What to pack on your Outback adventure

Image Source: Tourism NT/Laura Bell

So it’s time to pack for your outback adventure, and you don’t want to be carrying anything unnecessary. On the other hand, you certainly don’t want to forget anything important as you may find yourself quite far away from shops and amenities. What you need will depend partially on your plans, for example, if you will be camping you’ll need camping equipment. It’s also essential to be aware that, whilst the red centre can be extremely hot during the day, it can be cold at night, particularly between May- September, when temperatures can drop to below zero. With that in mind, here is our ultimate packing list.


  • Activewear for bushwalking and other activities
  • Shorts for daytime wear
  • Long trousers for evenings and watching the sunrise
  • Lightweight trousers if you want extra protection from the sun and poisonous wildlife during the daytime
  • Lightweight t-shirts
  • Smart casual clothes for going out for dinner
  • A coat for those chilly sunrises and evenings, especially if you’re visiting in winter
  • Jumpers
  • Swimwear for all of those beautiful natural swimming holes
  • Underwear
  • Pyjamas – pack warm pyjamas if you’re camping and/ or travelling in winter
  • Socks


  • Comfortable shoes such as hiking boots or trainers
  • Closed shoes for general wear
  • Thongs/ flip flops


  • A hat for sun protection – a wide brim hat is best
  • A warm hat, gloves, and a scarf if you’re visiting during the winter
  • Sunglasses
  • A small backpack for daytrips


Aside from the obvious, don’t forget…

  • Sunscreen – factor 50 is recommended
  • Insect repellent
  • Lip balm, as the low humidity in the desert, can quickly dry out lips
  • Moisturiser – the low humidity can also cause dry skin very easily
  • A first aid kit
  • Anti-histamines

Other items

  • Phone and charger
  • Portable battery charger
  • Large refillable water bottle
  • A towel to dry off after a day of chasing waterfalls. A fast-drying towel is best for carrying around
  • A fly net, particularly if you’re visiting in the summer when there are a plethora of flies around
  • Camera – there will be plenty of stunning landscapes and native wildlife to take photos of
  • Spare camera batteries and SD card – you don’t want to miss out on that amazing shot because your batteries are dead or you’re out of space

For road trips

  • Plenty of water – you may find yourself pretty far from a shop
  • Snacks, for the same reason
  • Extra gas – gas stations can be few and far between
  • A compass and map, as you may not always be able to rely on phone reception

If you’re camping

  • Tent or swag
  • Camping mattress
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Cooking stove and gas cans
  • Crockery
  • Esky – your food doesn’t last a minute in the outback if it isn’t kept cold
  • Camping chairs to relax on after a long day of adventures
  • Mosquito net
  • Camping lights
  • Head torch
  • Lighters or matches for starting campfires – always check any fire restrictions or bans beforehand
  • Baby wipes
  • Hand sanitizer

If you do forget anything, don’t worry – you can stock up in the major towns, before continuing your adventure.