Camping Essentials Checklist for New Zealand© Pexels
Camping Essentials Checklist for New Zealand

Camping Essentials Checklist for New Zealand

© Pexels

Packing List for Camping in New Zealand

Connect with nature by staying in the great outdoors of New Zealand by camping. Whether it’s to enjoy a cheap type of accommodation or to spend some time outside with friends and family, you’ll want to make sure you’re fully prepared for your camping trip. Take a look at our camping essentials list for New Zealand for ideas on what camping gear to take, clothes to pack, toiletries, kitchen gear and more.

For a complete list of things to pack for a trip around New Zealand, check out our complete New Zealand Packing List.

What Don’t I Need to Pack for Camping in New Zealand?

Perhaps more important than what you do need to pack is what you don’t need to pack. New Zealand holiday parks and campsites vary in their facilities, from well-equipped holiday parks to barebone Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites. If you’re hiking to your camping destination, then you’ll want to pack even less. Find out what you don’t need to pack for camping in New Zealand by simply looking up the campsite facilities on the holiday park or DOC websites.

For a quick overview of common facilities, take a look at our guide to camping in New Zealand.

Camping Essentials Checklist for New Zealand©


What you need to prepare for your campsite, i.e. where you’re going to live and sleep depends on whether you’re staying in a holiday park, campground or in the backcountry.

Holiday parks give you the option to stay in powered sites if you want a connection to electricity. If you’re getting to your campsite by car, then you have the luxury of packing as much as you like. If hiking to your campsite, you need to be choosy with what you pack picking lightweight options.

The Essentials

  • Four-seasons tent
  • Tent pegs
  • Mallet/hammer
  • Tent repair kit
  • Sleeping mat
  • 4-seasons sleeping bag
  • Head torch


  • RCD power cord (if staying in a powered site)
  • Airbed and pump
  • Blankets
  • Pillow
  • Tarp
  • Camping chairs
  • Camping table
  • Picnic blanket
  • Brush (brush out the tent before packing it)
Camping Essentials Checklist for New Zealand© Pexels

Camping Kitchen and Food

Again, the kitchen supplies you’ll need for camping in New Zealand depends on the type of campground you have chosen. Holiday parks are well-equipped with communal kitchens and barbecues. Many have cooking utensils provided, so it’s not essential that you bring your own.

More basic campsites, however, like the DOC campsites, may only have a shelter for cooking but no other facilities, so you’ll need to bring your own kitchen gear.

For backcountry camping, for instance, along hiking trails, you’ll need to fully rely on your own lightweight camping kitchen gear and only pack the bare essentials.

The Essentials

  • Cool bin (chilly bin)
  • Gas stove/burner
  • Spare gas canisters
  • Lighters/waterproof matches
  • Pot
  • Frying pan
  • Eating utensils
  • Knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs
  • Can opener
  • Cutting board
  • Plates/bowls
  • Mugs
  • Water bottles
  • Food containers
  • Rubbish bag
  • Bowl/bucket for washing dishes
  • Eco-friendly washing liquid
  • Dishtowel
  • Dish sponge or brush
  • Bottle opener
  • Ice packs/freezer packs
  • Kettle/billy
  • Coffee plunger

Food Essentials


  • Oats
  • Honey/peanut butter
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Salt/pepper (and other preferred herbs and spices)
  • Olive oil
  • Salami/chorizo
  • Cheese (halloumi is a hard durable cheese for camping)
  • Vegetable stock powder

Fresh food to pick up in supermarkets and markets on your way to your destination:

  • Sliced bread
  • Vegetables
  • Meat

See The Best Camping Meals, Inc. Camping Food List for meal ideas and food shopping lists.

Camping Essentials Checklist for New Zealand© Pexels

Camping Clothing

Practical outdoor clothing is essential for a camping trip. Choose clothing that dries quickly and always pack an extra warm layer than what you’ll think you’ll need.


  • Sneakers/walking shoes
  • Flip-flops (jandals)
  • Rain jacket
  • T-shirts
  • Quick-dry pants/hiking pants
  • Mid-layer (fleece, hoody, sweater, etc.)
  • Underwear
  • Woollen socks
  • Sunglasses

Warm Seasons

  • Sunhat/cap
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Shorts
  • Swimwear

Cold Seasons

  • Thermal tops
  • Thermal bottoms
  • Warm jacket
  • Beanie
  • Scarf/neckwear
  • Thick socks for sleeping

For more tips on winter camping, see How to Stay Warm When Camping in New Zealand.

Camping Essentials Checklist for New Zealand© Pexels

Toiletries and Hygiene

Again, holiday parks have showers, toilets and even laundry facilities, so there’s no need to go overboard when camping at this style of accommodation. DOC campsites are likely to have cold showers and a toilet at the most. Of course, the following toiletry list doesn’t apply to everyone, so choose what suits you.

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Eco-friendly soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Deodorant
  • After sun/moisturiser
  • Prescription medication
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Contact lenses/glasses
  • Hair tyes/bands
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Toilet paper
  • Eco-friendly laundry detergent
  • Clothesline and pegs
  • Solar camp shower
  • Laundry bag

First Aid Kit

  • Plasters/bandaids
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Gauzes with clips/tape
  • Tweezers
  • Paracetamol/ibuprofen
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antihistamine
  • Imodium

For a more in-depth first aid kit list, take a look at Health Tips For Travelling in New Zealand.

Camping Essentials Checklist for New Zealand© Pexels


Finally, for all of those things that doesn’t fit into a category but are still worth packing for camping:


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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