Australia Packing List: Complete Guide to Pack for Your Trip

By Josh •  Updated: 07/20/21 •  11 min read

I remember the day my wife said we were going to head out to Australia on a wild 14 day trip to see the sights and sounds, this sent me into a tailspin as to what I should pack for an Australia vacation and even what I was allowed to bring.

Prior to this trip the furthest country I had visited was Canada, which is often just referred to as America Lite, where rules are not as crazy as to everything allowed.

This list is a labor of love to help anyone looking to figure out what actual gear they need to pack to enjoy a long holiday vacation should bring, what to get once in Australia, and what should just be left at home.

Luggage

We all know when travelling that your luggage is vital to the comfort of your trip, so we are going to start with finding some very quality luggage that is soft sided first. This set from Steve Madden is one of the best quality bags we found, and have been eyeballing for our next vacation.

TRAVEL LUGGAGE

Steve Madden Luggage Set

BUILT FOR COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

Travel lighter than ever with this 4 piece luggage sets softside; The softside design can collapse a bit to fit more easily into tight spaces (compared to hardside); The lightweight construction helps you adhere to airline weight restrictions and avoid unneeded airport fees which make it best suitcase for domestic and international travel.

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Daypack for Hiking and Exploring

Once you are in country and are looking to explore you will want a comfortable day pack to carry, which can also make for a great camera carry bag when on the go.

This one by Osprey is my favorite as it combines safety with functionality all in a well designed daypack backpack. It will work perfectly for carrying water bottles and your cameras while out exploring during the day.

TRAVEL DAYPACK

Osprey Daylite Travel Daypack

Featuring a laptop sleeve, concealed pockets

No matter your destination, traveling requires you to always have certain items within reach. Enter the Daylite Travel – the ideal streamlined companion for on-the-go essentials..

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Hip Pack for Exploring

For those who like to get out but aren’t fans of keeping track of a backpack then a hip pack is perfect to carry only the necessities and to keep it close in a zippered pouch.

TRAVEL HIP PACK

ALOHA Collection Black Mini Hip Pack

Features hidden inside pocket for cards or keys

Keep your shoulders happy and hands-free with our ultra lightweight Mini Hip Pack. Make traveling a breeze with easy access to your phone, card, and passport. Made out of a special technical material to keep your stuff protected against splashes, spills, and weather.

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Clothing

There are two really distinct times where your clothes will need to be distinctly different to allow for maximum enjoyment.

I have broke this down into Summer versus Off Season to ease the distinction as outside of summer your temperatures at night can wildly differ from the daytime.

Summer Clothing

When visiting Australia in their summer months the clothing needs to match the weather you will be in. In Australia, the weather will be very warm during the day and you will find most people dressed for the heat with thongs and casual wear that is loose fitting.

  • Hat
  • Sandals / Thongs
  • Breathable Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimwear
  • Lightweight Sweater
  • Summer Outfits
  • Dress Up Clothes
  • Wind / Rain Jacket

Off Season Clothing

Off season in Australia the clothing changes in some pretty large ways as the temperatures and overall weather change to be more cold and rainy versus the more hot and humid summers.

You will not need your summer clothing in Australia off-season as the temperatures and climates change drastically. Be sure to research the weather for each area you plan on visiting before packing as it can be very different throughout Australia.

  • Beanie
  • Sneakers
  • Scarf
  • Thermals
  • Layers
  • Warm jacket
  • Jeans
  • Dress Up Clothes (Nightlife Casino, Dinners, etc)
  • Wind / Rain Jacket
  • Warm bed socks

Toiletries

  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe Vera Oil
  • Chapstick
  • Insect Repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Travel towel
  • Jet lag remedy
  • Motion sickness pills
  • Allergy pills

Practical Items

There are a great many useful items that are good to have with you to make sure travel is easier and simple, along with ensuring you keep safe and rested.

Filtered Water Bottle

Whenever you are traveling it is good to know the water is as clear for you as possible as you never know whats available out of the tap, so in this case you want to have a filter available to maintain clean drinkable water.

Money Belt

Wherever there is tourists you can bet there are people looking to take advantage of them, unfortunately this means you want to have some precautions in place to keep your money tucked away.

The main way is with a money belt, but there is also a neck wallet which allows you to carry around your neck if you are wanting something to keep your passport and other valuables safe.

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a perfect way to maximize your space within the luggage and they are very inexpensive to purchase making them a nearly perfect partner for a long trip.

Bottle Opener

Most bottles will require a bottle opener which you can easily add into your baggage to allow easy access to opening bottles while relaxing in your room after a long day out exploring or on the beach!

Ear Plugs

Sometimes the hotels, or other places like a hostel will have very poor sound insulation from the other rooms or bunks so grabbing a pair of ear plugs can allow you to keep quiet and sleep well.

Waterproof Camera Case

There is going to be a lot of water all over the place in Australia, you want to make sure you protect your electronics like your phone and camera, if you want some good shots of the water, like at the Great Barrier Reef, you need to have a waterproof camera!

