Ready for a major adventure down under? Find out what to take to Australia with this comprehensive vacation packing list!
Packing can be the most challenging parts of any trip, particularly if you’re traveling to Australia; the continent has some of the most extreme and varied climates in the world. From the tropical rainforests of Far North Queensland, to the harsh landscape of the Outback, it’s difficult to know where to begin.
When I traveled to Australia, I knew I would be spending a year there on a working holiday, but was still overwhelmed with figuring out what to pack. Not only would I have to deal with several climates, but also varying seasons throughout my trip. Since I planned to explore both the urban and more natural settings, I needed versatile items that could be worn in many ways. I placed all of my belongings into a 65-liter backpack and boarded my one-way flight to Sydney.
Here’s what factored in to my decision of what to pack for Australia—and what may influence the contents of your travel bag.
Weather and Climate
First, consider what time of the year you’ll be traveling. Remember that the seasons are opposite in the Southern Hemisphere (with winter in July and summer in January). This way you don’t pack swimsuits when you need heavy jackets! For winter in Australia, fill your packing cubes and packing folders with plenty of layers, as you’ll want a light coat and pants. The sun is also very intense in Australia, so bring a hat that will cover your ears and invest in a broad spectrum SPF sunscreen. It’s worth the extra money to save your skin!
Australia literally has dozens of unique adventure activities that you’ll no doubt want to try, so be sure to pack accordingly! Whether it is camping in the Outback, scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef, or skiing in the Snowy Mountains, do some advanced research to find out what you’ll need to pull together for an appropriate outfit. While bulky items like a ski parka and pants would probably use up all the available space in your wheeled backpack or duffel bag, you can often rent the larger items that you’ll need at local sporting goods stores or ski resorts.
What to Pack
To keep yourself organized at all times, place your clothing, accessories and electronics in packing organizers by season so that you can access what you need, and leave what you don’t. Remember that you can always purchase items like clothing and toiletries when you get to Australia, so don’t feel like you need to pack your entire wardrobe and then some!
Here’s a breakdown of the basics that you’ll want to include in your suitcase. This list represents the bare minimum; you may want to take multiples of key items like shorts and socks.
1 pair of hiking pants
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of shorts
1 dress (for women)
Light jacket or hoodie for nights
Sturdy athletic shoes or hiking boots
Pair of sandals or flip-flops
Wide brimmed hat
Gear and Extras
Daypack for exploring cities
First aid kit
Bug net and spray (if you’re heading to the Outback)
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Shampoo and conditioner
Lightweight laptop (optional)
Passport, driver’s license and necessary visas
Credit and debit cards
Caroline Eubanks is a freelance writer and travel blogger who spent a year living, working, and traveling in Australia. She writes about her travels on her site, Caroline in the City. www.carolineinthecityblog.com