• Sarah Preston

New Zealand Winter Packing Essentials

​So you’ve just booked your first trip to New Zealand, that is so exciting! But now you are wondering what you need to pack, am I correct?

We have many different seasons in one day here in New Zealand, so it’s best to be prepared for almost anything. With winter nearing, you are going to need to rug up warm but also be prepared for some stunningly warm sunny days as well.

This is the last part of your preparations before you jump aboard that plane to have the experience of a lifetime in New Zealand. Let me help you make it easier and hassle-free to pack so you can start relaxing!

Continue reading for my New Zealand winter packing essentials.

Rain/Wind Jacket

I highly suggest you pack one of these. As mentioned above we have many seasons in one day here so having a rain and wind jacket will give you protection against the bitterly cold wind and rain that we can often get. I’m not saying it will be miserable and rainy the whole time, it is just in case.

Big Puffy Jacket!

Yes! Big puffy jackets are so great for protecting against the chilly NZ weather! Together with a scarf, you'll be super cozy warm.


I live in these in winter here in New Zealand. The mornings are definitely made a lot more bearable with a nice thick, fluffy scarf. One thing you’ll learn about me is that I looove fluffy blankets, cushions, scarves etc. I radiate toward them in a shop, just you try to pull me away LOL!

Walking/Hiking Shoes

We have many beautiful scenic walks here in New Zealand and you don’t want to be walking around in unsuitable shoes, getting blisters and not enjoying your time. This brings me to my next item to note.

Mini First Aid Kit

This can come in handy when you least expect it. I would suggest this as a permanent fixture in your suitcase. Though you can purchase plasters and things like this from a chemist, supermarket, dairies and even some gas stations. I guess it is up to you how prepared you’d like to be.

Portable Phone Charger

Definitely, a must-have. With all the photos and videos you’ll be taking, your phone battery won’t last long! Just remember to charge this when you get back to your accommodation otherwise it will render useless.


On the stunning sunny days, you’ll need a pair of sunnies. Especially if you plan on getting out on the water or snow. The glare is overwhelming.


You may be thinking seriously Sarah, WHY?

Well, we also have some pretty neat places to swim, even in winter. Geothermally heated pools are scattered about the country, in places such as Rotorua, Hanmer Springs and Taupo to name a few.

Warm Layers

Cold winter weather means wearing lots of layers especially since most of your time will be spent outside getting amongst nature. The South Island is definitely the coldest, with temperatures going into the negatives, while the north island is relatively warmer.

Small backpack

If you are planning on doing a fair bit of exploring, I suggest bringing along a small backpack to hold things like room keys, water bottles, jackets, money, phones etc.

Lugging around a handbag or purse can be super annoying and not big enough to hold all of your things.

These are a few things that I suggest packing for your trip to New Zealand, especially since we are now nearing winter.

Not every packing list will work for everyone, the best thing to do is to gather ideas from people you trust and create one that works for you.

Click here for my full New Zealand Packing List.

What do you think about these essentials? Would you add any or swap any out?

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