What to Wear in New Zealand


  • New Zealand is typically an informal place so pack casually for comfort.
  • Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants and night-spots.
  • New Zealand is renowned for its outdoor activities, so make sure you take swimming gear, hiking shoes, trekking pants/shorts and gloves.
  • Due to the lack of ozone layer, the New Zealand sun is especially strong so wear plenty of protection. Opt for screening products with a minimum SPF 30, or better still SPF 50 and apply every 3 hours in the summer sun. Products are easy to buy in supermarkets, chemists and petrol stations, plus many venues with outside seating provide it for free – you just need to ask.
  • Don't forget your sunhat and sunglasses too.
  • light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours – even after prolonged wear.
  • Ensure you bring a versatile travel jacket. We love the SCOTTeVEST travel jacket because it has over 23 pockets, removable sleeves and RFID protection.
  • And if cycling is on the agenda pop some padded shorts and a head torch in your bag too.

What Shoes To Pack

  • You're bound to do plenty of sightseeing, so you'll need comfy shoes for exploring. We recommend Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style
  • If you plan to do much serious walking then lightweight walking shoes or sturdy sneakers are fine.
  • Some lovely flip flops or sandals can be a good choice for going out. Why not try the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range – using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • A pashmina can be a versatile piece that will smarten up any outfit, should you need it.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • Even in the big cities like Auckland, men are generally not expected to wear suits and ties, except in a few of the most formal bars and restaurants.
  • If you're looking for versatile and stylish beachwear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear.

Pack for the Weather

  • Famous for having four seasons in one day, our advice at all times is to pack a light jacket or sweater just in case the weather turns cooler, or if you're visiting higher altitudes. You can also expect some rain, so include a light raincoat and travel umbrella.
  • Clever layering is the key to dressing for changeable weather.
  • If visiting through April, May, June, July, August, September and October pack warm winter garments and layer your clothing.
  • We love the Weather+ app – it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too – a nice way to remember your trip 🙂 Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Other Things To Pack

  • A soft-sided rucksack is more practical than a hard suitcase if you plan to travel around – it's easier to fit into the small planes or transfer vehicles. Using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
  • A lightweight day sack or shoulder bag will come in handy to carry your sightseeing essentials.
  • If you tend to buy bottled water, consider carrying a LifeStraw Filtration Water Bottle – fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee – it protects against loss, theft and damage. For more remote areas a solar powered charger can come in handy too, as a back-up for your battery.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for local voltage (230V).
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees – use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Possum-merino knitwear is a speciality of New Zealand and is a great and unusual buy. Sheepskin slippers and boots are also very popular.