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Summer Packing List for Your NZ Campervan Holiday

13th Dec 13

It’s summer once again in New Zealand! This is the busiest time of year for campervan rentals at Sunrise Holidays. And with good reason – there is no better time of year to experience New Zealand than summer.

We’ve put together a checklist of essential must-haves for anyone planning a summer holiday in New Zealand this year. Whether you’re renting a campervan, staying in a hotel, or pitching a tent, these are all important items to bring along!


People walking on a beach


New Zealand Summer Packing Checklist

Protect yourself from the sun

The NZ sun is notoriously strong, but few visitors realise just how strong it is until it’s too late. If you’re visiting us from the Northern Hemisphere, your skin will have lost its tan from the previous summer and you will be particularly vulnerable to the sun’s strength. A sunburn in your first few days can ruin your trip – and a sunburn at the end can result in a very uncomfortable plane ride home. So, be sure to pack:

  • Sunscreen with 30+ SPF (of course, we sell sunscreen here, but you might not be able to find your favourite brand and tourists often complain about the high cost of sunscreen in NZ)
  • A hat to protect your face and top of your head
  • Sunglasses
  • Light-weight long clothing to protect arms and legs when outdoors for long periods of time.

Prepare for rain

In New Zealand, you can experience all four seasons in one day – even in the summer! While our summer weather tends to be more consistent and mild, there is always the chance of rain. Don’t let rainstorms prevent you from getting out and about! Prepare for rain by bringing:

  • A lightweight rain jacket (this will also offer some protection in windy weather)
  • Water resistant pants if you plan to do some trekking
  • Good all weather shoes – proper sandals might work or you could try waterproofing your hiking boots 

Casual clothing and layers for evening

Summer days are typically sunny and hot – especially if you’re out in the sun. But in the evenings, it cools down quickly. It pays to pack some extra layers for the evening. One of the best things about visiting New Zealand is the casual culture. For a campervan trip, you can definitely leave the formal clothing at home! Expect a relaxed dress code when dining out, especially in the summer. In the place of formal attire, why not pack:

  • A few togs (that’s Kiwi speak for bathing suits!)
  • Your favourite jandals (flip flops) or sandals
  • A nice pair of jeans
  • Lightweight cotton or linen pants
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts and tank tops
  • A jumper and jacket for cooler evenings
  • Hiking boots or trainers so you can take advantage of our Great Walks and other amazing trails (do make sure they are clean before arriving – we have strict biosecurity rules to protect New Zealand’s diverse and unique ecosystem.)

Bug off!

While New Zealand is blissfully free of almost any type of poisonous animal, we have annoying bugs just like every other country. In the summer, flies, mosquitoes, and the dreaded sand flies love to pay us a visit. So, our advice to you is:

  • Bug spray! You can pick it up just about anywhere here – camping stores, grocery stores, etc.

Did we miss anything? What are your essentials for a summer campervan trip around New Zealand? We’d love to hear from you below!


Image credit: '90 Mile Beach, New Zealand' by Dean Bromley, CC-BY-2.0


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Filed under New Zealand Travel

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