailboats are docked. These oceanside towns have mouthwatering seafood, like friggitoria, a bite-sized seafood that’s served in a cone for optimal snackability.
Florence is the dreamy capital of Italy’s Tuscany region. It’s home to some iconic Renaissance architectural masterpieces, so you’re not short on things to do and places to see. Thankfully, Florence is easily walkable so you’re not in the crossfire of traffic as you try to navigate between sights.
In Florence you can be admiring the works of da Vinci and Michelangelo one minute, exploring the Duomo cathedral another and end up on Ponte Vecchio the next, checking out the gold shops. Take in the ultimate view of Florence at Piazzale Michelangelo or take a stroll through the lush Boboli gardens.
Naturally, with all of these stunning points of interest, Florence is hot on the tourist trail. You’re bound to meet like-minded travelers to explore the city, perhaps over a cheeky afternoon Aperol Spritz? And of course, we yet again need to mention the food — arguably one of Italy’s main attractions.
You don’t need to be sitting around a table with your aunts and cousins to feel the familial atmosphere in Florence. Restaurants here are brimming with diners, especially when there’s a football match on. And dining alone in Florence isn’t uncommon; you can always grab a slice of pizza to eat on the edge of the Arno River.
How could you not indulge in Tuscan cuisine (think seasonal truffle dishes) or abide by the saying “a gelato a day keeps the doctor away” (…that’s how it goes right?). It’s also advisable, like anywhere, to pick up on a few essential Italian words that will come in handy with local interactions. That way, you’ll be able to barter for leather goods at San Lorenzo market like a pro.
Lucca is a little slice of Tuscan heaven. Renaissance-era walls enclose the historic city center and its large medieval square. Rolling hills, filled with olive groves and wineries, surround the walled-off areas.
Lucca’s agritourism and slower pace of living have created the ideal setting to learn olive oil-making processes and enjoy the countryside. Embrace slow travel by biking along Serchio River and cool down in one of the rivers’ swimming holes on hot summer days.
It’s a lot less hurried and crowded in Lucca —two characteristics that most travelers can come to appreciate after spending time in bigger cities. It also helps that the center of the city is closed off to traffic so you can mosey along the cobbled roads and admire sights like San Michele church without dodging motorbikes.
Thanks to its wholesome atmosphere, travelers tend to feel very safe in the city and less bothered by persistent vendors. This vibe even extends to Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, the city’s medieval oval plaza. Its surrounded by cafés serving dishes like tortelli lucchese, a signature regional dish of a delicious meat-stuffed pasta.
(Siena photo c/o Ambra Tonini. All other images c/o Intrepid Travel.)