DESTINATIONS what-to-pack


What to Pack

New Zealand's weather is as ever-changing as its landscape, so pack layers of all-weather clothing, from T-shirts to heavy sweaters. Bring a good raincoat and comfortable walking shoes. New Zealanders dress casually, so don't worry about fashion over function. The country has high-quality outdoor stores, as well as fashion boutiques, so it is easy to pick up items here. Be certain to pack your electronics, as they are expensive and elusive in New Zealand.

Customs information can be found at The standard regulations apply: 4.5L of wine or beer, 1,125mL of spirits or liquor, 250 grams of tobacco, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, dutiable goods up to NZ$700, and you'll have to declare if you're leaving or entering the country with more than NZ$10,000. New Zealanders take biosecurity extremely seriously, as well they should: this is a small remote country and introduced species and bacteria can easily and quickly wreak havoc here. Clean your shoes, boots, tents, golf clubs, bicycles, and luggage before you arrive (or it could be quarantined for cleaning), and declare any plant, food, or animal products (including wood and packaged snacks). Fresh fruit should be thrown away in appropriate bins before you go through customs.

If you are planning on hiking in New Zealand, bring boots and a day pack, layers of clothing, a basic survival–injury kit, and water bottles. For hiking one of the Great Walks or camping, bring a tent, camping stove, good sleeping bag, wet-weather gear, and a comfortable pack. Be prepared for freezing conditions in the mountains, even in summer.


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