Updated June 23, 2020.
So, I consider myself a “master packer.” I go carry-on only whenever possible, I organize my bag to help me speed through security, I am strategic in my clothing choices, and I even pack for my husband! But I’ll tell you a secret: I hate packing! And what’s the only thing worse than packing? Packing for vast temperature ranges.
We chose to visit Uluru in winter because I love my husband and would rather he didn’t die of heatstroke. But with temperatures ranging from the 30s to the 70s, unrelenting sun, and a significant bug factor, it was quite a challenge to pack everything we needed within our 10 kg luggage weight limit. But we did it! Here’s how, complete with links so you can get the things you need!
Read on: JetStar Review: MEL-AYQ
Note: Items with an asterisk (*) denote the items I wore on the flight from Melbourne to Uluru. These were my heaviest items, meaning I didn’t have to include them in the weight of my bag for the flight!
Strategy: layering with mix-and-match outfits.
A Little Black Dress
The Ayers Rock Resort has properties for every budget, and everyone is welcome at any of the restaurants. However, three of the restaurants require reservations, and I was not going to feel comfortable dining in those places unless I had a dress. Mine is super comfy t-shirt material, wrinkles fall out easily, and as every woman knows, a little black dress goes with anything, for any occasion. Just add jewelry!
Linen 3/4 Length Top
This is one of the most versatile pieces in my closet. It can be worn with leggings, jeans, or over my little black dress, and linen not only keeps you cool because it’s a breathable fabric, it actually absorbs wetness from sweat!
*Colorful 3/4 Length Top
You need to be protected from the elements, and a light 3/4 shirt is perfect for those chilly, yet sunny days in the Outback. It can go with leggings, jeans, or even over my little black dress to change it up a bit!
Black leggings are as essential to travel and life these days as a little back dress. They go under jeans for added warmth, they’re pants with a tunic, they’re perfect for working out, and if you get a moisture-wicking pair, you can wash and wear them again quickly. I sometimes pull up the legs to make them ankle pants or capris as needed.
The Outback is rugged. You’ll want some protection from the elements and critters, especially at night! Pack a pair of jeans, and a belt if you like as well.
*Black and White Tank Tops
Because you really need more than one undershirt!
It gets chilly at night in the Outback, even in summer, so a solid pair of boots will serve you well!
Bring hiking shoes if you like, but trainers are all I really ever need. Pro tip: that red dirt gets everywhere, and you’re technically not supposed to bring foreign dirt back into the U.S. I recommend bringing trainers that are still good but on the way out, then plan to leave them behind.
They weigh practically nothing, and while I wouldn’t go traipsing around the Outback in them all day long, they came in handy for special dinner reservations and for flying home in.
Undies and Socks
Hopefully you won’t forget these! I find that mesh undies are the way to go for the fastest wash-and-wear time.
This is undeniably the most comfortable bra for travel. I have it in five colors, and it’s the only kind of bra I wear! Trust me, you won’t want to go back to underwire and hooks!
The days were pleasant enough, especially with all the hiking and activities you can do at and around Ayers Rock Resort, but those mornings and nights can be brutal!
I wish I could take credit for this one, but I can’t! This is one item I wish I’d brought. They are fairly light and take up practically no space, and I really could have used them at sunrise and sunset! A lady in front of me in line for the restroom had some, and I told her she was a genius.
You will want gloves. You just will. And if you’ll be taking photos, you will want the kind with a cover over the cut-off finger tips.
Earmuffs or Ear Bags
You lose most of your heat through your head. I have found in my travels to very cold places that if my ears are covered and warm, the rest of me is warmer, too, so I never go on a wintry trip without them!
Extra insulation for that head and those ears is advised! I like to bring a head ring along with me for extra warmth and insulation, and I was so glad I had one like this (in addition to my ear bags!) for the sunrise tour.
Boy, was I ever glad I had this! It was perfect for layering, and it was a birthday present from my mom! She did a great job. It was extra special because she had it monogrammed. Because that’s how we roll in the South, y’all.
Because I had so many layers happening, I decided to leave my puffy coat at home and bringing my zip-up jacket instead. I did not regret this decision. Even better if your jacket pockets zip closed, and this one even has a handy shoulder zipper pocket as well!
You will definitely want a warm scarf, preferably one than goes with everything you brought! This one even has a hidden pocket for your passport, phone, a little cash, etc., and it comes in several colors, including basic black!
Y’all, that sun is unrelenting. There are very few clouds at Uluru, so you need to protect yourself from those rays!
I’m so glad I brought a hat. I love to be in the sun, but protecting your eyes and face is so important! Choose any kind you like, as long as it shades your face at the very least. I’m partial to a visor, but a wide-brimmed hat is also a good idea! I found this moisture-wicking visor from Scunci, and I love it! I’m a moisture-wicking fanatic.
This is pretty important all over Australia, but especially in the Outback where shade is limited.
UV Blocking, Long-sleeve Shirt
Don’t like sunscreen? Or maybe you just don’t like to take chances with the sun. Either way, you will want a long-sleeve shirt, and it’s even better if you take one with moisture-wicking and UV blocking abilities!
You will look cuter in your photos if you’re not squinting. You will also protect your eyes if you wear sunglasses!
I don’t know about you, but I am not afraid to re-wear my clothes! I am also perfectly okay with throwing on an accessory and saying I’ve totally changed my look. You can, too!
This is the easiest way to change up your outfit.
Hair scarves and neckerchiefs are in, and I’m here for it! This is my new favorite way to make myself look and feel pulled together, no matter how long the flight or how jet lagged I happen to be!
Sails in the Desert at Ayers Rock Resort provided soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion, but I am kind of particular. Here are the extra toiletries I brought with me.
The flies here are brave, unafraid, and incredibly irritating! Thankfully the winter mornings are cool enough that the bugs don’t come out, but by midday, temperatures have warmed up enough to bring them out of hiding. You will definitely want bug repellent. It comes in solid stick and wipe form now, so you can save precious room in your toiletries bag!
This is my go-to for so many things! It’s my makeup remover, facial moisturizer, lotion, and even conditioner in a pinch.
Read on: The Ultimate Guide to Solid Toiletries
Hopefully this one is already on your list! If you’re looking for a natural option that actually works and comes at a reasonable price, check out Native!
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
These are not provided at the resort, so don’t skip them!
The resort provides conditioner, but if your hair is finicky like mine, you’ll be glad you brought your own.
So, I just recently realized that Downy Wrinkle Releasing Spray comes with Febreeze to take away odors! If you’re a re-wearer like I am, you’ll be glad you brought some!
And Don’t Forget Your Visa!
Need more packing tips and tricks? Check out my Packing Page!
And for all things Down Under, take a look at my Australia Page!
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