I'm a 50 year old woman who hopes to travel around Australia/New Zealand on my own next summer. How easy will this be? Any tips on an itinerary? Is the normal tourist trail just full of young backpackers? I'm more concerned about meeting people to eat with at night than anything else.
When I travelled around Australia I met a few people in their 40's and 50's who were travelling on their own, and they seemed to be having lots of fun. Most backpackers are very open-minded so I doubt you'd have any problems!
I think you will be fine- I also met people in their 40s and 50s when travelling round Oz. If you have Lonely Planet or similar it will help you choose a hostel which is not geared towards a younger, party - orientated crowd. I also wanted to avoid these kinds of places and found the YHAs were pretty good. In terms of eating with people, if you cook and eat in hostels there will always be plenty of people around to eat with, and likewise you should make friends in the hostels and find people who want to go out and eat, if that's what you want.
If you let me know what kind of things you are interested in I can suggest some itineraries/places to go.