Ultimate Packing List for Australian Outback Adventure - Ayers Rock, Olgas & Kings Canyon
Are you planning your Australian Outback Adventure? Headed to Uluru and Red Center of Australia? Photos can be sometimes misleading, and even it can be insanely hot here you could be unpleasantly surprised how cold this part of the country can be. Read our ultimate packing list to bring along everything you might need no matter if you plan on camping, staying in a fancy lodge, or sleeping in a campervan.
You can surely find a large number of amazing road trips on every continent, but road tripping through Australian Outback is unlike any other drive we've ever done.
Distances are vast, shops and gas stations scarce as well as campgrounds and hotel-type accommodation along the road. When you decide to leave the long straight road leading from the south to the north via the Red Center behind, you will appear in yet the completely different world, surrounded only by red hot roads, dust, and (not always friendly) wildlife.
Because of those characteristics, you need to come well prepared no matter if you intend to explore the Australian Outback in a campervan or if you only plan on visiting Uluru in your rental car for only a couple of days.
Although when looking at the photos you might think packing for the Australian Outback and Uluru is an easy task, you might be unpleasantly surprised how low temperatures can drop when traveling in the winter season.
That's why we have created this ultimate Australian Outback Packing List to ensure you know what to pack and what to leave behind.
WEATHER IN AUSTRALIAN RED CENTER
Before you start packing, it is essential to know when you begin your trip to Australian Outback and Uluru as the weather is extreme, both in the summer and in the winter and you need to be ready for conditions you will most likely experience during your trip.
Summer in the Red Center is hot and long as it lasts from October to March. Days can be scorching hot with temperatures above 30°C, and it is no exception to experience days, especially in January and February with temperatures above 40°C.
We traveled in Australian Outback in late December, and we had no chance to escape the heat, even during the nights, and sometimes it was challenging to get some sleep because we had a van without air-conditioning. It was so hot that one night we gave up and went to the hotel - something we've never done before. When it rains in this part of the country, it is during summer months, but it is not anything major, usually, it rains later in the afternoon shortly but powerfully.
Winter, from April to September, is a great time to visit to visit the Red Center if you suffer when it's too hot outside as average temperature is 20°C, the sky is often blue, and it is pleasant to walk around Uluru or camp in nature. But there is one thing you should know - nights in winter are super cold.
Actually, it is not uncommon to have temperatures below freezing point, and when you realize that Uluru is in its best before sunrise or after sunset, you know you must pack warm stuff as well.
We think that only a fool could travel to the Australian Outback (well, anywhere actually), without proper travel insurance.
Distances in Australia are sheer, wildlife poisonous, cities with hospitals far, so you should always know your insurance covers the best treatment possible. Even when we had traveled on a low budget, we've always have purchased travel insurance - this should be traveler's rule number one.
If you haven't decided yet what service could be the best for you, you can purchase travel insurance from World Nomads.
PACKING LIST FOR ROAD TRIPPING AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK
It makes a difference if you want to explore Australian Outback in a campervan and sleep outside, or if you will travel from one place to another and stay overnight in a hotel.
Here's a packing list for Uluru and Red Center, and later we will add other things you should consider for camping and sleeping in a van or motor home.
This packing list is for both seasons, summer and winter, so when traveling when it is hot in Australia, pack more lightly (we would still bring along long t-shirts and pants though, just in case), and on the other hand, do not underestimate winter months.
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It is wise to pack light, safari-like clothes, but it does not have to be beige, because the red soil is really hard to wash off. Even in the summer, many travelers prefer wearing long-sleeved t-shirts, and pants with long trousers to protect against the sun, another reason is protection against poisonous wildlife - we found it too uncomfortable, but wear what you find the best.
Dry Bags | Even when rainy days are unlikely in this part of Australia, we always pack a dry bag to protect our valuables just in case.
Camel Bag | Staying hydrated is incredibly important, especially in the summer. We drank at least 4 liters a day each, and sometimes it was not even enough. Do not underestimate it as cases of people who collapsed near Uluru and not rare.
Short-Sleeved Functional T-shirt for Him & for Her | We traveled in Australia in the summer, and we practically did not wear anything else but short-sleeved t-shirts. Make sure yours work well with sweat.
Long-Sleeved Functional T-shirt for Him & for Her | Layers are important, especially when traveling the Australian Outback in winter, but some people prefer wearing long-sleeved clothes as a protection against sun.
