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What to Pack for your Wilderness Trip

Less is definitely more when it comes to packing for a holiday – especially if you’re travelling to New Zealand from overseas and trying to stay within your baggage allowance!

At Wilderness, our campervans have everything you need to travel comfortably, so all you need to worry about is packing your personal items like clothes, toiletries and any gadgets, and then finding your way round a New Zealand supermarket to stock up the pantry.

Here’s a useful guide to what we’ll provide on your trip with Wilderness and what you’ll need to pack.

What you’ll find in your Wilderness motorhome

  • Warm bedding with sheets, duvets, blankets and pillows
  • Bath towels and hand towels
  • Built-in heating designed for chilly European conditions, so more than adequate for New Zealand weather. (Heat vents in the bathroom also help to dry any damp clothing overnight.)
  • Fridge
  • Gas cooktop (most models also have an oven), plus a long-handled lighter
  • Kitchen equipment - a full complement of quality utensils, crockery, glasses, pots and pans, a kettle, toaster, coffee plunger and wine/bottle opener
  • Washing up equipment and dish towels
  • Clothes hangers
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Full gas bottle
  • TV with DVD player
  • CD/MP3 player and Bluetooth stereo (in most models)
  • First Aid Kit (a small charge applies for using this)

Also available to hire from Wilderness:

  • Travel barbecue
  • Camping chairs and table
  • Bikes
  • Snow chains
  • Car seats (required by New Zealand law for children aged 0-7)
  • High chair
  • Travel cot

What you’ll need to bring

Clothing

Your travel wardrobe will depend on the time of year you’re travelling. New Zealand has a temperate climate but it can be changeable and will change quickly. New Zealand’s MetService website is the best place for the latest local weather information and to help you plan ahead.

Below is a rough guide to the average New Zealand daytime temperatures throughout the year, but bear in mind these can vary by several degrees depending on where you are in the country.

December-February – Summer (average daily temp of 20-25°C)
March-May – Autumn (average daily temp of 17-21°C)
June-August – Winter (average daily temp of 12-16°C)
September-November – Spring (average daily temp of 16-19°C)

  • Pack clothes that can be layered, as well as a rain jacket and a warm jacket for cool evenings or colder conditions.
  • Bring a swimsuit, even if you’re travelling in winter, as there are thermal pools around the country, as well as fantastic beaches and lakes. (Tip: in New Zealand, a swimsuit is known as “togs”).
  • If you’re planning on bushwalks, then bring sturdy closed-toe shoes, a warm jacket and hat – especially over colder months. A day pack for snacks and water is also essential.
  • The dress code in New Zealand is generally informal. Most restaurants accept smart/casual dress.
  • Choose a soft bag for your belongings if you can, as rigid suitcases are harder to store in campervans.

Toiletries and medicines

  • Any personal medications
  • Insect repellent (available here from supermarkets/chemists)
  • Sunscreen – minimum SPF30 (available from supermarkets/chemists). New Zealand has less ozone to block the UV rays that cause sunburn so you can get sunburnt faster here, particularly from September to April when sunshine hours are longest. Make sure you use a quality sunscreen that is minimum SPF30 and wear a hat when outside. This is especially important for children.  

Entertainment and extras

Your Wilderness campervan has power supplied to its living compartment by a rechargeable 12V house battery and 240V mains power when you're connected at a campsite. You’ll need to be plugged into mains power to use the power sockets in the campervan – but if you’re freedom camping there is a power inverter, which converts power from the house battery to 240V/600W power, giving you a socket for plugging in appliances or chargers when “off the grid”.

Check that the electrical equipment you plan to bring runs on 240V. If not, you will need a voltage converter. If your hair dryer or straighteners require more than 600W they won’t work unless you are plugged into mains power.

  • Power plug adaptors (if you’re not from NZ or Australia)
  • Flashlight
  • DVDs  
  • Charging cords for cameras, phones, laptops etc

Handy to have

  • Small foldable umbrella
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Small day packs for walks etc

First supermarket stop

  • Reusable shopping bags. New Zealand’s biggest supermarket chains no longer offer single use plastic bags so you need to take your own reusable bags, or buy some at the supermarket (usually $1-$2 each) on your first shopping trip
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking oil
  • Paper towels
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Kitchen cleaning spray
  • Rubbish bags
  • Extra toilet rolls

Arriving from overseas?

  • Declare any food you have with you on arrival. There are strict penalties for bringing undeclared food and other prohibited items into New Zealand. It’s safest not to bring any food with you and simply buy what you need here.
  • If you’re bringing any outdoor equipment with you (tramping boots etc) ensure it is clean before you pack it. New Zealand’s Border Protection Service will check this for unwanted organisms etc and any cleaning required could delay you at the airport.

Find out more about what you can and can’t bring with you to New Zealand

Useful links:
Motorhome Basics – How Your Wilderness Motorhome Works
Frequently Asked Questions
How to be Sustainable on Your NZ Campervan Holiday
How to Choose Your Ideal Wilderness Motorhome
Top Tips for Cooking on the Road

Check out our Itineraries

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