Australian Winter Travel Essentials: A Guide & 5 Must Pack Items

If you’re planning to visit Australia between the months of June and August, this Australian Winter Travel Essentials guide is perfect! When most people think of Australia, they picture hot summer days, locals relaxing on the beach and going for a surf. Am I right? Well that’s pretty accurate. But we can also have some pretty cold winters, too. Spend a night in the Australian Outback, and your view of Australia will change!

Depending on where in Australia you’re visiting, you’ll need to be prepared, in order to get through our cold winter nights. Especially if you’re planning a camping trip or a road-trip around the country. Keep reading for the top 5 things I think are essential items to pack for an Australian winter holiday.

Australian Winter Travel Essentials: A Guide & 5 Must Pack Items

Average Winter Temperatures for Australia’s Major Cities

Winter in Australia falls during the middle of the year, from June until August. You’ll find that the weather will generally become/remain cold for a few weeks either side of winter, too.

Melbourne, Victoria

Average High Temperature: 14°C (57°F)
Average Low Temperature: 6°C (42°F)

Note: Melbourne is known for its unpredictable weather, so no matter which time of year you visit, always be prepared. There are times where you’ll experience all four seasons in the one day. Winter days and nights will be cold, so pack extra layers. Snow also falls in the North East of Victoria. So if that’s something you’re interested in, get in early before everything is booked out!

Adelaide, South Australia

Average High Temperature: 15°C (59°F)
Average Low Temperature: 8°C (46°F)

Note: Mornings and nights in Adelaide get to be quite cold, especially in the middle of winter. So put on a couple of extra layers in the morning, that you can take off throughout the day, once the sun reaches its peak. Unless of course, it’s not a sunny day!

Brisbane, Queensland

Average High Temperature: 21°C (69°F)
Average Low Temperature: 11°C (51°F)

Note: Winter in Brisbane is a lot more bearable than anywhere else in Australia. Other than the mornings and nights getting a bit chilly, most of the time you’ll be able to walk around outside in a t-shirt. There will be exceptions to this, of course. But generally speaking, Brisbane (and Queensland in general) stays quite sunny and comfortable year-round.

Sydney, New South Wales

Average High Temperature: 17°C (62°F)
Average Low Temperature: 8°C (46°F)

Note: July is generally the coldest month of the year in Sydney, with daytime temperatures reaching just 13 degrees. There can also be a lot of rain throughout June, so make sure to bring an umbrella!

Perth, Western Australia

Average High Temperature: 19°C (66°F)
Average Low Temperature: 8°C (46°F)

Note: Expect quite a few thunderstorms and a fair bit of rain during winter in Perth. Temperatures don’t get too cold during the day, but evenings can be chilly, depending on where you are.

Darwin, Northern Territory

Average High Temperature: 31°C (87°F)
Average Low Temperature: 21°C (69°F)

Note: May until October is dry season in Darwin, which means hot days and cooler nights. Since Darwin is considered to be tropical, the humidity is pretty horrible most of the year. But if you visit during the colder months, it won’t be as unbearable.

Hobart, Tasmania

Average High Temperature: 12.3°C (53°F)
Average Low Temperature: 5°C (41°F)

Note: Tasmania gets pretty cold during winter, with winds from the Antarctic making their way towards the island. Overnight temperatures can get very low, so make sure to rug up if you’re planning a road-trip around Tasmania, or doing a bit of camping.

Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Average High Temperature: 20°C (68°F)
Average Low Temperature: 4.8°C (40°F)

Note: Considering Alice Springs is a desert town, temperatures can drop quite low. It’s a common occurrence for overnight temperatures to drop below zero, with a lot of frost in the morning. We definitely suggest bringing lots of layers, blankets and appropriate accessories (scarves, beanies, gloves etc) to stay warm.

Now that you know what to expect in all major cities across Australia during winter, keep reading to find out what I consider to be Australian winter travel essentials. Of course, everyone is different and will therefore not agree with everything on this list. But generally speaking, the following items are what I consider to be must-pack, in order to survive Australia’s cold days and even colder nights. This list will be the most helpful to those of you planning to embark on one of Australia’s great road-trips.

Australian Winter Travel Essentials: 5 Must Pack Items

It’s a well-known fact that Australia is the perfect place for a cross country road trip. I wouldn’t be the first person to enlighten you on that fact. This means that there are people traveling all over the country, during different months in the year. There are pros and cons to traveling in all seasons, and these differ depending on where you’re visiting! But as far as Australia is concerned, traveling across the country in a camper-van during winter, could be a pretty unbearable experience if you aren’t prepared.

If you’re traveling around Australia during winter (whether you’re road-tripping or staying in hotels/hostels etc), I recommend bringing a suitcase as opposed to a backpack. This is purely for the fact that you’re gonna need lots of layers and warm clothes. Sure, if you’re used to backpacking, and have traveling across snowy countries with no issues, go for gold. Bring a backpack. But for the less experienced travelers and families, I would definitely opt for a suitcase.

