The time of year you choose to visit Australia and New Zealand will have a major impact on the experiences you’ll have there. Go in June for example and you’ll have short daylight hours and snow capped mountains in New Zealand, whereas even Sydney gets cold at this time of the year.
Australia is mostly associated with hot sunny beach days during December to March, but these weather conditions are usually punctuated by peak rates in both flights and hotels.
One way of saving a tonne of money and experiencing a country’s beauty without all the hectic crowds is to visit in the shoulder seasons, which for Australia and New Zealand are April, May, October and November.
At this time of year, both the number of tourists and average temperature are pleasant and agreeable. You’ll be able to properly get stuck into exploring these fascinating countries.
But the weather can still throw out some surprises, which is why I’ve put together this essential packing guide for Australia and New Zealand in the spring.
If there’s one place in the world you’re bound to have an epic adventure, it’s New Zealand.
This vast and rugged country spanning across two awe-inspiring islands is a playground for all thrill seekers, nature lovers and travel junkies from around the world. I can guarantee that you’ll spend most of your time travelling in New Zealand absolutely amazed by the landscape and its super friendly inhabitants.
Don’t be fooled by the blue skies and blazing sunshine overhead however, as New Zealand in the spring time is still quite nippy and cold – especially at night!
If you’re heading to NZ, we recommend checking out Lonely Planet’s guide to the country.
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Now for the essentials to pack when heading to New Zealand.
A jumper – or maybe even two
You definitely won’t regret having a jumper or cardigan on hand while you’re in New Zealand. It’s always a good idea to have layers that you can peel off and throw on when you need them, but an especially good idea for New Zealand in the spring!
I hope you’re able to do lots of hiking and cycling while you’re in New Zealand, in which case shorts are an absolute must! Even if you don’t get active, the warming weather is perfect to wear shorts to explore the towns and landscape in.
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For backpackers, having basic t-shirts are an absolute must. Don’t spend a lot of money on them, you’ll be wearing these out pretty quickly!
You can purchase some of these t-shirts here on Amazon.
An absolute must-have item for your trip are hiking boots. Especially for your time on the South Island or if you’re going to Milford Sounds. There’s some amazing hikes to do and you’ll definitely need the correct footwear to properly and safely enjoy them.
Pac A Mac
You’ll thank me for recommending a fold-up raincoat for your trip, because the heavens can open a lot during the spring time and surprise you when you least expect to get wet! Keep this in your backpack for emergency rainfall, you will not regret this sound investment in essential travel gear.
You can get your hands on great and affordable mac from Amazon here.
This was a somewhat surprising discovery for me, but the spring time in New Zealand especially in the more southern parts of the country can get bitterly cold sometimes. Having a pair of gloves and a hat handy are definitely a must!
Ok, so I know I’ve been talking about gloves and hats, but UV at this time of year is pretty high, especially as the sun is extra strong round this part of the world thanks to the thinning O-zone layer.
That’s why all the pharmacies and shops here pretty much only stock Factor 30 and above. Even on cloudy days, it’s important to wear sun cream to protect your skin from UV rays, so don’t forget this essential item.
When you think of Australia, you imagine beaches, barbecues and cute kangaroos hopping around, right? Well they definitely all exist to some extent, but the east coast of Australia in particular gets a lot more cloud and rain than you’d expect to bargain for – even in the Australian summer!
With this in mind, be prepared for a little rainfall during the Australian spring but also for some hot humid weather as the temperatures begin to heat up.
Just like New Zealand, we recommend having a read of Lonely Planet’s guide to Australia too.
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Essentials for Australia include:
To be honest, travel insurance is important wherever you travel but make sure you have adequate insurance to cover you in Australia, especially if you want to try out surfing or diving.
Of course sun cream is an absolute essential item for your time in Australia, so make sure you have adequate sun protection for the whole of your stay.
Cool workout clothes
Aussies are generally very fit and ahead of the game when it comes to working out, so you should definitely get involved with an exercise class while you’re there.
Working out on the beach at sunrise is pretty awesome, so make sure you have some cool workout gear to slip into.
A hat – or two!
I officially love wearing hats because they make any outfit look totally Instagram worthy, but they’re also a really good way of keeping the heat and the sun’s UV rays off your face and shoulders when you’re wandering around.
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A wet suit
Ok, so this one sounds weird and you don’t necessarily have to have one in your suitcase but if you are planning on swimming in the Queensland and northern territories, be aware that the spring time is when jellyfish and tiny little Irukandji jellyfish are in season.
The Irukandji are so small, they aren’t visible to the eye but a sting can be fatal! Either stay out of the sea, or make sure you’re totally covered with a wet suit on.
Australian fashion is super cool and also quite relaxed, so make sure you have plenty of outfits you can wear for chiller days on the beach. Think floaty dresses, cute sandals and denim shorts.
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Yep, it rains in Australia too and the spring is generally considered to be somewhat of a wet season. Make sure you have an umbrella or pac-a-mac to whip out for surprise downpours – trust me there can be quite a few!