What to Pack Australia ~ One Two Three Week Trip

Beach on Kangaroo Island Australia What to Pack for a trip.

Are you wondering what to pack for a trip to Australia? Then you've come to the right place! It's not much different than packing for any trip, any where :-) Here are my tips!

When choosing a travel wardrobe, first check the weather and climate at your destination. Australia is a big country, with varied climates and seasons.

If you are planning to stay in northern, tropical Queensland in any season, you will need to pack a  slightly different wardrobe than if you are traveling to south Australia places like Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra in winter (June, July, August).

In 2011 March, April, May, the weather was cooler, wetter than usual: Areas in  NSW and Queensland were much cooler than you would expect, with more rain and fog in Sydney, frost into Queensland and south west of Sydney, etc. It's a good idea to check for current conditions before you leave and modify your clothing and rain gear if needed. 

Smart travelers choose their travel clothes with layering in mind: Wind cheaters/ rain jacket to go over warm cardigan sweater or heavy sweatshirt. Wear heavier or bulkier items on the plane to save suitcase space.

Or in Google search, type in 'weather sydney' or 'weather cairns' etc., and get the current information. Keep in mind that central heating is not common, so warm sleepwear might be appreciated on chilly nights.

What you pack for a trip to Australia in Spring and Summer (mid-November to March) is similar to what to pack for tropical Queensland at any time of year. Tropical areas of Australia, or midsummer or desert travel (Ayers Rock, now Uluru) usually mean very hot weather.

Pack lightweight tops and bottoms that dry fast. Quick dry fabrics are not just convenient for laundering, they also dry fast after ocean wading and copious amounts of sweat.

One trip, in Cairns, Queensland, with high heat and humidity, I spent a clammy week with perspiration-soaked clothes and undies, and had to rinse them out daily.

What to Pack for Australia  ~ Short List Queensland Beach in Australia, palm trees and people.

Most visitors travel to Australia in the Australian Summer months when it's winter in North America and Europe, so when it's winter in North America, or Europe, it's summer in Australia and New Zealand.

Here's the short list for packing for one week, two weeks, three weeks or longer. It's what I used for a 6 week trip and works well.

It's the same basic travel wardrobe, really, for most trips.


For more details on specific clothing items, click the link for each.

Pants, capris, Skirts -- 3 total

Shirts, Tops -- 7 (more if small, light)

Sleepwear -- 1 nightie or 1 pair jammies

Underwear -- 2 or 3 bras, 1 or 2 camis, 7 panties

Bathing Suits, sarongs: -- 1 (winter trip), 2-3 (Summer Beach, Reef trip)

Shoes, Socks-- 1 pair shoes (wear on plane), 3 pairs socks

Sandals, flip flops -- 1 pair, dressier; 1 pair flip flops (beach, showers)

Rainwear, Ponchos -- 1 rainproof coat (boat rides, storms) plus 1 lightweight fleece


What to Pack for a trip to Australia in the Summer (Christmas season to March, depending on weather) is very similar to what to pack for Caribbean travel. For more ideas on hot climate clothing, see Holidays to Dominican travel wardrobe.


The thing to keep in mind when packing for a longer trip:
There will be laundry. Choose travel clothes that are simple to wash out, and in fabrics that dry fast. Hotels might have a laundry service on-site, or provide laundry rooms, but the first option can be costly and take at least a day; and as for the second, most people who travel light don't have enough clothes for anything close to a full load, so it's a waste.

For all my 3-4 week trips to Australia, I always manage just fine with the basic wardrobe items. Should I need another top, I can always buy a Tshirt, though I've never had to.

I found bras, especially,  very costly in the Sydney department stores, so I wouldn't recommend buying new unless you are really stuck.

A raincoat is an essential, though, all year round. If you need rainwear, stop in at a dollar store and get a plastic rain poncho.

For more information on the reasons for my tips, and for more details on fabrics, etc. see the specific What to Pack pages. Have a great trip!