Kate has been traveling the world alone for years, both for work and for pleasure. She still leaves her family at home for solo trips. She loves the freedom and growth that comes with traveling alone. “Alone, it’s just me. That’s selfish but invigorating.”

What is the best part of traveling alone?

Solo travelers thrive on the unknown – literally and metaphorically. I believe that humans need more adventure and the independence of figuring things out on their own, as well as seeing new sights. This is a part of who I am or what I want to be. I want to think that I come home a better person for my experience.

What is your favorite place to visit in NSW on your own?

Before I had children, it was a little guilty pleasure, but sometimes I booked a hotel in Sydney just for the fun. I listened to new sounds and swam in a hotel pool while sleeping in a king-sized bed.

Both the Old Clare Hotel and Paramount House are great. Both have great restaurants just below. The Poly is the perfect place to eat when you’re alone. It has a great snack menu. The Old Clare offers a rooftop swimming pool. I also enjoy exploring the White Rabbit Gallery, dining at KYO-To, and enjoying a cocktail at Gin Lane.

I enjoy going out of town to Mollymook, staying at Bannisters, and having breakfast at Milk Haus in Woodstock. It’s a great way to relax in nature. You can swim in the area, go hiking through national parks, and enjoy a cocktail by the pool.

What are the best tours and experiences for solo travelers?

You’ll be more likely to find people with similar interests if you choose tours that are inspiring and engaging rather than the touristy activities you think you should do. I like to book special restaurants and go on garden tours. They are not expensive, but they are exciting. I enjoy sailing, so I will rent a laser boat and go out alone. I have done this at Balmoral Beach. I have rented a small motor boat (that will not capsize!) Port Macquarie. This is a fun way to discover. I’ll also hire kayaks to explore all the beautiful inlets of NSW. In Byron Bay, there are great kayaking tours that allow you to discover dolphins and explore the area.

What are the benefits of solo travel that you have discovered?

The food has always been an attraction for me. When I am slurping noodle soup in a street market, I feel like I belong there. I am overwhelmed by the steam, fire, and color. The banter and noise are also overwhelming.

By doing what you want, you can save money. I prefer to eat at local markets and connect with the producers rather than dining in a hotel or fancy restaurant. When they aren’t sold out, I like to go to the Saturday Carriageworks market. I get AP bread’s stracciatella and prosciutto sandwiches. I love to go to Brunswick Heads Saint Maries in the north for their happy hour pizza. The place is amazing and has a coconut margarita that I can’t get enough of.

What are your travel tips for connecting with others?

There are people of all ages who travel alone. It’s a very self-respecting, indulgent thing to do. The people in their 30s to 50s have the money to travel better, or at least less gritty. They also have the determination and resilience to be alone and to know that this is a positive thing.

If I’m alone, I choose to go places where kids are not allowed for a bit more solitude. I love Paperbark Camp at Jervis Bay. The South Coast offers barefoot luxury bush glamping. I enjoy the bushwalking, creek kayaking, and swimming that the area has to offer, and I meet many active over-30s who do the same. Pretty Beach House is located on the Central Coast and has a nature-first philosophy. I tend to get along well with the other guests, especially when tasting the excellent wine menu.

What are your tips when you have a one-person table at a restaurant?

Order a lot of small snacks rather than a large meal to encourage the waiter to return often. Ester, in Chippendale, is my favorite countertop solo dining spot in Sydney. They have a great menu, and their staff are wonderful. When dining alone, I enjoy ramen and omakase-style Japanese. Gogyo and Chaco Bar are both great choices. You can sit back while the chefs do their magic.

When dining alone, I will not look at my phone all the time. We miss out on the experience. Dining alone can be a wonderful experience, even if you feel awkward at first.

What are your favorite NSW restaurants, hotels, or experiences?

The Far North Coast is one of my favorite places. I either stay in an Airbnb at Cabarita Beach or the glamorous Halcyon House. Paper Daisy, the in-house restaurant, is a must. It’s almost impossible to gain access if you are not a hotel guest. I go for a morning run on the beach and then return to the hotel pool. Then, I plan my day so that we eat at No.35 Kitchen and Bar in Federal and meander around Newrybar in the hinterland. I booked a massage or a red-light bath at the very Zen Kalm Springs in Casuarina. I also make sure to have pizza at Jordy’s nearby.

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