What to pack for New Zealand
In New Zealand, you can shred the slopes in the morning and hit the surf in the afternoon. This makes it quite challenging to create an appropriate New Zealand packing list. So, to get the most of your trip, it’s best to pack for warm and cold weather.
Our ultimate packing list will give you the packing tips you need to make your trip just that little bit easier and stress-free. The next step is to book your RaD rental car at Auckland Airport and set off on an epic New Zealand vacation.
Essential items to bring on your NZ holiday:
- Quality luggage and travel backpack
- Appropriate clothing for season and activities
- Shoes and accessories
- First aid kit and medications
- Camera, chargers, and adapters
- Toiletries, sunscreen, and insect repellant
- Identification, passport and driving license (with copies)
Quality luggage and travel backpack
Before you get started, we recommend picking up some packing cubes. These zippered pouches can be a life saver for packing, finding, and transferring items to and from your day pack for day trips.
Pack for urban travel with quality carry on luggage. You'll maximise space, lighten your load, and save money by avoiding the extra cost of checked luggage fees. Invest in a decent backpack that’s the right size for you and is durable enough to last the entire trip.
Appropriate clothing for season and activities
In New Zealand, you can expect to experience all four seasons in one day, so make sure to bring warm layers. For winter outdoor adventures, pack layers such as thermal underwear, a ski jacket and a warm scarf.
Kiwis tend to recommend merino wool as a breathable yet warm material that’s perfect for battling the chill. However, as New Zealand is the land of merino, wait until you arrive and buy it here.
A few things we also recommend packing are:
- A quality windproof and lightweight travel umbrella
- A microfibre travel towel
- A beach tote bag
- Long sleeve shirts or blouses
- Pants, shorts, skirts or dresses
- Quick-dry hiking-style pants
- A few pairs of socks
- A rain jacket
- Hiking shoes
- Dress shoes
- A hat
- A light scarf
- Swimming suit
- A money belt
Shoes and accessories
For outdoor activities such as day hikes, sturdy, broken-in hiking boots or sandals are an absolute essential item. Jandals (thongs/flip flops) are handy for beach day and for shower wear if you’re staying in a hostel. Of course, bring some appropriate footwear and fancy clothes for nights out in the cities or museum visits.
The water is safe to drink in New Zealand, but if you’re planning on hitting some hiking tracks, a filtered water bottle is a good idea.
First aid kit and medication
Almost every traveller experiences some kind of stomach upset during their travels. Especially on a long trip, eating new foods, and the general physical stress of travelling. Activated charcoal is a natural way to provide relief from stomach upsets.
If you need vitamins, Panadol, or band-aids etc., you can easily find any first aid items at the nearest chemist.
If you take prescription medication, make sure you have enough for the duration of your trip. New Zealand customs permit a three-month supply of prescription medication per person.
Camera, chargers, and adapters
Don’t forget the following:
- A waterproof phone case
- Portable phone and camera chargers
- A high-quality adapter plug for NZ outlets with surge protection
- A multi-plug adapter from your home country if you have multiple devices
You’ll be able to find extra batteries for most devices in any New Zealand city centre.
Toiletries, sunscreen, and insect repellant
During the summer months, sand flies bite. They’re not found everywhere in New Zealand, but they are particularly abundant in the South Island and the West Coast. Insect repellent will keep annoying bugs, flies and mosquitos at bay.
Don’t forget your sun protection! Because of the hole in the ozone layer above New Zealand and Australia, the sun’s rays can burn within minutes of exposure—even in winter.
Identification, passport and driving license (with copies)
If your flight brings you to Auckland International Airport on the North Island, you’ll have landed at New Zealand’s largest airport. As you enter Immigration, you’ll be asked to check your visa. If you are on a working holiday visa, bring a printed copy, evidence of ample funds, a return ticket, and your travel insurance certificate.
Naturally, make sure your passport is valid at least up to six months after you plan to leave New Zealand. Make a copy of your passport—digital or paper—and keep it in a separate place from your physical passport.
Check the New Zealand government’s website for travel restrictions and requirements regarding COVID-19. https://covid19.govt.nz/travel/international-travel-and-transit/travel-to-new-zealand/
For your New Zealand trip, you will need a driver’s licence or an International Driving Permit (IDP) written in English. Or it must be accompanied by an approved translation.
RaD Car Hire has one of the largest networks of rental car locations in New Zealand with over 30 years of experience. We offer many services to our customers that separate us from other hire car companies. But don’t just take our word for it! Join our growing list of happy customers and book online now.