The Complete Autumn or Spring Packing List for New Zealand
Travelling New Zealand in the shoulder season? What an amazing time to explore its lush forests, admire its mountains and do some epic outdoor adventures! Spring and autumn have quite similar climates in that you’re likely to experience a range of weather scenarios during your travels. For this reason, we’ve compiled this packing list for autumn or spring in New Zealand.
About Autumn and Spring in New Zealand
Autumn in New Zealand is during the months of March, April and May and spring is during September, October and November. New Zealand experiences changeable weather in these months with its fair share of sunshine and rain. It’s best to be prepared for every weather scenario.
North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 19ºC (66ºF) or more, and lows of 8ºC (46ºF).
South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 19ºC (66ºF) and lows of 4ºC (39ºF).
Autumn and spring are good times to travel around New Zealand with warmer weather than winter. Plus, most activities are open for businesses. These seasons are also quieter than the busy summer season, meaning you’ll have less crowded attractions and be able to find better deals on vehicle rentals, tours, etc.
Autumn and Spring Clothes for New Zealand
The key here is to pack versatile outfits so that you pack lightly but are prepared for anything. Pack enough clothes to last almost a week and make use of the laundry facilities, which are available at most accommodations.
Layers are also important. Pack layers into your day pack so that you can put them on if it gets too cold. Likewise, you can take layers off and put them into your day pack if you’re too warm.
The below list is per person, applying to every member of your group (or just yourself if travelling solo), including men, women and kids.
- 1 Leggings/sweatpants
- 1 Hiking pants
- 1 Sweater/hoody/fleece/mid-layer
- 1 Thermal underlayer (top and/or bottoms)
- 1 Waterproof and windproof jacket
- 6 Tops/T-shirts
- 6 Socks (preferably woollen)
- 6 Underwear
- 2 Bras (if applicable)
- 1 Hiking shoes
- 1 Flip-flops
- 1 Swimwear
- 1 Cap/sunhat
- 1 Sunglasses
The above list is the bare essentials for an autumn or spring trip in New Zealand. However, some travellers might prefer to take a pair of jeans and/or a city outfit (but you won’t look too out of place in hiking gear – New Zealand has a pretty relaxed/practical fashion sense).
Pyjamas were not included on this list, as you can always sleep in your sweatpants/leggings and t-shirts. However, feel free to add them if you prefer.
Toiletries to Pack
We all have our own toiletry requirements and beauty regimes (or lack of one). Below are good things to remember but they won’t apply to everyone.
- Hair bobbles/bands
- Feminine hygiene products
- Contact lenses/glasses
- Sunscreen (yes, really)
- Insect repellent (if travelling March or November)
You may have noticed that we didn’t include soap in this list because it’s usually included in most accommodations except hostel dorms or campsites, so take some if you are staying in one of those.
First Ait Kit
Accidents and illnesses can happen, so be prepared with a travel-size first-aid kit. Take it in your day pack.
- Prescription medication
- Disinfectant wipes
- Gauzes with clips/tape
- Hand sanitiser
- Antiseptic cream
- Hydrocortisone cream
For more stuff to stuff into your first aid kit, see our Health Tips For Travelling in New Zealand.
And for all those things that don’t fit into a category:
- New Zealand travel adapter
- Electronic device chargers (extra batteries are a good idea)
- Driving license + IDP (if driving)
- Flight ticket + return ticket (or sufficient funds)
- Visa + supporting evidence (if required)
- Credit/debit card
- New Zealand dollars (enough for the first few days)
- Reusable water bottle/water bladder (tap water is safe)
- Food containers (if self-catering)
- Shopping bags (if self-catering)
- Travel towel (if camping or staying in hostel dorms)
- Travel games/entertainment (especially if travelling with kids)
If Camping or Staying in Huts
If you plan on camping in a tent:
- Lightweight tent
- Sleeping mat
and/or staying in huts:
- 4-Season sleeping bag
- Camping stove (get gas canisters in New Zealand)
- Camping cooking utensils.
For more ideas, check out 12 Essentials to Pack for a New Zealand Campervan Trip and Camping Essentials Checklist for New Zealand.
Day Pack and Backpack/Suitcase
Finally, you need to pack it all in a suitable backpack or suitcase and a day pack. Whether you choose to travel with a backpack or suitcase depends on what style of travel you are doing in New Zealand, so take a look at our backpack vs. suitcase comparison. Make your day pack one that’s suitable for hiking, if that’s what you plan to do. Otherwise, a casual day pack will do just fine.