As the world’s sixth largest country Australia is every adventure traveler’s wonderland with its endless offerings of things to see and do. Whether you’re up for some serious water activities – like surfing, scuba diving, whitewater rafting – or camping the Outback, hiking through the rainforest, or enjoying an evening of culture at the opera – Australia won’t disappoint!
But before heading out to the Land Down Under, you’ll have to prepare a game plan for what to pack for Australia. With eight states and territories with varying climates knowing what your Australia packing essentials are isn’t so obvious.
Thankfully you’ve come to our Australia survival guide – where we’ll walk you through your what to get pack for Australia undertaking step by step!.
So, sit back, have a read and start getting excited about all the fun you’ll be getting yourself into. One thing is for sure, those Aussies know how to show their visitors a good time!
Ready? Let’s get to it.
The Ultimate Australia Packing List
Failure to back adequately for Australia could really boomerang. To avoid any “packing malfunctions” check out our advice on what to bring to Australia.
The Backpack and Luggage: Nomatic Travel Bag
Before you even take on the task of figuring out what to pack for Australia, you’ll need an amazing backpack to pack it all into. For all types of travelers and destinations, our number one recommendation is the Nomatic Travel Bag.
The Nomatic travel bag covers every detail to make backpacking travel the best experience. Because of its smart design, it manages to provide loads of packing space in a convenient, carry-on size package! Its handy built-in pockets make plenty of room for all the necessities on your what to pack for Australia checklist – you’ll find separate compartments for important items like shoes, water bottle, electronics, underwear and socks. As an added bonus, there’s also an RFID-safe and cord management pocket.
You have a choice between backpack or duffel bag carry, and extra carrying comfort for your back thanks to its innovative strap system and detachable sternum strap. And its black, waterproof material is every bit sleek and modern as it is durable and tough. There is a reason why most Broke Backpacker staff swear by this backpack.
Alternative Luggage: AER Travel Pack 2
Our number two selection for an epic travel backpack is the AER Travel Pack 2. Like the Nomatic Travel Bag, this AER backpack is fully featured, big enough to hold an extended weekend of clothing, and tough enough to last years of travel abuse.
I have taken the AER Travel Pack 2 on multiple trips and since then it has risen has in the ranks of my go-to travel backpacks. For me, this one is a little small for a full fledged Oz trip but is perfectly OK for leaner packers.
Check out our AER Travel Pack 2 review to learn more.
A Suitcase: Nomatic Carry-On Pro
Backpacks not your thing? That’s ok. Our friends at Nomatic are back again with a great alternative to their badass Travel Bag; the Nomatic Carry-On Pro.
This suitcase is ultra-durable, sleek, and comes with a handy tech compartment for transporting your laptop and other electronic bits. Nomatic has been an industry leader when it comes to travel gear and that reputation is reflected in the quality build design and functionality of the Carry-On Pro suitcase. The beauty of taking a carry on case is that you will be able to take full advantage of the cheap domestfic flights you can bag in Australia.
Check out our Nomatic Carry-On Pro review to learn more about this epic suitcase.
The Camera: GoPro Hero9 Black
For most of us, our smartphones now feature cameras with stunning photo capabilities.
But… if you are an aspiring photographer who wants to take next-level photos and video beyond iPhone selfies, I recommend going with an action camera like the GoPro Hero9 Black.
It does deliver pro-quality video and gives you a bunch of a different angle options and shooting speeds to work with for photos (including a selfie-mode).
Think of a camera purchase like this as a long term investment that will have you capturing epic shots well beyond your time exploring here.
If you are looking for something cheaper for video specifically, check out these epic GoPro Alternatives.
What To Pack For Australia: Personal Gear
Whilst the climate does vary across Australia and with the seasons, it is generally a warm country. Summer’s are VERY hot and even the Melbourne winters can be survived comfortably with nothing more than a jacket.
That said, there are some mountainous regions and these can get chilly and icy in winter – do you research before you head out.
