As I pack my bags to venture back to New Zealand this weekend, I realised I have never written a New Zealand packing list on worldofwanderlust.com! And considering New Zealand is one of the most popular destinations on my travel blog, I figured now would be as good a time as any to share my top tips for packing for a trip to New Zealand.
Over the years, New Zealand has been good to me. Whether it’s a ski trip down South or living in a van for two weeks, I’ve always made the best memories here. Some of my trips have been in warmer months (like my time in Marlborough’s wine country), but most of them have been in winter like this one. So, here we go, I’m sharing my ultimate packing list to make sure you don’t miss any of the important pieces!
For me, there are no better trekking boots than Merrell. A few years back I was an ambassador for the brand and as part of my work with the company, got to try (and keep!) all of their best selling hiking shoes. I was shocked at how long I had been torturing my feet with other brands and since then, despite no longer being affiliated with the brand, will still only wear their hiking boots. Some of my best recommendations include the Siren Traveller Walking Shoes (shop here on Amazon.com.au, Amazon.com) and for a more every day walking shoe, try the staple walking shoe (shop here on Amazon.com.au, Amazon.com).
Regardless of the season you’re visiting, New Zealand’s sun can be harsh and unforgiving. I would always recommend using at least a face sunscreen, especially if you’re hitting the slopes in winter – when most people forget to apply a sheer face sunscreen (shop my favourite budget brand here on Amazon.com.au).
If you’re spending all that money and going all that way, you’d better be taking your camera! For me, travel and photography go hand in hand. For the last ten years I have been capturing my travels and sharing them here on my blog and without it, I wouldn’t have seen half the places I have. But travelling with expensive camera gear can be stressful. I always travel with a camera backpack (shop here on Amazon.com.au) to ensure all of my lenses, cameras and drone are safe and sound.
It’s no secret New Zealand experiences some pretty harsh winters. And for me, winter is the best time of year to visit the country (hello, ski trip!) With that said, I always pack a waterproof jacket for my travels in New Zealand and my favourite brand of travel jackets is Barbour (shop here on Amazon.com.au).
Ever since I spent a week hiking in Ethiopia, I’ve counted a head torch as an absolute necessity in my travel bag. In fact, there aren’t many places I travel without it! In New Zealand a head torch will come in handy on your sunrise and sunset hiking missions, as you’ll never be left worried about losing light. Plus they also come in handy during van life – when cooking dinner at dusk or making a nature call in the middle of the night (shop here on Amazon.com.au).
Regardless of the season, I always pack a swimsuit. It doesn’t matter if I’m visiting a tropical island or venturing into the depths of winter on a ski trip, I never forget my swim suit and a trip to New Zealand is no exception!
A GoPro (shop here on Amazon.com.au) has been a travel essential for me ever since I started travel blogging. I was invited to work with the brand in Hawaii and shown how to get the most out of my camera, and since then have always used it to capture adventurous pursuits like skiing, kayaking and surfing.
If you are travelling around New Zealand in a van or plan to spend a lot of time outdoors in nature, a portable charger is a game changer. These days we use our phones for almost everything – including a weather check, time check, camera, calculator and emergency torch. We’d be lost without them! A portable charger (shop here on Amazon.com.au) is the best way to ensure your device stays charged at all times.
Stanley Steel Thermos
It was actually on my first trip to New Zealand a few years ago when I purchased my Stanley thermos (shop here on Amazon.com.au). Since then, I’ve sworn by packing this in my travel essentials. This is a great way to ensure you have enough caffeine for the day or to heat up a hot lunch and take it on your day hike. They always come in handy and I’d be lost without mine!