Complete Female Backpacking Australia Packing List

By on Published: February 23, 2017 | Last Updated: January 10, 2022 in AUSTRALIA, Budget Travel Ideas, Travel Gear & Packing with 16 Comments

The Ultimate Female Backpacking Australia Packing List

Unbelievable I know, but Australia isn’t just a massive island of bouncing kangaroos and eternal sunshine.

Ok, well it is a massive island and there are a lot of kangaroos, but this place is seriously diverse and you’ll probably be surprised when you get here to discover the range of climates and cities you’re likely to experience.

As such, taking a read of my complete female backpacking Australia packing list, will definitely make sure you’re prepared when it comes to your time Down Under.

It’s designed for us ladies who want to travel light (especially when we have to carry their bags on our backs!) and broad enough to cover your whole time in Australia whether you’re sticking to the cities or planning on getting remote in the Outback too.

And to help you even further, I’ve also included a free downloadable version of this female packing list at the bottom of the page, so that you easily refer to it whenever you’re trying to decide what to take!

So, what are you waiting for girls?

Get yourself ready for a trip of a lifetime with my ultimate female backpacking Australia packing list.

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1x Rain Jacket

Who knew it rains in Australia?!

News flash, it definitely does!

If you want to learn about some more surprises you might experience, then check out my post about the 10 things I never realised before coming to Australia, otherwise do yourself a favour and pack a great lightweight, waterproof jacket like this one from Colombia.

1x Thick Hoodie or Sweater

Essentially for evenings and winter days, especially down in Melbourne or Sydney!

Trust me people, it ain’t always sunny in the Land Down Under.

1x Cardigan or Shirt

Helpful in the evening and / or if you want something a bit smarter.

1x Pair Leggings

One of my travel essentials, especially ideal when you’re exploring Australian National Parks, hiking, camping etc.

Also good under a casual dress or shorts for a relaxed evening feel.

If you have room, take 2 pairs!

2x Pair Long Jeans / Trousers

Great for going out in the evening or wandering around cities when shorts won’t do.

2x Pair Shorts

Well you’re going to need something for those beach days right?

1x Pair Exercise Pants / Shorts

You’ll quickly get used to the very outdoors and active lifestyle in Australia and, sooner or later, will definitely want to join in, so come prepared!

I love my Nike Crew Dri Running Shorts which are ideal for keeping up with the locals in the Land Down Under!

Australia, Sydney Opera House

1x Short Summer Dress

A great item for beach days or if you want to spruce up a bit at night.

Choose a dress that you can wear over the aforementioned leggings!

2x Sarongs

You can’t take enough sarongs travelling in my opinion and, as they are so light, I recommend 2 as a minimum.

Perfect for using as a beach towel, a scarf, a bathrobe, a sheet, a laundry bag … the list goes on.

Check out my post about the 20 reasons why you should always take a sarong travelling for more details and then take a look at the gorgeous collection from 1 World Sarongs if you’re looking for some inspiration.

7x Singlets or T-Shirts

Choose a range of colours that match the trousers / shorts you’ve selected.

Things get hot in Australia and tops get sweaty (lovely!) which is why I recommend so many!

1x Quick-Dry T-Shirt

Good for exercising or exploring the great outdoors.

Go for a t-shirt, rather than a singlet here, as this will protect your shoulders from sunburn when outside.

I love my Nike Women’s Dri-Fit Legend Short Sleeve T-Shirt, which is perfect for this.

8x Pairs Underwear

Small and compact, a few extra pairs will save you a lot of washing!

2x Bras

Try to pack just 1 if you think you can and make extra use of your bikini or sports bra instead!

1x Sports Bra

Compact and quick to dry, again Nike do a great range.

2x Bikini / Swimwear

Well you need something to enjoy those fabulous Australian beaches with that’s for sure.

Hopefully they’ll get so much use, you’ll see packing 2 pairs as a worthy use of space in your backpack!

I love Rip Curl’s funky bikini designs – perfect for looking and feeling great!

3x Pairs Socks

One hiking pair for outdoors stuff, one ankle-length pair for city days and another backup is my recommednation in the sock area!


You can always double up on your daywear here to save room if needs be.

1x Sun Hat

Whether you want to bring a cap, a floppy, or a large designer number, the choice is yours.

Personally, I love this super fun one from Fun Verbiage.

Just make sure you bring a sun hat of some description because that Aussie sun sure does burn!


Australia, Albany, West Cape Howe



1x Pair Trainers

Versatile, comfortable and essential if you want to see the natural beauty of this country.