A Hoodie or Warm Jumper

In Australia we call them hoodies, but basically something warm that you can easily throw on over whatever you’re wearing. I prefer jumpers with hoods (hence hoodies) and a pocket, in a size or two larger than what I usually wear. I usually buy men’s hoodies, because they’re a lot more comfortable and loose fitting, which I love in a hoodie.

Whether you’re relaxing in your hotel room, taking a walk down the road for some dinner or spending the night camping in the Australian Outback – you’ll be glad you packed a comfortable and warm hoodie! It’s also a good idea to pack a spare, just incase.

Ugg Boots

Ugg Boots are an Australian winter travel essential. You can get them in a bunch of different sizes, styles and colours and I guarantee they’ll be the most comfortable and warm pair of shoes you’ll ever buy. Ugg Australia are the perfect place to go, with free shipping Australia wide and a ton of retail stores throughout the country. Check the website for any current sales, and if there’s a convenient store to visit during your stay in Australia!

Beanie, Scarf and Gloves

You may be thinking that I’m totally crazy suggesting you bring a beanie, scarf and gloves to Australia. But just remember, winter nights can get pretty cold, especially if you’re in the outback (or Tasmania). You’ll be especially thankful you packed them if you’re heading off on an Australian road trip. All those nights camping in the middle of no where – you’ll want extra warmth!

Save on luggage space and pack one beanie and scarf for all conditions and outfits. I suggest an infinity scarf, as they’re super versatile, come in a ton of different styles and colours and can be found almost anywhere during winter. They also look cute with any outfit, especially if you opt for a darker shade like black or grey!

Comfortable and Warm Pants

I live in tights (or leggings) during winter. I have quite a large collection of Lorna Jane active wear tights, which are extremely comfortable, amazing quality and look great. Lululemon also have a wide range of similar tights, if there’s one located near you. I definitely suggest investing in a good quality pair of tights, as they’re perfect for travel. They’re super versatile and can be worn with almost anything, for any occasion.

If tights aren’t your thing, a good pair of track pants or jeans are a must. It’s best to bring along one pair of each, so you’ve got something to wear throughout the day, and a comfortable pair to change into at night. For ultimate versatility, pack a neutral shade of both track pants and jeans. That way, you’ll have matching pants no matter what you’re wearing!

Moisturiser and Hand Cream

This is another Australian winter travel essential, especially for the females. I don’t know about the rest of you, but when the weather is cold, my skin suffers greatly. My hands in particular become super dry, itchy and sore. So I always bring along a good quality moisturiser that I know works well.

If you’re going to be visiting Australia for an extended period of time during winter, it’s best to pack a travel sized tube and a larger tube or bottle. My legs also get quite dry year round, so I always make sure to have enough of my favourite moisturiser to get me through. If you don’t have any preferences when it comes to moisturiser, you can find plenty of good quality brands here in Australia at supermarkets or pharmacies.

Other items you need to pack


The most important possession you will have while travelling internationally. I like to take my passport with me wherever I go. It’s especially important to have your passport with you if you intend to purchase alcohol while in Australia. Anyone who looks under 25 years old (under 4o years old in New South Wales) will be asked to show ID. Your passport is the only international document accepted Australia wide.


Because unfortunately, you can’t travel without it, especially in Australia. We’re a pretty expensive country compared to a lot of others, which surprises some visitors. Keep in mind that the cost of living and visiting Australia is high, so budget a little extra before you arrive.

Related: Cost of Travel Around Australia: Food, Alcohol, Data, Transport & More

Other Items of Clothing

You’re gonna need more than just a pair of pants and beanie, so make sure to pack some lazing around clothes and versatile and comfortable shirts. Generally winter in Australia will be bearable enough to wear just a t-shirt under a warm hoodie or jacket. Pack a few t-shirts and thin long sleeve tops. This should be plenty to get you through!

Sneakers and Other Shoes

Ugg Boots are great for winter in Australia, but you’re gonna need alternative shoes. I suggest packing a pair of sneakers/canvas shoes, a pair of thongs (flip flops/sandals) and a nice pair of ‘going out shoes’. There are a lot of nice restaurants, pubs and bars in Australia, so be sure to pack some appropriate shoes for a night out. Thongs are great if you’re spending time in Queensland or the Northern Territory, as the weather is warm enough to walk around outside in them.

Save Space in your Luggage for our Snacks

Australia has some of the best snacks in the world, not that I’m biased. If you’ve never tasted a Tim Tam or box of Shapes before, your life is about to change. You’ll definitely be glad you packed light on the way to Australia, so you can return home with a suitcase full of delicious goodies.

In Conclusion

The most important piece of advice you should take from this post, is that you shouldn’t underestimate Australian winter. Sure, it’s not as cold here as Antarctica. No, it doesn’t snow across the whole country. But you should be prepared, especially if you’re planning an Australian road trip. Pack an extra later of clothing if you’re going to be camping, and don’t forget that beanie and scarf!