Leggings for Him & for Her | No matter where we go, we always pack leggings. They are small, light and easily foldable. I used them for hiking, Martin wears them as an additional layer under hiking pants when it is too cold.
Hiking Socks | Wear comfortable hiking socks to prevent blisters.
Bra | For girls, a functional bra is a must.
Hiking Boots for Him & for Her | If you plan on visiting Uluru, chances are you will be hiking a bit either on site or on the way to Uluru. Purchase a quality hiking boots with sturdy soles to protect your feet.
Hat | The sun can be harsh in the Red Center all year round.
Sunglasses | Same goes when it comes to protection of your eyesight.
Rain Poncho | Another thing we never leave home without is rain poncho. When it rains a lot, it will keep you and your valuables dry.
Beanie | The same goes for beanie. It is small and won't take any space in your backpack.
Distances are vast in the Australian Outback, so plan your itinerary and places where you want to sleep well ahead.
Summer is a busy season in Australia. We booked our car last-minute and had the worst, smallest, but the most expensive car in the whole country.
Camera | Taking pictures of Uluru during the sunrise or sunset is the absolute highlight of exploring Australian Outback. Pack a camera to capture your memories.
Memory Cards | It depends on how you travel, but when camping or sleeping in a van, you might not have a chance to transfer all your photos every day.
Kindle | We cannot imagine traveling anywhere without a book, having a portable library is a luxury we enjoy on travels.
Chargers | Don't forget to pack all chargers and cables for your electronics.
Adapter Plug | We solved the problem of different electrical plugs and sockets by buying a multi-plug adapter, so we don't have to think about charging our stuff no matter where we go.
GPS Watch | Smartwatch has been very trendy lately, and you can find it useful for outdoor activities.
Headtorch | When camping or sleeping in a van, headtorch is a must have thing, but even when sleeping in a hotel, you will find it useful when headed for the sunrise early in the morning.
Flash Drive | Road tripping in Australia is amazing, but can be also tiring at times. We must warn you that reception along the road was bad, and we were not able tune radio. Bring own flash drive with favorite songs to enjoy your journey better.
Power Bank | To keep your electornics working, power bank is a great solution.
Sunscreen | It comes without saying that you should not even think to go outside without sunscreen on.
Lipbalm with Sunscreen | You've probably noticed we don't take sun protection lightly, this is another must-have, not only against the sun but also against the wind.
Deodorant | This one really works, even when it is 40 degrees outside.
Bug Repellent | Mosquitos and other bugs can be quite annoying in Australia, pack a working repellent with deet.
Medical Kit | Always make sure you have personal medicaments you use on a daily basis with you.
Wet Wipes | It was so hot in Red Center, that we did not want to waste water and used wet wipes instead when necessary.
Hand Sanitizer | Both of us use contact lenses, so we always bring hand sanitizer, but it is useful every time when the water source is not around.
What to Pack When Camping or Sleeping in a Campervan
Tent | Although most of the people traveling in Australian Outback do so in a campervan, hardcore campers should carry a good-quality tent.
Sleeping Bag | When camping in the winter, pack a warm sleeping bag, we prefer down sleeping bags even though they are a bit more expensive. In the summer we were so hot we slept almost naked.
Linen or Cocoon | We never travel anywhere without the cocoon. We often use it in hostels where we are not sure about the cleanliness, but here in the Red Center, you can use it as an extra layer for your sleeping bag.
Sleeping Mat | The cold at night usually comes from the ground - air mattress should protect you the best, plus it is small and light.
Foldable Knife | You just cannot go camping without a foldable knife.
Travel Towel | Even when no shower is around, you can wash a bit in streams, and travel towel will come handy.
Cooking Set | To have enough energy, buy a cooking set so you can prepare proper food when on the road.
Sarong | Sarong is a very useful thing - you can wear it as an additional layer, use it as a scarf or sit on it when taking a break.
Stove & Gas Cans | When plan on cooking, stove and gas cans are a must have.
Travel Cooler | Not having a travel cooler was the biggest mistake we had made when road tripping in Australia. Believe us, the food just won't last a single day when it is so hot outside.
Mosquito Net | When camping, use mosquito net. We were often quite desperate from a combination of heat and bloodthirsty mosquitos. Also, when in the tent, we advise you to use the net as an additional protection against snakes and spiders.
Thermo Underwear for Him & for Her | We don't want to freak you out, but it can get very cold in Australian Outback in winter at night. Thermo underwear is a great solution for how to feel comfortable.
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