My Nike Flex are great for this because they weigh next to nothing and can be used for city walking too.

1x Pair Flip Flops

Also bizarrely known as thongs in the Land Down Under, these guys are basically the national dress of Australia and therefore essential!

Can’t go far wrong with a pair of Havaianas in my opinion.

1x Pair Day Shoes

Either converse, pumps or sneakers for exploring cities and towns on foot while looking a bit more stylish than running shoes!

1x Pair Smart Sandals or Flats

Nonessential in my book, but many people like to take them especially if they are spending a lot of time in a city.


Australia, Perth, Sunset



I would never think of travelling to Australia without proper coverage and always recommend travel insurance from World Nomads which I’ve used during my time in this country and throughout the world.

Alternatively, if you’re a long-term nomad like me, then why not check out Safetywing. They offer comprehensive travel medical insurance, which is ideal for digital nomads because it works on a low cost, rolling subscription basis.



1x Thin Toiletries Bag

To hook or not to hook, that is the question!

Either way, just make sure it is light and thin with multiple compartments.

1x Shampoo & 1x Conditioner

Small travel bottles available, although these are pricey and so often leak in my bag.

My new favourite thing is therefore shampoo and conditioner bars. Totally life-changing!

1x Deodorant

I always prefer a natural crystal deodorant as they last forever.

1x Toothbrush, 1x Toothpaste, 1x Floss
1x Soap

Keep your soap in a ziplock bag to prevent soap slime getting onto everything you own!

1x Moon Cup

A Moon Cup or Dive Cup really is the best way to deal with your time of the month when travelling ladies.

1x Razor & Spare Blades
1x Nail Scissors & 1x Nail File
1x Tweezers
Cotton Buds & Hair Bands


Australia, Carnarvon, Jetty


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1x Natural Sunscreen

I always use a chemical-free sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher for those hell-strong Aussie rays.

1x Aloe Vera

This doubles as a great moisturiser, soother and aftersun.

1x SPF Lip Salve

Very important for those strong UV conditions.

Burt Bees are my fav!

1x Natural Insect Repellent

See my post about how to make your own cheap DEET-Free insect repellant or else there are plenty of ready-made products on the market like this one from Greenerways.

1x Tiger Balm

An ideal remedy for headaches, sore muscles and insect bites.

1x Tea-Tree Essential Oil

A powerful antiseptic, anti-mould, anti-fungal cleaning agent.

Also great to throw in a few drops with your washing and ideal for freshening up smelly bags / laundry etc.

Tea-tree oil also comes from Australia, so double points there!

1x Box Paracetamol, 1x Anti-Septic Cream & 1x Box Band Aids

The only medicine cabinet you need to take!

Safety Pins

Always handy.


Uluru Australia



1x Camera, Lens, Charging Unit, Spare Battery & Cables

You can’t go wrong with a Sony Mirrorless A6000, small, compact, sturdy and light, it’s perfect for travel.

I love mine as it was ideal for capturing those all gorgeous Aussie landscapes!

2x SD Memory Cards

Take large SD memory cards if possible and 2 in case you lose one or fill it up.

I recommend at least 64GBs!

1x USB Stick and / or External Harddrive

Very helpful for backing up photos and important info.

An SSD Harddrive is a great option because without any moving parts it can withstand the knocks and bumps of travel much better.

1x Adapter

How are you going to charge otherwise?!

Australia and New Zealand have the same type of plugs, so you can get one just for this area.

However, I also recommend splashing out on a worldwide adapter – better value for many if you’re travelling elsewhere after Australia or anytime in the future!

Skross are a great brand that I highly recommended.

Smartphone & Headphones

All the hostels I stayed at in Australia had wifi, so taking your smartphone to stay in touch with those at home and to upload some pics is a great idea.

Also, download some audiobooks and music onto your phone before you leave home – a great idea for longer journey days.

I recommend Amazon Audible and Spotify Premium for these purposes.

1x Portable Power Pack

Portable power packs are great when travelling without a solidly reliable charging source, like on a safari!

I recommend the Anker Powercore which offers lightening charging speeds.

1x Headlamp & Spare Batteries

Never travel without a headlamp and try to choose a product that uses commonly found batteries and has a red night light function.

I love this one from Black Diamond.


Australia, Broome, Gantheaume Point



1x Eye Mask & Earplugs

Key for remaining sane on long bus journeys and in hostels dorms!

1x Travel Laundry Wash

Great for doing emergency washing, such as underwear in a sink!

Sea to Summit do a great-sized bottle.

