What to Pack for New Zealand: Clothing Packing Questions, Answered

Kapiti Coast
Packing is one of those hugely annoying and frustrating things about travelling/moving somewhere/life in general! If you are anything like me, you will dread the moments where you have to strategically choose the right things to take with you somewhere to ensure you have the right outfits/warm enough clothes so you don’t end up having to spend time and money finding them when you are there.
The stress is real and a Canadian Lost in Silver Fern reader who is moving to Wellington soon, recently contacted me with some what to pack for new questions about what she should bring. Having been there myself, I have decided to write this blog post for her, and any other readers who might be having the same troubles deciding what to pack when coming/moving to New Zealand.
If you have any more questions yourself that you would like answered feel free to drop them in the comments below and we can start a packing conversation!
Moving to New Zealand Packing List

Moving to New Zealand, Packing Questions, Answered:

1. What type of outerwear do I need for each season?

Outerwear is a tough one and my experience is with Wellington, so you might not need such intense outwear if you are further north but this is what I use: A down jacket, this is my staple, keeps me warm and cosy at all times and is light and handy. Down jackets are like NZ uniform. I highly recommend.
I also have a hooded parker that I use for walking to work and general walking around Wellington especially when its raining. Its not a waterproof one its like a canvas parker but the hood is massive and keeps me so warm and dry i love it.
For hiking I have a lightweight waterproof jacket which is super light and thing and I can wear this over my down jacket if I need to be warm.
Then I have a couple of jackets that I wear when its less cold or windy or I’m going out or something, but I will admit..I wear these a lot less than the others sadly!

2. And should my outerwear always something wind resistant/rain resistant?

See above. But no it doesn’t have to always be wind/rain resistant, but the ones that are you will likely wear the most, especially in winter.

3. Do I even bother with the cute (not weather resistant) jackets?

Yes definitely! You will want to have one at least for when you are doing something nice, or the weather is good or you are just feeling like wearing something nice that day. I have a wool coat that I have worn quite a bit on non rain days.

4. What should I have on my feet?

My most worn shoes are leather boots. I wear them for work and I have a hardy pair of Blundstones for generally knocking around. Also trainers are a must and hiking boots. I have heels here but I don’t wear them very often, apart from my leather heeled boots (not very high). BUT people do wear heels in New Zealand of course, and there a lots of fashionable people. It just depends how important it is to you!

5. How serious should I be about finding water proof boots?

If you are going on hikes, you need waterproof walking boots. 100%. But for generally being around the town, some really good leather boots will do.

6. I’m hoping to do lots of hiking and exploring. Is there a list of clothing items you’d recommend, like a ‘starter kit’ for hiking?

Packing List For NZ Hiking (inc. overnight)

Backpack (light, around 45L, hand luggage size)

Sleeping bag

Hiking boots

Light Sandals (to wear in hut)

Warm coat (down)

Waterproof coat that goes over top


Hiking leggings/trousers one pair for the hike and something light to wear in hut (thermals can count as this)

Easy Dry Tshirt/Thermal type thing

Warm but light jumper/fleece for hike


Hiking socks x 2

Head torch

Small Stove

7. As for non-outerwear clothes, should I expect to be wearing warm socks and wool sweaters the entire time? Long underwear? What items do you most recommend?

Not the entire time! New Zealand has a summer too. You can expect to wear the same sort of outfits that you would wear in London. I would recommend trousers, warm jumpers and boots for the majority of the time. But there is also plenty of sunny days so just go with what you normally would! Long underwear is not really necessary unless you are going off hiking!

It also depends if you are in the city of the country because you will obviously need more warm and sturdy clothing if you are in the country side most of the time.

8. Should I leave the super-summery clothes in Canada? (e.g. frilly, breezy dresses and skirts)

My advice would be to bring a few. I find when its summery I wear jeans and small cropped tops or t shirts. I have dresses but I rarely wear them apart from for work with tights, or sometimes in summer.

Moving to New Zealand Packing List

9. What would I not think to pack, but wish I had?

You can buy everything here but it is expensive. If you want to go skiing, bring your ski gear. It is expensive here and much easier to bring it. Also bring hiking boots.

Other than that, don’t stress too much, you can find everything here and Macpac will be your friend!

Thanks for reading, if you have any more questions you would like answered, comment below.

If you would like more information about moving to New Zealand from yours truly, check out the following posts:

Cost of Living in New Zealand – The Truth

New Zealand FAQs.

How I applied for the New Zealand Partnership Work Visa

9 Essential Tasks for Moving to New Zealand

New Zealand Partnership Visa FAQs

Why Wellington is a Fair Trade City

You can also check out more of my Travel blog posts HERE.

You can follow me for updates on Instagram @lostinsilverfern Twitter @lostsilverfern and Facebook @lostinsilverfern and subscribe using the form below.

Josie x