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Packing for Australia


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

Determining what you should pack when travelling to Australia is an important component of pre-planning. There are some strict rules surrounding what you can and can’t bring into Australia, with opportunities to declare anything you’re unsure about at the airport when you arrive.

Let’s talk about what to bring on your journey.

What kind of luggage should I bring?

If you don’t already have luggage, then you need to figure out the best option for you. You can borrow from a family member, but then they would be without it for a long period.

Maybe it’s time to go luggage shopping! Keep in mind the size and weight restrictions of your flights, including any connecting flights. Determine if a backpack or roller case is more appropriate for you.

Whatever you decide on, make sure you can carry it! Friends and family can help you get to the airport, but you will be responsible upon arrival in Australia.

What should I be packing in my hand luggage?

  • Passport, identification, money, credit cards
  • Confirmation of Enrolment
  • Information about your accommodation, pick-up arrangements and a list of relevant phone numbers
  • Any medications and your prescriptions
  • Magazines, a book or your Kindle
  • Travel adaptor that connects to Australian power points
  • Laptop, phone, camera, USB charger
  • Headphones and earplugs
  • Clothes to suit the weather on your arrival, plus something warm just in case!
  • Makeup and toiletries in containers smaller than 100ml – pack them in clear sealable plastic bags
  • Valuables like jewellery and electronics

What is the best way to pack my suitcase?

  • Airport clearance is quicker if you don’t bring food, plant material or animal products. Most items can be easily purchased in Australia.
  • Rolling your clothes up tight instead of folding saves lots of room in your bag.
  • Put your underwear and socks in your shoes instead of packing them all separately.
  • Attach a label to your luggage with your name, email address and phone number in case it gets lost.
  • Tie a ribbon or scarf to the handle or get a colourful luggage belt so you can quickly spot your stuff on the luggage carousel.

What do I need to know before I arrive?

If you are an international student planning to study in Australia, it is important to check Australia’s biosecurity requirements when packing your personal items. Certain food, plant material and animal products from overseas could introduce serious pests and diseases into Australia, devastating our valuable agriculture and tourism industries and our unique environment.

It is important to tell family and friends not to bring or send food, plant material or animal products to Australia.

Find out more information about what you can and can’t bring into Australia with this handy biosecurity guide for international students (available in multiple languages).

If you are bringing alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, electronic equipment and valuable items (including jewellery and currency), you will also need to check with the Australian Department of Home Affairs regulations.

Don’t forget to check Australia’s biosecurity requirements when packing your personal items to come to Australia. 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.