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Discover what campervan essentials you need before packing your epic Aussie/NZ adventure. Having the best time relies on not leaving any of these behind!

Nothing spells the adventure of a lifetime quite like cruising in a camper and exploring the epic sights of Australia and New Zealand.

But before strapping yourself in and putting that pedal to the metal, we defo recommend looking at our essential campervan packing list.

From important documents to personal care and electronics, we have all the info you need to make the most of your getaway.

Notepads to the ready guys, let’s get ticking off that campervan packing list.

Hi Top Campervan touring new zealand. Two travellers on an open road.

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What to pack? Campervan packing list for Australia and New Zealand

While we know a healthy dose of organisation might not feel like the most free-spirited vibe, there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of preparation in life.

Plus, you don’t wanna be halfway from Sydney to Melbourne along the Great Western Road before realising you’ve left your cosies and thongs behind.

But in all seriousness guys, Oz and NZ are beast nations. Things can turn dangerous if you don’t pack appropriately. The size, climate and nature of both countries will gobble you up and spit you out if you’re not careful.

So, with all that serious chat out of the way, let’s start packing (literally).

General stuff

Common personal items, including a backpack, camera, shoes, etc.

Starting with the basics, these are the bits you can’t forget:

Backpack/day bag

When out on the road, you’re gonna have heaps of excursions to see all those sights and enjoy the great outdoors. This means bringing a backpack (separate from your main bag) that you can take exploring (without messing up the camper with all your stuff about the place).

Reusable water bottle

Sinking beers is fun and all, but keep hydrated. The land Down Under is hot, so be prepared to sweat more than normal. The bigger your bottle, the better, while keeping it green is where it’s at.

Sunnies and hat 

Putting the Oz in ozone, we have super-strong UV compared to other parts of the world. Alongside sunscreen, wearing sunnies and a hat will help shield you from those ruthless rays and prevent any nasty burns from killing your vibe.  

Travel pillow and blanket

While we always wanna keep the energy high, you need rest to make sure you stay on top form for the duration of your trip. Keep it cosy for those long drives and dreamy nights with a comfy travel pillow and blanket.

Important docs

A person looking at a large paper map

Okay, with that general campervan packing list, let’s start thinking about you’re all-important documentation, and while you’re at it, get yourself a nice little travel folder to keep your papers in order:

Driving licence

Obvious, we know, but we can’t write you up the ultimate campervan packing list without mentioning a driving licence. Some things should go without saying, but you’d be surprised, honestly.

Passport

Identification is often necessary, and if you plan on leaving the country or going elsewhere, you ain’t getting far without it. Just keep it safe!

Travel insurance paper

You know, just in case things get a bit hairy out on the road.

Camper rental agreement

We assume you’ll have it on your phone, but there’s no harm in printing the agreement for safekeeping. When you drop your camper off with us, we’re gonna have to see it to know you’re legit.

Maps and guidebooks

You can’t always rely on a good phone signal, especially in the Outback. Keep some maps and guidebooks on hand in case you need to go old school.

Money

A fan of Australian Dollars in someone's hand
Australia Dollars by Will, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr

Sweet. The next section of our campervan packing list considers finances. Now, we know it’s rude and awkward in some circles to talk about money, but it’s another campervan essential, so listen up:

Debit/Credit cards

You might be hitting the road and setting your wild side free, but you still need to pay your way. Calculate how much you’ll need for your trip, add an extra 15/20% in case of emergencies and ensure you have it all in your account.

Cash

Despite digitalisation driving us towards a cashless society, we’re not quite there yet. So, have a spare kitty if you need cash and keep it topped up when possible.

Budget tracker

Be it on an app or scribbled inside a notepad, try and keep tabs on your budget to have a sick time without overspending.

Electronics

Common electronic devices laid out on the floor

Technology doesn’t need to separate you from nature. And by staying connected, you make sure to capture every moment:

Smartphone

Enhance your experience with a smartphone. Plan your trip, guide your journey and stay connected while taking lots of pictures/vids for the gram!

Portable power bank  

Never run out of juice with a portable power bank ready to charge all your gear and gadgets.

Camera

For that sentimental value, record your experience with a designated camera. Whether with a professional Canon or quirky fisheye, capturing those magic moments will give you memories for a lifetime.

