There are a few simple rules you should adhere to and a few little tricks to help you pack only what you will need and nothing that you won't.
An essential item in your backpack. Choose a small sized pack which can carry your money, camera, light sweater, reading book and towel - make sure to choose a pack that is water resistant. A water resistant pack will come in handy if you need to carry around any wet items such as swim wear but it will also come in handy when hiking or for other activities where it is important that you keep items safe and dry such as your camera or a spare pair of dry socks. This could also be used as your every day "day pack".
Many people recommend that you pack miniatures to save space but this won't save you any money because you will only have to buy big bottles to refill the miniature bottles . We recommend that you buy a medium sized shampoo bottle which you can also use as body soap, toothpaste and toothbrush of course, maximum protection sunscreen, maximum protection lip balm, deodorant stick and in summer an all purpose moisturiser for face and body.You should be able to buy mid sized bottles of most toiletries and sunscreens.
2 pair of walking shoes or trainers, 1 pair thongs or flip flaps + hiking boots if you plan on partaking in adventure tours. Three pairs of socks is sufficient for anyone - the more clean socks you take the more dirty smelly socks you're likely to carry around with you. The same rule applies for underwear - limit yourself to 5 pairs of underwear.
Sunglasses that have a good UV protection and a full brimmed hat or cap - visors are great for the beach but if you are out in the sun all day long aboard a boat or hiking, you should have your entire head covered and protected.If you have really short hair, consider protection for the back of your neck - you don't want to get sick from sunstroke, it's not nice.
How to pack
Pack everything you will need on arrival at your destination into a day pack which then fits snuggly inside your backpack. Pack the day pack last, making it super easy to get everything you need at once ie; clean change of socks and undies, toiletries and hand towel.
Packing techniques depend on the type of pack you are using. Hiking packs require the most thought because you have to layer everything first and then squeeze all of your little bits and pieces down the sides into any empty spaces.
Roll all of your clothes into snakes. Yes thats right, flatten them out, fold them in half and in half again and then roll. This technique eliminates creases and crushed clothing, saves room and makes it easier to get to all of your clothing. You don't have to pull out your nicely folded items one by one just to find a clean t. shirt - the rolled clothing is compact and easy to move around in your pack without messing everything up.
Shoes are great for packing things in eg; pack socks inside your shoes to save space and anything else that will fit.
In Queensland particularly, "mossie coils" are an essential for camping and any time spent outdoors from dusk.
So that you don't carry around too many individual bottles, use multi-purpose toiletries, such as moisturiser with maximum sunscreen protection, shampoo which is also a great body wash and conditioner which is great for shaving legs (but not faces). Vaseline is a great hair product instead of styling wax and is also highly recommended for dry or sunburnt lips.
Make scans of the following documents and email them to yourself for safekeeping:
Addresses of family & friends
Credit cards + theft notification phone numbers