Australia is one of my favourite countries to travel solo. It’s safe, people are friendly, and there are so many amazing things to see and do.
I am beyond lucky to call Australia my second home. At least once a year, I make the long trek over from Canada to visit my family. And once I’m there, I find any excuse to let the tourist in me run free. My family is too busy to entertain my antics (they do not want to visit the Opera House for the 21st time), so I explore solo. Solo female travel in Australia is easy, safe, and so rewarding.
There’s almost nothing you can’t do as a solo female traveller in Australia – I’ve never felt held back by my lack of a travel partner. Australia has a thriving backpacker scene, so if you want to make a friend, they’re just a beer away. Australian culture is open and friendly, you can always find someone willing to have a quick chat about the best spots to visit.
Why Should You Travel Solo in Australia?
Australia has that “it” factor. Aussie nature is one of a kind, it’s literally something you can’t experience anywhere else. The beaches are gorgeous, and the outback feels like another world. You can have any type of trip in Australia – and do it safely. There’s plenty of adventurous options, like outback camping and scuba diving. Or you can spend your entire trip wine tasting and relaxing at the beach.
It’s easy to get around the country; flight and bus options connect the Australia from coast to coast There is no language barrier for English speakers (well, except for the unique Aussie slang you’ll pick up). And there’s just enough cultural difference to make solo female travel in Australia intriguing.
Is Australia a good choice for a first-time solo female travellers?
Absolutely! Australia is the perfect destination for a first-time solo trip. The lack of language barrier is a huge plus for a first-time solo traveller. And you’ll probably be able to find some semblance of cultural similarities to remind you of home. You’re less likely to experience culture shock in Australia, which is comforting when you’re embarking on your first big adventure.
All of Australia’s tourist activities and destinations are accessible to a solo traveller. But because it’s such a popular backpackers destination, there are plenty of group tours you can join if that’s more your style. Tourism is a huge industry in Australia, every big city has free walking tours, and many galleries and museums have free entry to encourage citizens and travellers to learn more about Australian culture.
What to do once you arrive in Australia
I can’t sum up everything there is to do in Australia in just a few short paragraphs. You can check out more of my Australia blog posts for specific itineraries. I visit Sydney every year and I’m still finding new things to do on every trip. But here are a few must-try activities as a solo female traveller in Australia:
Go to the beach
I mean, duh, this is a no brainer. It would be foolish not to visit a beach in a country that is famous for its beaches. You’ll want to visit many (each one will be more gorgeous than the last!).
Snorkel or dive
This is the only activity on the list that you should not do solo. You need a partner or a group to stay safe (seriously, don’t mess with the ocean in Australia!). There are plenty of snorkelling and scuba diving tours across Australia, and they’re worth the cost.
Hang out with some wildlife
But make sure to do it safely! The best way to see Aussie wildlife is at wildlife sanctuaries. Wildlife sanctuaries are usually non-profits and focus on caring for native Australian wildlife – which means these animals still feel at home. It’s a great way to support wildlife rescue, while also learning about the cute, cuddly (and scary) critters of Australia.
There are plenty of animals you can see safely in the wild, just make sure to follow three cardinal rules: don’t approach, don’t feed, and don’t touch. Otherwise, feel free to observe the cockatoos and koalas!
See a wild kangaroo
It’s just so iconically Aussie to see a mob of roos. You’re not going to see this anywhere else! You can find them anywhere outside of the cities, they love to chill out in golf courses and fields. They are such unique animals, and it’s an awesome experience to see these adorable animals hopping by.
Go on a coastal walk
Coastal walks. My favourite activity in Australia! I won’t shut up about them, because there’s no better way to explore Australia’s spectacular coastline. You can go on coastal walks that are as short as an hour, or you can go on multi-day camping hikes through the Aussie bush.
Go for brunch
I don’t know what their secret is, but they know how to do a damn good brunch in Australia. Avocados in Australia are buttery orbs of heaven compared to the tasteless green pebbles I eat in Canada. And smashed avo is a brunch staple.
If anything, go for brunch just for the aesthetic. It’s an Instagrammer’s dream. Australia has the airy, boho, and lush look on point, all it takes is a visit to the local cafe or brunch spot.
