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What to Pack for Australia: 35 Essentials

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.

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

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:

Sarah Schlichter was hosted on her trip to Tasmania by Intrepid Travel. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.

By Sarah Schlichter

Deputy Executive Editor Sarah Schlichter's idea of a perfect trip includes spotting exotic animals, hiking through pristine landscapes, exploring new neighborhoods on foot, and soaking up as much art as she can. She often attempts to recreate recipes from her international travels after she gets home (which has twice resulted in accidental kitchen fires—no humans or animals were harmed).

Sarah joined the SmarterTravel team in 2017 after more than a decade at the helm of Sarah's practical travel advice has been featured in dozens of news outlets including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Budget Travel, and Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEditor.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A journal. Even years later, reading my notes from a trip can bring back incredibly vivid memories."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Road tripping and hiking through the rugged mountains of Patagonia."

Travel Motto: "'To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.'—Freya Stark"

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle. I get restless on long flights and like to be able to move around without disturbing anyone else."

Email Sarah at

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