Travel Visa

You need to make sure you have your Visa and that you keep it on you while you are in a foreign country, many people think they can just leave it in the hotel but it is imperative to keep on your person at all times.

If you are looking to get your Visa I would say you want to check out iVisa and see what they can help you with in getting your Visa ready for travel to Australia.

To find out which visa is the right one for you, make sure you check out the Visiting Australia page on the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs page to see which visas are available.

Travel Insurance

There are a large array of options to get travel insurance, which you should check and ensure coverage with your normal insurance company prior to assuming.

I have used World Nomads prior and will continue to use them in the future as my insurance may cover me and hospital visits here but all bets are off when out of country and I prefer to be safe and not sorry.

Travel Money Card

For the car you plan to use while on Vacation you want to make sure they can convert money between types with low fees if at all possible, this will help cut miscellaneous losses on little purchases and big exchange costs.

For many it may make far more sense to get a card more specifically to use on the trip itself that could be loaded with local funds to remove this issue, this would also allow for a control in case of theft that you minimize the funds on that card.

Some of the most common are HSBC, UBank, and 7-Eleven.

Make sure you contact your bank before you travel, to avoid any restrictions being applied to your card

Electronic Devices To Pack For Australia

There are many options when it comes to electronics nowadays, many will be invaluable to communicate, and document your trip so that you can watch and relive it later.

There are some others that can help you make it through the long airport times and on the airplane itself if you are poor at getting rest while on aircraft, for me that’s my wife…

Universal Power Adaptor

Australia uses the ‘Type I’ plug that is also found in New Zealand and China. This type of plug has two flat pins in a V-shape and, on a good quality device, a grounding pin. There are plenty of suitable adaptors on Amazon or you could buy a universal power adaptor, preferably with surge protection.

Waterproof Video Camera

For many they will have their camera which will offer high quality images and decent video around town but you should look at carrying an option for underwater or waterproof as it can heavily rain.

For many the “go to” camera of choice is the Go Pro Series 9, preferably in 4k as you will have far more crisp looking video with a high resolution, Go Pro also comes with awesome options to help with wobble and hyperlapse.

BEST WATERPROOF CAMERA

GoPro HERO9 Black

Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD & 5K Ultra HD Video

More power. More clarity. More stability. The groundbreaking HERO9 Black sports a beastly 23.6MP sensor for ridiculous 5K video and stunning 20MP photos.!

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A lower cost version is available by DJI called the DJI Osmo Action which is what I use for my hiking and traveling which does the same things as the Go Pro. I have used DJI for a long time as I enjoy their drones and know they make quality gear.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

One thing I will never travel without anymore is Noise Cancelling Headphones, they may be the best invention for someone who travels as they blank out other sounds.

I personally have the Bose QuietComfort 35 II which have been beyond belief, with Bose even sending me a totally new pair when my old ones became defective for FREE which has made me a customer for life.

BEST NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Wireless, Over Ear Headphones with Built in Microphone

What happens when you clear away the noisy distractions of the world? Concentration goes to the next level. You get deeper into your music, your out, or whatever you want to focus on. That’s the power of Bose quiet comfort 35 wireless headphones II!

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If you are looking for other brands though Sony and many others are available too and offer very high quality performance but I haven’t owned any new headphones in a while.

iPad or Kindle

When you are on a plane there is limited resources that you won’t have to pay additional fees for, so I always bring at least my iPad to watch shows on, I also have a Kindle Paperwhite I bring if the trip is shorter like flying between Australian States.

TRAVEL MOVIE STUDIO

Apple iPad Air

10.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB

The design of Apple’s latest creations is attractive and the quality of materials, build, and construction make it a great device to own. The tablet feels light and lightweight in the hand, but still maintains a very sturdy construction around it.

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These you want to pre-load with all the movies and shows you want to watch as you will not have the bandwidth outside of home to successfully download much.

What can you not bring into Australia?

Australia is amazing and has some of the most lush green lands and blue seas you will find but to maintain this and keep them free from pests and disease they have some solid quarantine rules that they take super serious.

When you arrive to the Airport you have to declare all foods, plants, animals, and other goods. Some of which may be banned and confiscated to be destroyed and others to ensure they aren’t bringing bad stuff in.

This includes seeds, fruits, feathers, leathers and skins, and anything made of wood.

When you are flying in you will be given an Incoming Passenger Card during the trip, this form you need to fill out and declare any goods you have on you.

If the biosecurity officers at the airport believe they present any sort of threat, they’ll be taken and you may need to pay a fee. If you are travelling with prohibited goods and don’t declare them, you can also be faced with hefty fines.

It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the quarantine laws of Australia before you even begin to pack, and if you’re not sure whether you need to declare an item or not, the smartest approach is to declare it anyway.

Josh

Josh is a loving dad and husband, writer, business owner, and someone who loves to explore the world. He last travelled to Australia to visit Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns and am looking to head back soon to see more! He is a huge fan of hiking, drawing, and so much more!