Deciding what to pack with me to come to Australia was quite a stressful experience for me. And I will admit I have made some mistakes, some clothes I don’t wear as much as others, and some I have worn that much they’re already on their last legs. When you haven’t been to a country before, you don’t really know what the climate is going to be like and you have no idea where you will end up in a country that is as big as Europe, you can see why it’s so daunting. I really needed a specific Australia packing list like this one, but I just couldn’t find any. When you’re going to be spending Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter somewhere, you kind of just panic and throw everything in.
Don’t fret, you can always buy clothes out here, but when all those precious $$$ are going on excursions, food and accommodation, it’s hard to shell out on the more material things in life. In this post, I’ll tell you the clothes that I wear the most and what I’m glad I brought. Here is my Australia Packing List.
Finding and bringing the right amount shoes that can be worn all the time was a massive struggle for me, but I managed to whittle it down to just 3 pairs.
- Comfortable shoes you can walk in
- Dressy shoes
- Flip flops
I have a pair of Adidas Campus trainers as my comfortable shoes. I wouldn’t recommend these if you know you’re going to be doing a lot of muddy outdoor activities. But these are comfortable and also look nice, so they have a duel purpose for me. For dressy shoes I opted for some metallic gold sandals – they can be worn to the beach in the day, but can also be worn with my cute clothes when we go out on an evening. Flip flops are a no brainer!
I brought way too many pairs of jeans. I don’t know what I was thinking really. But back home I lived in jeans, and honestly, I don’t think I wanted to leave them all at home. Just bring your favourite pair.
- Favourite jeans
- Denim shorts
- Light weight shorts
- Comfy long trousers
- Trousers or skirt that can be worn at night
Unless you are coming in winter, I doubt you’ll wear your jeans much. I chose a black pair of Joni jeans from Topshop. For the first few months I practically lived in my denim shorts. I’d brought along a pair of cotton shorts, but I only ended up wearing them to lounge in. The game changed when I finally bought a pair of light weight, flow-y shorts from Target over here. Remember in Summer it’s super hot, so pack what you would for a typical holiday to Spain.
Some days I just don’t want my legs out, or we’re going somewhere where there might be loads of mosquitos, so bringing a pair of cotton trousers was a god send. Think those trousers every traveller in Thailand wears – cliched but you’ll be thankful for them.
A skirt or pair of trousers you can wear at night with your dressy shoes are also a must for me. I brought a pair of white jeans. They are versatile, match a ton of my clothes and can be worn in the day if I really want.
This is the section I wish I had thought more about when I packed. White discolours really quickly, and if you’re clumsy like me, you’ll get stains all over them.
- 2-3 t-shirts
- At least one tank/vest
- Jumper or sweatshirt
- Long sleeve top
- Light jacket
I brought a tank top that I didn’t really like to wear at home, but I’ve found that it is my most reached for T-shirt here in Australia. I recently bought another one so that the first one lasts a little longer. I also have just two basic white printed tees from Primark and then a slightly thicker, baggy white stripped t-shirt that I wore on the plane. This has coffee stains on it already and only gets worn indoors. Seriously, if you are clumsy, don’t pack light coloured clothes!
I also have a long sleeved button up shirt. I’ve only worn it once when it was a little chilly in Brisbane when we first arrived. Other than that I haven’t needed it, but we have just got through Summer. Again with the sweatshirts – I brought two. I only really needed one, but I lived in those (as well as my jeans) in the UK and couldn’t part ways with either of them. One of them I have worn twice on the chilly days when we first got here, and then one for bed the first week we were in the van. I’m looking forward to wearing them when winter comes!
Lastly, a light jacket is great for when the weather gets a bit cooler. It can also be layered onto of your sweatshirts for extra warmth. I brought a well loved khaki utility jacket that is slightly oversized. I practically wore it everyday in every season back home and I knew I couldn’t leave it behind. You could also bring a leather or denim jacket, however these will be a little heavier and bulkier in your backpack – and maybe a little too hot to wear in transit.
Day to night wear
These are things you don’t 100% need, but I highly recommend.
- Day dress that doubles as a beach cover up
- Slightly more formal dress
- Nice top that can be worn both day or night
Having a day dress that can be worn at the beach is the light of my life. I never even thought about this and almost didn’t bring it with me. I have a blue and white tie dye maxi dress with a slight slit in the side. It’s great for just throwing on to nip to the shops, or over the top of your swimsuit when you’re at the beach or a swimming hole. The fact that it’s a maxi with a slit also means I can tie the excess fabric at my waist and it becomes a top!
A dress for any sort of fancy occasion is a must. You never know where this year long trip will take you. Maybe you will stay in a luxury hotel like we did for Alex’s birthday (vlog here), or go on a night out with your new backpacking friends. A nice, comfortable dress in a neutral colour is a perfect item. I chose a black midi dress with a cotton lace overlay. It has a semi-full skirt and cute little cap sleeves, that helps it look sophisticated and laid back all at once. A versatile top that can be worn day and night is a very handy thing to have. Maybe you have a job interview to attend, or a night out in a cool bar, it’s nice to have some sort of smart looking top with you.
I packed a number of tops like this, that can be paired with a pair of my shorts for a more relaxed look, or with my jeans and gold sandals for something more put together. The first is a pinstripe light blue and white sleeveless top with a frill along the bust and around the arms. The second is a mustard yellow bardot top with long sleeves and oversized frill sleeves.
These are things you might just forget to pack. Alex certainly did!
- Underwear (at least a weeks worth – more if it will fit)
- Cold weather PJs and Summer PJs
I brought two pair of sunglasses, and boy am I glad. Firstly, I bought them from Primark, which makes them only a couple of £ per pair. Over here, you’re looking at about $10+ for a cheap pair of sunglasses. I’ve worn one pair so much the past few months that they finally snapped on me, and I was thankful for my backup pair.
I ended up buying a one piece swimsuit while out here. Coming to the end of holiday season in the UK when we came across to Australia meant the selection of bikinis in the shops were sparse, so I had to make do with what I already had. I brought with me one pair of bikini bottoms and two bikini tops – that’s all I had. Adding a plain black swimsuit means I can wear it in any situation and season, and it’s a lot easier to wear when you’re going activities that involve wetsuits.
When it comes to choosing your clothes, make sure you pick pieces that compliment a lot, if not all the other pieces you’re bringing along. With such a limited amount of options, it makes pairing outfits that little bit easier. Avoiding overly patterned fabrics and clashing colours will enable you to mix and match your clothes and enable you to create more outfits, as well as stop you from buying more clothes while you are on your trip. Stick with neutral and monochrome colour schemes. Picking one statement colour across all your pieces is also a great idea – I went for blues – as it adds a pop of colour into your outfits while still being able to style a number of different outfits from your limited wardrobe.
What is one item of clothing you cannot live without on your travels? Have a missed something that’s on your Australia packing list? Let me know in the comments!
Also, check out my Packing Essentials list here.
Want a printable Australia Packing list?