Byron Bay Lighthouse
Walking toward the lighthouse in Byron Bay

Whether you’re walking in the country of the oldest living culture on earth or searching for Nemo in the Great Barrier Reef, comfort is essential to full emersion into everlasting experiences in Australia’s land of magical wonder. When packing, here are two things to consider: you have access to washing machines and the Blue Mountains are the coldest it gets.

Blue Mts in Sydney
Blue Mountains outside Sydney

The Down Right Necessities: a reliable towel, your own smell infused pillowcase, a compact sleeping bag, a trustworthy water bottle, SOCKS and tennis shoes, a swimsuit, an Under Armour for safe measure and don’t under estimate your wind/rain jacket. Versatile, comfy clothing, such as tank tops or shirts that can be made athletic, casual or a little dressed up are your best friend…till you find a koala.

Versitile Jacket
A versatile jacket is a must for this traveling course

When it comes to shoes, a pair of flip-flops (or thongs, if you’re Aussie), a dressy pair of shoes, tennis shoes or hiking boots and a pair of nicer boots is plenty. I was thankful to have one suitcase, a backpack and a small purse when departing, but you definitely accumulate items there that have to be accounted for.

Kayaking in Byron Bay

With that said, things you can leave out of packing in my experience: umbrella, battery operated alarm clock, binoculars, hair dryers, straighteners, anything you think you would need for hardcore camping (we had bathrooms and food provided) and all those extra shoes or shirts that you are not positive you will wear.

Daintree Rainforest
Daintree Rainforest on the Natural Crocodile Tour

As individual as your experience will be, so will your packing. Many in my group brought their favorite fancy dresses (I bought mine there), their choice cozy scarves, sunglasses (handy), lots of insect repellent (a MUST have, but can buy there) and makeup and jewelry (it’s all about being comfy). Whatever makes you feel confident and allows you to be focused while you experience Australia’s wonder is what you want. Soon you’ll forget about your worries and your strives, with these bare necessities, you won’t fonder far from home.

Megan Comer is a TEAN Alum and Global Ambassador at Virginia Tech. She studied abroad with TEAN on the Australian Environment, Wildlife, and Conservation Summer Down Under Program.