Packing guide for New Zealand

When it comes to packing for your trip to New Zealand, you really do need to be prepared. New Zealand is one of those countries where you can get weather from one extreme to the other especially when you’re travelling around the country.

So you really do need to be prepared otherwise you’ll have to buy things when you’re there, which isn’t an issue but could be avoided if you are better prepared.

Below is our packing list for New Zealand. We have visited this gorgeous country twice, once in winter (July) and the second time in Spring (mid-September). If you’re travelling in the summertime, you can, of course, pack some more summery clothes but don’t underestimate how chilly it can still get!

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Packing for New Zealand

For the below list in a printable checklist, click here.

Click here for a check list for carry on luggage. You can print this off and tick as you pack!

To read all of our New Zealand posts, click here.


Backpack: Depending on the style of your holiday, you may need to take a backpack with you. If you plan on doing some lovely hikes, this will come in handy to carry your water bottle, jacket if you decide to take it off and other bits and pieces.

I would recommend using your backpack as your carry on luggage for the flight over.

Waterproof/windproof jacket: It gets cold here in the wintertime and the wind chill is freezing. You are best to take a windproof and waterproof jacket to cover all bases for when you go out in the evening as well as during the day. These jackets also come in handy if you’re on a boat and cruising down the fjords.

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Gym gear: If you’re planning on doing some hikes, then pack some gym gear. It is the most comfortable thing to wear when hiking and you can easily layer over the top if you need to.

Trousers/jeans: If you head out in the evening, pack some trousers like chinos for guys or jeans for girls. No need to get dressed up in NZ, it is a pretty relaxed environment!

Tops: Bring a few shirts that you can maybe layer up. A long sleeved one with a short sleeved one over the top.

Vest: For days when it isn’t freezing, but it’s a bit cool a vest is a great idea – it keeps your chest warm without having to wear a massive jacket!

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Scarf/gloves: In winter you will definitely need these bad boys. It is freezing outside so make sure you pack them to keep yourself warm!

Walking shoes / Hiking boots and socks: You will, of course, be doing a lot of walking so make sure you have some comfortable shoes and that, of course, means socks to go with them! You only need maybe two pairs and you can always wash and re-wear!

Swimwear: It might be winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the occasional hot tub!

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Underwear: I shouldn’t need to mention it, but don’t forget your underwear!!

Ski gear: If you’re coming to ski – don’t forget your ski gear! This includes boots, skis, poles, socks, pants, jacket, helmet, goggles and gloves!

Thermals: Definitely think about packing thermals for your trip, especially if it’s wintertime. It can be freezing in NZ so layering up with some thermals underneath could help with feeling cold all the time!

thewelltravelledman packing for new zealand


You will need the usual toiletries plus a few extra bits and pieces. Here is our list.

The usual stuff: Shampoo, conditioner, soap, face moisturiser (preferably one with SPF if you can), toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and a razor.

Sunscreen: Just because it is cooler doesn’t mean you won’t need sunscreen – pack it to be safe!

Mosquito Repellent: Something worth taking.. just in case you’re like Jenna and prone to getting the only mosquito in the country attack her!

Medical items: Pack things such as band aids, medicine for a sore tummy, headache tablets and any other medicine you normally take.


Camera: An absolute must! Don’t forget to pack some spare batteries so you don’t get stuck with a dead battery.

GoPro: If you have one – remember to pack it along with your handles, waterproof floating handle etc.

Laptop: If you’re like me, you will probably take so many photos you’ll fill up your memory card. I like to download my memory card every second night and back up on the laptop and/or external hard drive. Two reasons, I like to keep them sorted as I go as it takes less time when I get home and secondly if something happens to my camera and memory card I haven’t lost an entire holiday, just one or two days.

Headphones: We each have a pair of the Bose noise cancelling headphones – mainly for the plane but you can use it if you’re doing day trips and have a bit of driving!

Headphone splitter jack: If you don’t know what this is and you travel with someone you should get this! It means you can both plug into the jack and watch the same movie or listen to the same music.

Converter power plug: You will need the correct power plug to charge your devices so make sure you have at least one of these, perhaps getting one that has additional USB charges on the side!

Other tips

Travel Insurance: Now you may not need to ‘pack’ this, but you should absolutely get your travel insurance sorted before you go. Click here to read more!

Have we missed something off the list? Let us know in the comments below!

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca

2 Comments on “Packing guide for New Zealand

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