Packing for a trip is difficult but packing for a Working Holiday in Australia is much more challenging. Think about it, you’ve got to cram enough clothes, cosmetics and gadgets into your bag for at least 12 months. That’s not to mention the fact that you have to accommodate for the cold Australian winter, hot summer and possibly think about work clothes too. Therefore it’s no surprise that packing for a working holiday can be overwhelming.
Initially, when I told my friends that I was going to live for a year out of what I could fit into a backpack, some of them thought I was crazy. I ended up staying for three years, so I guess they were right.
So, if you too now face the struggle of packing for a working holiday in Australia, don’t stress- I’ve got you covered. Here’s my ultimate Australia working holiday packing list.
The majority of space in my backpack was taken up with clothes but in all honesty, if you are going away for a year then you are going to need quite a few changes of outfits. I’m really happy with the number of clothes that I bought to Australia and apart from a couple of things to get me through the Melbourne winter (like a coat and jumper) I’ve just been wearing what I came with.
- 2x long flowy trousers (suitable for hot and cold weather)
- 1x jeans
- 2x skirt (one good for evenings)
- 2 x shorts
- 2 x dress
- 1 x trainers
- 1 x converse
- 1 x flip flops and/or sandals (suitable for evenings)
- 8 x basic short sleeve tops
- 2 x evening tops
- 2 x bikini
- 2 x sweatshirts
- 1 x set workout clothes (leggings, shorts, top, sports bra)
- 1 x lightweight waterproof jacket
- 1 x tote bag, 1 x evening, small bag, 1 x day backpack (for hand luggage)
- pyjamas: shorts and top
These are the non-negotiables that you must pack for your working holiday in Australia
- Your Working Holiday Visa
- Australian Money and debit/credit cards
- Important paperwork from home such as: edcational certificates and medical history, just in case
Next up are the gadgets. As someone who relies on my laptop, I couldn’t have survived without it. An extension lead was also really handy.
- Australian adapter
- Portable phone charger
- Extension lead
- High factor suncream (because there is no ozone layer)
- Dry shampoo
- Shampoo, conditioner
- Face Wash
- Toothbrush/ paste
- Basic makeup and something special for evenings
- Nail scissors
- Mosquito repellent
- prescription drugs
- Wallet to keep documents organised
- Money belt/ bumbag
- Passport cover
- Travel socks
- Travel journal and pens
- Waterproof cover for backpack
- 1 towel
- 1 x sarong
- Yoga mat
- 1 flannel/ small towel
- Cutlery set
- Small sewing kit
- Small year diary (useful when working)
- Tea and favourite snacks from home
- A notebook
- Natwest card reader
The things I am really glad I brought (and what I wish I’d packed)
- My travel Journal- I kept my journal the entire time that I travelled the East Coast and I am so happy that I did. Now I have a record of my travels that I can keep for years to come.
- Workout clothes- Personally, I couldn’t have survived a year without exercising so I’m really happy I brought my workout clothes with me on this trip. I think its a good idea to have a pair of workout shorts and leggings so that you’re prepared for the summer, winter and cold air con temperatures.
- Kindle- My backpack used to be 50% full of books so having a Kindle has been a game changer. I can’t recommend the Kindle Paperwhite enough. It holds loads of books, has a low glare and I hardly ever have to charge it. The great thing about the Kindle is that it’s compact and you can even read it in the dark- great for hostel dorms.
- Laptop- My laptop is the one thing I use every single day and I can’t belive I almost didn’t bring it. As I was travelling in Australia and then later in Asia, I was worried about it getting damaged or stolen however so far, all of the hostels have had lockers and I couldn’t have done either of my internships or blogging without it.
- Evening tops- Going out in the evenings is Australia is somewhat dressy so having a couple of nice evening tops is essential.
What I wish I’d packed
- In hindsight, I wish I’d bought my hair straighter as it’s nice when I want to make more of an effort in the evenings
- Sandals- I only came with flip flops so I ended up having to buy nice sandals that I could wear out in the evenings to bars and nice restaurants.
- A deck of cards- A necessity for all trips- not really a big issue though as I was able to pick up a pack pretty easily
- Warmer clothes- I didn’t anticipate that I’d stay in Australia for as long as I have therefore I wasn’t that well prepared for the winter in Melbourne. It hasn’t really been an issue as I was able to buy everything that I needed but it’s just a heads up- Australia isn’t always hot.
- A cheap phone- Seeing as I needed a phone for Australia and also Asia afterwards, I decided to buy a cheap brick phone that I could use for calls and texts with a local sim card. This wasn’t expensive to buy but if you have one at home it’s better to bring it and save the hassle.
- My natwest card reader: Without this I couldn’t transfer money between my UK and Australian account which was incredibly frustrating.
Packing for a working holiday can be overwhelming but it’s important to remember that the fundamental things that you need are just the same as any other trip. A year is a long time and it’s just not possible to pack everything you need. However, the great thing about Australia is that you can buy everything there so as long as you have your passport, money and your working holiday visa, all of the other stuff is expendable.
Do you have any more questions about doing a Working Holiday in Australia? Feel free to drop me a message or check out my guide on what to do when you arrive. guide on what to do when you arrive.