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Packing List for a Working Holiday in Australia

Australia map, backpack, hiking shoes, water bottle, and a wide hat with the text 'Packing List for Working Holiday in Australia'

When travelling to Australia on a working holiday visa, it’s important to remember that you are going to be living here for at least a year – this doesn’t mean that you should pack enough stuff for a whole year!

Over the course of your working holiday, you are may accumulate a some extra things, especially when you begin to figure out what you actually need. 

Most of the stuff you need you can get in Australia, so it’s better to buy it here where and when you need it.

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The Essentials

Any Important Paperwork

Also remember to make copies of these and leave them with someone at home. Just in case!

Important paperwork you need includes:

You should also bring a flexible thin folder to put all your paper work in. This sounds excessive, but if you can find one that isn’t bulky it will come in very handy. You could also store important documents digitally on a USB flash drive with your resume so you can print them if needed and copies of all your important documents in case you lose them.

Small First-aid Kit

Finding a small first-aid kit with a small soft case should be easy enough. It only needs to be big enough to carry some Band-Aids, anti-bacterial cream, a roll of bandages, some paracetamol and a small scissors. Having this stuff with you will save you a lot of time and bother should you get a nasty cut.

Needle and thread

It’s small, it won’t take up much room and you could very well need it. Working on farm jobs or fruit picking will lead to you wear and tear on your clothes and there probably won’t be many places nearby where you can just go and buy new ones. Anyway, you really don’t want to be buying new clothes for farming or fruit picking when you’re probably going to dump them afterwards.

Ziplock Bags

Zip lock bags have so many uses: you can store snacks for the plane in them; you can store any liquids in them so that if they burst the contents won’t get all over your clothes.

Obviously you can buy these in Australia, so just bring as much as you need until you get settled.

A Small Padlock

A small padlock can come in useful especially since mostly hostel rooms have just a locker for your stuff with no actual way to lock it. They are definitely worth bringing as they are small and will give you piece of mind.

Travel Towel

Travel Towels are easy to pack as they don’t take up very much room at all. They also dry really quickly, which makes them far more hygienic, as you won’t have to carry a sopping wet towel around in your backpack.

And, although they will never be as good or as fluffy as a normal towel, they will save you so much space in your backpack.

A Penknife

Never underestimate the usefulness of a penknife while travelling. Penknives can come in handy for so many different situations. They can act as bottle openers, cork screws, scissors, knives, screw drivers, can openers – anything you could ever need! I always have this whenever I go backpacking.

An unlocked phone

If you already have a phone that you like, get it unlocked and bring it with you to Australia. Inexpensive plans are available and the SIM cards can be adapted. Australia has 4G and 5G, but 4G is still better in remote places.

The Obvious Things

In case you need reminding;

  • A good smartphone to capture all of those great moments you’re going to have.
  • Some Aussie dollars in cash until you get your bank account sorted. (Almost everyone accepts cards)
  • Adapters for any electronics you might be taking with you.

Clothes to Bring

Besides bringing shorts, light singlets, socks, and underwear, here are some items of clothing you really should bring. And remember not bring too much of one item, most hostels will have a laundry room, so you really don’t need to bring 20 pairs of socks!

  • Hiking boots can come in handy, especially if you’re going to work at fruit picking or on a farm. If not, a good pair of trainers/running shoes will come in very handy.
  • Bring a light rain jacket – despite what you might have been led to believe it does indeed rain in Australia, it even gets a little chilly in winter too.
  • A light but large-sized scarf/sarong has so many uses and doesn’t take up too much room. It can be used as a blanket, something to sit on at the beach, an actual scarf/sarong, folded into a pillow – like the pen knife, the possibilities are endless.
  • A hat to protect your head from the harsh Australian sun. You can get hats in Australia too obviously, but we do recommend that you bring a hat with you so you don’t have to bother running around looking for one on your first day in Australia.
  • Thongs (rubber flip-flops/sandals people)- they are an Aussie clothing staple and you will probably end up living in them.
  • A special occasion outfit, which could mean a dress, shirt, smart trousers etc. If you want to start looking for work straight away, then you should bring something suitable to wear to an interview, so you don’t have to run around an unfamiliar city looking for something suitable to wear.

What Not to Bring

Don’t go overboard and be ridiculously over prepared for any possible situation. Remember that you can buy most things you will need in Australia.

And, while you’re packing for working and living in Australia always remember: If in doubt, leave it out!

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