Your Ultimate Guide to Packing For an Australian Winter

Packing for an Australian summer

Packing, you either love it or loathe it.

I freaking love it. To me, there’s something so relaxing about having your entire wardrobe in one suitcase. But where do you even start when you’re travelling to a country that’s so big, its climate is so vastly different?

It’s not easy knowing what to pack for an Australian winter. I mean, it’s difficult to know what kind of weather you’re going to be in for, when the north is tropical and the south is arctic.

This country's climate is so vastly different. Typically, we all chose to live in the north or the south for one big reason – we either love or hate the heat. But travelling around Australia, you don’t get that choice. Whether you love the heat or cold, you’ve got to suck it up. You’ve come this far already.

The thing is, packing lightly for winter in Australia isn’t easy. It really depends on where you’re going. But to make your life easier, here’s your ultimate locals guide to packing for an Australian winter.

First, what average temperatures to expect around Australia’s major cities and destination hotspots

Perth:

Average high temperature: 19°C (66°F)
Average low temperature: 8°C (46°F)

Hobart:

Average high temperature: 12°C (53°F)
Average low temperature: 5°C (41°F)

Adelaide:

Average high temperature: 15°C (59°F)
Average low temperature: 8°C (46°F)

Alice Springs:

Average high temperature: 20°C (68°F)
Average low temperature: 6°C (43°F)

Melbourne:

Average high temperature: 14°C (52°F)
Average low temperature: 5°C (41°F)

Sydney:

Average high temperature: 17°C (62°F)
Average low temperature: 8°C (48°F)

Brisbane:

Average high temperature: 21°C (70°F)
Average low temperature: 11°C (52°F)

Cairns:

Average high temperature: 25°C (77°C)
Average low temperature: 18°C (64°F)

 

Note: these temperatures are averages, so it can get warmer and cooler than the average high and low.

So, what should I pack for an Australian winter?

It may not get as cold as it does in Canada, Russia or Iceland in Australia, but it does get cold – despite the sunshine and coastal living. Even in the rugged Australian desert temperatures can drop to 0. So the trick is to be prepared for the worst. Pack for 30 degree days and 0 degree nights. That means layers are going to be your best friend.

Oh, and Australia's in the southern hemisphere, which means our winter is June to August.

1. The jacket | Although you might be limited in luggage space, two jackets will come in handy. Y’see, they have different purposes. The first (the parka) is to keep you warm when its freezing out, and dry when it’s wet. The second is a lighter weight jacket (like a leather or denim jacket) that will be useful in milder weather, for those cold mornings and evenings.

Shop the look:

Parka, Assembly Label | Leather Jacket, Assembly Label

2. The accessories | Since the weather changes so dramatically around the country, your accessories are going to be your key to comfort. A scarf, beanie and gloves will obviously come in handy down south when it get chilly. Surprisingly you might even need your sunglasses on those cold days. You’ll also need a pair of comfortable boots and sneakers, one for cold, wet days the other for sunny dry ones. Oh, and although Ugg Boots are an Australian icon, no one wears them here – other than around the house and backyard as slippers. 

Shop the look:

Scarf, Country Road | Beanie, Assembly Label | Sunglasses, Country Road | Gloves, Everlane | Sneakers, Royal Republiq from The Iconic | Boots, Everlane

3. The skivvy | What the heck is a skivvy? Well! It’s what us Australian’s call a woollen under layer that often has a turtleneck. It’s become quite popular recently to wear as a top. This little layer will layer those clothes to keep you warm when temperatures drop. You can wear it as a base layer, a top, or a layer under a dress.

Shop the look:

Skivvy, Country Road

4. The tops | You can always roll up the sleeves of your long-sleeved tops in warmer weather. Remember to keep to basic colours that will go with everything

Shop the look:

Tops, Assembly Label

5. The Dress | A dress you can layer in the cooler days and wear on its own in the warmer days can be one of the best interchangeable items in your suitcase.

Shop the look:

Dress, Everlane

6. The knitwear | Nothing beats waring a warm cosy knit when it’s cold out. Be sure to opt for colours that go with the rest of your luggage, and for fabrics that are warm (like cashmere, if your wallet can afford it).

Shop the look:

Black Knit, Everlane | Charcoal Knit, Everlane

7. The pants | I’m a jeans and tshirt kind of girl, always have been – so jeans will always be my first choice. Whatever’s your style, be sure to bring a couple of pants that work in both warm and cooler weather. The most important thing here is to make sure both pants work with both sneakers and boots.

Shop the look:

Jeans, Dr Denim

8. The swimsuit | Seems crazy to pack a swimsuit when it’s going to be 10 degrees out but my rule is, pack a swimsuit, always. It doesn’t take up much room in your luggage but is so good to have when you need it. You might find yourself with beautiful warm weather up north, eager to cool off in the beach. You might come across a stunning waterfall on a rainforest hike, and can’t resist a dip. You might revive your tired body at natural hot springs one cool winters afternoon. You just never know.

Swimsuit,

9. The sunscreen | For the love of shrimps on the barbie, do not forget to wear sunscreen, even when it’s overcast and cold. The sun down here is a harsh mofo. Don’t give it the satisfaction of burning your skin – because it will.

10. The moisturiser | You know the drill, when the weather is cold, your skin suffers. So make sure you've got hand cream and lip balm on you. 

 

Tell me, do you prefer warm or cold weather? I'm a cold weather lover myself.