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What Can and Can’t I Bring to Australia?

packing for australia

This article is sponsored by Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

There’s no getting around it: Australia has some of the strictest border security rules in the world. This is to protect Australia’s agriculture and unique environment and wildlife from pests and diseases.

Here’s what you can and can’t bring into Australia and what you should declare when you go through the airport.


Foods like chocolate and coffee can be brought into Australia, but most foodstuffs need to be declared. Inflight meals and snacks must be left onboard.

For more information on what foods can and can’t be brought into the country, check here. If you are unsure, declare it, or don’t bring it at all.

Medication – DECLARE IT

Make sure you carry a copy of your prescription (written in English) from your local doctor, and only bring a maximum of three months’ supply.

Alcohol – DECLARE IT

If you’re aged 18 years or older, you can bring a maximum of 2.25 litres of alcohol duty-free into Australia. If you bring more than this amount, you’ll be required to pay duty on all the alcohol you bring.

Cash – BRING IT 

You can bring an unlimited amount of money into and out of Australia. But, you will have to declare cash in Australian and foreign currency if the combined value is AUD$10,000 or more.

Clothing – BRING IT

If you’re keen to bring your favourite clothes from home, the good news is you easily can (just be wary of your airline’s baggage limits!). Declare fur or feathers and clothing or shoes that have been worn on a farm or been in contact with a river. Make sure clothing and shoes are clean before packing them.

Keep in mind that you can’t bring fake designer goods to Australia. You’ll risk having them taken away from you, and may incur a fine.

Study supplies – BRING IT

Supplies such as notebooks, pens, textbooks and other stationery items are all fine to bring. In saying that, to save on luggage space, you might be better off purchasing these items once you land – Australia has plenty of fantastic stationery stores that stock everything you’ll need.

Cosmetics – BRING IT

Things like makeup and hair products are fine to bring into the country. If it’s in your hand luggage, make sure any liquids, aerosols and gels are under 100ml or 100g each, and pack them in a clear, sealable case.

Electronics – BRING IT 

You can bring equipment such as laptops, cameras and mobile phones, but ensure that anything with lithium batteries is kept in your carry-on luggage.

Just note that pirated DVDs cannot be brought to Australia. They might be taken from you and you risk being fined.

Pillows and linen – BRING IT

You can bring household items like pillows, bedsheets and towels, but if they are filled with feathers (down), they need to be declared. Clean kitchen equipment is allowed. These kinds of items tend to take up a lot of luggage room, so you might want to consider buying them in Australia.

Further information

For more information on what you can bring to Australia, and what you need to declare, visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s guide. For tips on what you should bring on your move to Australia, check out our list here.

Don’t forget to check Australia’s biosecurity requirements when packing your personal items. Some food, plant material and animal products are not permitted and should not be brought to Australia. Airport clearance is quicker if you don’t bring food, plant material or animal products. Most of these items can be easily purchased in Australia. If you pack these items you must declare them for inspection when you arrive in Australia. If you don’t declare all items, you may receive an on-the-spot fine or face prosecution.