Choosing a Bag

New Zealand is widely known as an adventure destination and because of that reputation, a lot of people think they have to pack their 80L serious hiking pack for their “off the grid” adventures in New Zealand.

Wrong.

Unless you’re going specifically to hike, most of your time in NZ is likely to be spent in urban centers or little candid towns, having adventures from a “base”. Even if you stay at campgrounds, you’ll find a cabin and hostel-like accommodations at almost all of them.

When you take your four-day hike on the South Island, you’ll find that the best option is to buy your gear upon arrival in NZ; from backpack to sleeping bag and tent, to cookstoves and outerwear. Equipment is so affordable that it’s not worth paying the checked bag fee.

Pack for urban travel in a carry on bag, like the Osprey rolling bag, to maximize your space, lighten your load, and save money. If you unzip the pack, you will see a bright green interior with plenty of organisational features. On one side, there are mesh pockets to help keep everything in its place. On the other side, there are compression straps to keep your clothing secure and wrinkle-free. The side opening the main compartment makes the packing process a lot easier too. At the top of the pack, you’ll find a specially designed liquids pocket for easy access.

No matter what type of travel backpack you choose, a daypack is essential. If you’re traveling with your laptop and plan on carrying it out and about, the Osprey daypack is perfection. A built-in computer sleeve, padded straps, and waterproof sailcloth construction ensure that your tech will stay safe and you’ll be comfortable.

Also, whether you’re tramping, traveling or exploring your home town the Lowe Alpine Vector 25 Day Pack Backpack has a perfect capacity, style and feel that you’re after. With all of the basics you’re looking for and more the Vector 25 can take you from the mountains to the shoreline perfectly! Prepare for a lifetime of adventures with the Vector 25 Day Pack Backpack from Lowe Alpine.

Sample New Zealand packing list

Clothing

  1. 3 pairs of stretchy jeans/leggings
  2. 1 pair of zip-off hiking pants
  3. 1 pair of stretchy, breathable capris
  4. 5 t-shirts
  5. 2 tank tops (for layering)
  6. 1 long tunic top
  7. 1 zip-up hoodie 
  8. 1 layering shirt
  9. 1 dress
  10. 1 cardigan
  11. 1 set of pajamas
  12. 5 pairs of socks (including one pair of nice hiking socks)
  13. 10 underwear
  14. 3 bras
  15. 1 swimsuit (for all the thermal pools!)

Outerwear

  1. 1 long casual coat (in spring); one packable down coat (in autumn)
  2. 1 raincoat
  3. 1 knit hat + gloves in autumn
  4. 1 infinity scarf (I love my Speakeasy scarf, which has a built-in pocket!)

Shoes

  1. 1 pair of boots (in autumn); 1 pair of walking sandals (in spring)
  2. 1 pair of waterproof hiking boots
  3. 1 pair of flats (which can double as shower shoes if you’re camping)

Other

  1. 1 quick-drying microfiber towel
  2. Shampoo and other toiletries (including sunscreen, which you REALLY need in New Zealand since it has basically no ozone layer)
  3. Travel plug adapters and even a mini extension plug.

Packing Cubes are an absolute essential for those of you who are nit-picky packers. You can utilize Eagle Creek Packing Cubes which are great for keeping tops and bottoms organized, too. Do note that laundry facilities are pretty easy to come by in New Zealand, so you don’t need to over-pack!

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