Packing Tips for Travel to Australia
Sponsored by Sports Authority
Australia is most people’s dream destination, a “must-visit” on their ultimate bucket list, though with some of the most extreme and varied climates in the world, packing can be one of the most challenging parts of the trip!
For instance are you hitting the tropical rainforests of far North Queensland, the harsh landscape of the Outback, or the colder climates of Southern Tasmania?Are you planning a dive in the Great Barrier Reef, a climb of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or some skiing in the Snowy Mountains?
When planning a trip to Australia you need to consider the weather and climate of the destinations you will be visiting, and the outdoor activities you plan on undertaking during your trip. You need to know if you plan on exploring only urban areas, or also plan on hitting up some more natural settings.
After you know your itinerary, this will determine your packing list for Australia.
So while there will never be one set list of things to pack, here are a few essentials which will guide you before making the trip Down Under.
Make Sure You Pack These
- 1 rain jacket
- 1 warm jacket and/or 1 sweater (“jumper” as Australians call it)
- 2 pairs of jeans
- Casual shirts & T-Shirts
- Two outfits for evenings out
- A week worth of socks (make sure they’re breathable socks)
- Two weeks worth of underwear
- Colorful swimwear and towel
Remember that the Australian sun is very harsh, more so than what many may be used to in other countries.
Consider packing breathable clothing which will protect you from the sun, and wearing long clothes which cover your shoulders if spending multiple days on the beach.
Pack good walking shoes, as there are always plenty of great opportunities to head out and explore a natural setting or national park. City walking tours are also incredibly popular throughout Australia, so you’ll want a good pair of shoes for exploring each new city.
Pack a pair of plastic thongs – that’s right, in Australia we call “flip-flops” thongs. These are not only required for the many beautiful beaches, but will also keep your feet clean if using hostel showers.
Hiking boots will come in handy if you will be spending an extended period of time bushwalking – Australia has some pretty spectacular hikes to choose from.
- Toiletry bag and contents
- 1 small bath towel
- Suntan lotion
- Insect repellent
- Camera – consider traveling with a waterproof camera if diving, or a GoPro if your itinerary includes outdoor adventure
- Travel Adapter
- Fly net (if traveling through the outback)
- Day bag/backpack for exploring cities
- Water bottle
- Swiss Army Knife
- Small First Aid Kit
- Small portable torch/flashlight
Our Sports Authority Shopping Spree
It’s not often we head out on a shopping spree, however when we do it’s always before a big trip.
In preparing for our Australia trip, thanks to Sports Authority we managed to find essentials for all of our outdoor needs in one place, and walked away with some amazing products from The North Face, perfect for our return visit to Aus. Check out what we picked up!
The North Face Hiking Pack
Australia is full of epic walking trails, many which can be completed in a day, many of which can be cut up into short scenic sections, and many of which can be stretched over weeks, or even months, if attempting the whole trail!
Hiking options are available all over the country to suit every fitness level, and every level of crazy! Unfortunately in the past I have been known to fall into the top tier of “crazy”, and have found myself stuck in the middle of nowhere attempting incredibly challenging terrain far too often! As such, I’m always in need of a good quality hiking pack.
I chose the the North Face Terra 45 – it is a sleek, light, and easy to use, 45-liter pack with amazing padding and support meaning you can cover ground comfortably. The shoulder harness easily slides up or down according to user’s back length, and the hip-belt is totally padded for comfort, decked out with two easy to reach pockets for access to small essentials without needing to sit down and take off the whole pack.
The North Face Rain Jackets
It doesn’t matter whether you’re hitting up the tropical climates of Queensland, or heading further south to Tasmania. You will most definitely need a rain jacket for travel to Australia, where the locals will tell you “if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes for it to change.”
With a fantastic range of water repelling mens rain jackets and also women’s rain jackets, both Mike and I are now set, with the added bonus that his triclimate jacket has an inside fleece which is removable should the weather become too warm.
Taking in Tasmania during this trip, a warm jacket is a must – and it doesn’t matter that it’s summer.
Hobart is notoriously chilly at the best of times, particularly in the evenings, and especially if you’re heading up Mt Wellington for the best views of the city, you need a backup to keep you warm against wind chill.
Even for those traveling through the Outback – do not overlook packing a warm jacket. While hot and often humid during the day, the outback cools right down once night falls, and if you’re camping you’re going to feel that chill.
If traveling during winter you’re going to want to pack more than one warm jacket, because despite popular belief, Australia can get COLD!
If your using a travel adaptor for Australia, ensure your devices are rated to 240v.
