If you’re one of the 100 000 or so lucky buggers travelling to New Zealand for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, I pretty much hate you. You have an awesome, once-in-a-lifetime trip to a spectacular country to look forward to and I’ll probably have to watch the Boks get thrashed from my 37cm Tedelex with the green shadow in the middle of the screen.
I myself have never been to NZ, but I have 2 step sisters in Australia and I watched The Whale Rider and Once were Warriors at least twice each.
(I’m kidding of course, I know New Zealand and Australia are two completely different countries. I also know that the list of great Kiwi films is longer than just those two and includes greats like Heavenly Creatures, The Piano, The Tattooist, Avatar and also some trilogy about wizards and weird little hobbit people or something…?)
Anyway, by all accounts, New Zealand is a beautiful and interesting country, with much to offer any visitor. But what to pack so that you have everything you need and don’t have to spend your hard-earned moola on stuff you could’ve brought from home?
Fear not, rugby fans – here’s the list of 10 things you absolutely have to pack. You’ll thank me for it later!
- Winter clothes and Summer clothes
Spring will have sprung, but you will probably still experience New Zealand’s infamous “four seasons in one day”, so make sure you have a light raincoat and small umbrella, as well as a scarf, beanie and warm coat.
You will also be faced with delightful summer days, so make sure you are prepared with your cozzie, flip flops, cap, t-shirts, shorts and vests.
- An extra bag for travelling home
There’s nothing worse than trying to squeeze your clothes back into your suitcase when you head home, especially when you’ve made a few fantastic purchases during your trip. So pack a lightweight sports bag into your big suitcase and when you’re packing for home, fill that first – you’ll be happy you did.
- An electric converter and adapter
If you plan to travel with your own electrical appliances – hair dryer, straightener, shaver, blender etc., you’ll probably need a power plug adapter for New Zealand. Make sure you get one with an earthing pin.
- Insect repellent
New Zealand has a lot of insects, including the weta, one of the oldest and definitely the heaviest insect in the world, which looks like a cross between a cricket and a shrimp. And while insect repellent won’t do anything to help you avoid the weta, it will come in super handy for those mosquitoes and very irritating sand flies. And believe me – you don’t want to wait until you’ve been bitten to find a pharmacy – have some with you from the moment you step off the plane!
The New Zealand sun is extremely harsh, even in overcast weather, so you will be doing yourself a huge favour by protecting yourself and your family all the time! The last thing you want is to have to flog your game tickets because you have sunstroke or can’t leave your ice-water bathtub!
- Camera stuff – plenty of it
If you’re still on film, take loads! If digital, make sure you have extra memory cards, batteries and your charger. Besides all the fantastic rugby action, fan shots and Kodak moments you’ll want to capture, New Zealand is one of the most picturesque places on earth and you will find splendour and beauty everywhere you go. While you’re at it, why not do a google search for a few basic photography tips and tricks, and guarantee better pictures?
- Travel Money
Why not buy your travel money before you go, and secure the best exchange rates available? Spend less time in the bank or change bureau and more time drinking Kiwi beer, cheering for your team. It’s a no-brainer! Visit www.1stcontactforex.com to find out about the two easy ways to get your travel money, quickly, cheaply and safely.
- Walking shoes
There are going to be the most mindblowing places that you will want to explore. But you can’t do it in socks and flip flops, so make sure you pack a good, sturdy pair of walking shoes. Check out hiking trails and tours when you take a day off from cheering.
- Team clothes and colours
Let’s not forget what you’re going for in the first place….Rugby! You don’t want to have to buy your team’s rugby jersey at a ridiculous price in a foreign country, so get your supporter’s gear sorted before you leave. Face paints, jerseys, scarves, wigs, whatever’s in your repertoire…
- Nerves of steel
You are going to the adventure sport capital of the world and will be offered many opportunities to partake in some or other adrenalin-producing activities… You’ll probably never visit this country again, so why not just accept that you will be doing something adventurous and then embrace the opportunities?
If the thought of massive insects, harsh UV and unpredictable weather has left you questioning your decision, who can blame you? It’s not Dover, that’s for sure. Get in touch with me, I’m sure we can come to some agreeable arrangement!