What to pack for the Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands in New Zealand's North Island is the perfect place to go for a relaxing and breathtaking getaway. Not only can you learn about Maori culture while you're there, but you also have a front-row seat to some of Mother Nature's best work, including vast and impressive landscapes, natural caves full of glow worms, and stunning rock formations you can cruise between.

Due to the nature of the island, you'll likely be spending most of your time outside, exploring the scenery, taking rewarding hikes and snorkelling in crystal clear waters. 

To help you out, we've come up with a checklist of essential items you'll want to pack before you go.

Clothing items 

1. Appropriate walking/hiking shoes 

Packing comfortable and appropriate walking shoes is always important when you're exploring a new place, especially if you plan on doing some hiking or going for long walks around the region. While standard runners are adequate for everyday use, a sturdier pair of walking shoes or boots will help to protect your ankles while making sure you're stable and don't slip over. If you've bought a new pair of shoes specifically for a trip, make sure you break them in beforehand so you don't run the risk of getting blisters (ouch). 

2. T-shirts, jeans, shorts, dresses (sightseeing clothes)

Along with appropriate hiking/walking clothes, you should also pack a variety of outfits to suit the weather patterns of the region you're travelling in. The Bay of Islands has fairly nice and warm weather all year round so you won't need to bring heavy coats, thick pants or gloves and scarves. Instead, consider packing t-shirts, dresses, jeans, and shorts so you won't be too hot while you participate in various activities. 

3. Light cardigan or jumper

While the weather in the Bay of Islands is reasonably warm regardless of the season, you might want to consider packing a cardigan or a jumper for evenings as they tend to get a little cooler. If you're travelling in winter, it's also a good idea to bring a waterproof jacket as rainfall can occur, but temperatures are still likely to be on the warmer side. 

4. Swimwear

Swimwear is essential if you want to get the most out of the warm weather and sparkling blue waters in the Bay of Islands. Remember to put on more sunscreen in between swims so as to keep yourself protected from the sun. 

Learn more about the weather on the Bay of Islands

Other essentials

1. Daypack

Carrying a daypack with you on your journey through the Bay of Islands is not only handy but absolutely necessary. The perfect place to put your snacks, water bottle, sunscreen, and any other everyday items you need during the day, a backpack will help keep everything safe, in one place, and easily accessible whenever you need one of the items.

2. First aid kit 

You should always think about carrying a first aid kit with you whenever you embark on a holiday or adventure, especially if you'll be participating in outdoor activities such as hiking. Making sure you have a first aid kit with you at all times ensures that any minor scrapes, bites, or irritations that occur on your journey can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. 

3. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is another essential item that's super important to have with you, especially if you're spending long periods of time outside. Put some sunscreen on in the morning and top it up during the day, even if you're travelling in winter, as the temperature doesn't have to be high for the sun's UV rays to have an effect. 

4. A reusable water bottle 

It's important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially during the warmer months of the year when you'll be outside a lot or participating in some of the many outdoor activities this region has to offer. A reusable water bottle is a great, sustainable way to carry your water around, and if you prefer drinking water that's on the cooler side, an insulated, stainless steel bottle will do the trick.  

5. Snacks

Almost just as important as carrying water with you on your journey, making sure you have a snack to munch on should you get hungry is also a must. While there are general stores and other places where you can get food from in the Bay of Islands, it's a good idea to pack fruit, protein bars, nuts, chocolate, and other snack foods for when you're wandering around the Wharepuke Sculpture Park or embarking on your full-day boat trip around the islands. 

Want to learn more about the Bay of Islands? Return to Bay of Islands FAQs

Our Bay of Islands tours

tailor-made trips
Build your dream adventure

Let's create an exclusive trip for your group.

Explore Tailor-Made trips

Read more about New Zealand