Like adventurous trips and outdoorsy activities? Perhaps backpacking in New Zealand is just for you! New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world. With lots of greenery and no natural predators in the wild, it’s one of the most popular destinations for travellers. Whether you’re going on a short backpacking trip or one that’s going to last you for months, it’s important to stay prepared and be informed of what to expect!
Here are some backpacking tips and tricks that will help you out, whether you’re camping out or just travelling from city to city.
Packing the right clothes
If you’re on the go, you should probably bring only what’s essential. In general, the weather in New Zealand changes quite drastically within a short period of time. Temperatures can dip below 10 degrees after sunset even during summer. In addition to comfortable t-shirts and sweats, it’s always a good idea to pack at least 2 sets of thermal under-layers with you, in case it gets too cold.
Rain can get quite heavy in New Zealand too. At times, showers can go on and on for days. To prepare for these situations, it’s a good idea to pack a waterproof and windproof jacket with you too!
Choose The Right Camping Spots
You know those tumblr-esque photos where a few friends lie in their tent and watch the sunrise by the sea shore? Well, if you’re going to try camping in New Zealand, it’s best to camp away from the shore if you’re going to pitch a tent. The winds can get pretty strong at night and the temperatures fall quite drastically. Only camp near the shores if you’re going to sleep in a camper van — but even that can get pretty chilly at night.
Store Your Milk In A Water Bottle
Milk cartons are difficult to store and can leak easily and a leaking milk carton in the fridge is everyone’s nightmare in the hostel. If you’re going to store milk in the shared fridge, make sure you put it in to a water bottle first to prevent leakages!
Get Your Own Pot, If You Can
Hostels provide pots and pans but they’re not always in good condition and you’ll probably have to take turns to use them. Getting your own pot is a great investment especially if you’re going to be backpacking for a longer period of time (a month or more). If you’re renting a car for your travels, you can keep the pot in your boot so no one mistakes it as a shared pot in the hostel’s kitchen!
Visit The Salvation Army
Did you know that throwing out unused items costs money in New Zealand? New Zealand puts a strong emphasis on being environmentally friendly and that translates to lots of recycling and reusing old items. Most people give away and donate their unused items to Salvation Army, Hospice Shop, or other second hand shops. If you’re thinking of getting a windbreaker, some utensils, or even a pair of hiking shoes, you might want to visit these shops first. Most of the items there are in pretty good condition and they don’t cost more than NZD10!
Besides getting some gear or outer wear at second hand shops, you can also donate your items there when your backpacking trip has come to an end. Another backpacker might find your belongings useful while they’re travelling.
Join A New Zealand Backpackers Facebook Group
On these pages, you’ll get to find more information about hiking spots and WWOOFing opportunities (places where you can work in exchange for food and shelter). You can buy used camping gear, second hand cars, or sell your belongings there when you’re done! What’s more, you can also use the platform to make some new friends and find new travel buddies if you’re up for it!
If you’re new to backpacking, New Zealand is a great place to try it out for the first time. It’s one of the safest places in the world, it’s beautiful, and there are lots of trails and hikes you can do for free! The only thing you need to be more wary of is the weather because temperatures change quite drastically throughout the day. While there aren’t any predators in the wild, heavy rain, strong winds and cold temperatures can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. That being said, always pack smart and not over pack — you don’t want to be lugging around a heavy luggage while you’re travelling from place to place!
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