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What to pack for a tour around Australia.
Heading to Australia on holiday but not sure what to bring? Thinking about what to pack to keep your bag under 20kg?
Here are some useful tips on preparing for packing for Australia.
We are all guilty of overpacking, which sucks when you have to carry your backpack on and off the bus on tour.
We always used to pack way too much and only wear half the clothes…so here is our guide to what to bring to tour and travel in Australia.
Tips on how to pack for your trip Down Under
Time of year
Despite what you might have seen on Home and Away Australia does have a winter! It is not all beach days and BBQ’s! A large proportion of the country doesn’t get super cold but you don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll be wearing nothing but Flip Flops (or as the Ozzies call them Thongs) and no t-shirt on a day-to-day basis!
If you are traveling in the low season (which runs from April – October) having a few warmer items in your backpack is a must.
If you are planning your Australia trip in peak season you’ll have much better weather – so shorts and t-shirts are the main items on your list.
The other thing to keep in mind in Australia is WHERE you’re traveling to. Australia is a very large country with many different climates.
If you’re landing in Melbourne in July the chances are it’s going to be on the cold side, probably a bit wet too – in which case some warmer items and a rain jacket should make it into your backpack.
Landing in Cairns at the same time and you’ll be greeted by temperatures in the mid 30s with a high level of humidity – so you’ll be wanting shorts, flips flops and plenty of sunscreens!
Heading to Kakadu National Park and Darwin then its hot, hot hot! You will need to be in shorts and T-shirt, but also some long sleeves to beat the burn of the sun and bite of the mosquitoes.
Partying in shorts and slip flops is fine on a night out in Byron Bay or Airlie Beach but if you’re grabbing a few cocktails in Sydney or Melbourne you’ll probably be needing something a bit smarter.
Time of Travel
Of course, the changes in the weather are also going to come down to how long you spend in Australia too!
If you’re only coming to Australia on vacation for a month or two you shouldn’t encounter too much change in weather, but a long stint on a working holiday visa will mean a bigger variety of things to pack.
But of course, if you’re working in Oz over a long period of time you can always buy things as you go – no need to keep that scarf and hat shoved in the bottom of your bag for 6 months before you actually have the opportunity to use it! If you have been working you will have a bit of money to buy some new clothes.
What you pack will also depend on what you want to do in Australia. As a surfer, you will probably want an extra pair of boardies/bikini or a nice fluffy towel. If you are going to hike a lot in the outback you will need to pack those walking shoes.
We have a list of what to take on your outback tour here. When you think about what to pack, it’s more important to think about what you are going to use!
We love a travel towel too. It takes up hardly any space and drys super fast, so you can repack it without wetting the rest of your clothes. You can always rent towels from hotels or hostels on your journey. Or if you plan to move into a house and work you can buy a cheap one from Kmart later.
You can always buy it
Most places in Australia are pretty well supplied with shops! Be careful buying things in the small shops in rural towns, but the rest is pretty well priced.
But it also means that when you initially pack things that are pretty heavy can simply be bought when you land.
We’re talking day-to-day supplies like shampoo, shower gel, sunscreen and heaps of toiletries – why transport them halfway around the world when you can just nip to Coles or Woolies to buy them!
Suitcase or backpack?
We also strongly advise that you travel with a soft backpack rather than a suitcase. If you are taking any of our tours in Australia we always recommend you have a backpack between 15-20kg. Anything heavier and it becomes difficult to get on and off the bus. If you are taking an Uluru tour for example you will be taking your bag on and off the bus at campsites and anything heavier than 15kg is difficult. We always recommend if you are starting from and returning to Alice Springs on tour you store your luggage at your accommodation. The same with our Darwin tours, you can leave your larger bags at your hotel or hostel and just take a smaller carry-on with your clothes for 3 days. In Darwin you won’t need a jumper…so it will be a lot lighter to take on and off the bus.
We understand some of you are doing a longer round the world trip so have a lot of luggage, we recommend you store this in your starting city if possible and return to collect it after. Of course, we do know that sometimes impossible, so please mention at your time of booking your luggage weight.
We don’t supply camels on our tours to carry your luggage so don’t forget you will have to carry your bag around yourself…so don’t pack things you don’t need! bet you can’t wait to get that backpack packed and get on the road!
Heading on one of our tours to Australia’s outback?
Below we give you a few little added extras we like to take with us and pack when heading into the outback on tour.
The 5 Essential outback items to pack for your Australia Tour.
This is great for those pesky flies in the Red Centre on our tours. Instead of swatting flies from your face every few minutes, this frees up your hand for taking some awesome pictures
2. Travel Pillow
Useful if you are sleeping in a swag for extra neck support. We all know Australia is a vast country so a travel pillow is also great for those hours on the tour bus.
3. Travel Towel
These dry fast, pack up small and work. We recommend a travel towel to keep the Kgs down and free up space in your bag for more souvenirs.
4. Comfortable shoes
Whether this is a pair of well-worn hiking boots or just your gym trainers it’s important to have good quality and well-fitting footwear when on your outback tour. Getting blisters on day one isn’t going to lead to an enjoyable trip.
5. Bushman’s insect repellent (high DEET content)
In the outback, especially Kakadu and The Kimberley there are plenty of mosquitos that can carry disease. The risk is low, but it’s best to be protected and itching for days during your trip can be distracting. So make sure you spray yourself and your clothing regularly while out in the bush.