Do you agree with my list of Australian winter travel essentials? What are your must-pack items when traveling to a country during winter? Have you ever forgotten something, and been stuck in the cold? Tell me below!

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  • LC

    Very accurate list. Although I keep waiting for it to get really cold in Melbourne this winter and that day has not quite hit yet! I think Ugg’s are a definite essential. I love my pair from Mortel’s and have lugged them all over the world with me!

    • Haha, I’m sure that day will come. I’ve only ever spent a bit of time in Melbourne, but I remember it being very cold! Aren’t Uggs the best?! Super comfy and warm 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  • Hahaha, love the timing! I am commenting from Brisbane…and would have loved to read this post a few weeks
    earlier! Indeed, there is something called winter in Australia. Great list of tips!

    • Haha! Well I’m sorry you didn’t get a chance to read this before your visit, but at least you can vouch for the fact that it’s definitely cold! haha Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Jean

    I’m Australian and can happily say I’ve never left the house with ugg boots on. It’s a sure way to be mocked by everyone that you come by. It’s also really easy to travel around Australia in winter with a backpack. A few decent warm layers and waterproof is all you need to worry about. But sunscreen even in winter is really important!

  • Thank you for his useful information. In my imagination Australia is just all sun, surfing and having a good time at the beach! But it’s good to know that it can get cold tool. I will keep that in mind when I plan my trip.

    • Australia is definitely more than just sun! Although we do have a lot of sun here, it does get cold 🙂 Thanks for reading, Anna!

  • Nice round-up of the weather conditions…so important to be prepared with appropriate gear. As they say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, there’s only bd clothing.

  • Nerissa

    Im from Melbourne and so true about the weather!!! Haha four seasons in one day for sure! Great read, layers is key so I agree with using a suitcase opposed to a backpack.

  • I once was in Sydney at Christmas and it was when the fires were spreading so there was a lot of cloud cover. It was really cold and I had to go out and buy a jumper so definitely think that is essential kit.

  • Kelly

    Such a helpful and detailed post. Thanks for including all this AND the obvious stuff because I feel like I’m so scattered that i would totally forget something crazy, like my wallet. So thanks!!

  • Lovely list! Sounds like some light items that would make a world of difference! 🙂

  • Flo

    I completely agree with this! Australian winters aren’t as bad as in places like Canada or Alaska, but that wind can be truly brutal. I lived in Melbourne for a few years and I absolutely remember the days of experiencing 4 seasons in 1 day – people don’t believe me when I tell them it hailed one minute and rainbows came out the next!

  • Actually, don’t worry about packing anything at all. You can buy everything here. Just kidding! The weather in Australia is pretty mild compared to other places and there’s not a huge temperature difference across the country.

  • Great suggestions! I always forget the seasons are opposite there, lol! Would hate to show up with a bunch of shorts and tank tops in their winter! Warm sweaters/jackets are always the best way to stay cozy!

    • Haha yeah we’re the opposite! They absolutely are! A great way to stay warm 🙂 Thanks for reading, Jenna!

  • Myrthe

    Thanks for the informative blogpost. We are currently traveling through WA with our van and we must admit, the nights can be very cold indeed!

    • That sounds fun! Are you enjoying it? 🙂 Yeah nights are very cold! Definitely need to rug up! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • I never thought you need winter clothing in Australia. It always looks sunny there 😀 Nice list for people like me.

    • It is sunny for most of the year, but can also be cold at the same time! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • I had no idea that it gets as cold as – 8°C in Australia! No wonder that you recommend to have glowes and some warm clothes. I am sure to be frozen without your article!

    • It seems lots of people thought Australia was just warm and sunny all year round! haha. It does get as cold as that in some parts of Australia, but not all! I’m glad I was able to help 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  • Great tips!! I love my UGG boots, they are well comfy. It helped me survive the arctic conditions in Norway. 🙂

    • They’re the best aren’t they! Super warm and comfortable 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  • We will be heading to Australia next month so this is really useful! Although we are looking forward to it being much cooler as it’s been so humid for the last few months in SE Asia!

    • That’s exciting! Where abouts are you visiting in Australia? It definitely won’t be humid! Thanks for reading 🙂

      • We only have a rough plan at the moment. We will be flying to Perth for a couple of nights before flying onto Sydney. After Sydney we plan to go to Melbourne, Adelaide and Alice Springs!

  • That’s funny, I totally forgot Ugg boots are from Australia! A lot of people wear them in LA, and also say going outside the house in them is tacky. Yet everyone does it in winter! Funny, we also have similar temperatures in wintertime – cold but not TOO cold! This is a very useful post ^_^

    • Haha they are! I know everyone thinks it’s tacky. But I’m the type of person who doesn’t really care what people think when it comes to clothes. It’s my body, I can wear what I want! I love to be comfortable, and the chances of me seeing that person again are slim! haha 🙂 Thanks for reading!