Traveling around Australia involves spending a lot of time on the road, crossing time zones and often experiencing a different climate environment to that of your own home. But before you go you should ask yourself “What should I pack for Australia?”
Australian weather does not always correspond to the glamorous description that you find in travel brochures. The sunshine country is not the country of perpetual warm temperatures. On the contrary; changing weather patterns and a temperature range between 5-25 °C is not unusual and you are likely to experience it not only in the Outback but also in suburban areas.
So be prepared for abrupt temperature drops in the night and also the so-called „four-seasons-weather” pattern, which is typical of Southern Australian regions and cities like Melbourne and Adelaide.
With over 12 years of travels across the country I’ve learnt a few things on what to wear when traveling around Australia. Here are my best tips for packing for your trip to Australia.
So lets see how to pack for Australia
Map out where at what time of the year you will visiting Australia
Depending on the time of the year, the weather conditions will be different. Even tropical regions of North Australia in the winter months have cool nights. Weather in Australia can be very unpredictable and also occasional extreme weather conditions may occur, like flooding rain, dust storm, heat wave, etc. So be prepared to easily adjust to all-weather conditions and pack accordingly
Choose the most appropriate travel luggage
Suitcase vs Backpack vs Soft Bag. What is the best for Australia? There is no general answer here because it depends on the activities you plan. Do road trips, outdoor activities as well as group tours make the most of your time? Then a wheeled soft bag or a suitable travel backpack is definitely the way to go. Remember that local tour companies often do not accept wheeled suitcases on tours and will ask you to re-pack your stuff. So a medium-size soft bag is probably the most versatile piece of luggage I would recommend for a trip in Australia.
Make sure your luggage comply with the local airlines baggage regulations
In Australia most airlines have a strict baggage allowance of 15-23kg for a checked baggage and 7kg for a cabin luggage. You shall book your internal flights considering this aspect too, so as to avoid paying for excess baggage. I recommend using a day-pack as a cabin luggage, this will give you more freedom to move around hands-free. Only use one main piece of luggage to carry around for utmost comfort.
Make a list of planned activities and things you want to do
Pack the essentials clothing to match your activities. The best way is to pack functional travel wear to keep you dry, warm and cool. More importantly pack travel clothing like a rain and wind jacket, a warm fleece jumper that protects you from wind, dust and sun. Make sure you pack your clothes to cover all-weather conditions, even if you travel in summer.
Don’t pack things that you can hire locally.
Do not add unnecessary weight to your luggage. Travel gear like a sleeping bag and any camping gear will be provided with your rental camper van. Sport equipment, like snorkeling and diving gear can be hired on a boat tour. In Australia you can hire pretty much anything for an outdoor adventure, so don’t worry about packing travel gear that you can easily hire locally, and at a reasonable price
Packing light is imperative when you have to pack for Australia
I know is a perpetual issue and not easy to get it right when traveling to remote destinations like Australia. Leave at home all items of general use like personal care that you can purchase locally and pack all your liquids in a set of small reusable multi-sized containers. For cosmetics and personal care you can pack samples, this will also reduce weight.
Choose wisely your clothes for your trip
As said before, functional travel wear is easy-care and lightweight compared to normal clothes. It not only saves you space and weight, it will save time thanks to the quick wash-and-wear functionality. So I highly recommend packing functional travel wear for your Australia Trip.
The rule of “only 3 pair of shoes” when you pack for Australia
In Australia you will walk a lot and will need comfortable shoes to move around. Pack shoes according to the activities and possibly only 3 pairs. 1 pair of outdoor shoes suitable for all weather conditions, 1 pair of shoes for the evening – like sneakers – and 1 pair of multi-use flip-flops – or similar, that you can wear in your accommodation or at the beach.
Bear in mind that packing and unpacking is very likely to become an integral part of your trip in Australia. So the easier process the better; the more freedom you will get when moving around on buses, trains and at airports. Packing light will finally enhance your overall trip enjoyment.
Featured image: Packing for a trip (Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com)