Australia is an easy country to tackle as a solo traveller. Make it even easier with these tips.
Australia is a great destination for solo travellers. Friendly locals, stunning scenery and an endless list of places to discover mean the trip is sure to be unforgettable. Use these tips to start planning your customer's solo adventure.
Book in advance
If wanting to include some of Australia’s more iconic activities in the itinerary – like diving the Great Barrier Reef or climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge – it’s best to make their reservations well in advance. Booking early means grabbing the best price and guaranteeing a spot. If they’ll be moving around the country on domestic flights, book several months in advance to score low fares. Jetstar and Tigerair are the most well-known low-cost domestic carriers. Sign up for their newsletters to get information on sales.
Use public transport
Living like a local in any major Australian city means using public transportation. Often, it’s the easiest and cheapest way to move around. Each city has a slightly different system, so check out our 'Getting there' fact sheets to learn more about how to pay, where to catch the train and whether there are free shuttles around the city centre. Also be aware that some states no longer offer single-trip tickets and they may need to use pre-paid travel cards, like the Myki card in Melbourne and the Opal card in Sydney.
Organise with an app
Travelling solo can be liberating and exciting, but it can also be a challenge to remember every detail. Suggest they load a travel planning app on their phone, like TripIt, which saves all of travel bookings in one place to look at later. Other apps allow them to download maps that can be accessed offline. CityMaps2Go lets users download city maps and place pins at attractions they want to visit.
Take a class
Trying a new activity is a great way to soak in the Australian way of life while meeting new people. Whether it’s a diving lesson in Queensland, an outdoor yoga class in Melbourne, a surfing lesson at Bondi Beach or a kayaking tour on the Brisbane River, the class they sign up for may just be one of the highlights of their trip.
Wander along on a walk
Not only does a walking tour provide a chance to meet new people, it's also a great way to get one's bearings in a new city. Recommend a specialist tour to get a different perspective on their destination: perhaps an architecture tour of Sydney, a coffee and art tour of Perth, or a laneways tour of Melbourne.
Go with a group
The remote regions of Australia are breathtaking and incredibly unique, but they can also be a challenge to tackle if alone. A group tour takes care of the logistics and makes sure they have the best experience in every location. Whether it’s a live-aboard boat in the Great Barrier Reef or an Aboriginal rock art tour in the Northern Territory, they'll gain valuable insight into Australia’s nature and culture.
Feast on cheap eats
In Australia, good food doesn’t have to cost a fortune. At Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market and Adelaide’s Central Market, for example, plenty of stalls offer well priced, freshly prepared food. Most local pubs have daily food specials, and many restaurants offer BYO - which means bringing your own beer or wine to drink with a meal, saving money on the total cost of a night out. There's a range of cheap eats in all city centres.
Find some freebies
Travellers on a budget will be delighted by the number of things to do in Australia for free. For instance, many of the country's best museums do not charge admission fees, including Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria. In Sydney, the permanent exhibitions at the White Rabbit Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art and Art Gallery of NSW are all free to see, and a ferry ride on Sydney Harbour offers the same fabulous views as a harbour cruise, at a fraction of the cost.
Discover Aboriginal history in the city
If they've come to Australia on a Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) or Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417), they’re permitted to stay and work in all types of full-time, part-time, casual, shift and voluntary work.
If travelling around the country, they might want to find work along the way. In larger towns and cities, restaurant and bar work is often available. Tell them to stop into local cafes, eateries and bars to enquire about work, keeping in mind that anyone responsible for serving alcohol in Australia must complete Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training and receive an RSA certificate.
Another option for a job-on-the-go is regional work. Many of the more remote locations in Australia need workers in industries like farming, mining, fishing and construction. If they choose to participate in specified work in an eligible location, they may also be eligible to apply for a second working holiday visa.
Consider their location when searching for work during their travels. A trip to the Whitsundays could result in a job on a tour boat, while living in the metropolis of Melbourne could mean working in retail, hospitality or sales.
Stay a while
With Australia’s endless list of destinations, they just may want to stay longer than planned. If they have previously entered Australia on a Working Holiday visa, they may be eligible for an additional 12 months if they've complete three months of specified work in a regional area. Specified work is work that is undertaken in certain fields or industries in a designated regional area. They could pick fruit on an orchard, feed and herd cattle on a farm or build fences on a construction site. See the Australian Home Affairs website for more information on eligible work.
Note they must complete these three months of work while in Australia on their first Working Holiday Visa. After they’ve applied and received the second Working Holiday Visa, they’ll have an additional 12 months to explore Australia’s stunning destinations and exciting job opportunties.