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BlogDestinationsThe ultimate solo traveler’s guide to Australia
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The ultimate solo traveler’s guide to Australia

Nov 16, 2023 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

If it’s your first time flying alone across the globe, traveling solo might seem intimidating. But solo travel has become more popular than ever as travelers look to get out of their comfort zone and see the world in their own way. After her first guided tour, solo traveler Taty had countless reasons for embracing solo trips in your thirties and beyond, “It’s made me better at loving myself,” she said. “I enjoy my own company. It’s completely changed my life.”

If the uncertainty of traveling on your own is what’s holding you back from finally booking that flight to Australia, our new guided Solo Tour, Australia for Solo Travelers: Melbourne, Queensland Coast & Sydney, is the perfect compromise. You’ll have plenty of freedom to explore each of these destinations on your own during your free time, and can also lean on our built-in team of experts who will offer local tips and guided experiences along the way. If you’re finally taking a long-anticipated trip to the Land Down Under, here’s what to know about traveling solo to Australia.

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Why travel to Australia solo? → 

Australian cities to visit as a solo traveler → 

What to do in your free time while traveling solo → 

Why should you visit Australia as a solo traveler on our guided tours?


After returning from her first group tour traveling to Australia on our Highlights of Australia: The Great Barrier Reef to Sydney trip, traveler Sandy said, “I was lucky enough to travel with a really nice group of people. By the end of the tour, we were all friends.” Australia is a fantastic solo travel destination for a variety of reasons. Whether you visit the country on our new Australia for Solo Travelers: Melbourne, Queensland Coast & Sydney tour or set off on one of our other tours of Australia, you’re bound to meet new people—and make new friends—while soaking up the country’s vibrant cities and stunning natural scenery.

Australians have a “no worries” attitude

One good Australia travel tip to note: The culture is less about fast-paced living and more about embracing the moment. Aussies are known for their easygoing outlook and welcoming personalities, which is part of what makes traveling to Australia on a solo trip so popular.

There won’t be a language barrier

The official language in Australia is English, so you won’t need to look up the words or pronunciation for “please” and “thank you.” However, that doesn’t mean you won’t discover a new culture! Each of Australia’s six states and two territories has an entirely different personality and landscape to explore. Plus, thanks to a low crime rate, it’s generally a safe place to travel solo—just be sure to keep these top safety tips for traveling alone in mind no matter where you are in the world.

Your Tour Director and local guides will tackle the logistics

Traveling solo on a guided tour of Australia takes the stress out of the planning process since all the heavy lifting (hotel bookings, domestic flights and transportation on tour, ferry transfers) will be handled. With an expert in all things Australia by your side, you’ll cruise around historic landmarks and national parks, ready to embrace the local culture without worrying about booking a tour or needing to ask for directions. “I spent my first tour with EF in my bucket list country with a group of people where I was the youngest of the bunch but embraced well, and [they] invited me to their next adventure,” said traveler Sharise after our Highlights of Australia tour. “This was a wonderful FIRST, which led to my decision to travel more and invite others.”

The weather in Australia is pleasant year-round

Australia is the sixth-largest country on the planet, and has a variety of different climates and weather patterns, making it a favorite any time of the year. Those in the Northern Hemisphere can escape the winter chill by traveling to Australia during November, December, and January, since seasons are opposite in the Southern Hemisphere, so it will be summer in the Land Down Under. Prefer to take a trip during the summer months? There are also countless reasons why our summer in the Northern Hemisphere is the best time to visit Australia.

Cities are surrounded by the great outdoors

Concrete jungles don’t exist in Australia. Whether you’re in a cosmopolitan capital like Sydney or a laid-back town like Cairns, rainforests, beaches, and even spectacular snorkeling are just a short drive—or boat ride—away from many city centers.

You’ll find a fantastic mix of landscapes and cultural attractions

Solo travel in Australia offers visitors plenty of ways to spend their days. There’s something for you whether you’re interested in art and architecture, or would rather immerse yourself in nature at national parks home to the world’s largest surviving marsupial carnivores, Tasmanian devils.

Travel solo to Australia

What are some of the best cities in Australia for solo travelers?


