10 items to pack for a New Zealand holiday

Road through NZ countryside at Bay Islands, Northland, NZ

If you're planning a trip to New Zealand, it can be easy to forget about the practicalities. With exciting destinations such as Fiordland, the Bay of Islands and beautiful Christchurch, there is a lot to be distracted by. However, when it comes to packing your bags for your trip to New Zealand there are a few things you shouldn't forget. Here are 10 essential items we suggest you pack for New Zealand.

Hire a car in New Zealand

Passport / visa

If you're travelling from overseas, the first thing you will need is your passport. Citizens of New Zealand and Australia do not require a visa, and visitors from the UK, United States, Canada and other specific nations can stay for a certain amount of time without a visa. If you a not a citizen or resident of the participating counties, than you will need to apply for a visitor visa.

Power adaptor

Mobile phone power plug adaptor in the car

Depending on which country you are travelling from, you might find that your phone charger doesn't fit into the power sockets in New Zealand. You don't want to find yourself unable to charge any of your electronic devices, so make sure you purchase the relevant power adaptor. New Zealand uses the same power adaptors as Australia, the South Pacific and parts of China.

Rain jacket

If you're planning to explore the outdoors, it would be a good idea to take a rain jacket. New Zealand gets its fair share of rainfall throughout the year, and you don't want to get caught out on any hiking trails. If you're visiting Milford Sound, it has a reputation as the wettest place in New Zealand, so a rain jacket will come in handy.

Insect repellent

In particular areas of New Zealand, you may find sand flies and mosquitoes to be a nuisance. Sand flies are more common in humid areas, particularly on the West Coast of the South Island. Wear insect repellent if you are heading to these areas, particularly at dusk and dawn.


While some may think of New Zealand as an alpine, rainy destination, the country has an increased exposure to the sun. Because of the Antarctic hole in the ozone layer, people in New Zealand experience more UV exposure. It is important to wear sunscreen if you are going outdoors.


New Zealand dollars on the table

There are plenty of ATM's in New Zealand, and most places will accept EFTPOS. However, it is a good idea to have at least small amounts of cash to pay for things such as parking and light snacks. 

Hiking boots

New Zealand is a destination that is made for walking. The country is home to a number of scenic hiking trails including the Tongariro Alpine Pass, the Hooker Valley Track and the Milford Track. Many hikes take the full day, or even multiple days. Make sure you back appropriate footwear. Waterproof hiking boots are a good idea as the ground can be quite muddy in the rain.


It may be a small country, but you can easily get lost on New Zealand's winding roadways. If you're planning on a road trip, and want to avoid paying a daily fee to rent one, packing your own GPS and pre-setting your destinations can help make your trip go smoothly.

Travel pillow

Struggle to fall asleep on long-haul flights? From most parts of the world, New Zealand is a long flight. It takes around 13 hours from Los Angeles, and if you're taking off from London you're in for a full day of travel. If you're travelling in economy, you will want to make sure you have a comfortable travel pillow so you aren't relying on the one the airline provides. Packing ear plugs and an eye mask is also a good idea.


Heading to Queenstown? Or maybe out on a cruise of Milford Sound? Even if you are travelling in summer, the temperatures in certain regions can get quite cold. If you're visiting capital city Wellington, it can get very windy in the city. Having a few layers to accommodate for weather changes will make your trip more comfortable.