Autumn’s fast drawing to a close in New Zealand but that doesn’t mean you should rule out a winter trip. Here’s what to pack for a winter trip to New Zealand; if you’re planning to visit this spectacular country in the next few months.
What to pack for a winter trip to New Zealand
Some of the best light is yours for the taking on a dry winter’s day so a decent camera is a must to do justice to New Zealand’s incredible landscape. While you might rue the lack of daylight hours, winter delivers sunrise at a civilised hour and the soft light of a low winter sun is perfect for enhancing your pictures. The crowds of summer tourists have thinned and you’ll have no trouble staking out the best spot – in fact you might have the whole place to yourself if you venture even slightly off the beaten track.
Spare batteries and a charger
The cold is a battery’s sworn enemy so be prepared if you’re likely to encounter low temperatures. Bring a spare battery – remember, if it’s a lithium battery it will need to go in your hand luggage on the plane rather than your checked bag. Chuck in your charger and an adaptor so you can top up once you turn in for the night. If you’re a prolific shooter, make sure you’ve packed plenty of memory cards. When you see how photogenic New Zealand is, you’ll find it hard to stop.
Winter can bring rain showers, however, and you’ll need to layer up if you’re to stay dry. Pack a waterproof jacket rather than an umbrella to be able to keep your hands free; it will also act as a barrier to wind if needed. In North Island, the temperatures often stay well above freezing, but if you get damp you might feel the chill. Some of the country’s most beautiful sights, such as South Island’s Milford and Doubtful Sounds, are amongst its wettest. Pack clothes that you can easily put on or take off to deal with unexpected downpours and consider fabrics that are quick-drying.
The mountains around Queenstown become New Zealand’s winter playground and if you plan to take full advantage, then you’ll need to bring the right gear. A padded jacket and trousers, thermal undies, and a decent hat and gloves are essential. Don’t forget how important it is to pack a quality pair of sunglasses to deal with the glare of the sun as it reflects off the snow. It’s easy to hire boots, skis and snowboards when you arrive; so there’s no need to waste valuable space in your luggage for those.