Most new electronics (including phone and laptop chargers) input voltage range between 100-240v and 50-60hz.
Some hotels have 110v outlets in the bathroom for shavers but don’t count on this on your travels.
Fantastic advice – thanks Luke! Even as a seasoned traveler, I always just assume that my power adapters will just work, overlooking potential problems with voltage.
Running to check all of my devices now! Happy Holidays :)
Helpful tips! I have not been down under yet but, like many others, it’s high on my to-do list! This post will come in handy when I do :)
ps: the first time I heard an Aussie say she forgot her thongs I was SO confused why she needed to share that with everyone in the hostel…hahaa
So glad you found the post useful :) And massive lol – you wouldn’t believe how many times Ive gone on about my thongs while abroad and it does lead to a LOT of confusion depending on the context :D
Great tips! I have yet to make it to Australia, but this will definitely come in handy for when we make a visit. Have a great trip and looks like you found a lot of great North Face Gear!
Glad we could help! The trip is going really well, and I’m super glad we got the rain jackets lol has been bucketing down with rain over the last few days!
thanks for these great tips! A friend of mine is planning a trip to Australia soon so I will pass this post to her for sure! :)
Glad we could help out! Feel free to reach out if you or your friend has any questions or wants some tips :) Australia is the best :D!
When I went to Australia as a backpacker (my first real big trip) I had this idea in mind that it would be warm and sunny everywhere. I started off in Darwin and the Red Centre but when I went down to Adelaide (it was October by then) the first thing I did was buy myself a pair of jeans. Somehow I never realized that it could actually be cold and rainy … now we are hopefully going to Tasmania next year so we’ll be looking twice on what to pack. Can’t wait to follow your adventures there!
Definitely! I think people have that misconception that the whole country is blazingly hot all the time! I got asked on facebook why in the world I was buying warm gear for summer in Australia lol little did they know!
You’ll most certainly need warm gear for Tasmania no matter which time of year you travel – you’ll absolutely love it though, one of the most beautiful states in Australia and with so much incredible nature and opportunity for outdoor adventure :)
Great tips! I always forget to check adapters and to bring stuff like toiletries and towels, I need to print this off and check the items off as I pack!
Thanks Margherita! I’ve started working off a checklist as well – just makes life so much easier and you’ll never forget the little things again!!
happy travels :)
Looks like some great gear you checked out! Great packing list too! I’m sure many wouldn’t think of a few of these by themselves!
Glad we could help! I find that the main thing people overlook is cold weather gear – because we definitely need it in some parts of the country :D!
I moved to Melbourne from the States this year and this list is great! The most crucial, wherever you’re going, is a water bottle. There are lots of public places to fill up and bottles of water can be $3-$4 which is insane! The sun is absolutely more intense than anything I’ve been in before, and it’s a good idea to bring toiletries as they’re much more expensive here!
Thanks Laura! And fantastic point on the waterbottle – water in Australia can definitely be expensive than I think people imagine, and especially if you’re out in rural areas where it is difficult to get tap water.
Definitely take for granted how cheap everything is here over in the States comparatively :D! Happy New Year!
I am very interested to see you have included 2 pairs of jeans in your packing list. Did you find you wore these a lot in Australia? I’m going there soon myself and all advice i found said definitely dont take jeans so i have left them off my list. Would love to hear your opinion on this!
Hey Laura. I wear jeans in Australia all the time – I don’t really see why you would specifically exclude them from a packing list; during summer you may not need them as much because it’s fairly warm out, so a lot of people prioritize shorts, skirts and dresses, though if you’re planning on heading out for a day shopping, sightseeing or dressing up for dinner, jeans are worn by a lot of Australians. Maybe I recommend them because I’m from Aus and we wear them normally as part of our day to day.
If traveling in winter along the east coast I would definitely recommend taking jeans because Aus does get cold, and it’s nice to have long pants which can dress up your outfit. If you’re hitting the outback you prob won’t need them because you’ll want cargos or something similar which is going to get dirty.
I would take one pair just in case – though really it comes down to whatever you’re comfortable wearing normally :)
Hope that helps!
The best thing about this post is that it tells you a lot in few words! I love the way you have written this post, making it easy for the readers. These tips can be very effective while travelling abroad.
Thanks Amrita – very glad that you enjoyed the post.
Someone told me there is no heat in Australian hotels. Is that true?
Hi Michelle, that is not true. If you’re at a 2 star motel maybe, but in general every hotel I’ve ever stayed at here in Australia (which is home) has always had heating – it’s a pretty common expectation :)