After a recent two-week trip to Australia, I came back with a better idea of what I needed to pack—and what I didn’t. Your own Australia packing list will vary depending on how long you’re going, which part of this diverse country you’re visiting, and what time of year you’re traveling, but the following list of what to pack for Australia will give you a good start.
Editor’s note: We recognize the ongoing devastation that Australia is facing. See What Travelers Need to Know About the Australia Fires (and How to Help) for more information.
What to Pack for Australia: The Suitcase
Sturdy but lightweight, the Eagle Creek Expanse Carry-on has lockable zippers, a padded tablet sleeve, and heavy-duty wheels that are built to last.
What to Pack for Australia: The Personal Item
The Patagonia Atom Backpack is large enough to carry the essentials but small enough to comfortably use as a daypack on hikes or strolls around a city. Its materials are water-repellent and include recycled nylon and polyester.
What to Pack for Australia: In-Flight Essentials
- Kindle or tablet: The flight to Australia is long, so you’ll want to keep yourself entertained with as many good books, movies, and games as you can manage.
- Eye mask: Give yourself a chance to sleep by blocking out light from all the flickering screens around you.
- Noise-canceling headphones: Playing your favorite tunes or podcasts can make that 14-hour flight a little more bearable.
- Pashmina: A cozy travel scarf can keep you warm in a chilly aircraft cabin or serve as a substitute for that thin airplane blanket.
- Eyedrops and saline nasal spray: Spending hours in an arid airplane cabin can dry out tired eyes and the mucous membranes in your nose; the latter can even make you more likely to catch a cold in flight.
- Neck pillow: Bring the most comfortable option you have to catch some shuteye on the long flight to Oz.
What to Pack for Australia: Shoes
- Comfortable walking shoes: Whether that means sneakers or slip-on loafers, comfortable walking shoes should be at the top of your Australia packing list.
- Hiking shoes: If you’ll be spending much time exploring Australia’s many national parks and wilderness trails, you’ll want sturdy hiking shoes with good traction.
- Flip-flops: These are a must if you’re planning any beach time during your Australia vacation.
What to Pack for Australia: The Jacket
- Windbreaker or lightweight rain jacket: If you visit during the warmer months, you might not need much of a jacket at all for your trip to Australia, but it’s always a good idea to bring a lightweight option to protect yourself from rain or a chilly nighttime breeze.
- Interchange jacket for men or women: For visits during cooler times of year, add one of these flexible three-in-one jackets to your Australia packing list. You can mix and match the layers of these coats to deal with just about any weather conditions.
What to Pack for Australia: Clothing
- Jeans: These all-purpose pants are great for walking around cities.
- Hiking pants: Lightweight, quick-drying pants are ideal for outdoor adventures.
- Shorts: During the warmer months, shorts are a must-pack addition to your Australia packing list.
- Layering T-shirts: Wear these as your only top layer in summer or as a base layer in cooler weather.
- Lightweight sweatshirt: Consider one of these to wear over your base layer in fall or winter.
- Compression socks: These Australia travel essentials can help prevent blood clots during those long transpacific flights.
What to Pack for Australia: Toiletries
- Sunscreen: This is a must-pack no matter what time of year you’re visiting Australia. If you’ll be snorkeling or diving along the Great Barrier Reef, bring reef-safe sunscreen to protect the fragile coral.
- Aloe gel: If sunburn strikes despite your precautions, soothe it with a cooling aloe gel.
- Insect repellent: Fend off mosquitoes, biting flies, and ticks when you’re out in the Australian bush.
- Over-the-counter medications: I don’t travel anywhere without a few basic medications, including a pain reliever, a remedy for an upset stomach, and an antihistamine. For an Australia trip, consider adding melatonin for jet lag.
- First-aid kit: Consider packing a travel-size first-aid kit to deal with any minor scrapes or injuries.
What to Pack for Australia: The Purse
Travelon makes anti-theft purses in a variety of sizes, with features such as RFID-blocking pockets, slash-proof straps, and locking zippers.
What to Pack for Australia: Gadgets
- Portable charger: Keep your phone, camera, and other devices charged on the go.
- Universal adapter: This all-in-one adapter works in more than 150 countries, including Australia.
What to Pack for Australia: Accessories
- Waterproof pouch: Protect your phone and other valuables when you’re in the ocean with this waterproof pouch.
- Sun hat: Protect your skin and eyes from Australia’s relentless sun, especially in the Outback.
- Sunglasses: Spending time at the beach or on the trails? Don’t forget your sunnies.
- Reusable water bottle: This bottle rolls up for easy packing and is the perfect replacement for single-use plastic bottles while you travel.
- Umbrella: This is especially useful in Australia’s rainier regions, including the northern parts of Queensland (especially around Cairns) and western Tasmania.
What to Pack for Australia (That I Didn’t)
- Collapsible hiking poles: If you’ll be doing some hiking and you like having a pole or two for balance, throw this packable pair into your suitcase.
- Bathing suit: I traveled at a cooler time of year, but swimwear is a must-pack if you’re visiting Australia in the warmer months.
What Not to Pack for Australia
Australian cultural is pretty informal, so you won’t need to dress up much for dinner. Leave your fancy clothes at home unless you’re traveling to Oz for a wedding or other formal occasion.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Getting Back to Nature in Tasmania, Australia
- 12 Underrated Beach Towns in Australia
- Top 25 Ways to Save on Australia Travel