1x Travel Washing Line

These guys are the best, especially in Australia, where things dry quick!

1x Travel Towel

Again, I always recommend Sea to Summit here because they are the only brand that I find don’t get smelly at all.

I love mine!

1x Day Backpack

Good for hiking and beach days.

1x Lonely Planet Australia Guidebook
1 Notebook & Pen
1 Combination Padlock

Very useful for locking up bags and valuables when staying in hostels.

The Go Travel ones are super and cheap.

1x Multi-Tool

Lots of people say you don’t need one of these, but I find them very helpful.

Choose a light, inexpensive one and make sure it has a bottle opener, corkscrew and knife!

This Leatherman is a great option.

1x Pair Sunglasses
1x Water Bottle

Try to get a metal one, like a Kleen Kanteen, and steer away from those nasty plastics!

1x Sleeping Bag & 1x Silk Liner

If you’re hiring a campervan or going remote, a sleeping bag and liner are a must.

Check out my top-rated backpacking sleeping bags for some great ideas or else hop straight into buying a Snugpak Travelpak and Sea to Summit silk liner

1x Travel Sewing Kit


Australia, Queensland, Port Douglas



Passport & Photocopies
Flight Tickets
Visa Documentation

Mostly done electronically in Australia and tagged to your passport, a hardcopy of your visa info is very helpful too.

Immunisation Documentation

Always good to have with you.

Travel Insurance Policy

Can’t go wrong with the excellent travel insurance from World Nomads in my opinion.

Credit Card and Debit Card
Cash in Small Thin Purse

Got to love those waterproof Aussie dollars!

And believe it or not, I fitted all of this into a Berghaus Freeflow 40l backpack – my number one choice when it comes to the best backpack for travel!




So that’s it ladies, my complete backpacking Australia packing list.

Download your free version by simply entering your email address below and make sure you don’t turn up on the other side of the world over packed but underprepared!


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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 16 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Ralph Kiko says:

    Stephanie, thank you for sharing! I have got to share this with my lady! She always ends up either packing too much or too little and it is a travel nightmare! What a lovely article I love how you put together these information on packing. Easy to read, very relatable and great tips! Can’t wait to read more!

    • Steph says:

      Hey thanks Ralph, that’s really kind of you to say so. Glad you found the piece useful and please feel free to share it with whoever you want!

  2. Laura says:

    Great list and extremely helpful for my upcoming trip! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Tess says:

    Hi Steph, do you know if it is worth bringing a sleeping bag if you’re staying in hostels? and what size backpack would you recommend?

    • Steph says:

      Hi Tess, great questions, so thanks for taking the time to ask them.

      In terms of sleeping bags – if you’re tight on luggage space you can probably do without this for hostel sleeping. All hostels provide linen and generally in Australia the weather is warm enough to just take a sleeping bag liner and maybe a thin (airline!) blanket if you’re looking for a more compact alternative. The exception to this might be if you plan on camping or raod tripping. Then a sleeping bag might come in handy.

      When it comes to backpack size, I’m always a fan of the smaller the better and usually go for a 40-50litre bag if I’m on the road for a while. Anything bigger than this is hideous to lug around in my experience! If necessary you can alwasy strap a sleeping bag to the outside!

  4. Claudia says:

    Great list! I’m definitely the overpacker that brings 10 pieces of underwear so I don’t have to do my laundry every 5 days, haha! Worth the extra space for me though.
    I have one addition though: One thing to take into account when packing is well is the type of work you’re going to do when on a WHV. Working in a bar or restaurant, for example, will usually require you to wear long pants so in this case I would definitely bring two (wash 1 wear 1). I know you can buy them everywhere but with my loooong legs it’s not always that easy (and cheap!) 🙂

    • Steph says:

      Claudia, this is such great advice and you are absolutely right. Many thanks for the great addition, I totally know what you mean being tall and having worked in many Australian bars / restaurants too. Great call, thank you 🙂

  5. Karen says:

    Wetsuit! If you want to enjoy swimming, boogie boarding or surfing, this is tops on our list.

  6. Akash says:

    I loved it, thanks for sharing this interesting post.

  7. Ella says:

    Hi Steph! I’m going traveling for the first ever time to New Zealand & Australia for 4 months and this has helped settle my packing worried mind so much. As a women, I always overpack so back packing for me sounds rather tough but this post has made me feel more at ease. Thanks for sharing 😄

    • Steph says:

      Hi Ella, so great to hear you found the list useful and put your mind at ease. Have an amazing time travelling in beautiful NZ and Aus. Steph 🙂

  8. really decent posts and information

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