What to know before going down under?

You go through many websites, blogs, top 10 lists, and you still don’t know what to bring with you when you’re traveling to Australia? Neither did we! Thankfully, everyone learns from their mistakes, so here, we will try and help you not to repeat ours, and bring to your attention some things that you probably didn’t know you need in the first place!

Drinkable water

While planning what to take with you for the trip to Australia, it is good to think about buying water bottles with filters. While you can drink tap water in Australia, sometimes you just find yourself in the area where there is no water or where water restrictions are in place.

So, what then? Then you will be glad you bought the bottles because you can go to any river, lake or any other water pond you see, fill in your bottle and not be sick after drinking it. Keep in mind that there are various options to choose from, with different prices and efficiencies. Do your research before you buy any or contact us for our recommendation!

Weather is unpredictable

As you travel through Australia you will notice that there are several different types of climate. It is true that usually it is very warm or even hot there BUT you would be surprised how much the weather can change in just few hours. We learned about that our first day in Sydney when in the afternoon it was 45 degrees and in the evening the temperature dropped down to 25 degrees and we were cold, probably from all the exhaustion from the trip, but still.

I thought that I would not have to use my jacket while being there but I was wrong and, in the end, I was really, really glad I had it.

There is another thing. One only thinks of Australia as a extremely hot place, but nights… they do get cold. Or, in our case, the smoke is so thick it prevents sun from warming up the air and you get to have temperatures close to 4 degrees Celsius in mid summer.

Driving documents

To be able to rent a car and then to drive it without any problems you will need an International Driving License. Sometimes you can find information on the Internet that it is enough to have your driving license translated but it is not. The translation is not respected in every state in Australia so it is safer to get the International one and have it for next 5 years, especially that it is not expensive at all.

Sun protection

Don’t forget the sunglasses, like we did while taking this photo!

As I said above, Australia is HOT. The sun is very strong and you can get seriously burned even on a cloudy day (yes, sun is still out there even when it’s overcast). Good sunscreen is a must when travelling if you want to actually enjoy your trip and not to feel like roasted chicken. I strongly recommend having a hat while walking around in the early afternoon because you can get a headache very quickly. Try to have your body covered as much as possible during the day or, as I said above, use good sunscreen. And drink water. Lots of water.

When traveling, it’s always good to have sunglasses with you as well. When driving in the late day hours, during sunrise/sunset, it can be really difficult to pay attention to the road when the only thing you can see is the giant yellow ball of fire.

Different footware

What NOT to wear at the beach 🙂

Depending on what your plans are, you should have few types of shoes with you not be wear one pair all the time. Have one pair for hiking, one for walking around in the National Parks (if you are planning to visit them) and one to wear in the city when you are just strolling around or going to eat something. We had trekking shoes, trainers, and flip flops, which was a perfect combination, and our feet appreciated it.

Expect the unexpected

Australian bushfire aftermath

Even if you plan your trip early and thoroughly, there might be some changes during your trip. Our travel plans took good 2-3 months to finish and because of the fires we had to change first few days. We will write a separate blog post about it in the future, but if we to need put it in a few words: just stay calm.

We were expecting fires but not on that scale so we had to be prepared to do other things than what we actually had in mind. As bad as it might seem, it is not that big of a problem – Australia is such a huge country that even if you have to change your plans a bit there is always lots of stuff to do and lots of places to visit. This actually goes for any trip you ever make, just keep in mind that there are (almost) always some things you can do, to fill in your days.

Driving at night – watch out

This is a very broad topic and we will have a separate post about driving in Australia in general to discuss this. But, since it is very important and possibly dangerous, we decided to included that here. Driving during the day can be difficult if you are not used to driving on the left side and when you add night hours to that it can turn out very tricky.

But, driving on the left side of the road (if you’re not used to it) is not so much a problem as are animals that can jump on the road at any time, bush road or a highway. We had a kangaroos and wallabies jumping in front of our car, a wombat slowly crossing the road and some bunnies (unfortunately, sometimes you do not have time to stop or go around them…).

We hope this will help some of you with the packing and staying in Australia!

Is there something we missed? What would you add? Tell us in the comments.

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