Travelling Solo: 6 tips for going it alone
Escaping the bustle of the day to day can do wonders for the mind and soul. But, whilst many prefer to travel with a companion, there is something magical about stepping away from it all by one’s self. Travelling solo is about exploring new ways to find balance between quantity and quality of interactions in different environments, choosing the right places to visit and activities to experience to effectively recharge your social battery and open yourself up to opportunity and growth. Whilst the idea of a solo trip can be daunting, the beautiful NSW South Coast is perfect for the first-time introvert explorer, ideally situated a less than two-hour drive from Sydney and the Southern Highlands, and just under two and a half hours to Canberra.
South Coast Experiences brings the opportunity to explore, stay and discover the South Coast to your fingertips. To make the first move in planning your trip a little easier, we’ve rounded up six things to consider when planning your trip to the region, solo.
1. Choose the right vehicle
Before you start planning your trip, it is worthwhile starting with your transport plan. If you don’t have or plan on driving your own car, then you might want to think about things like, do you plan on moving around? Will you be camping, or staying in accommodation? What about getting down to the South Coast? Will you be taking the train or bus? Or might you want to drive, and go off roading once there? Once you have those factors ticked off, you might decide you want to hire a car or camper van. Our partners at POP Car have a wonderful selection of small to family sized vehicles for short term casual rental.
2. Getting here
Now that you have your transport sorted, it’s time to plan your route. Three of our favourite drives to the NSW South Coast are from Sydney, one being down across the beautiful Seacliff Bridge and through the little towns of Stanwell Park, Coalcliff and Wombarra. The Scarborough Hotel is a wonderful place to stop for lunch, with breathtaking views over the ocean. For those coming from Canberra or the Southern Highlands, head down Moss Vale road through Kangaroo Valley. The little township in the heart of the valley is filled with shops and cafes, featuring local produce and goods to explore. Alternatively, you could try Macquarie Pass, which is magical in all its rainforest glory, with twists and turns as the light trickles through the towering tree tops. It is certainly not one for the faint hearted, though, as can be a little daunting for nervous drivers or those towing, with its narrow roads and sharp bends.
3. Plan your route
Once you have chosen a route down, it’s time to think about where you might like to stay. The South Coast spans from Wollongong and the Illawarra region, all the way through Shellharbour, Kiama, Shoalhaven and Jervis Bay, down to Batemans Bay, Eurobodalla, Merimbula and the Sapphire Coast. Depending on your means of transport and the time you plan to be away for, you may like to start at the bottom and work your way back up. From here, you can journey back up, weaving your way through towns like Narooma, where Australia Rock sits on the water’s edge, up through Congo and Moruya to Batemans Bay. You could easily fit this area into two days, before continuing up through Ulladulla, into Mollymook and round Lake Conjola. This is another wonderful area to stay and explore for a day or so. You will want to detour down to Currarong after stopping in Huskisson, stopping for a night or two either there or in Callala and Culburra Beach. Continue back up through Nowra and Shoalhaven Heads to Berry, before checking into the trendy towns of Gerroa and Gerringong for a final few days on the way back home.
4. Dining solo
You’re never alone when you’re travelling, as much as you may feel you are. As an introvert, the idea of dining alone can be anxiety lead. However, culinary exploration is not what it used to be. With so much local produce and creative food activations for exploration, your choice in dining options is never ending. If you’re looking for an easy set up, Flavours Shoalhaven will deliver your holiday kitchen for you with a delicious assortment of good from local suppliers, priced from just $30. Alternatively, a sommelier brings a wealth of vino education to your holiday doorstep, complete with a light meal and delightful company from $100 for three hours, let us organise for you. Pop into local vendors to collect an assortment of wines, cheese, fresh breads and meats to curate your own platter, perfect for watching the sunset. Zac’s Place at Currarong does some of the freshest seafood in the area, perfect for grabbing on the go before walking around to the rockpools to watch the sunset. The Hungry Monkey in Kiama does, arguably, the best burgers on the South Coast, with Gather by the Hill a great spot for a cocktail at sunset. Martins Ridge Farm in Conjola, that showcases some of the freshest meats in the region, direct from paddock to plate. Finally, if you don’t stop for a donut from the Berry Donut Van, then did you even go to Berry?
5. Activities for one
The best thing about solo travel is that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. This trip is purely for you. From the breathtaking bush hikes through the national parks and walks along the ocean clifftops, to lazy days exploring hidden beaches and secluded swimming spots, exploring the South Coast brings something new with every visit. Discover the culture and history of the land with Matthew Simms, a Wandi Wandian man and founder of Djiriba Waagur. Whilst in Currarong, check out the Lighthouse and spend the day exploring the beautiful Honeymoon Bay, or join Sam for a morning surf at Currarong Surf School from $40 for two hours. Kangaroo Valley Adventure Co is perfect for a holistic approach to exploring the South Coast. From looking for platypus, to exploring the Kangaroo Valley River by kayak, rock climbing and abseiling in the bush, this family owned business will make you feel right at home and at one with all that surrounds you. For something really special, why not discover the coast by horseback with a Regal Ride at sunset or sunrise.
6. Book a workshop
Book into a fun workshop or event ahead of your stay. South Coast Experiences has a calendar of events and workshops for you to help plan your solo getaway. Its a great way to interact with new people in a safe space while enjoying the process! Most workshops offer a small group of likeminded people coming together to learn something fun and creative. Some great workshops that are regularly placed are Luxury Clay creating, Willowvale Road Candles, Martins Ridge Farm, Expressive Art Workshops and Le Workshop in Jervis Bay.
Where to Stay?
Our website has a great variety of places to stay and for the solo traveller it can be about a smaller more intimate space. You can utilise our filter system under – Accommodation to Treasure – by selecting the number of guests.
WE CAN HELP YOU PLAN
No matter what the season or the wishlist, please get in touch with us. At South Coast Experiences, we’re here to help you plan the perfect trip – free of charge – so please speak to us if there’s anything we can do to make your planning easier.