Family Holiday Packing List For Cairns, Port Douglas and Other Hot Spots

cairns weather

So we’re off to Cairns and Port Douglas on Thursday, and in an atypical move, I’m aiming to be quite organised about packing. Generally, I’m very relaxed and pack haphazardly at the last moment.

What’s my excuse for being a slack packer? Well, these days we all use suitcases on wheels; it’s not like my old travelling solo days at all when I had to carry a backpack.

201305 Coolum -149-blog

Here’s our luggage and golf and sports back for the trip we did to Coollum.

But I’m hoping that the bairns might become more independent, especially the twins.  The teenagers are good at packing for school camp, they just follow the lists.

So I’ve made up some lists for them. This will really help the twins a lot too. They often try to pack for themselves, but the ratio of cuddly toys to clothes is all wrong. I’ve been inspired by another blogger too, more on that below.

My kids are boys aged 17 and almost 15, and boy/girl twins who are eight.  If you have babies and toddlers, you’ll find some great ideas for you below my lists.

Here are my lists:

Family Packing List green 1

Family Holiday Packing 2

Readers will note that my list is a lot bigger than the kids!

If you’d like to download a printable copy of these lists, just click on the link below.

Family Holiday Packing List On White Background – To Print


Family Packing Lists From Other Bloggers

I’ve found some other great packing lists for families. Take a look at:

Camping Gear For Families

Kelly at Be A Fun Mum has a very comprehensive lists of what her family takes when camping. Read here.


Skiing Camping and Beach Holiday Packing Lists

Handy downloadable lists from Mumsnet, a UK website. Read here.



You’ll love these posts

If you’re thinking of a holiday to Cairns or Port Douglas start with:

Tips for Planning Family Holiday to Cairns and Port Douglas (has a good list of things to do)

And here are detailed posts on what we enjoyed

Coral Reef Dreaming – Overnight Yacht Trip to the Great Barrier Reef

 River Tubing On The Mulgrave River With The Kids

 Why We Are Loving The Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

Muddy’s Playground On The Esplanade In Cairns

 Miracle on the Great Barrier Reef – Kids Take Photos of Mum For Once!


Happy travelling, and best of luck with your packing?

What’s your top tip for family packing?

What have I forgotten!!??





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  1. Seana, I have just come back from Cairns and Port Douglas!!! You will love it, Port Douglas and Mosman Gorge are my favourite places. Bring swimmers to Mosman Gorge and maybe even snacks and plan to stay a while. Check out Grubs Trike tours too!!! He is awesome!!! He’s based in Port Douglas!
    Have fun,
    Gourmet Getaways

    1. says: Seana Smith

      I asked on Facebook whether Port Douglas or cairns was best and most folks said Port Douglas, but we’re actually going to spend most time in Cairns as I know the teens will enjoy that. Well, I hope.

      I’m pretty sure that I haven’t been there since 1990… gulp!!

  2. says: Brooke

    Hi Seana!

    Thanks for the shout-out! It looks like you have your hands full with a entire family – whew! But hopefully listing it all out has made the process easier 🙂 Have a wonderful time up north, and hopefully we’ll meet again at another Problogger event or Sydney gathering of sorts!

    1. says: Seana Smith

      The teenagers still managed to forget toothpaste, but we’ve done much better than usual. I wish my husband was here with us, it’s hectic witht he four of them, but a change is as good as a rest. Can’t wait to get out onto the Reef tomorrow!

  3. says: Teri Rodriquez

    Fantastic list! I would add wet wipes. Last year I moved into a bigger apartment. Moving day was a disaster. I left my 2 daughters to my sister. She took care of them. My point was that wet wipes saved me several times during this day. I have one box in my pursue since then. I hope my advice is useful. Greetings!

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