If you’re planning a trip, especially one to somewhere completely new, it’s often tempting to pack everything you own, ‘just-in-case’. There is nowhere to tell you how often you’ll be going ‘out-out’, how cold it’s going to be in May in Queenstown or how wet your feet will get when you do the Tongariro Crossing. Does Winterless north really mean winterless? How many flip-flops should you bring? It can be a confusing time, but don’t worry, we’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of things you definitely can’t leave at home without – so while you still might bring 12 pairs of Jandals (flip flops – you’ll need to learn the lingo too!) with you, at least you’ll know you’ve got the important things too.
This one is obvious, but it’s worth stating. Almost everywhere in New Zealand is scenic, if not downright breathtaking. You’ll need one or two memory cards (big ones!) and a decent camera to try and capture the beauty in front of you. Be warned though – there is no way a camera can capture the sheer magnificence of a glacier in a valley, or the playfulness of baby seal pups as they play in a waterfall. You’ll spend your trip frustrated that you can’t capture that essence of New Zealand and take it home with you.
2. Good Walking Shoes
New Zealand has some of the best walks in the world, with the most breathtaking views (this is where the camera comes in handy!) and if you want to do any of the big ones, you will definitely need a decent pair of walking boots. However, even if you are not an avid trekker, there are still lots of walks around most of the towns you will stop in that are shorter and still as beautiful. Pack a decent pair of boots, with good ankle support, and you will thank yourself for it the morning after.
New Zealand is not the hottest place in the world but the sun here is incredibly strong. Remember that hole in the Ozone Layer? That’s right over our beautiful little country, which means the burn time here is short and sharp. Save yourself some pain and pack a decent sun cream (or buy one here – Skinnies is incredible and lasts forever!). And don’t be fooled on cloudy days – those rays can still reach you and the burn time is still, on average, 15 minutes. Ask your Haka Lodge hosts where to buy some if you forget yours!
Speaking of the sun, that sucker is bright! Even if you’re not a sunglasses wearer back at home, now is the time to invest in a decent pair. Make sure you get some with a UV filter in them to protect your eyes and if you’re planning on dolphin or whale watching while you’re here (which you should!), grab a pair with a polarising filter – this makes it much easier to see through the water and catch a glimpse of our marine mammal friends before they break the surface. Then you can use your camera to get that perfect jumping dolphin shot!
5. Waterproof Jacket
New Zealand is a beautiful country, filled with green rolling hills and rainforest – but it didn’t get that way by being dry! We don’t get drizzle here – when it rains, it rains hard! Make sure you have a waterproof jacket so you don’t get soaked through. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t rain for long and once it stops you will be graced with beautiful sunshine and a volley of rainbows! And even when it does rain, if you’ve got your jacket you can still head out and explore our beautiful country – we have a saying here – we don’t get rain, just liquid sunshine! So get amongst it!
If you make sure to pack these things, you will be guaranteed to have a great trip – pain free and dry with lots of memories to take home with you!