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Best Packing List tips to travel Australia
Whether you’re planning to dive the Great Barrier Reef, hike our National Parks or take a road trip deep into the Australian Outback. Get the best packing list tips for Australia.
Travel light. Travel smart. Travel better! Don’t get weighed down with expensive non-essential travel gear and accessories.
These are our best packing list tips for travelling Australia.
Things to know before you go
Make sure you read our Things to know before you go to Australia page. It’s jam-packed full of important things to know to help you plan your trip to Australia. There’s information about visa’s and immigration, the weather, the customs, quarantine and money.
There are also some suggestions about where to go, what to see and we’ve even tossed in a few ideas that aren’t on the beaten track.
When is the best time to travel to Australia
Australia is in the southern hemisphere so our seasons are opposite to the seasons in the northern hemisphere. There is never really a bad time to visit Australia but our tip is to travel to Australia during the shoulder seasons.
- Summer is December to February – Most visitors arrive into Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. Summer is peak-season so it will be more crowded and often more expensive.
- Autumn is March to May – The shoulder-season months are more affordable, and the temperature is friendly in most areas of Australia.
- Winter is June – August – Often chilly down in the southern parts, the Outback and mountainous areas of Australia. Expect winter in Australia to be more temperate compared to other parts of the world.
- Spring is September – November– a beautiful time to visit Australia. It’s spring. Everything is flowering and its the start of our balmy warm days.
Then there are the tropics! The tropical northern regions of Australia such as Darwin or Cairns, have just 2 seasons and no almost winter at all.
- The ‘wet season’ in the north is always uncomfortably humid during summer, so it’s best to visit the tropical regions during the winter months of June to August.
- The ‘dry season’ is when the weather is perfect. Winter is also the best time to visit the northern regions. Crisp clear skies and the amazing colours of a desert winter.
Understanding our weather should should help provide some useful tips when preparing your packing list for Australia.
Best Packing List tips for travelling Australia
Clothing essentials to include in your packing list for Australia
I suggest you take your most comfortable clothes with you. There’s nothing worse than packing the wrong things to wear on your trip.
- A large cotton or other natural fabric scarf, multi-purpose in heat or cold or to add a glamorous touch.
- Coordinating layers that will work for every climate.
- Comfy underwear that dries quickly and can be hand washed in a hotel sink.
- Swimwear – don’t forget to pack your togs!
- Comfortable shoes that you can wear anywhere plus of course, your thongs/flip flops.
For example, #FavouriteHubby loves his Queensland footy jersey so if the weather is cool, he’ll pack his (slightly shabby) Maroons jersey!
Depending on where you are travelling to, pack a couple of pairs of jeans/shorts/skirts and some interchangeable tops & T-shirts.
Make sure you include a broad-brimmed hat for the sun, or a beanie if the weather is cold.
Check the weather for a guide to making packing decisions and simple, no fuss clothing works best for travelling in Australia.
Don’t forget, there are always opportunities to shop for clothes right across Australia if you find yourself short
Pack enough clothes for 5 days
It really does depend on the weather you’re stepping into. Pack enough underwear for a week and a light sweater will get you by and add a heavier jacket if the weather is expected to be cold.
My packing list always tries to include enough clothes for 5 days but I must admit it doesn’t always happen that way. Washing every fourth or fifth day suits me best when I’m travelling.
Remember, the Aussie Sun is fierce. Be Sun-Smart.
We’re very sun-conscious, so we take long-sleeved breathable T-shirts for beach, swimming and walking.
I love my Simm’s hiking shirt. It’s lightweight and cool and dries overnight so a quick rinse after your day out will have it ready to go again.
Laundry is usually very easy to organise, with DIY laundries in most hotels and laundromats right across Australia. Most hotel’s have a laundry service, but be aware, these can be expensive to use.
I hand-wash light shirts and underwear using shampoo or hand soap and dry on plastic coat-hangers. Most things dry overnight with fans or with airconditioning.
Shoes for Travelling Australia
In Australia, we’re not too formal when it comes to shoes … or anything really! Surprisingly, thongs are considered appropriate footwear for most occasions! Be sure to get yourself a pair!
Comfortable shoes can’t be underestimated when you’re travelling. I carry lightweight trekking sandals to do all the hard work. Ecco Yucatan are my current favourites. I recently did some rough terrain walking in Kakadu National Park so was pretty happy to discover my Ecco’s to be one of the most comfortable hiking sandals I’ve worn.
For walking I pack my comfy old faithful Converse sneakers and take a pair of slip-on casual flats for dining out or heading downtown. Thongs! You can’t beat them! No matter how small the trip, I always pack my favourite Havaianas (flip flops) – especially useful if we’re staying by the beach.
Hiking and Bushwalking
When hiking in warmer climates such as North Queensland or the Top End of Australia, I always choose my lightweight trekking sandals Ecco Yucatan which are great for airflow and comfort. Sandals make it easy to slip in for a swim when you come across a refreshing swimming hole as we did in Litchfield National Park.
When doing some serious hiking or visiting wet or snowy terrains I pack my Ariat Terrain Bootswith rugged grip soles. I quite like Calvin Klein socks, as they have extra cushioning in the heel and ball of the foot and when you’re doing as much walking as we do, that’s important.
Toiletries & Personal Items
I’ve been toting my toiletries around in the perfect toiletries bag that has room for everything I need and is easy to find what you’re looking for. My go-everywhere toiletries bag. Truly, it’s the best bag ever and fits nicely in the side of my carry-on!
When travelling, I take with me
- My hairbrush
- Toothbrush paste and dental floss
- Small bottles of my favourite shampoo and conditioner
- Moisturiser and face cleansing wipes, and
- a few essentials like mineral powder, blush, eyeliner and mascara – just in case!
One of our best packing list tips for travelling Australia is to take a microfibre travel towel. They’re lightweight and perfect for day trips to the beach.
Microfibre towels dry quickly, and don’t pick up the sand as other towels do. These microfibre towels come in varying sizes and are perfect for using at the beach, or for going swimming and boating. Elite Trend Microfiber Beach Towel.
Invariably, if I decide not to take a mini first-aid kit, that’s the time I will need it!
I have a great mini-medical kit that I toss in my bag, just incase! It comes complete with a Thermal Blanket, Burn Gel Pack, Antiseptic Cleaning Wipes, Multiple of Bandages, Tweezers, Scissors, Emergency Whistle, 3X Gauze and more. Perfect to put in your backpack.
I’m often asked which Travel Insurance we use. Our choice is World Nomads – check here for an obligation-free quote and make sure you’re covered while travelling Australia.
Preparing a Packing List for Australia
We travel with most of these items every trip we take, so consider this list as the very minimum that everyone travelling within Australia will need.
There are other things to consider when travelling, so have a look at these posts to ensure you have everything you need for your travels and I will continue to build on this to make it as complete as possible.
- Travel checklist – things to do before you travel
- 10 best travel accessories to take with you when travelling
- How to book the best accommodation
There will be new packing lists coming soon to add onto this list such as Gadgets and Accessories and an update to my camera essentials so keep an eye on our Resources page or subscribe to AussieMob for the latest updates. My goal is to ensure your travels are smooth and trouble free … as much as I can!
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