Packing can be tricky when you’re going to a place you’ve never visited before. And if you plan on living there – to study or work – then your packing list for Australia can be even trickier.
Thankfully, we’ve put together this list with pretty much everything you need to pop into your suitcase.
Let’s be honest, Australia has great shopping! So if you forget some things, you can drop by a department store or high street shop seven days a week to pick up what you need. But naturally, you’ve got lots of clothes at home already so packing what you’re already comfortable with is the best way.
If you’re going to be visiting several different climates, you’ll need both warm and cold weather clothing. Australia is hot, steamy and sticky in the tropical north-east and cold, crisp and dry in say, Tasmania.
In the outback, it can be hot during the day and cold at night. Of course, everything changes from summer to winter and in between too but if you’re staying long-term, you’ll have plenty of time to buy clothes when the seasons are transitioning.
Once you know where you’ll be going, you’ll know how much of what kind of clothing to bring. Here are some suggestions:
Jeans are always handy in Australia. The relaxed lifestyle means you can wear jeans out shopping, to appointments, dining out, relaxing on weekends and hanging out at home. But you should also pack some dressier pants or a skirt for things like interviews, important meetings and special occasions.
Shorts are important, especially in hot weather. Choose more casual and smarter shorts so you can dress according to your activities. T-shirts go with the casual jeans and shorts look too but also pack a sleeved and buttoned shirt or blouse. For ladies, dresses can be casual or more elegant and naturally, dress to your usual style.
If you’re going to be experiencing cool weather, make sure you take with you a jumper (sweater) or a cardigan, maybe a jacket, depending on expected temperatures. A waterproof or windproof jacket can come in handy if you’ll be near water or in case of rain. You’ll only need heavy duty cold weather gear if you’re going to really chilly places such as Hobart in Tasmania, areas at altitude such as the Snowy Mountains or other regions where it snows.
Pack a beanie or other winter-style hat to keep your head warm and maybe a scarf and gloves if you really feel the cold. Warm socks will always be welcome but you’ll only need thermals in the chilliest of circumstances.
Don’t forget your swimsuit! In Australia, depending on where you are, you might hear a swimsuit being called ‘bathers’, ‘swimmers’ or even ‘togs’. Just make sure you pack these because you will not be able to resist the water if the weather is hot!
You also must not forget to pack a hat, preferably one with a wide brim and coverage for your scalp. The sun is hot in Australia and you need to keep your face shaded, for comfort and also to protect your skin.
If you really feel the heat, then pack a couple of tank tops too! Oh, and don’t forget your sunglasses.
A regular pair of sneakers is a good idea but you’ll also need dressier shoes for going out. You might also like to invest in a pair of ‘thongs’ (no, not the underwear kind). In other countries, they’re called ‘flip-flops’ or even ‘sandals’. They’re ideal for slipping on when you have to duck out for a few minutes, go to the beach or even just to go about your errands.
Otherwise, your usual footwear is fine – high heels, boots or strappy sandals for the ladies, boots, trainers or sandals for the gentlemen.
Beyond your regular soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and any cosmetics, you’ll definitely need sunscreen and insect repellent! Mind you, you can buy them upon arrival but it’s good to have these items so that you don’t have to rush out when you arrive.
Hand sanitiser is also a good idea because you won’t be used to the new environment. You might also like to pack anti-allergy medications because the vegetation may not be similar to your home country and you may experience hay fever or rashes at first.
No doubt you have plenty of devices and gadgets – tablet, smartphone, headphones, laptop, etc. – so you’ll need a Type ‘I’ power adaptor for Australia.
No matter how much you’re going to miss your favourite foodstuffs from home, you are best to leave them there because chances are, they’ll be confiscated by Australian Customs. Australia enjoys freedom from a large number of pests and diseases thanks to a strict biosecurity policy.
You are also not allowed to bring plants or seeds into the country. Here is a list of foodstuffs that cannot be brought into Australia.
Whilst you certainly can’t bring your pet on board the aircraft, if you’re intent on bringing your dog or cat to stay with you in Australia, then you will have to learn how to import your pet.
Australia is quite a safe and relaxed country. The water here is of excellent drinking quality so you don’t need to bring any special equipment for filtering the water you drink. That means you also don’t have to bring medications just in case you drink bad water. It is a good idea, however, to bring a reusable water bottle to spare the environment and save money. Same goes for coffee cups.
When packing for Australia, don’t be too worried about leaving something behind. There are plenty of good discount stores here if you forget your underwear or socks and an abundance of fashion stores too. And anyway, the sooner you start wearing clothes the locals buy, the sooner you’ll fit right in!