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What clothes to bring

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San Francisco...
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What clothes to bring

First time NZ trip is last week of November and first 2 weeks of December, the latter two on the South Island. We are active boomers experienced in travel to Europe and all over the US. Don't want to overpack, but since Qantas has a ridiculous 13 lb carry-on limit, there is no choice but to check luggage, which gives us a bit of leeway. We plan on hiking (no multi-day hikes) and kayaking (first timers tho hope to practice in protected areas of the Pacific this summer) and the cruises on the Sounds, a jet boat, Tasman, etc. Will wear hiking boots on plane; seems too early for sandals and shorts. Don't want to look silly, but want to be comfy. How much warm clothing do we really need? Are jeans and trainers as frowned upon in NZ as they seem to be in Europe?

First time poster, tho have been reading the forums for ages.

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1. Re: What clothes to bring

Hi Siouxxie, welcome to posting :)

NZ is rather informal so your jeans and trainers can be worn everywhere. Well I wear mine everywhere anyway!

Yes, pack your shorts and sandals as you will definitely be needing them. I would suggest you pack a rain jacket, one pair of light thermals for any cold snap, a couple of pairs of shorts and jeans. A couple of light tops, a couple of mid-weight and one warmer layer as it will get cooler in the evenings.

With your hiking boots, take a strong brush to them and clean all the dirt out of the treads. They will be inspected on arrival and if there's any dirt they will be taken away and steam cleaned for you.

You trip sounds lovely and well planned. Don't worry too much about the packing, you can always shop once you're here for any extras. Just remember the suncream and the bug repellent and you'll have a great trip.

Wellington, New...
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2. Re: What clothes to bring

Unfortunately the weather you are going to experience could be all four seasons at once although with climate warming it is a lottery these days.

First off plan your clothing in layers such that if it gets hot you can remove outer garments and visa versa if it gets cold.

A quality outer jacket that is both warm and will keep out the rain is essential. A warm jersey that can also be worn casually in the evening should also be with you. Polar fleece is very popular and covers a multitude of uses.

Jeans and trainers are fine provided you dont want to go fine dining but are acceptable in most places.

Bring a good hat as well, that can double as a rainhat and sunhat.

Instead of wearing hiking boots on the plane I would tie them to your cabin bag. They are not the most comfortable footwear on long distance flights and Qantas are reasonably liberal.

Shorts for hiking and daywear should be fine.

Christchurch
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3. Re: What clothes to bring

Hi Siouxxie

The previous reply is right - informal is the way to go. Trainers fine but like your hiking boats make sure your shoes are very clean. No dirt. Also if you are into hiking etc make sure all your gear is 'clean' with no odd seeds/leaves etc attached. Our boarder people are very strict regarding this.

Clothes - layers is the best way to go. It can be very warm at that time of year but conversley it is just as likely to be cold - esp at night.

Hope you have a great time - how are you traveling - car or campervan?

cheers

Kiwi

San Francisco...
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4. Re: What clothes to bring

Thanks, Wanaka, I would not have thought to make sure my hiking boots were spotless! Last time we used them was in Yosemite a month ago, so might not be clean enough!

Regarding apparel at nicer restaurants in Auckland...I usually throw in a skirt--good idea?

Another question (probably not for the Queenstown post) re the dolphin swims. I've seen people write in that they are taking children as young as 8, yet the websites state that a basic swimming skill is required. Are life jackets provided?

And thanks to all the NZ regulars who are so patient answering our questions over and over. Last October in a pub in Derry (NI)we shared Guinness with a young couple from NZ who provided all sorts of useful and enthusiastic info about their country. Kiwis (as they call themselves, so hope I am not being disrespectful) are the friendliest travelers we meet in country after country!

New Zealand
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5. Re: What clothes to bring

Cheers Siouxxie, we love being known as Kiwis.

A skirt for more formal dining is an excellent plan. A pretty scarf or piece of simple jewelery can transform a casual top too.

I don't believe life jackets are provided for the dolphin swim, though someone who's been there will be better informed. They do provide both wetsuit and flippers and it's surprising how buoyant you become. As long as you feel comfortable in deep water, you will be fine.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: What clothes to bring

I had to laugh, Wanaka, when I read about "just flippers and wet suits." That would never do in the US where a cabal of lawyers would be lining up to sue the dolphin swim company for negligance...and even the dolphins if they could get away with it!

I almost drowned snorkeling on Kauai a couple years ago--BUT I didn't have flippers (left them on the beach--stupid, I know! Learned my lesson, so now am hyper-vigilant)

To answer 4kiwitravellers' question about car v camper van. Depends on the day...we have been going back and forth. Are used to camping (tent) and are used to driving vans (and 3 trips to Ireland have made my husband very comfortable driving on the left); on the other hand, if we need to save time by doing an internal flight or two, then we can't really do the campervan. Still pondering options.

Christchurch
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7. Re: What clothes to bring

Hi

Dolphins first - there are more places than just Auckland to do this - Kaikoura is great and you can also do whale watching there. In addition is Akaroa - about an hour out of Christchurch - also very good.

As to campervan - great way to travel and our campgrounds in general are excellent. Be brave about the driving - we are taking on the challenge of driving in the USA in June/July 08 in a 28 foot RV. Our roads generally have a lot less traffic and it is a great way to see the sights. Stop and eat, drink and rest when ever you want.

Several good companies to choose from - Maui, Kea, Britz just to mention a few but just go do a web search on google.

cheers

Kiwi

Greymouth, New...
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8. Re: What clothes to bring

The question isnt really so much about what to bring with you, but perhaps what we could recommend what you need to survive whilst in NZ and what you can then take home again.

There is already a thread on possum socks and various other possum accessories but think about some of the fine merino jersies (jumper) for when you go home to a winter.

-possum innersoles for your hiking boots.

- how about a 'swani', Nice swandri jacket, made for out hunting through to casual / classy dress.

- Lambs wool slippers for those evenings at home and they will last a life time

even so it wil be November, you wil have these garments to take home with you to your northern winters.

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9. Re: What clothes to bring

Regarding the dolphin swim, this company in the Bay of Islands is ideal if you have children, they have a boom net that the children can get into and hold on while in the water with the dolphins- ideal for the less confident swimmers.

dolphincruises.co.nz/swim-with-the-dolphins/

In the photo gallery is a picture of the net- see OrcaII, you can see it just hanging off the side. When this boat stops for lunch at one of the islands the kids are able to play in the net too.

There are a number of places to swim with the dolphins and Auckland would be one of the minor areas- Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Kaikoura & Akaroa are ideal places.

Just a note, you can actually see more of the dolphins from up on board the boat, they move very fast and zip here, there and everywhere. When you're in the water you struggle to see them and you definately can't touch them, they stay just out of reach as they whizz past!

San Francisco...
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10. Re: What clothes to bring

Hi Zappers, sorry if I gave the impression I am bringing kids--we have raised our four, and they are now making their own! I only mentioned kids in relation to the dolphin swim because of the website saying one had to have a swimming capability and I was thinking, how many 8 year olds could swim in the ocean with dolphins without wearing a life vest? Nor was my question about dolphins and Auckland--it was only about being provided with life vests.

I have checked out the BOI, Kaikoura, and Akaroa, based on threads I have seen here. I have sent queries but so far have received no responses.

4kiwitravellers, where are you visiting in the US?

coasters2, I am happy to say that I no longer worry about "northern winters."