Are you thinking of trekking or driving across Australia as a solo female traveller? Thanks to a low crime rate, well-maintained roads, and plenty of tourist amenities Australia is a relatively safe destination. Travellers are rewarded with astounding natural beauty and welcoming urban landscapes. Yet a bit of caution is still necessary. The country is a land of extremes, with many areas still remote and wild. Keep the following tips in mind to stay safe while exploring the unique beauty of the land down under.
Image Source: Steven Johnson/Wikimedia Commons
Stay Alert on Road Trips
There’s nothing like the freedom that a solo road trip provides, but there are some stretches of motorway in Australia which are extremely long and monotonous. Be sure to stock up on caffeine, get plenty of sleep, and take frequent breaks to stay alert on the road. It doesn’t hurt to bring along some of your favourite music and a few audio books to help pass the time without a travel buddy to chat with.
Get your Car Serviced in Advance
Breaking down on your own in the middle of nowhere is definitely a situation you will want to avoid. You may be out of mobile phone range for a good portion of the trip, so if you break down, you’ll need to stay put and wait for help to arrive. Take a look at a local site like Motoring to choose a vehicle suitable for the journey. You’ll need a car with 4WD to handle rugged terrain, and it doesn’t hurt to have a good GPS system and spare tyres. No matter what type of car you are driving, have it looked at by a mechanic before you depart.
Take Care on the Beach
There’s nothing like soaking in the sun and trying your hand at surfing on one of Australia’s scenic beaches, but if you’re on your own be sure to only swim if there are lifeguards about. Avoid swimming alone or at night, and stay free from rip tides by swimming in designated areas. These are usually marked with red or yellow flags.
Dress for the Weather
The sun can be brutal at midday in the summer months, but it’s possible to get a burn even on cloudy days. Pack plenty of sun cream, a hat, and sunglasses. Reapply sunscreen regularly and bring extra water to stay hydrated.
Beware of Wildlife
Australia’s wildlife is one of its biggest draws, but it’s not all cuddly kangaroos and koalas! Shark attacks are rare, but you can reduce your chances of coming face to face with one of these giants by staying in patrolled, designated swimming areas. Crocodiles can also be a hazard for swimmers, so always look before you leap into a river. Wear protective clothing if you go snorkelling or diving to avoid an unpleasant brush with a box jellyfish, and keep an eye out for warning signs.
Check Conditions before Hiking
Bushwalking is a great way to get out into nature and explore Australia’s diverse terrain, but this is one instance when it’s not always ideal to travel alone. Think about joining up with a guided tour or trek to benefit from a local guide. If you do decide to go it alone, always tell someone where you’re going. Check the local weather and trail conditions before you depart, in case your route is blocked.
By using common sense and staying alert, Australia can be a safe and rewarding destination as a solo female traveller. You’ll be sure to return home with some true tales of adventure to share!