Congratulations, you’re finally embarking on that backpacking trip you’ve been promising yourself! While you’re most likely overflowing with excitement, it’s important to make sure that you leave prepared before your journey. That said, packing can be extremely daunting, especially if it’s your first time. After all, how do you even know what kind of situations might arise and what to pack for them? Here's a handy checklist for those of you preparing for your first backpacking trip to Australia.

Backpacking Trip to Australia Checklist

1. Clothes for all kinds of weather

The weather in Australia can actually be erratic and unpredictable. Big World Small Pockets' Stephanie Parker urges travellers not to expect the perpetually sunny seas and 24/7 surf images that are often sold in tourist brochures. So before you stuff your suitcase exclusively with bikinis and shorts, a published post on Pretty Me titled ‘What Not to Wear in Unpredictable Weather’ suggests smartening up your wardrobe for whatever forecast. Leave space for at least one jacket, comfy shirts, and pants that can provide enough coverage for your legs when temperatures drop. Stay away from baggy clothes, as these can just get caught up in weather elements and weigh you down. Of course, reliable shoes that you can live in are non-negotiable. Sure, they’re just clothes, but they can make or break your trip when they’re the only things standing between you and a fever.

2. Navigation tools

Thanks to mobile technology, you no longer have to lug around a map to find your way around. Be prepared with a trusty navigation app that can tell you how to get where you need to be, and how long travel time might take.

Before you leave, it’s helpful to secure your data plan as well. In some places, internet connection can be expensive and public hotspots may be hard to come by. So you may want to look into purchasing a pocket Wi-Fi or a SIM card before you arrive.

Check out these Handy Travel Apps

3. Waterproof phone and camera case

Chances are, you’ll be doing a lot of exploring. Therefore, don’t let technology keep you from getting down and dirty. A waterproof case will not only protect your gadgets, but it will also allow you to maximise the perfect underwater photo opportunities. Snap away!

great barrier reef, things to do in cairns
Take photos underwater!

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4. Universal power adapter

The Australian Type I power outlet is pretty exclusive, so don’t expect to be able to plug and play right away unless you bring your own adapter. It is recommended to have a universal one that you can also use when travelling to other countries.

5. Mesh shoes

Whether you want to go snorkelling or strolling along the rocky shores, you’ll never run out of water activities. However, to avoid any accidents or discomfort, make sure you have the right gear. Mesh shoes are not only sturdy, they are also a lot easier to move around in underwater.

6. Reef-friendly sunscreen

Be a responsible traveller and make sure the products you take into the water are safe and non-toxic. Many sunscreens on the market have damaging chemicals that can end up contaminating the waters and reefs. However, this doesn’t mean you have to skip the product altogether: You need only look for organic formulas when picking out a bottle.

7. Quick-dry towel

Your hostel probably has towels of their own that you can hire, but it’s good to have your own that’s easy to pack and will dry easily. You don’t want to be lugging around a heavy, wet piece of cloth as you go around.

8. Sun hat

The sun in Australia can sometimes be scorching and unforgiving, but don’t let that spoil your trip. A good sun hat should shield you from the rays, and spruce up your photos, too!

Author: Jane Banks is digital nomad currently based on Wollongong, although there’s no telling when that is going to change! When she’s not travelling or writing about her adventures, Jane enjoys surfing and macrame crafts.

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