GPS

In case your phone dies and map reading is beyond your orientation skills, trust a GPS device to keep you on track.

Clothing

A woman packing clothes for a summer holiday

Picking appropriate clothing depends on where you are and its climate (we’ll come to the warm and cold weather campervan packing list later). But you can trust in a few campervan essentials with your clothing:

Comfy walking shoes

As comfy as they are, you won’t want to get stuck inside that camper for too long. After all, the point of getting away is to explore, and no better mode than on your own two feet, hence why you need a practical pair of walking shoes.

Believe it or not, your thongs won’t always cut it. Get suitable shoes for hiking yet comfortable for kicking back and chilling.

Thongs (flip-flops/sandals)

On the other end of the footwear spectrum, we need some super easy, slip-on convenience for those sun-soaked beach days. Yeeeeeeeeew!

Quick-dry clothes

Whether you get caught in a storm or want something swift to wash and dry, some quick-dry clothes are always a good shout.  

Swimwear

Cossies and trunks to the ready because across Oz and NZ, there’s no end of beaches, lakes and springs for you to dive straight in.

Light jacket

You know that versatile little number that sits nicely between not quite hot enough for just a T-shirt yet is always snug for you when there’s a sudden change in temp as soon as the sun drops. Yep, we’re talking about that lovely light little jacket of yours, ideal for all conditions.

Health

A first aid kit

High up the priority list is your health and wellbeing. Here’s how you make sure to stay in tip-top shape on your travels:

First aid kit  

Bandages, antiseptic, painkillers, meds, you name it! Oh, and if you’re bushwalking or taking on a little more adventure out in nature, make sure to expand your first aid kit as needed, e.g. packing a compression bandage for snake/spider bites. Although the risk from dangerous animals is massively exaggerated – there have been no deaths in Australia from a confirmed spider bite since 1979 – you should take sensible measures to stay safe in the wild.

Insect repellent

Big bugs leave itchy bites. Insect repellent is always worth adding to your campervan packing list to keep those creepy crawlies and annoying mosquitoes away.  

Hand sanitiser

More practical and compatible than a bar of soap and bottled water, keep your mitts clean when spending long days on the road.

Personal care

Toiletries on a white background

Be good to yourself on the road. Just because a camper will be your home for the next few days/weeks doesn’t mean you can’t keep fresh and clean:

Toiletries

Brush those teeth, wash that hair and pack some deodorant to smell nice (you never know who you’ll meet along the way).  

Wet wipes  

A speedy clean-up and wash, in case you can’t shower.

Towels

Quick-dry microfiber towels stay light in your luggage and dry fast.

Hairbrush/comb

All that fresh air and saltwater swimming can turn your hair dry and messy before you know it. Pack a brush or comb to stop your hair getting tangled.

Laundry bag

Pack another bag to separate your smelly stuff from your clean clothes. Because by the end of your trip, you might not know which is which!

Hot weather

People lying on the beach

Be sure to beat the heat by adding these items to your campervan packing list:

Light clothing

Stay comfy and cool on those long, hot days with something lightweight and breathable.

Wide-brim hat

With hanging corks and all to keep them flies away. But seriously, if you’re more sensitive to the sun, get yourself a whopping big hat. It’ll make a huge difference!

Sunscreen

Slather it on and avoid that pesky sunburn spoiling your adventure. The higher the SPF, the better, especially when contending with the might of the Oceania sun.

Cold weather

A man looking out over the mountains

Australia and New Zealand are known for their sunny temperatures, but it can still get cold. Average winter temperatures in Oz range between 15-25°C, with the lowest-ever temperature recorded at −23.0°C in the snowy mountains.

On the other hand, New Zealand winter temperatures range between 10-15°C, with the lowest temperature recorded at −25.6 °C in Otago.

Warm coat

Wrap up warm with an insulated and waterproof jacket.

Thermals

Keep that chill away with some spare base layers and thermals.

Hat, gloves and scarf

Arctic winds can be bitter during the winter Downunder, where a hat, gloves and scarf can protect you from freezing.

Warm socks

No one likes cold feet inside a camper. A snug pair of socks can give you some home-from-home comfort as you brave the outdoors.

Adventure gear

backpacker travelling around queenstown with a backpack and the view.

What’s a campervan packing list without an adventure on the agenda?