We are going to tell you how to dress in Australia (but a hat with corks dangling from it would be fetching), instead our list will suggest some useful travel goodies.
Good Shoes – Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero
Most Auzzies I met in Europe and South America seemed to live in flip-flops (or thongs). However, that does not mean that this is suitable footwear for wearing down under. Your trip to Oz will probably involve a lot of walking and general adventure-stuff. Good shoes are a must.
I admit that most shoes that are also good for hiking are not the most attractive pieces of footwear. But they are some of the most comfortable and deliver good ankle support for a long day of going walkabout on your Australia adventure.
Check out the women’s Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero.
A Good Daypack for Hiking – Osprey Daylite Plus
If you intend on doing any hiking or camping, then you shall need a daypack. They are great for carrying water, and clothes and for packing sandwiches for lunch. We love Osprey products and this daypack is our personal pick.
The Osprey Daylite Plus has a mesh-covered panel to keep your back cool and fresh by minimizing contact with the back of the pack itself and allowing air to get between you and the pack.
Check out our full review of the Osprey Daylite plus for more details.
Additionally, you can attach it to other Osprey packs in case you want to add more capacity and carry just one piece of luggage… but the reviews on this feature are mixed.
Travel First Aid Kit
You don’t need to tote around half a pharmacy, but a well-stocked first aid kit should be in all our backpacks. Stuff happens on the road and it’s inconvenient and embarrassing when you can’t manage small situations like a cut finger or hangover migraine.
You can tuck this lifesaver away in a forgotten pocket – and it’ll be there when you need it.
Tip: Add a few bits and pieces to the first aid kit after you purchase it, like extra headache medicine, any personal meds you need (like allergy pills), whatever you take to calm your stomach and a few more plasters.
Travel Insurance From World Nomads
Ok, you can’t pack travel insurance in your backpack, but you can take out a cheap policy to insure yourself against theft, flight cancellations, accidents, etc.
I admit I traveled for many years without having travel insurance. Because of it, I paid the price a few times in foreign hospitals. If something goes wrong in Oz (like you get hit by a boomerang or eaten by a crocodile) then medical costs can be expensive. Having insurance gives that you that peace of mind.
We use either World Nomads or SafetyWing. You’ll be happy you did if the time comes to use it.
Your Passport or Other Government ID
Australian immigration isn’t the easiest in the world to navigate and will harder still if your forget your passport.
Furthermore if you forget your ID you will not be allowed entrance into an untold number of establishments including bars, clubs, casinos, and other venues of responsible adult entertainment.
Sandals: OluKai ‘Ohana Flip-Flops
Circling back to the footwear question, now we are going to talk about sandals. Whilst you do need good shoes for all that adventure stuff, a good pair of Jandals is perfect for the beach, for hanging out in the hostel and even for some city slicking.
Your feet will be tired and sweaty from those long days wearing shoes so do yourself a favor: pack sandals and give your feet some well-deserved cushion and fresh air. These Olukai flip flops are ultra-comfortable, well-made, and come in a variety of colors.
Check out the women’s OluKai ‘Ohana Flip-Flops.
A Hat – Patagonia Fitz Roy Trucker
As you should know by now, the sun in Australia is intense and you will undoubtedly be spending a lot of time outside. Having a hat on your Australia packing list is a good way to ensure your face is protected from the sun throughout the day.
Patagonia makes great hats. I have probably bought three or four of these over the last five years. Simple. Practical. Comfortable. That is what you are after especially if you are headed into Australia’s national parks.
Money Belt – By Active Roots
Whilst Australia is not particularly dangerous, crime can still happen and tourists are sometimes targeted.
Therefore it is always a good idea to use a money belt to hide your cash just in case something does go wrong.
Waterbottle – Hydroflask Vacuum Bottle 32 oz.
Packing a reusable water bottle is probably the best thing you can personally do to combat single-use plastic bottle use whilst traveling. There is simply zero need to buy plastic water bottles.
