New Zealand Female Packing List: Everything I Packed

backpacking new zealand australia packing list

I’m moving to New Zealand!!!….Well, for like two months. And then I’m moving to Australia afterwards!*…for like three months! Can you tell I’m pretty excited?!?! I’ve never been to Oceania before, and I’ve never traveled this long before. It’s going to be a true test! But the real test is if I’ve packed correctly. Here is every little thing I’m packing for New Zealand and Australia into one medium-sized check-in suitcase and one medium-sized backpack.

For reference, I’m traveling this area from early February through early July, so I’ll be skipping New Zealand’s winter in the south island. I’ll update this post as time goes on and until the end of my trip, for anything I wish I did (or didn’t!) bring. Wish me luck, y’all!

Oh, and I make zero commission off of purchases using the links on images and text throughout this post. They’re just there for your convenience. Happy packing!

* The novel coronavirus pandemic blew up worldwide shortly after I arrived in New Zealand. It did not spread to Oceania as quickly, so I was able to finish most of my New Zealand trip before getting stranded as the country went into extreme lockdown. Once I could, I decided to return to California and never made it to Australia. Thus, I’ve changed the title of this post. I’ll be updating this guide soon for everything I wish I had or didn’t need in New Zealand.


Uniqlo peach women's puffer down jacket for winter
Nike dark hoodie zip
Black fleece lined leggings
Nike Womens black running shorts
Strappy black one piece swimsuit
  • Windbreaker/water-resistant jacket
  • Puffer jacket
  • Hoodie

I bought this awesome 3-in-1 NorthFace jacket especially for this trip. It combines a windbreaker-type outer shell with a puffer inner, so that you can mix it up for when the weather is wet and cold, wet and warm, or dry and cold. I also brought a not-too-thick hoodie, so I could have another layer if needed, or something to lounge around the hostel in.

  • Fleece-lined leggings
  • Workout leggings
  • Casual leggings (2 pairs, one to use as pajamas)
  • Black jeans
  • Workout shorts
  • Jean shorts
  • Flowy shorts
  • Maxi skirt
  • Cami tank tops (2 pairs)
  • Tank tops (4 pairs)
  • Short sleeved-shirt (2 pairs)
  • Athletic long-sleeved shirt
  • Thermal long-sleeved shirt
  • Loose, long-sleeved button-down shirt
  • Pajama top (2 pairs)
  • Bikini (2.5 pairs)

I brought one white bikini set, so the bottoms go with the top of another bikini, meaning one less bottom to pack! This will give me three different bikini looks to alternate.


Calvin Klein underwear
Pink bralette
Peach Nike Women's Sports Bra
Colorful Merino wool socks pack
  • Proper bra (2 pairs)
  • Sports bra
  • Bralette

Bralettes are perfect for wearing around the hostel.

  • Underwear (15 pairs)
  • Cotton ankle socks (3 pairs)
  • Cotton long socks (2 pairs)
  • Wool long socks

I hate doing laundry on the road, so I’m bringing enough undies to last me two weeks, but you could definitely bring a one-week supply instead.


Black Adidas shoes
Black Women's Timberland Boots
Classic black and white Adidas slides slippers
Nike black slides slippers
Havianas white flip flips
  • Flip flops
  • Sneakers
  • Hiking boots

Don’t pack too many shoes!! Three pairs is the perfect amount. Proper hiking boots are nonnegotiable in New Zealand, so that’s one pair. You’ll also need something to shower and walk around the hostel in, so that’s pair number two. For the final pair, choose something casual for when not hiking.


Collapsable Gray Water Bottle
Baby blue Nike Women's cap
Packing cubes
Mint blue beanie with ear flaps and pom
Brown winter beanie with pom
  • Gloves
  • Beanie (2 pairs)
  • Baseball cap
  • Sunglasses (2 pairs)
  • Sheetliner
  • Eye mask
  • Earplugs (multiple!!)
  • Quick-dry microfiber towel (2)
  • Clothesline
  • 20L drybag
  • Totebag (for grocery shopping – I bought this on arrival!)
  • Packing cubes (and an extra one to separate dirty clothes)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Locker padlock and key


  • Laptop and charger
  • Unlocked cellphone and charger
  • Camera and charger
  • Camera SD cards (3)

Always bring an extra SD card! Mine randomly stopped working once right at the end of a hike in Cinque Terre. Luckily, there was a shop right there selling them, but imagine if the problem started at the beginning of the hike instead of the end?! Since, then, I always carry spares.


Shower Caddy set for hostels
Lush cosmetics round shampoo bar
Biore UV Sunscreen
Teal Lena Menstrual Cup
Picaridin insect repellent
  • Shampoo and conditioner bar
  • Body soap bar (2)
  • Shower gloves

Instead of messing with liquid requirements and worrying about luggage spillage, I’ve ditched the bottled soaps and opted for bars. Yes, they make shampoo and conditioner bars! Lush is known to have lots of different kinds, but I opted for a shampoo-conditioner-combo bar from Target for a third of the Lush price.

  • Face soap bar
  • Facial cleansing scrub
  • Face brush

My face never feels as clean while I’m traveling, especially while traveling for longer periods of time. After a trip to Italy, it felt so gross that I felt an urge to brush my face like I do my teeth! Upon my return, I promptly bought a face brush (the manual kind), and I have never looked back. I even use it when not traveling.

  • Leave in conditioner
  • Essential oils mixture

Some people have the luxury of hair that cooperates regardless of what they do to it. Not me! My hair is crazy dry, so I bring some extra moisture from home. Make sure to bring what your hair needs on your trip, since shops overseas might not carry your favorite products at all.

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Shower caddy with hook

A lot of hostels have nowhere to put your things while brushing your teeth or showering, so a shower caddy or tote is a must. Unless you don’t mind the floor!

  • Facial moisturizer
  • Body lotion
  • Face sunscreen
  • Body sunscreen

I love using a water based sunscreen for my face, to avoid that icky, oily sunscreen-y feel. I love this one with SPF 50 I picked up in Japan. New Zealand is near the hole in the ozone layer, so don’t skimp out on your sunscreen while here.

  • Insect repellant (New Zealand’s South Island is known for sand flies)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand wipes
  • Menstrual cup
  • Tampons and pads

I haven’t quite mastered the menstrual cup yet, but if you haven’t heard of it yet, you should definitely check it out! It’s a solution to packing tons of menstrual product for trips.

  • Daily multivitamins
  • Cough drops
  • Antibiotics (2 packs)
  • Advil
  • First aid kit

I always take daily multivitamins when I travel, as I don’t always have access to healthy and balanced foods like I do at home. Also take some things for in case you get sick. Sure, you can buy this at local stores, but it’s great to have an initial supply for when you’re feeling too sick to leave the hostel.


What do you think about my New Zealand and Australia packing list? Any suggestions for my next long trip? Any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

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Planning a trip to New Zealand or Australia? Not sure what to pack? This is my own personal female packing list for my backpacking trip through New Zealand and Australia for five months.
Planning a trip to New Zealand or Australia? Not sure what to pack? This is my own personal female packing list for my backpacking trip through New Zealand and Australia for five months.

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