Visit a free gallery or museum
Most major cities in Australia have museums and art galleries with free entry. This is something I really admire about Australia – it is really encouraging to see such accessibility to arts and culture. It’s a great way to learn about Australian history and indigenous art.
Also, I mean, it’s free and you get to learn something about the country you’re in. Even if museums or galleries aren’t really your thing, it’s worth a visit to learn a little about Australia’s roots and culture.
Safety As A Solo Traveller in Australia
Any solo travel as a woman comes with its own cautionary tales – danger is a reality for any traveller, but there’s an added layer of caution when you’re a woman. I take the same precautions travelling solo in Australia as I would in any country that is considered generally “safe” for solo female travel. My feeling of safety in Australia is very comparable to how safe I feel in Canada – which is quite safe!
Getting around safely
I always take transit in Australia. It’s generally easy to get around in the major cities. I do find it a bit slower and less efficient than some other countries I’ve visited, but it’s a way better option than expensive taxis. Uber and ride shares are available in major cities.
I feel reasonably safe walking around and taking transit at night, but take my usual precaution of letting someone know when I am doing so. When in doubt (or after midnight), I take a taxi or Uber. Otherwise, I feel completely safe wandering around alone during the day, but I do make sure to keep track of my belongings (you can encounter a pickpocket anywhere in the world!).
Avoid sketchy areas at night
They exist, just like anywhere else in the world. Australia is a major tourist destination, so a quick Google will tell you if there are any neighbourhoods to avoid.
Get a sim card
When I’m travelling solo, I always have a sim card. Mobile data is reasonably priced in Australia (at least compared to the crazy prices in Canada). Having a means to contact others is necessary in an emergency, it puts my mind at ease knowing I always have that option. Wifi is not always readily available around Australia and it can be painfully slow, whereas mobile data is fast and reasonably priced.
Don’t f*ck with nature
Be prepared. Australia is intense and huge. Don’t go driving across the outback without careful planning (that’s not a safe decision). Outside of major cities, it’s surprisingly easy to end up in rural areas when you aren’t expecting it.
I experienced this driving back to Melbourne from the Great Ocean Road at night. We assumed it would be highways with streetlights all the way back. But we ended up on multiple single-lane roads that did not have any street lights. We definitely did not expect that and it was a little scary to drive through the country with nothing but our headlights. If you’re road tripping, another thing to keep in mind is there are areas in the outback without cell service.
Even in terms of smaller trips, like day hikes, Australia can have some crazy extremes so be prepared. Have a charged phone, bring water, and wear appropriate shoes. Do not walk right to the edge of cliff faces – there are stories every year of tourists falling to their deaths along Australia’s coastline.
A special shoutout to all the fun poisonous things in Australia! This country definitely has a reputation for its wildlife. Just… don’t touch things. They might be poisonous, and also, you shouldn’t go around touching wild animals anyways! Don’t go in the water unless it’s safe, and check your shoes before you put them on.
That being said, I’ve never actually seen a poisonous animal in Australia. I’m sure if I went looking or spent more time there, I would eventually. But it’s really not as big of a problem as foreigners think.
Beware of the water
Guess what is more dangerous than the plethora of poisonous animals in Australia? Rip tides. Drowning is a much bigger danger in Australia than any of the animals in the country. Take the ocean seriously – do not enter the water unless you’re a strong swimmer, and you should swim at beaches with a lifeguard. Read a little more here on how to survive a rip tide.
Sunscreen. So much sunscreen.
Slip, slop, slap! That’s an Aussie saying to slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on a hat before going out in the sun. The sun really doesn’t play in Australia, I can burn within 10 minutes in the summer (it takes hours for me to burn in the weak Canadian sun). Wear sunscreen and cover up, your skin will thank you for it.
Australia is a fabulous destination for both beginner and experienced solo travellers. It’s a safe country with great tourist infrastructure from coast to coast. Solo female travel in Australia is as rewarding as it is exciting – you’ll come back home with stories and experiences under your belt that you can’t find anywhere else.
Looking for something to do in Sydney? Here’s my guide to the 5 best coastal walks in Sydney