What to Pack for the Australian Outback
Planning an adventure to explore the Australian Outback? Keen to take in incredible destinations like Ayers Rock, Olgas, and Kings Canyon? Check out our list of things to think about when planning a trip to the Australian Outback, as well as our ultimate packing list with all the important essentials you'll need and things you can leave behind.
Things to Consider Before Departing
Planning a trip to the Outback shouldn't be a rushed decision, it will need time, thought, and planning. Here are some of the most important things to think about:
Weather in the Australian Outback
The weather in the Outback is extreme all year round. Most months, the sun and heat are intense, especially from November to February. But in cooler months, for example winter (May to September), it can reach to around 30°C during the day but then drop to below 0°C at night.
- Spring and Summer (October - April)
- Autumn and Winter (May - September)
You will need to check in advance your month and the weather forecast as this can have a big impact on what to pack.
How Long Are You Going For?
Work out how many days or weeks you will be travelling for. This can help determine how much stuff you need.
Independent or Organised Trip?
Are you going on an organised or an independent trip? There are pros and cons to both the structured route or going by yourself, and you will need to decide what suits your travel style more.
There are lots of organised tours of Australia, which include the Outback and places like Uluru in the itinerary.
These usually have fixed itineraries, wherein you will travel in a group and have a guide informing you about the places you will go to. Tours can be more expensive than organising the trip by yourself, but it is also a lot more stress-free as transportation, a driver, and food are usually included.
By going independent, on the other hand, you will have more freedom and flexibility with your days and itinerary, which is better for some people. But then, there are a lot of things to consider like transportation, driving, and safety.
On an organised tour, you will get transport included. This is usually a large bus with ample space for all belongings. Some trips offer camping, while others provide hotels, hostels, and guest house accommodations.
If you are doing the trip independently, you will need to consider whether to drive a car or a campervan. Campervans are generally the most popular option with tourists as you can save money on accommodation.
Whether you are going to be buying or renting a car, a 4x4, or a campervan, try to get something modern that includes a radio or a music system. Also get one that has positive reviews.
Moreover, look out for something that offers Yakima Roof Racks, as these are amazing and allow you to take much more things than you can usually fit in your standard boot.
Uluru & Aussie Outback Essential Packing List
These are some essentials to remember:
All year round, it’s recommended to pack light clothing due to the hot temperatures. If you are planning a trip between April and September, this is when the weather at night can be cooler, so pack warmer clothing.
- Comfortable trousers and long-sleeved t-shirts (although warmer, they offer good protection from the sun, as well as insects)
- Fleece jacket (nights can get cold depending on the month)
- Leggings (very light to pack and great for keeping warm or protecting yourself against insects)
- Hiking boots if you plan to do hikes and treks, plus hiking socks to prevent blisters
- Comfortable trainers
- Cap and hat
- Waterproof jacket or lightweight poncho
- Swimming shorts or swimsuit
Travelling in the Outback can be dirty due to the red sands and dust, so it is important to stay clean and look after your hygiene. Pack the following:
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Lip balm with sunscreen or moisturizer
- Body soap and clothes washing soap
- Insect repellent
- Medical first aid kit
- Wet wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Mobile phone
- Camera and memory cards
- Adapter plug
- Power bank and batteries
- GPS (if you plan on doing treks and trips, this can be a great way not to get lost)
Things to Consider if Camping or Taking a Campervan
If you are going to be doing the trip independently, you will need to get extra things, including the following:
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping mat
- Foldable knife
- Travel towel
- Cooking set
- Stove and gas cans
- Travel cooler
These are some other items to consider buying before you depart:
- Head torch
- Water and a reusable water bottle
- Washing line
- Mosquito net
- Travel guide or books
Buying Things in the Outback
Don't worry if you forget to take anything as there are lots of towns with shops and gas stations located throughout the Outback. It’s important to check the locations of these before departing so you always know where to go in case you are running low on food or fuel, for example.
Don't Forget Travel Insurance
Possibly the most important thing you will need is travel insurance. Even though it can be seen as an added expense, if you have any problems or emergencies on the road, being covered can give you peace of mind and also save you a lot of money.
We recommend purchasing travel insurance with World Nomads, which offers a range of affordable covers and policies.
Have you ever been to the Aussie Outback? Got any tips to share? Let us know in the comments section below.
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