For solo travelers, one Australia travel tip is to put larger cities on your bucket list. Larger cities are easier to navigate, have public transit or ride-share options, and offer a wealth of choices for activities and excursions that don’t require a full-day trip (unless that’s what you’re after!). Here are some of the best cities in Australia for solo travelers.

Sydney

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Bondi Beach, Barangaroo—this city is full of wow-worthy landmarks and neighborhoods, and solo travelers could spend weeks exploring them. On our new Australia for Solo Travelers: Melbourne, Queensland Coast & Sydney tour, your Tour Director will guide you through a handful, so you’ll get your bearings before venturing out on your own and experiencing the many other attractions a tour of Sydney has to offer.

What should you do as a solo traveler in Sydney?

  • Cruise around Sydney Harbour. This is one of the best things to do in Australia as a solo traveler. A dinner cruise on the iconic Sydney Harbour highlights the best views of the bridge, Sydney Opera House, and the city’s glittering skyline at night. On our Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise excursion, you’ll dine on the Sky Deck with 360-degree views of Sydney on display.
  • Check out Bondi Beach. For an authentic Australia travel experience, spend the morning taking a surf lesson or shopping at the boutiques lining Gould Street. Then, indulge in another favorite pastime in Australia: breakfast (or “brekky,” as locals say). If you’re there on a Sunday, peruse vintage finds and local designer pieces at the Bondi Markets on Campbell Parade.
  • Stroll through Sydney’s newest neighborhood, Barangaroo. Of our many Australia travel tips, the best would be to experience different districts to get a true sense of daily life. Barangaroo, the former concrete container terminal on the waterfront, is a great example. It’s now the city’s newest district, with tons of options for solo travelers to spend a free morning or afternoon. Dine Michelin-style at Oncore by Clare Smyth, or take a hands-on Aboriginal Cultural Tour at the car-free Barangaroo Reserve, planted with 75,000 native trees and shrubs that grew here before European colonization. If the weather is nice, take a dip in the new swimming area in sheltered Marrinawi Cove.

Melbourne

Constant buzz and bustle in Melbourne’s city center ensures solo travelers never feel alone. Known for its booming restaurant and bar scene, world-class art and culture, and resident penguins by the beach, the easy-to-navigate city is home to plenty of attractions you’ll want to keep adding to your list during free time. (Or, you might be inspired to plan another trip to Melbourne to explore even more!)

What should you do as a solo traveler in Melbourne?

  • Head to the beach. Even if it’s not beach weather, the city’s sandy stretches deserve a visit—especially Brighton Beach, a photo-favorite thanks to its brightly colored bathing boxes juxtaposed against the city skyline. Another top pick is St Kilda, whose pier is one of the best places to post up during sunset.
  • Sip your way through wine country. Wine tasting is one of the best things to do in Australia as a solo traveler. Just an hour out of Melbourne lands you in the heart of wine country’s sprawling vineyards of chardonnay, pinot grigio, and shiraz. On our Australia for Solo Travelers: Melbourne, Queensland Coast & Sydney tour, you can book an excursion to wine country during your free afternoon and see two different wineries that are something of a local secret.
  • Linger in the laneways. One of the best Australia travel tips to consider when visiting Melbourne is to check out the laneways, or alleys. These bustling thoroughfares are lined with hole-in-the-wall coffee shops, boutiques, award-winning restaurants, and rooftop cocktail bars. You’ll want to lose yourself strolling through each of the laneways’ constantly shifting street art and urban gardens that extend to the sky.

Travel tip: You’ll find some of the best brews in town in Mebourne’s laneways, where coffee aficionados can geek out over single-origin brews, and brunch is served all day.

Adelaide

Think of South Australia as the country’s Napa Valley—and Adelaide is its capital city. This wine capital comprises three regions that are just a short drive away. The compact central business district is easy to stroll around in, but you can also cruise through town on public transport via bus or metro, or on an e-scooter or city bike. With its combination of nearby nature, thriving music festivals and events scene, and beaches just a tram ride away, Adelaide really does offer something for everyone.

