Packing list New Zealand
Packing for an unfamiliar country can sometimes be difficult, therefore I have made a packing list for your trip to New Zealand. Packing is something personal and everyone will bring slightly different things, so use this packing list as a guideline.
Proof of return flight
Upon arrival in the country, customs may ask how long you intend to stay and may ask for proof. If you have a return flight, make sure you have a copy of your ticket at hand. If you don’t have a return flight, they can ask for proof that you have enough money. They want you to have NZD1000 for every month you stay in the country or if you have already booked all of your accommodation NZD400 per month. For this, I recommend taking a screenshot of your bank account, just in case.
Reservation first night
This doesn’t happen very often but they may ask you where you are going to stay in New Zealand. That’s why I always keep a reservation on hand for the first night and provide that address if necessary.
They can also ask for the insurance papers at customs, but this almost never happens. Either way it is always useful for yourself to have the insurance documents with you.
(International) drivers license
If you plan to drive in New Zealand, you must have your own driver’s license and an international driver’s license. You can only get this in your home country, so make sure you arrange it in advance. The international drivers license is valid for one year.
Debit card and credit card
Do not forget to inform your bank in advance that you are going abroad. If you don’t, your bank card may be “turned off” for that part of the world and therefore you can’t use it at all or they may shut it down for “suspicious behaviour”.
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Suitcase / Backpack
Personally I always travel with my backpack, but a suitcase is also an excellent option in New Zealand.
I have been using packing cubes for a few years now and I highly recommend them! I am able to take a lot more clothes with me by putting them in the cubes and they are better organised so that I can easily find what I am looking for while traveling.
Which clothes you take with you and how much depends very much on the person, which activities you will be doing and how long you will be away. That is why I have not made a specific list here, but I have written down a few musts and given some tips for packing.
The weather can change very quickly in New Zealand, it is also known as the country where you can experience four seasons in one day. I have experienced this myself. So it is always handy to wear layers or have extra clothing with you.
Cap / hat / bandana
The sun in New Zealand is very strong, so I strongly recommend bringing something to cover your head.
New Zealand is surrounded by water and has many lakes, it is the perfect place to go for a swim!
One of the best free things to do in New Zealand is hiking. Besides hiking shoes I personally don’t have a lot of “real” hiking clothing, I always focus on bringing layers. If you do have this, take it with you to New Zealand!
A raincoat is a must in New Zealand, because the weather can change so quickly. Nowadays there are raincoats that you can easily roll up and make it compact so that you can always carry it with you.
New Zealand is such a great country to hike so if you have hiking boots, be sure to bring them. Make sure you clean them well beforehand and that all mud is off. They will check this upon arrival and if they are still dirty you can pay a cleaning fee. (this is monitored to prevent non-native insects from entering the country).
There are a lot of beaches in New Zealand, so flip flops should not be missed. They are also ideal when camping or when using public showers.
In addition to hiking shoes and slippers, it is also nice to have shoes with you that you can simply wear when you go to the supermarket or walk around the city. Sneakers are ideal for this, but other shoes are also possible.
It is also very normal in New Zealand to go out without shoes. Not only to the beach, but also to the supermarket for example.
If you take a lot of medication with you, also make sure to bring a statement from the doctor. They can ask for this at customs. If you forget something you can also get medicines in New Zealand. Just like in most countries, you can get some medicines directly from the pharmacy and for others you have to make an appointment with a doctor.
This is not only necessary for mosquitoes, but definitely also for sand flies. This is of course also widely available to buy in New Zealand.
If you are planning to go camping in New Zealand, you may need the items below. You could take this with you from home or buy it locally. In hostels in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch people often sell their camping gear at the end of their trip, this way you can buy cheap stuff. Of course you can also sell this in hostels when you leave.
When you go camping you often arrive at the campsite in the evening and then you still have to set up everything for the night. It is useful to have a head light with you so that you have both hands free and can clearly see what you are doing.
This is of course not a must, but personally I like to have a good pillow. These inflatable cushions do not take up much space and are therefore excellent for traveling.
Tent, mats, sleeping bags
You may need these items if you plan to sleep in a tent. Personally, I wouldn’t bring this with me from home, unless you have professional gear that is light and compact.
Camping stove & crockery
This is also something I would buy in New Zealand. It is difficult to take with you and it is easy and cheap to find in New Zealand, gas bottles too.
Chargers and adapters
In New Zealand they use type I plugs, which are angular plugs with two or three pins (the same as in Australia and parts of Asia). The mains voltage is 230/240 volts and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can buy adapters at home or in New Zealand. If you travel a lot, I recommend a universal adapter, you can use this anywhere in the world.
A power bank is very nice to have while traveling, it would be such a shame if you are in a beautiful place and your phone or camera dies and you cannot capture the image. It is also useful to have a charged phone with you during a road trip so that you can always find campsites. A power bank does not have to be expensive, I bought one for 15 euros and that works fine!
In New Zealand it is not allowed to bring food or agricultural products from outside the country. If you do not comply with this, you can get a fine of no less than 200, – NZD, that would be a shame! But New Zealand has great food, so that is no problem. Read about the food in New Zealand here.
If you are going camping or staying in hostels, it is useful to bring a towel. Take a special travel towel with you, these do not take up much space and dry quickly.
Motion sickness bracelets
Do you also suffer from motion sickness? New Zealand roads are full of curves. New Zealand also has a lot of water, so there is a good chance that you will end up on a boat. That is why I recommend to bring motion sickness bracelets, these are bracelets that counteract nausea by means of Acupressure, so you do not have to take those disgusting pills. I’ve been using them for years now and it works great for me!