What to Pack for a Trip to Australia

Packing is probably the most exciting part of any trip planning – the nervous excitement of gathering your things, waking up in the night and scribbling on your packing list, and the final zip of your bag… nothing beats it! We’re pretty good at this travel thing now, so we put together a list of items we recommend bringing on your East Coast adventure. When it comes to backpacking, less is more, so we’ll try to stick to just the essentials.

Clothing

While the Australia in your head may be purely white sand beaches and long summer days, unfortunately, we do experience cold weather too. For a trip up the east coast, pack shorts, t-shirts and dresses (loose cotton or quick dry materials are best), but bring a warm top layer and warm pants too. A rainjacket is a must, as well as your cozzies (swimsuit) and a towel. If you’re planning to visit during Australian winter (May – August), be sure to bring a few extra layers. We love merino wool tops for this!

Shoes

Flip flops (we call them thongs) are basically the uniform of Australia. Definitely bring them. Plus a pair of comfortable walking shoes that you can wear in the cities and on hikes, and that will see you right for most activities.

Skincare

No, we don’t mean your Olay moisturiser, but you can bring that too (FYI, we stock almost every brand you can get at home, so no need to stress about bringing everything). By skincare we mean protection! The sun in Australia is extremely strong, and you are not stronger than it. SPF30 is the minimum for sunblock, bonus points if you bring or buy reef safe sunblock to help protect the environment. Please also bring a sunhat and sunglasses, you won’t regret it.

On that note, insect repellent is also a must – the mozzies in the rainforest do bring grown men to tears when they’re unprotected. Essential oil based repellents are a great natural alternative to DEET based repellents. Hot tip: mosquitos don’t like light coloured clothing, so consider swapping your black leggings (they bite through) for looser fitting light coloured pants.

Your Bags

Ideally we recommend a backpack but if you bring a suitcase that’s fine as long as you can carry it.  You won’t have to walk miles with it but you’ll still need to manoeuvre it on and off buses and trains by yourself.  We also recommend a day pack, which is a smaller backpack that you can keep your camera, water bottle, snacks, swimsuit and towel for day excursions.

Other Gear

The rest are things we recommend having to make your life easier/cooler/better:

  • Head torch/flash light
  • Camera (obviously most of us will use our phone)
  • A shawl/light scarf – the swiss army knife of clothing, you can use this to keep the sun off, warm up when the air con is too intense, as a personal picnic blanket, beach towel, and of course, a scarf.
  • Reusable water bottle, coffee cup and tote bag – come on man, help save the planet!
  • Packing cubes – these are LIFESAVERS for organisation
  • Any medication you need, including for car and sea sickness (however you can easily buy these here)
  • Plug adaptor – again you can buy this here, it will definitely come in handy…

What are your essential packing items? Did we miss anything you absolutely love taking with you? Let us know in the comments!

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