Will yours be a happy Valentine's Day or will you be lonely and looking for a partner? Many singles, particularly those in the iGeneration and backpacker age group, visit Australia during the freezing Northern Hemisphere winter to escape the cold and enjoy the warmth, beaches and sunshine of Australia.
In fact, during the summer, Australia is a backpackers and singles paradise. But where do you go to meet partners and even find love? I put this question to many backpackers and singles during my travels around Australia. Here are their 3 top choices for places to meet people in comfort and safety.
1. Best accommodation. Youth Hostels and clean backpacker hostels.
This was the overwhelming choice. They are great places to meet people, have organised social events, budget meals, organised trips to sporting events and best of all, safe, secure and clean places to sleep.
Some of the best hostels are conveniently located close to Sydney Central station. This includes 2 excellent YHA hostels. A new YHA hostel close to Circular Quay opened recently. Another new hostel, "Wake Up" in Pitt St is claimed to be the best large hostel in the world. I was very impressed with the high standards of accommodation and facilities.
As for Sydney, YHA accommodation is clean, secure and convenient. Check out a place called "Urban Central" at Southbank. It is very popular and the location is superb. I have stayed there and can highly recommend it.
Perth Central YHA, close to the train station in Wellington St, provides top quality accommodation at a reasonable price. Try also the Northbridge area for good accommodation at a budget price.
All singles and backpackers travelling around Australia, love the beaches. They are also great places to meet people. Here are some of the best.
Bondi is the number one choice, not only for the swimming, but the social life, restaurants, accommodation and nightlife. Take the bus from the eastern end of circular Quay. Manly is the other popular choice and you can reach it by ferry from Circular Quay.
The 3 most popular are St Kilda, Bells Beach and Torquay. St Kilda is close to the city and like Manly and Bondi, has a vibrant nightlife. Take the tram from The Princes St Bridge.
The other 2 are popular surf beaches, some distance from the city. Take a bus from the terminal at Spencer St Station.
Cottesloe and Scarborough are the 2 most popular. Hugely popular with singles, they are easily reached by public transport. To visit Cottesloe, take a bus from the bus port at the river end of William St. Scarborough is accessed by train from Perth Underground. Alight at Glendalough, then a bus to the beach.
There are no beaches near the city. Take the train from the Central Station to the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise.
The most popular beach is Glenelg. It is similar to St Kilda and can be reached by tram from North Terrace.
3. Attend sporting events.
Aussies love their sport and they flock in their thousands to football and cricket matches. Here are the best venues to meet people.
Sydney Cricket Ground and ANZ stadium (Olympic Stadium) are the popular venues for cricket in summer and football (Aussie Rules and Rugby) in the winter. A number of hostels in Sydney organise group visits to sporting events at these venues.
The best venues are the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Telstra Dome. The MCG is Australia's top sporting venue and is used for cricket in the summer and Aussie Rules football in the winter. Both are within easy walking distance of the CBD.
The Adelaide Oval is used for cricket and Aussie Rules football is played at AAMI Football Park. Adelaide Oval is within walking distance of the CBD.
The WACA ground is the main cricket venue and Subiaco Oval is the venue for Aussie Rules football. Both are some distance from the CBD and public transport will be required.
The Brisbane Cricket Ground is used for cricket, Aussie Rules Football and Rugby. It is within walking distance of the heart of the city.
Finally, places to avoid.
The nightclub and pub scene. Some people love these places as venues to meet people. Others are more cautious. Girls in particular need to be careful. Unwanted attention from drunken "yobbos" and outrageous bar prices, are their 2 biggest grumbles.
It is worth noting that Urban Central in Melbourne and Wake Up in Sydney have their own bar facilities with drinks and top quality meals at reasonable prices.
Many of the nightclubs are in areas of cities considered to be unsafe and girls should not enter these areas alone, particularly in the early hours of the morning. The Kings Cross area of Sydney and Northbridge area of Perth are 2 places considered by singles to be unsafe late at night.
Happy Valentine's Day!
YOUR FREE GIFTS! Graeme Lanham is a member of YHA Australia and an internationally recognised Australian travel writer. He has a passion for and intimate kn
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