Natural Habitat Adventures

Know Before You Go

What to Pack for Your New Zealand Adventure

The following packing list contains general recommendations for a New Zealand nature adventure. If you are currently booked on a New Zealand trip with Nat Hab, please consult your pre-departure materials for the most up-to-date packing list specific to your trip. You will receive these pre-departure materials 60-90 days before your departure.

Simplify your packing—shop at Nat Hab’s online Gear Store for some of the key items recommended for your adventure. Look for this icon in the list below, then go to the Nat Hab Gear Store to start shopping.

ADVENTURE SPECIFIC GUIDELINES

  • New Zealand is a land of tremendous physical and climatic diversity; therefore, layering is the best approach to staying warm and dry. During this adventure, you will need to be prepared for cold, wet weather. Waterproof rain gear is ESSENTIAL, as there is always the possibility that we may experience downpours during our adventure. We also recommend a fleece jacket, hat and gloves. The weather can be variable when we explore the South Island.
  • The sun in New Zealand is particularly damaging due to the reduced ozone; thus, good sunscreen, lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and a hat are essential for your protection.
  •  Weather can vary greatly in New Zealand. November is spring and can be quite cold, December and January are the height of summer and March is fall, which can be chilly.

CLOTHING

  • 2 KN95 masks per person (included in your pre-departure package)
  • Lightweight neck gaiter (included in your pre-departure package)
    —Useful for wearing over the KN95 masks to keep them clean and extend their use.
    —Also provides sun, wind and/or dust protection.
  •  Additional cloth face coverings
    —We recommend bringing a few more face coverings of your own. Silk, wool or polypropylene long underwear for layering (tops & bottoms)
  • Lightweight, breathable waterproof rain jacket and rain pants
    —Waterproof, not just water resistant. Your rain jacket should have a hood. These may be your most useful pieces of clothing, as you will be walking in areas where it could drizzle all day or, at times, rain down in buckets!
  • Sturdy lightweight hiking shoes
    —Waterproof boots are nice, but not necessary.
  • 4–5 short-sleeved T-shirts
  • 2–3 long-sleeved shirts
  • 2 fleece pullovers or sweaters
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts
    —For January-April departures. Shorts may not be necessary in November and December.
  • 2-4 pairs of pants
  • 1 pair of nylon zip-off pants.
    —These are great for hiking as they are great for cool mornings and warmer afternoons.
  • Several pairs of lightweight hiking socks
    —Moisture-resistant/moisture-wicking socks are preferred. Cotton socks are not recommended for hikes.
  • Warm socks
    —Especially in November and December.
  • Water-resistant sport sandals 
  • Comfortable sneakers or walking shoes
  • Lightweight sleepwear
  • Undergarments
  • Warm hat and gloves (for cold weather)
  • 1 nice outfit
    —Optional—for extra time spent in Christchurch or Dunedin.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

  • Cash
    —For discretionary gratuities (you may want to bring envelopes for discreet presentation).
    —For personal spending (souvenirs, Internet use, or food and beverages not included in your trip fee).
  • Binoculars
    —Binoculars are essential for this adventure! A quality pair with a magnification of 8 x 30 or 10 x 40 will definitely enhance your wildlife-viewing experience, and you will get the most out of them if you practice using them at home and make a habit of having them with you regularly on the adventure. We strongly suggest that each client bring his or her own pair of binoculars, as you will be using them continuously.
  • Water-resistant daypack (to carry cameras and other gear during outings)
  • Sun hat with brim (and strap so it won’t blow away)  
  • Water bottle
  • Electrolyte/flavor cyrstal packets (optional)
    —Can be added to water to replace fluids in case of intestinal illness and/or enhance the taste to encourage hydration.
  • Outlet adapter and/or power converter 
  • Headlamp with spare batteries (optional)
    —While flashlights/headlamps are not permitted during the kiwi-spotting excursion, there are other optional night walks where a flashlight/headlamp will come in handy. Headlamps are useful, as they will leave your hands free to help you navigate.
  • Sunglasses (with UV filter and secure strap)
  • Hairdryer (optional)
    —Hairdryers are available at all accommodations, either in the room or at reception.
  • Toiletries
    —Shampoo, conditioner and soap are provided at all our accommodations, with the exception of Bay Motel which provides only shampoo and soap.
    —Consider bringing toiletrees in reusable bottles to minimize waste.
  • Sunscreen & lip balm (at least SPF30)
  • Prescription medications & favorite remedies
    —For headaches, colds, upset stomach, etc.
    —If you are prone to motion sickness, your guide will carry motion sickness remedies; however, you may want to bring your own if you prefer a specific bran.d
  •  Insect repellent & anti-itch ointment
    —Although biting insects are generally not a problem in New Zealand, it is a good idea to bring bug repellent. Sand flies on the West Coast have a reputation for causing discomfort. We avoid these bugs where possible; however, we may encounter them occasionally.
    —Insect Repellent will be available on the bus, but you may want to bring your own if you prefer a specific brand.
    —Repellents containing DEET are the most effective against mosquitoes, but please be aware that DEET is a very strong ingredient that can damage plastics, clothing and equipment.
  • Small medical kit
  • Prescription glasses/contact lenses
  • Earplugs
  • Reusable waterproof bags
    —Several sizes for wet or dirty clothing and to protect camera equipment.
  • Sewing kit
  • Battery-operated alarm clock/wristwatch
  • Hiking poles (optional)
    —A limited supply of hiking poles may be available for use during the adventure. Please contact your Adventure Specialist to request these ahead of time.
    —If you are bringing hiking poles, they must be able to fit in your check-in luggage, as you won't be allowed to carry them on the plane. 
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