Get Geared Up for New Zealand’s Great Outdoors
It’s no secret that New Zealand is all about the great outdoors. Spending so much time outside does, however, require a few specialised clothing and equipment to make things more comfortable and practical. With that in mind, there are many reasons why you are likely to find yourself needing camping and hiking gear in New Zealand: for multi-day hikes, hiking on rough terrain, and kitting out your car or campervan for a road trip.
Depending on your personal needs and wants from hiking and camping equipment, you have a very decent range of outdoor gear. New Zealand has plenty of ways to get cheap second-hand gear, brand new high-quality gear, cheaper basic essentials, and even options to hire gear.
To check out the sort of equipment you might need for camping in New Zealand, check out our Camping Essentials Checklist for New Zealand. And for a multi-day hike in New Zealand, check out How to Prepare for a Great Walk in New Zealand.
Bringing Your Own Camping and Hiking Gear From Home
If you already have the gear, then, of course, it is cheaper to bring your own camping and hiking gear from home. However, strict biosecurity regulations in New Zealand require you to declare your camping and hiking gear when you enter the country. In order for your camping and hiking gear to pass through biosecurity at the airport, you need to make sure all your gear is clean!
Find out more at Arrival Advice: Biosecurity and Customs in New Zealand.
Where to Buy Second-hand Camping and Hiking Gear in New Zealand
When it comes to buying your gear in New Zealand, your cheapest option is to buy second-hand. There are tons of backpackers wanting to get rid of outdoor gear before they leave New Zealand, and Kiwis are known to be very outdoorsy too, so you can find their unwanted equipment and clothing on a number of resources. We recommend waterproofing any second-hand items that are meant to be waterproof, like tents and jackets. You can pick up waterproofing detergent or spray from the outdoor shops, like Kathmandu, MacPac and Torpedo7 (see below).
Here are the resources you can use to buy cheap second-hand camping and hiking gear in New Zealand:
- Local Facebook groups – many towns and cities in New Zealand have a “buy, swap and sell” Facebook group where locals are often listing their unwanted gear.
- Backpacking New Zealand Facebook group – as well as cars and giving each other travel tips, backpackers are often listing their camping gear on Backpacking New Zealand Facebook groups before they leave the country.
- Classified advertising in newspapers and bulletins – you can find “for sale” ads in traditional media. The Lakes Weekly Bulletin in Queenstown is one popular example.
- TradeMe – the New Zealand auction site may have some good deals.
- Op-shops – also known as second-hand shops. You might get lucky and pick up a bargain on camping and hiking gear.
- Pawnshops – stores like Cash Converters sell second-hand goods. You might be lucky enough to find a bargain.
- Army surplus stores – in the major cities, such as Auckland, Wellington and New Plymouth, you can find good-quality second-hand outdoor gear in army surplus stores. However, expect prices to be a bit higher than the options mentioned above.
Where to Buy New Camping and Hiking Gear in New Zealand
If you want some more specialised equipment or want gear that you intend to keep, then your next option is to visit some outdoor stores. New Zealand, being the outdoorsy country it is, has plenty of those!
New Zealand has a mix of chains across the country, such as Kathmandu, Macpac, Torpedo7, Bivouac Outdoor, Outside Sports, etc, as well as some local outdoor stores worth checking out. You’ll find outdoor shops in the major cities, like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, etc. and in most towns close to popular hiking trails and other outdoor activities, (which, let’s be honest, is most places in New Zealand).
Where to Buy New (and Cheap) Camping and Hiking Gear
For your more basic camping gear, which could be pots and pans to put in your campervan or a sleeping bag if you’re not doing any extreme weather camping, then you can find some cheaper prices at The Warehouse and Kmart. These are chain department stores in New Zealand with a camping department.
Additionally, there are a few (but not many) outlet shopping centres well worth checking out from the chain outdoor stores like Kathmandu and Macpac at a discounted price. Find out more about where those outlet shopping centres are and how to get to them in Outlet Shopping in New Zealand: Grab a Bargain!
Hiring Camping and Hiking Gear
If you only plan to go on the odd camping trip or are doing minimal multi-day hikes then there are camping and hiking gear hire stores near some of the most popular hiking destinations in New Zealand, such as Queenstown, Wanaka, Te Anau and in the major cities like Auckland and Christchurch. Be aware that you will need to return the gear to where you rented it from.
There are also hiking gear hire, such as boots and winter equipment, in towns close to the Tongariro Crossing, such as Taupo, Ohakune and National Park Village.
More About Essential Gear for a Backpacking Trip in New Zealand!
Check out these articles to help you bring all the right stuff with you to New Zealand.