Tip 1: Use layers
The song says it perfectly – ‘Four Seasons in One Day’. Kiwi days can start really cold and be crazy-hot by mid-morning, or start mellow and end with a huge rainstorm so layer-up and get ready to peel off over the day and put it all back on later. Leggings under dresses or shorts, thermals under T-shirts, it all works. If you’re out for the day carry a wind/rain jacket, a hat & a long sleeved thermal… and yes that goes whether it’s summer or winter and don’t forget the sunglasses if you really want to blend in with the locals.
Tip 2: Apply Lip balm
The wind and sun can really blister up your lips at any time of year. If you want to spend lots of time outside always wear a good lip balm with a high SPF.
Tip 3: Sunscreen up high & Insect Repellent down low
The NZ sun is strong and can fry unprotected necks, ears, faces & shoulders year round, so slap on the sunscreen and wear a hat. Sandflies love to bite feet & ankles so start your insect repellent at your toes up and work up – be very thorough. Using combined repellents/sunscreen isn’t recommended as you often need to reapply them at different times. Remember some chemical repellents interact with sunscreens to reduce your protection by about a third so read your labels or just choose quality natural products like 2B Insect Repellent and Oasis Sun range.
Bonus Tip 3.1: Apply Insect Repellent to all exposed skin – see below balm
Tip 4: Ask a Local
Ask the locals where to go and you’ll often discover a special spot the guide books don’t mention. Kiwis are a friendly lot and happy to share with you their favourite places to walk, eat, swim, catch a film, catch a fish or camp for the night.
Tip 5: Speak to the Experts
Our I-Sites and Department of Conservation Centres are stacked with local knowledge – they are usually found in the same building. If you are going walking/hiking/tramping/ skiing/camping then visit the local centre who will be up to date on any track changes or natural hazards and the weather. Here’s some great advice from DOC about what to pack for day walks, and a cool video https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/things-to-do/walking-and-tramping/day-hikes/day-hikes-gear-list/