What to Wear in New Zealand

At the beach, North Island in January

At the beach, North Island in January

Cafe culture, Auckland in January

Cafe culture, Auckland in January

Queenstown, South Island in February

Queenstown, South Island in February

Downtown Queenstown, in February

Downtown Queenstown, in February

Sunny day at the beach, Auckland, North Island in December

Sunny day at the beach, Auckland, North Island in December

At the beach, Auckland, North Island

At the beach, Auckland, North Island

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing holiday. That's why I started WhatToWearOnHoliday.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Style Tips

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

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 Go! Filtered 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.

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing holiday. That's why I started WhatToWearOnHoliday.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

Advice You Can Trust

If you can find time during your holiday to take a guided walk on the Fox Glacier you won't be disappointed.

- Steve, Oxford