27 August 2015

The Essential New Zealand Packing List

New Zealand pretty much is the country of nature, glorious views, incredible outdoor activities and of course, hobbits. When countries like this are added to the backpacking list then you might need to adapt a few of your typical packing essentials to make your trip work. I've been in the land of Kiwis for other two months and I've got a pretty good idea on what I should have brought and what I've definitely needed...

1. A Lord of the Rings or Hobbit book - Maybe not number 1 on everyone's list, but it should be up there all the same. The ideal book would be the 'Location Guide' but at $40 you may want to reconsider... I chose a lovely $5 second hand copy of Lord of the Rings, and its amazing to be able to read this classic and know that you're experiencing the film sets in real life

2. Hiking boots - I came to NZ without said item as I wasn't planning to head all the way over here when I first left home last November. NZ is all about the hiking and tramping and there are many circuits where you will need some sturdy shoes, especially in winter where there will be a hell of a lot of snow

3. Water and windproof jacket - Good for the colder seasons and great for when you do white water rafting in the likes of Queenstown

4. Swimwear - But I'm visiting NZ in winter? Still so important! NZ is known for its geothermal activity, so even if you're heading here in winter, then you'll still be able to throw on your bikini and make use of the likes of the hot water beach in Coromandel or Kerosene Creek near Rotorua. If heading here in summer then you'll obviously want to make use of the beaches and the great surf. Swimwear is beneficial any time of year in NZ

5. A drivers licence - Before I came to NZ, I'd just spent five months in Australia, and I was sick of not been able to drive to so many of the places I had heard about. New Zealand is the same in this respect, as a lot of the great walks, sights and anything out of the city, isn't that accessible if you don't have a car. Second hand, backpacker cars are easy to buy and sell on (well, I'm hoping so...) and if that seems like hassle, then you can rent cars for long periods of time really easily. So, get you drivers licence, and make sure you can use it in NZ

6. BBH card - This is useful if you plan on staying at a lot of BBH hostels in NZ. The card gives you a discount and is worth the pennies

7. Warm layers - If visiting in winter, but also useful for all of the hikes you'll be doing in summer. New Zealand isn't the coldest place I've been to, but NZ houses are very poorly made in my opinion. There isn't a great deal of insulation, no double glazing windows, and central heating isn't the norm, so those nights can get very cold!

8. Thick socks - Again, see above.

9. Quick drying clothes - For all those outdoor activities such as rafting, kayaking, surfing etc etc.

10. Sun cream - Even if you're travelling in winter, you may get burnt. New Zealand has sun just like Australia, so you'll burn without even feeling it

11. Lightweight sleeping bag - New Zealand is amazing for the likes of couchsurfing, camping and sleeping in your card. But I've discovered on this trip that a lot of couchsurfers will ask me to bring my own bed, or even if they don't then I need an extra layer because those nights are chilly, so it's a good idea to bring a warm, lightweight sleeping bag

12. Motion sickness pills - If you're not good at windy roads, then you definitely need to pack a few of these as New Zealand's main highways consist of tiny roads swirling around a mountain

13. Hairdryer - I got laughed at when I pulled out my travel hairdryer one day, but when its below 10c and you're going on a 5 hour hike, you don't want to catch your death of cold. So let those other backpackers laugh away, the hairdryer is purely for warmth reasons, as I'm sure no-one gives a shit about how my hair looks.

LEAVE OUT: heels/going out clothes. New Zealand does have bars and clubs in the cities but even they aren't huge, and there aren't many 'big' cities in NZ, so your favourite pair of heels will just be gathering dust.

Obviously put, there's all the other packing stuff you'll need, but I feel for New Zealand, that these 13 items are very essential. Anything I've missed off?

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