When you come to New Zealand, the likelihood is that you won’t be coming here straight away. You’re probably going to see a bit of the world first! This is brilliant, but it does give you a few dilemmas over what to pack. It also brings up the old question of a suitcase or a backpack?

We’ve put together a packing list of what we deem to be the essentials for a year or two in New Zealand. When it comes to the debate of a suitcase or a backpack, we usually sit on the backpack’s side, but it’s all personal preference. If you’re travelling before you get here, a backpack will make your life a whole heap easier!

Take a look at our list of must haves.


Identification and Important Documents

Make sure you have these bits and bobs with you when you arrive into New Zealand. Keep them handy so maybe put them in your carry on!

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate or other official ID (optional, but recommended)
  • Proof of visa via electronic print out
  • Proof of funds
  • Proof of health/travel insurance
  • Your WE Travel instructions



New Zealand has very distinct and different seasons (summers are warm, and winters quite cold):

  • Interview/fancier clothes (business casual items in various solid, neutral shades), as well as everyday, casual clothes
  • Summer time: Lighter clothing such as t-shirts, button downs, polos, board shorts, flip-flops!
  • Winter time: Heavier clothing such as wool based sweaters, cardigans, coats, heavy jeans, hats, scarves, gloves, etc
  • Any snow sports gear you own (if you can fit it in)
  • A few pairs of shoes: a pair of formal shoes, and 2 pairs of casual shoes
  • Pyjamas for sleeping in
  • Jocks and socks
  • Raincoat



  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash (keep small ones with you on the plane)
  • Body lotion/facial moisturizer, lip balm
  • Any hair products
  • Makeup/makeup remover and feminine products, if you use it
  • Contact lens solution/kit, if you wear contacts
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen with at least SPF 30 (even in the wintertime)
  • Razors, nail clippers, tweezers, hairbrush, etc and any other daily care tools you use
  • Small first aid kit including band aids and common medication for pain, cold & flu, upset stomach, and whatever else you think you may need
  • Bug spray – get some strong stuff for the sandflies!


Electronics & Other Small Things

  • Small camera
  • Laptop (to check emails, manage banking, check for updates from your job, staying connected with friends and family, etc.)
  • USB for backing up important documents
  • Cell phone that is UNLOCKED
  • Travel plug adapter! (In NZ we use the Type I plug, same as Australia)
  • Compact/micro-umbrella
  • Sewing kit
  • Pens and notebook
  • Backpack or carryon bag, in addition to luggage
  • Pictures of family and friends, though you won't miss them with all the fun you're having!

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