Subject: Backpacking alone around Australia
G'Day Jo, Marghe and I are Americans traveling in Australia, since October now. Having three daughters ourselves, we would ask you to take care: any woman traveling alone anywhere these days is probably not something we would recommend. The obvious having been said, there are areas we would suggest you avoid, Airlie Beach being top of the don't go there list. Lots of backpackers are very young, and, unfortunately, doing a lot of drugs here. Airlie Beach is shocking! The authorities are trying, but drugs are definitely a problem with the 'backpacking jet set'. Sydney is another place to avoid in our opinions: it has lots of homeless, gang markings, and druggie backpackers that are otherwise by-and-large nonexistent in Australia. We are not backpackers, so we cannot help you with the actual in-and-outs of that here. We are in Coral Cove for a while. It is East of Bundaberg. If you get in our neighborhood, give us a call. We will pick you up, give you a warm bed and let you wash all your clothes. We recently traveled the globe for 13 months with only one carry-on and one hand bag each, so we know clothes can get a bit dingy if you don't give them a 'real' wash now and again. In general, Australia is a magnificent country, with warm and friendly people. The countryside is almost totally unspoiled, and the government and people are doing a good job protecting the environment. Great White sharks are a protected species in Australia! You should be safe here, if you eschew the drug scene. The local police know all the areas to avoid. Ask them. They are very polite and helpful here. Cheers, Marghe and Marty.