We love the Hydroflask Vacum Bottle for its quality and because it keeps cold water cold for many hours and vice versa for hot beverages. This bottle is the ideal water bottle to get not just for Australia trip but for daily use. Please don’t be that person buying plastic water bottles. We are all judging you…especially mother earth.
If you go with the Hydroflask, you’ll probably never need to buy another waterbottle again.
Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to Marine Life – Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle.
These little godsends are ace for when you head out into the sticks – you can fill up from a stream and let the built in purifier do the rest.
The GRAYL GEOPRESS water bottle is the ONLY all-in-one filter water bottle setup you’ll need. Whether you need to purify the water from a hostel sink in Kathmandu or a stream trickle in the Andes, the Geopress has got you covered.
Read our full review of the GRAYL GEOPRESS!
Tent – MSR Hubba Hubba 2p
There are loads of hostels in Australia but to be honest, they ain’t cheap. Furthermore, the country offers some amazing camping opportunities. Therefore, to save money and get the most from the Oz experience, pack a good tent.
This is one is a great all rounder. It’s not “ultralight” but is still pretty comfortable when packed into your backpack. As far as budget backpacking tents go, this is one of the best. It’s a happy medium between the ‘prepared for anything’ mode and the ‘I wanted to go for a trek so I bought this for 2000 rupees’ afterthought.
Sleeping Bag – Nemo Disco 15
At some point in your trip to Australia, you will probably go camping or at the very least will spend a night at a hostel with insufficient bedding, or with dirty bedding that you would rather not lay in. Therefore bringing a sleeping bag is often a great investment.
There are a LOT of sleeping bags on the market today and we have tried a lot of them. The quality and standards varies and not always in correlation with the price – pricey does not always mean better. The Nemo Disco 15 is a great all rounder sleeping bag packing in warmth, durability and a reasonable price tag.
Another backpacker/traveler favorite for staying organized is a hanging toiletry bag. It’s extremely helpful to have all of your accessories neatly gathered in one bag that you can hang for easy accessibility, especially when counter space isn’t plentiful or even available. A well-organized bag is worth having whether you’re tree whilst camping or a hook in the wall – it helps to have quick access to all your stuff.
Historically, I have been the guy who has my stuff all over the bathroom, so getting one of these things really changed the toiletry game for me. Plus they are not too expensive either. A no-brainer essential when packing for Australia.
Suncream: Thinksport Safe SPF 50+
By now, all of us are as pasty as the driven snow from sheltering in place for the last six months. Am I right? This means we are even more vulnerable than usual to the sun’s fierce rays. Packing sunscreen for Australia may seem like a no brainer, but you would be amazed how many sun-burned cocktail-toting people you see wandering around.
Thinksport Safe SPF 50+ sunscreen gives folks strong sun protection in a non-oily formula that’s free of gluten, paraben, phthalates and biologically harmful chemicals.
Let’s face it; for the foreseeable future, COVID 19 hysteria is just going to be a part of travel. How do we do our best to mitigate the risk while still traveling and experience life’s pleasures? Pack the right PPE gear.
Australia took the COVID pandemic seriously, closed it’s borders and introduced heavy lockdowns. Therefore, to play your part in the Australian COVID battle get yourself some PPE.
We suggest you bring to Australia the following;
Final Thoughts on What to Pack for Australia
That’s it, mates! You now have all you need to know on what to pack for Australia with our handy-dandy Australia survival guide. You have a complete top-23 needs packing list, tips on what to wear in Australia in all its diversity, a breakdown of Aussie seasons and how to pack for the weather. Don’t forget our tips for women and men for their own packing lists – plus, what NOT to pack for Australia.
If you’re super excited to see just how much adventure you can pack into your experience in the Land Down Under, we don’t blame you! Be ready to wear your biggest smile, embrace life, and be open to making new memories and new friends. In other words – just do as the Aussies do!
Also – don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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