Black Backpackers
Hey peeps,

hows y'all doing? okay so here is my query, am hoping to go on a backpacking RTW trip in Jan2004 starting of in OZ then NewZealand and the States to meet up with family friends. My anxiety is that I have never come across any black packpackers of African origin or black people in general who have do the Backpacking thing. Pardon my ignorance but to me the whole Backpacking thing seem to be a Caucasian reserve(sorry no offence intended). I am a British Citizen of African descent, travelling solo. My friends don't seem that adventurous hence why I am travelling solo on this trip of a lifetime. I apologise in advance if I offend any Ozies or Kwiwi's out there but what are the experience of any of you who are Black or of African descent like myself in OZ and NewZealand what would your advice be are we well recieved are there any parts that one should avoid? Also unlike most Backpackers I decided on Adelaide as the first port of call instead of Sydney to begin with, like most packpackers do. Can anyone advice on accomodation things to do places to see sort of thing, i'll be gratefull for any advice thanks peeps.

the weak have one weapon: the errors of those who think they are strong
Well I'm not black and I've not been to Oz or NZ but just wanted to comment. It is true that I have come accross very few black backpackers and have wondered why (ok many travellers come from Holland, Germany, Israel... places where there may not be such a big black community but as you mentioned there are a fair number in the UK. I have, however come accross a few black people travelling (also a few Asians from the Subcontinent and then of course many East Asians - especially Japanese and Koreans though also the odd Thai, Malay, or even Chinese) I've even come accross some Kenyans and an Ethiopian. Anyway all that to say that though you're right that there aren't that many black travellers there are some - I say go for it and have a great time.

"You have just entered the Cabbie Zone where time, price and distance have lost all meaning..."
You should have a read of the thread on the Africa branch from a couple of days ago about this very same thing.

Anyway, Australia is a very culturally diverse country so you should have no problems whatsoever, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne (which are more cosmopolitan than Adelaide), if you interact with Australians whilst here. I can't say for backpackers, but you should expect to be treated by British backpackers the same way you are at home, whatever that may be.

In New Zealand you will probably be confused for a Maori, hence you'll have no problems there either. The immigrants in New Zealand tend to come from the Pacific Islands so if you look in any way Pacific Islander then you'll fit in fine with the locals.

The main thing in both countries is to be easy-going and to smile. Go to the pubs to meet the locals - if you are a genuine person and love a chat over a cold beer then you'll do fine.
an interesting post (strange how hard you tried to avoid offence - i'm sure theres someone out there ready to pounce :).

my boyfriend, although australian born, is from malaysian decent. he said that he never had any troubles - people were more curious as, as you pointed out, its a little different.

i really wouldn't worry. i'm your typical white ozzie but had problems in korea. we're all different to someone else in the world anyway.

ruts are bi-lingual
For whatever reason, you're right, there aren't a lot of them. But I traveled in Asia for a while with a few single black travelers and one couple in particular. They said they'd gotten stared at more and in some areas people were really fascinated with them, but there hadn't been any particular hostility. A guy I met in Seoul was having trouble getting an English teaching job, but that's in a country that's incredibly homogenous and everyone is trying hard to be the same. (Similar in Japan). In some areas outside the first world countries, you'll be treated with considerable awe because you're a walking Michael Jordan/Denzel Washington.

Hi, i'm not black, but i live in Sydney (but i'm in Iran now) and yes, black (african descent) people are very rare here.
Before i left Australia, i worked with an Australian African 21 year old woman, and caught the train with her everyday. People would stare, especially little children, but never in a bad way. In fact, many people would tell her that she looks exactly like serena williams, but the only similarities between the two are they're tall, black and have dreads. Expect a lot of "you look SO much like...."

And yes, Australians like drinking.
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um, you will definitely not be confused for a Maori (or Samoan / Tongan)(#2) - which is probably good because the racism that does occur in NZ tends to be directed towards Polynesians (and generally those that are obviously living there). NZ is just really beginning to get some African immigrants and they are very obviously different in appearance to the Polynesians.

Gay men can't fit all of their shoes into a backpack. Not to mention that their cosmetic bag would probably be the size of my 75 liter bag. That's why they don't backpack.

This is from a homo who is currently backpacking across europe. It almost killed me to take only 2 pairs of shoes and cut my cosmetics down to one small bag. Its just not fair.