Your Medical Kit

Be prepared

Perth, WA.  Photo credit: Copyright Tourism Western Australia


Your medical kit

The medical kit: the one thing you never think about until you actually need it. Yet it really is worth being prepared, because if you need first aid in Australia, Sod’s Law says you’ll need it urgently in the middle of nowhere.

We’d recommend you take a kit with you. Everything’s available in Australia, but it’s not all available everywhere – and shopping for medical supplies is unlikely to be top of your to-do list when you first arrive.

You don’t need to take whole packs of medications (save for any regular, prescribed ones). It’s better to have a small number of lots of items, rather than lots of a small selection.

Pack them in a plastic container to keep them dry and all in one place. It’s also worth getting to grips with first aid.

Do your research online, and consider taking a basic course to give you the confidence that you’ll be able to cope.

Box jellyfish stings

Box jellyfish stings can and do kill. You’ll find more on the creature and where to find/avoid it here. In the event of a sting, call for emergency help (000) and administer first aid:

  • Douse the affected area with vinegar for at least 30 seconds. If vinegar isn’t available, douse liberally with salt water, not fresh.
  • Remove any tentacles still clinging to the body BUT DON’T TOUCH THEM with bare hands. Use tweezers, gloves or similar. If you have no choice but to touch them, use the palms of your hands as the skin is thicker.
  • Do not cover the wheals (the sting marks) with anything.

You’ll find more information on box jellyfish on the Queensland and Northern Territory websites.



Medical kit checklist


  • Sufficient regular/prescribed medication to last your trip
  • Epi-pen if you’re susceptible to severe allergic reactions
  • Paracetamol (for pain/colds/headache)
  • Ibuprofen (for muscle strains and nerve pain)
  • Cold and flu remedy sachets
  • Vapour rub
  • Nasal spray
  • Plasters/spray plasters
  • Blister plasters
  • Antiseptic cream & wipes
  • Antacids (effervescent ones with paracetamol are great for hangovers as well as upset stomachs)
  • Anti-diarrhoea drugs
  • Rehydration sachets
  • Travel sickness medication
  • Sun screen
  • After sun cream/burn relief/aloe vera
  • Antihistamines (for allergies including hay fever)
  • Bug repellent
  • Bite & sting relief
  • Anti-fungal cream
  • Non-adherent sterile dressings/pads
  • Micropore tape
  • Scissors, tweezers & safety pins
  • Disposable gloves
  • Antiseptic hand gel
  • Vinegar (for jellyfish or wasp stings – NOT bees!)
  • Condoms

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