New Zealand is an absolutely incredible country to travel with so much to offer.
From pristine beaches, snowy mountains and magical fjords, to desert landscapes, glaciers, lush rainforests, geysers and everything in between – it’s a travellers paradise on so many people’s bucket lists for a reason.
Choosing whether to bring a suitcase or a large backpack is totally a matter of preference. Most younger travellers tend to opt for a backpack but you can easily travel the country with either.
Nowadays, I prefer to use a suitcase as my shoulders can no longer handle the weight of a backpack! I travel with my trusty lightweight Luna-Air.
Whatever you choose, a day backpack is essential. Use it as your carry-on and store your laptop, camera and other valuables in it. Then it can double as the perfect daypack for hiking/sightseeing.
The Muzmm Little Garden Backpack is my perfect carry-on/daypack bag (featured in the header image). Use my code ‘krysti’ for 20% off your own!
Beginning with mentioning the main essentials that of course, you’ll need to pack, like your Passport, Visa (if needed), Mobile Phone, Money (with some local currency), Travel Insurance, Sunglasses, any Medication etc.
Tip: Keep printed or online copies of your important travel documents and bookings.
Layering is key – pack layers with both city and outdoor adventures in mind and for weather that can often change quite quickly.
1 pair shorts
1 dress/skirt – for females or extra shorts for males or preference
3-4 long sleeve tops/sweaters
Rain & wind-proof jacket
Underwear and socks for 7 days
Swimwear – even if it’s too cold for the beach, New Zealand is full of natural hot springs and pools.
If travelling in winter:
A warm jacket – is a must
Extra merino/thermal layers
Tip: Roll your clothes instead of folding them. It will save space and avoid wrinkles.
The Hooker Valley Track has to be my favourite New Zealand hike I’ve ever done (even though it rained and Mount Cook – NZ’s highest mountain was clouded over!). . The surrounding landscapes, alpine streams and the views of Mueller Glacier at the end are just so incredible. 😍 . An absolute #NZMustdo. 👊 . #airnzshareme #travelawesome
1 pair sneakers/trainers – Comfortable shoes for everyday wear/running in.
1 pair jandals/flipflops – Embrace the national footwear! Perfect for summer or those hostel showers…
1 pair hiking boots/sandals (optional) – If you’re into doing some of the most spectacular walks in the world – hiking boots or sandals are a good idea.
1 pair smarter shoes/boots (optional)
1 pair sandals/flats (optional) – If you’re around during the summer, having footwear other than jandals is a good idea for smarter occasions.
Tip: Wear your bulkiest items on the flight to save room in your luggage.
It’s entirely up to you what you bring but these are my electronic travel essentials:
Spare camera battery
Travel adaptor (you can easily buy one in New Zealand)
Tip: To see more products I specifically use and recommend check out my shop.
Pack travel-sized toiletries and bring the absolute minimum as you can easily buy everything you need in New Zealand, unless you use a specific brand that is hard to come by.
Everyone’s toiletries are different but this is what you can find in my toiletry bag:
Very basic makeup – as pictured
Mini shampoo & conditioner
Mini facewash & moisturiser
Toothbrush, small paste & floss
Small soap & travel wipes
Mini cleansing water & cotton rounds
Razor & small comb
Panadol, plasters, antibacterial cream
Sunblock – important year-round
Insect repellent – essential in summer
Tip: Place into a large ziplock bag first to avoid leakage.
The extras that I usually always travel with that will be handy for New Zealand travel include:
Canvas bag – for shopping/groceries/beach
Ziplock bags – for storing toiletries, dirty laundry etc.
Earplugs and eyemask – handy for hostels/camping/flights
Notebook and pen
Small tin with USB stick, mini sewing kit, safety pins, bottle opener
Reusable water bottle
Books, music – usually pre-loaded on my phone
Aaand don’t forget to pack your sense of adventure!
For more information on New Zealand, check out my New Zealand Travel Guide for an overview, tips on where to go and what to do.
If you’re looking for an easy, flexible and fun way to travel New Zealand, check out Stray Travel – an award-winning guided Hop-On Hop-Off bus company for adventurous travellers.
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That’s my ultimate New Zealand packing list for year-round travel. Let me know in the comments if you’re planning on coming to NZ or if you have any other essentials you would add to this list.
New Zealand is an awesome country to travel – you’re gonna love it!