With amazing natural attractions, gorgeous beaches and bays and prehistoric landscapes, Australia captures the imagination of many travelers. Whether you’re planning on exploring Australia on a big Aussie road trip, discovering the unspoiled islands off the south east coast or traversing historic Aboriginal heartlands, your dream travel plans don’t have to stay a daydream.
Make your travel dream a reality today! Check out some tips for planning a solo trip around Australia below and get excited for your big trip to the Land Down Under.
Before you go…
If you are planning a solo trip here’s a few things you should think about before you set off on your journey:
- Research your trip! Look up any places you’d like to visit and start plotting your route. Don’t forget to leave yourself some free days for spontaneous travel – traveling is all about having the freedom to explore. You wouldn’t want to be rushing from A to B to C because you didn’t give yourself any leeway to explore and unwind.
- Set yourself hard savings goals! Saving can be hard, especially if your cost of living is already expensive, but the feeling of making your dream a reality will be the greatest reward. Start saving and making small changes to your daily routine and note the difference after just a few weeks. Choose meals that are bang for buck or accommodation that is realistic for one. Unless budget permits, you wouldn’t really be eating $30 meals each and every day.
- Trust your gut – whether you’re on a journey of self-discovery or know yourself well, decide where your comfort levels are and stick to them. Explore what you want to explore or are fascinated by.
- Pack as light as you can! You can only pack a lot if you have a return trip planned or have somewhere to store your belongings safely. Plan, plan plan!
- Research accommodation options online before you book to make sure you don’t end up staying somewhere that isn’t up to scratch. Check out hostels for low prices and more opportunities to socialise with other travellers. You also have the chance to find out other tips from travellers there.
- Plan your routes. Decide if you are going to fly, drive or take other transport to each place. Last minute decisions can be costly.
- Here are some Aussie slang to help you when travelling.
Top Places to visit in Australia
Australia’s vast size and variety of terrains offers many different holiday options to suit any traveler. Read on to find out more about the best places to visit on your Australian adventure!
New South Wales
New South Wales is Australia’s most populous state best known for its stunning coastline, and its iconic capital city Sydney. Home to famous landmarks like the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge and Bondi Beach, the harbor city is popular with tourists and travelers.
Head north to Byron Bay to experience one of Australia’s most beautiful coastal towns, filled with natural attractions and a great nightlife. Find it at the very top of the north coast of New South Wales, and enjoy the many gorgeous beaches and bays of the Central Coast, Coffs Harbor and more along the way. Byron Bay is known for its great surf and is a haven for hippies and world travelers.
Further inland, towns like Broken Hill and Silver-ton offer outback surrounds and red desert plains.
Take a trip to the south coast to discover the whitest sands in the world at Jervis Bay – just a three hour drive from Sydney. Best known for its shimmering shores, clear waters and unspoiled natural beauty.
The biggest draw card in Queensland is the amazing Great Barrier Reef. One of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is a truly awe-inspiring coral reef formation that stretches along the north east coast of Australia. Explore world-class diving experiences, sail through the 144 islands of The Whitsundays and more! There are many cool ways to see the reef, passing through cities Brisbane, Gold Coast and Bundaberg and backpacker hotspots like Townsville and Cairns.
Located on the south coast of Australia, Victoria has a wide range of places to visit to suit any budget. Check out the city of Melbourne to get your arts and culture fix, and try of their world-class coffee. Drive the famous coastal road the Great Ocean Road to see the Twelve Apostles and enjoy stunning scenery. Wine lovers should head to Mornington Peninsula to sip locally made wines and dine on gourmet meals, while nature lovers will enjoy the penguin parade and abundance of wildlife on Phillip Island and the rugged landscapes of The Grampians.
Australian Capital Territory
Visit Canberra, Australia’s capital city, to learn more about Australian history. Located between Melbourne and Sydney, take a trip to Canberra to see where government was born at Parliament House, Old Parliament House – the home of the Museum of Australian Democracy and the Australian War Memorial.
Take in Australia’s prehistoric scenery in the mostly uninhabited Northern Territory. Head to the World Heritage-Listed Kakadu National Park to see otherworldly landscapes, ancient rock paintings and sacred Indigenous lands. The park is the largest national park in the country and is home to a wide range of native flora and fauna. Visit the capital city of Darwin and don’t miss the opportunity to visit Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru, to see the real heartbeat of Australia. The region holds great significance in Aboriginal culture and is the spiritual heartland of Australia. To get a real feel for the scale of the place, take the 10.6 kilometre track loop around the base of the gigantic sandstone monolith and learn more about its rich Aboriginal heritage.
Head to Western Australia to discover over 423,000 kilometers of ancient, red-earthed plains, rugged landscapes and exciting wilderness experiences. Follow old cave systems, try camel riding along the coastline, or go wild on a four-wheel drive experience along the Gibb River Road. Travelers headed to Kimberley can also join a guided tour to find out more about Indigenous Australians, explore ancient rock art and hear Dream time stories of old in the place where the Dream time began.
South Australia is known for its delicious local food and vintage wines from the likes of the Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills. Head to South Australia’s capital city Adelaide to explore its cosmopolitan art scene and expanding festival calendar. If you prefer to be out in nature, experience outback life on a camping trip to Flinders Range, a remote, mountain range with great stargazing opportunities. Take a trip to Kangaroo Island to hang out on the beach with kangaroos and spot beautiful native wildlife, or head to the Yorke Peninsula to discover secluded beaches and white sand bays.
Tasmania is a forgotten gem filled with quiet beaches and natural wonders. Check out popular cities like Hobart and Launceston, and don’t miss the striking pink granite peaks of the Hazards Range and the gorgeous Wineglass Bay at Freycinet National Park.
Getting around Australia…
Australia is a large country with long distances between towns and cities and long, open roads. Some tourist spots and beaches are hard to get to without a car, as public transport struggles to keep up with demand. Take a road trip to see the beautiful country at your own pace. Make sure you choose a route that suits your driving experience, as roads in rural areas can be hard to navigate and the mix of terrains can throw off even the most seasoned driver.
The best way to get around Australia is by plane. Most flights to major cities in the country only take between 1 – 2 hours, and most a relatively cheap. Unless you are traveling to Uluru, or any of the Pacific Islands. Check out Webjet, Skyscanner or Jetstar for some great deals.
The following guest post is written by Olivia. A writer and blogger, Olivia describes herself as an avid traveler that loves to explore with any given chance that comes by. Moved from the States not too long ago, Olivia now calls Australia home. She occasionally writes for Great Lost.)