What should you do as a solo traveler in Adelaide?

  • Sample local specialties at Adelaide Central Market. This is one of the largest covered fresh produce markets in Australia—and the Southern Hemisphere—and is a year-round destination for foodies, since you can sample all sorts of cheeses, seafood, baked goods, and more from 70-plus traders. You’ll have free time to peruse the market after a sightseeing tour of the city on our extension to Adelaide & Kangaroo Island following our Highlights of Australia: The Great Barrier Reef to Sydney tour.
  • Soak up the Aboriginal art scene. The South Australia Museum is home to the world’s largest display of Aboriginal artifacts. You can also spend a solo afternoon strolling around a mix of modern galleries, like ACE Open, and eyeing graffiti-style work along the outdoor Adelaide Street Art Trail.
  • Sip your way around speakeasies and rooftop bars. Whether you’re a wine lover or more into cocktails, Adelaide’s booming bar scene has you covered. Sample local wine or take your pick of one of the many creative cocktail bars lining the city’s laneways.
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What to do in your free time while traveling solo in Australia

The beauty of traveling solo is that you’re in control of your plans. Want to add an excursion option or spend a free day basking on a beach or shopping in town? The choice is all yours! Here are some of the best ways to spend a free afternoon while traveling solo in Australia.

Shop your way around local markets

The country’s markets are home to everything from vintage finds and locally crafted goods to freshly baked pastries and some of the best local eats, and visiting is one of the top things to do in Australia. Markets in larger cities, like the South Melbourne Market and The Rocks Markets in Sydney, aren’t your typical mazes of fruit and vegetable stalls. Some of Australia’s markets sprawl across multiple acres or along a beachside promenade and host everything from yoga and Pilates to live music. You might even be able to indulge in a quick, affordable massage, too.

Hit the water

From snorkeling and diving on a Great Barrier Reef tour to swimming with sea lions and surfing world-renowned waves, the country’s beaches and islands offer some of the top things to do in Australia. “The Sydney Harbour and Sydney Opera House stole the show until we went to the Great Barrier Reef,” said six-time traveler Robin after our Highlights of Australia: The Great Barrier Reef to Sydney tour. “Our underwater and helicopter experience couldn’t be topped.” One other highlight you can’t leave Sydney without visiting? Bondi Beach, which draws early-morning surfers to its golden sands and a hip local crowd to its cafes, beach bars, and designer boutiques.

Sample local specialties and seafood

A few of Australia’s must-try dishes have made it across the globe—perhaps the most famous being smashed avocado on toast. You’ll find this staple at cafes and restaurants across the country mixed with feta or drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. A few other dishes to keep an eye out for: meat pie, often found in neighborhood bakeries; Vietnamese-inspired salt-and-pepper squid; and lamington, a chocolate-coated, coconut-sprinkled square of sponge cake that’s the unofficial national cake. At the Sydney Fish Market, indulge in a smorgasbord of fresh seafood, like prawns and oysters.

Get lost in nature

You don’t have to venture through the outback to experience Australia’s jaw-droppingly beautiful nature. From Melbourne, cruise the Great Ocean Road along seaside cliffs to the 12 Apostles, limestone sea stacks rising from the Southern Ocean. On our extension to Tasmania, you might catch a natural light show in the sky—the Aurora Australis, or southern lights. Situated north of Brisbane is K’gari, the world’s largest sand island, which is blanketed in sand dunes, tropical rainforests, and natural jacuzzis formed by volcanic rocks.

Experience Aboriginal art and culture

The world’s oldest living cultures, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities have been custodians of the land here for more than 60,000 years. Whether you go on a walkabout in the Daintree Rainforest near Cairns or explore the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum, there are plenty of ways to get a deeper look into the spiritual connection Aboriginal peoples have with the land here. Explore this culture and history via art, storytelling, and the native ingredients found in the country’s vast culinary scene. On our tours, you’ll take part in a traditional Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, an ancient Aboriginal custom designed to ward off bad spirits before entering the lands of the traditional custodians.

Already looking at flights over to Australia? Travel solo, not alone, on our new Solo Tour of Australia.


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About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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