New Zealand is an incredible place to explore, with untouched terrain that's remote yet easily accessible.

It's also likely to be quite different from what you're used to, so it's important you prepare beforehand for an unfamiliar climate and environment.   


Adventure Smart: Outdoor Safety Code

View The Outdoor Safety Code(opens in new window) for 5 simple rules to help you stay safe outdoors and tips on what you should know before you go.

Mountain Safety Guide: Day Walks

Download the Mountain Safety guide(opens in new window) for some simple tips to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

What to pack

Here’s a simple list of things the Mountain Safety Council recommend you take. This list will change depending on the length walk you are going on, but use the below as a starting point. 


  1. Good quality solid footwear
  2. Layer your clothing, but don’t wear cotton – thermals/fleece are a great idea because they stay warm when wet. A rain jacket is essential
  3. Warm hat and gloves
  4. Plenty of water
  5. A small survival kit
Bridge to Nowhere, Whanganui

Changes in weather

It’s very common to see the sun one hour, and then have heavy rain and strong winds the next -the weather is always changing.

New Zealand is in the middle of a large ocean and this means our weather changes every day and the weather isn't stable like most continental parts of Europe, Asian, America or Australia. New Zealand is a small island with most of our natural outdoor area close to the sea or mountains.

Motatapu track, Queenstown

Tell someone your plans

In New Zealand it’s expected you’ll tell someone what you’re doing and where you’re going, before you go. That way if something does go wrong our emergency services can help you as they'll know where you were headed. 

Tell someone your plans using whatever system works for you, this could be an email, a phone call, or a detailed SMS message, and make sure you let them know once you're back out too. You may not have mobile phone reception on your walk or hike, so make sure you are prepared before you go. 

French Ridge Track, Wānaka

Know your limits

Before you go make sure you’ve selected a walk or hike that’s suitable for you and your group, based on fitness levels and time available. If you’re not sure about this, then ask a local - check in at the local Department of Conservation office (they know lots about the local area) or ask someone either at your accommodation or at a shop in town before you go.

Northland & Bay of Islands
Bream Head Coastal Walk, Northland & Bay of Islands

Fire safety

Before lighting a fire, find out the risks and whether you need a permit at in new window).  

Where to next?