What to bring to Australia

Melbourne has plenty of affordable retail and second-hand stores offering all the things you need to make your new place a home.

Melbourne is a modern city with plenty of retail outlets, markets and second-hand stores. Most airlines will allow you 20kg so packing lightly will ensure you save money when you fly. Here are some tips about what to bring and what you can buy when you arrive.


Melbourne’s climate is temperate but variable. It can be hot and humid one day, then cold and rainy the next. If you’re arriving in January, the average temperature is around 26 degrees Celsius, however heatwaves do happen. You should expect a number of 40+ degrees Celsius days – especially during the middle of summer.

What to bring with you

There’s no suitcase big enough for household essentials. Thankfully, most of them you can buy at a reasonable price in Melbourne. Here’s a list of the essentials you will need to bring with you:

  • All your official documentation: passport, visa, offer letter etc.
  • Your OSHC card
  • Australian currency: at least $100AUD to get you started.
  • Summer clothes
  • Swimwear
  • Warm coat
  • Travel adaptors for your electrical items
  • Credit card (or Australian bank card)
  • Souvenirs from your home country
  • Personal items such as photographs.

What you can buy when you arrive

With only a limited amount of luggage, we advise you leave all your large items at home.   The chances are you will be able to find the same or similar at any number of stores in Melbourne.

  • Household items
  • Pillows and linen
  • Appliances such as rice cookers, toasters
  • Suncream
  • Clothing.

Local shopping

The following superstores are within a 5km radius of the Parkville campus and offer affordable basics for the home:

  • IKEA, 620 Victoria St, Richmond VIC 3121
  • Big W, Swanston St and Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Kmart, Barkly Square S, C/90-106 Sydney Rd, Brunswick VIC 3056
  • Target, 236 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Local currency

When you arrive in Melbourne, if you haven’t already arranged to be picked up by a representative from the University, you might decide to get a taxi or catch the Shuttle bus to the city. Consider having around $100AUD in your purse or wallet just to tide you over during those first few days.

Keep in mind, there are automatic teller machines (ATMs) where you can withdraw money all over the city and at the airport. Most businesses accept credit and debit cards electronically as well.

Want more information about life in Melbourne?

Find out more about getting set up in Melbourne