10 Things to Pack for Australia

Australia has so much to offer backpackers, so it’s really no surprise that it’s a popular starting point for many gap year adventures! So what should you pack for a travelling in Australia? Of course your passport, currency and essential travel documents all go without saying, but here are a few Australia travel essentials we would recommend packing for a trip down under!

1) Australia Plug Adapter

Australia have different plug sockets to the ones we use here in the UK, so you’ll need to pack an adapter so that you can charge your phone, camera and other devices. Australian plug sockets accept type I plugs (2 flat slanted pins in an upside down ‘v’ shape) and will generally accept both unearthed 2 pin and earthed 3 pin plug variations.

New Zealand use the same plug, so you won’t need to buy another adapter if you’re travelling there too!

australia earthed adapter


2) Australia Travel Guide

While some travel guides are pretty cumbersome and not always a practical addition to your backpack, the Marco Polo pocket guide range is suprisingly compact and travel friendly! This Australia travel guide includes a pull out map and covers the different regions of Australia, as well as offering general travel tips and country highlights.

At 19 x 11 x 1.5cm in size, it’s great for popping in your daypack, so you can read up on your next destination during long bus journeys or while you’re chilling out at the beach.

marco polo australia travel guide

3) Mosquito Repellent

While you don’t need to worry about contracting Malaria in Australia, you should still take precautions to prevent insect bites. Mosquitoes and sandflies can cause painful and uncomfortable bites, so using a repellent containing DEET is your best defence (50% DEET is all you should need).

If you have sensitive skin a repellent such as Trek Sensitive would be a good alternative, and is clinically proven to be as effective as 50% DEET formulas.

lifesystems expedition 50% deet

4) Travel Towel

An essential for any destination, travel towels save space in your backpack by packing down to a compact size. They’re also much lighter than standard towels from home and are made from quick drying microfibre material, some even come with anti-bacterial treatment to help reduce odours in between washes.

We’d recommend packing an XL or giant sized towel for travelling in Australia, that way it can double as a beach towel. Depending on your personal preference you can choose between a smooth or soft touch towel that feels more like a standard towel, although the smoother textured towels are better for the beach as sand doesn’t stick to them as much!

5) Travel Pillow

A flight to Australia takes approximately 22 hours from the UK, but can take much longer when you factor in stopovers. Although you’ll usually get a pillow from the airline, there really is no substitute for a good quality neck pillow, as this will help support your head and neck to help reduce aches and pains during your flight.

You should also try and get one with a flat back design to ensure your head isn’t pushed forwards. The Supreme Snoozer is a good option as it combines the comfort of a foam pillow with the compact pack size of an inflatable, so is less bulky compared to standard bean and foam options.

supreme snoozer pillow

6) Sun Cream 

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, mainly due to the country’s proximity to the equator and its depleted ozone layer. Make sure you choose a sun cream with both UVA and UVB filters and a high SPF, usually SPF30 or SPF50.

Don’t forget that insect repellent reduces the effectiveness of your sun cream, so you’ll need to use a higher SPF than normal if you’re wearing repellent. Care Plus Outdoor & Sea sun cream offers high SPF50 protection and is also water-resistant, while offering protection against most jelly fish stings, corals and sea anemones…making it our top pick for travelling in Australia.

You should also consider packing after sun lotion to help hydrate your skin after a day in the sun, and for unfortunate sunburn incidents!

care plus sun cream

7) Waterproof Dry Bags

Whether you’re white water rafting, kayaking, surfing, scuba diving or simply lounging around at the beach, dry bags are a great way to ensure your belongings are kept dry. They can also be used to store wet items like bikinis, wet suits and shorts, making them a must have for beach days, boat trips and water sports. If you have gadgets you want to protect, you may also want to pack a waterproof phone case.

droplet drybag in use

8) Portable Power Bank

Another item we would recommend for most destinations. Portable chargers are a great way to ensure your devices never run out of juice on long journeys or when you’re out exploring. They also act as a back-up power source when you need to charge your phone and all the hostel sockets are in use!

portable charger

9) Water Bottle

The heat in Australia can be unforgiving, especially during the summer, so you’ll need to ensure that you keep well hydrated. Water is safe to drink in Australia, but to avoid buying bottled water and contributing to waste plastic, you might want to bring your own re-usable water bottle. If you’re concerned about space and weight, choose a folding bottle which can be rolled up or packed flat when it’s empty.

For travellers exploring the Australian Outback, we’d recommend a water bottle with a built in filter to remove any harmful bacteria, viruses and other contaminants from suspect water sources.

platypus folding bottle

10) First Aid Kit

With an abundance of adventure activities at your finger tips and creepy crawlies galore, you never know when you might need to treat cuts, scrapes and insect bites. You should ensure your first aid kit contains plasters, bandages, dressings and anti-septic wipes to clean wounds. You can then add items specific to your destination and personal requirements, a few items we’d recommend including in your kit are insect bite relief, paracetamol and anti-histamines (in case of allergic reactions).

first aid kit for travelling

OK, so this is meant to be a top 10 post, but we don’t play by the rules…So here are some more items you might want to pack for your trip to Oz!

  • Packing Cubes – great for compartmentalising your clothes and making everything easier to find in your backpack. They also keep your clothes compact (roll them for the best results!) to help maximise packing space.
  • Ear Plugs – ear plugs will prove invaluable when you’re in the same dorm as someone who snores like a wildebeest.
  • Torch – for camping or when you don’t want to disturb the rest of the hostel dorm by turning on the lights.
  • Sleeping Bag – another camping essential. The season rating you require will depend on where you’re camping and the time of year. Check the average temperature (particularly during the night) at your destination and choose a sleeping bag with a similar comfort temperature.
  • Combination Lock – locks are essential for any destination and are great for keeping your backpack secure. You can also use them to lock your hostel locker.


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