Hiking boots

An advance on your comfy walking shoes, hiking boots are ideal for those stoked for regular hikes.

Waterproofs

Don’t let any showers wash away your good vibes. Stay dry with some waterproof gear.

Snorkelling gear

It’s not just the Great Barrier Reef that offers an incredible snorkelling experience. There are plenty of sick spots along the coasts of Oz and NZ to float on the water and admire the wonders beneath.    

Binoculars

Take in the scenic beauty of your surroundings and admire wildlife from a distance with a compatible set of binoculars.

Entertainment

“I spy” is only so good for a few Ks down the highway. We all need entertainment, while back-to-back days of adventure can sometimes call for some personal zoning out time.

Add these entertainment essentials to your campervan packing list:

Books

While you might struggle to find the time for reading in normality, nothing immerses a reader quite like the freedom of a long camper trip. And bring a bunch while you’re at it! Honestly, you’ll fly through them!

Pack of cards/games

Some social entertainment around the campsite or during those longer drives, a pack of cards offers multiple games and some drinking fun!

Speaker

Every incredible campervan experience needs a soundtrack. Bring a decent Bluetooth speaker and get to work on your campervan essentials playlist.

Journal/scrapbook

Beyond Instagram stories and pictures, record your thoughts and feelings for a more personal account of your experience.

Families

A family enjoying their meal by a campervan

Travelling with little ones? No problem. Here’s our campervan packing list for families:

Cutlery/crockery/cups

Having a family on the road, we can imagine there’ll be plenty of cooking. While bringing enough pots and pans, you need plenty of plates, cutlery and cups to ensure hungry stomachs don’t cause problems.

Awning

An attachable awning offers extra space for sleeping without you all getting on top of each other.

Outdoor toys

Keeping kids entertained is half the battle. And seeing how you’ll be spending lots of time outside, outdoor toys/activities like bikes, scooters, and ball games can help keep your little ones from getting bored as you crack on with the cooking.

Pets

Two people with their dog in a campervan

Maybe there’s one thing that can make your campervan adventure even better, and that’s your favourite companion by your side.

We recommend bringing the following things from home to make them more comfortable:

Food/water bowls

A familiar thing to stick their faces in can help ease any unwelcome stress as you travel.

Bed

Whether at the foot of your bed or next to the campfire, most roadie dogs need little encouragement to get some shut-eye.

Poo bags

So easy to forget! Be on hand to clear up when your dog is ready to do their business.

Campervan essentials

Two people sitting on camping chairs on the beach

Now you have yourself sorted, let’s focus on what the campervan needs:

Cooking supplies

One of the perks of a camper is that you have space to cook, but you may still need to bring pots, pans, and utensils. If you’re hiring, these will often be provided, but it’s worth checking with your hire company.

Tupperware  

No good having some lovely leftovers for lunch if you have nothing to put them in. You can save a ton of cash if you’re willing to make every meal go as far as possible.

Washing up liquid/sponge/cleaning

Keep the place tidy, and don’t let those pots pile up.

Camping chairs/table

Whether sitting down with a beer or erecting a food-prep station for dinner, fold-up tables and chairs provide practicality and comfort on your holiday.

Torch

A standard flashlight or head torch is handy to navigate when it gets dark, especially when trying to find a toilet.

Bin liners

Leave your surroundings how you’d expect to find them, with all your trash going in the bin.

Book a camper for your Aussie/NZ roadie

We hope this blog has given you some basic campervan essentials across the main categories. However, to perfect your campervan packing list before embarking on an experience of a lifetime, it pays to know the route, climate and other road trip specifics to guarantee you miss nothing.

At RatPack Travel, we always try to maximise your experience with our personalised service.

From suggesting the best spots to visit across Australia/NZ to matching you with the perfect camper, our 5-star service guarantees to find you the cheapest option.

Ready to pack up that camper and hit the road? Book a campervan with us today and a friendly RatPack Travel team member will guide you through the whole process.

hi top campervan in new zealand taken on a drone

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Was initially a little wary of RatPack, due to the name, but with my dealings with George I am very happy with booking my camper for travel. I found a cheap quote and George went above and beyond to match as closely as possible a better all round deal. Very personable, and no hassles. I would recommend checking out RatPack if you want a stress free, value holiday in Oz, you might get lucky and have George help you out.

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