Tips for Camping in Autumn in New Zealand

Community Our Best Bits Tips for Camping in Autumn in New Zealand
  • Autumn is a spectacular time to go camping in New Zealand. Whether you're surrounded by the breathtaking foliage of Central Otago or the white sandy beaches of the far north, there are countless places to explore during this season. With fewer crowds and a quieter atmosphere, it's the perfect opportunity to escape for an Easter getaway or a final family trip before winter sets in. Keep reading for our expert tips on how to make the most out of your autumn camping adventure.

  • Crisp mornings are perfect for coffee and cooked breakfasts.

    Picture this - you wake up next to a serene lake, basked in the morning sun's glow and surrounded by nature's beauty. It's time to start your day with a piping hot brew and some delicious breakfast. Get your Kiwi Camping Compact LPG Double Burner Stove fired up and boil some water in our collapsible kettle while you prepare your pan for sizzling bacon. Pour your hot brew into one of our thermo tumblers to keep it warm, plate up your delicious breakfast and take in the stunning morning scenery.

    Lake Ōkāreka Scenic Reserve DOC Campsite

    Lake Ōkāreka Scenic Reserve DOC Campsite

  • Take extra gear to stay warm in your tent.

    Camping in autumn means colder nights and chilly mornings. As well as the drop in air temperatures, the effect of losing heat through contact with the ground can lead to a surprisingly chilly sleep if you’re not prepared with the right gear.

    To properly insulate yourself from the ground, here are some solutions we recommend to keep you toasty in your tent:

    1. Opt for a well-insulated mat with a high R-value, such as the Kiwi Camping Rover Range. This range will keep you warm in all seasons and can be used on its own or in conjunction with camping stretchers.
    2. Airbeds provide little to no insulation between you and the ground; therefore, they will circulate cold air through them when placed directly on the floor of a tent. If you prefer a large blowup airbed setup like the Kiwi Camping Wayfarer, we suggest placing our Kiwi Camping 12mm thermal foam mats underneath the airbed, with the silver layer facing downward to provide a layer of insulation and retain warmth for a comfortable sleep.
    3. Make sure your sleeping bag is appropriate for the season; this will keep you insulated from the cool air temperatures. For Autumn, we recommend choosing a sleeping bag with a rating of at least 0°C. Check what the temperatures will be where you are camping; places such as central North Island and the South Island could be significantly colder at night than the North Island coastal regions.
    Kiwi Camping Mamaku Trek 0°C Sleeping Bag

    Kiwi Camping Mamaku Trek 0°C Sleeping Bag

  • Ventilate your tent to prevent condensation.

    Autumn can be a damp time of year, but don't let condensation spoil your camping trip. Correctly ventilating your tent is key to staying dry and comfortable. Follow these steps to manage condensation:

    • When choosing your campsite, look for a dry and sheltered spot.
    • Keep the inside of your tent as dry as possible. Hang wet clothes and towels outside to dry and try to air out any damp items during the day.
    • Proper ventilation is crucial. Ensure your rainfly is pulled tight to create an air gap between the fly and tent wall. If you own a Kiwi Camping Kea or Takahe tent, you can easily ventilate your tent even in the rain by pitching the window flaps.
    • Open all rainfly doors, roll-up sections, and vents to increase air circulation. You can also keep the inner tent windows open when possible to let in the fresh air.
    Pitched window flap example on Kiwi Camping Kea 6 Blackout tent

    Pitched window flap example on Kiwi Camping Kea 6 Blackout tent

  • Don't be afraid of the dark.

    Autumn brings early sunsets, which can mean a perfect opportunity for a campfire to roast marshmallows and enjoy the evening outdoors. With fewer critters out and about, it's the ideal time to rug up and get a heat source going. Take a moment to relax and look up at the stars.

    If you happen to be camping outside of urban areas, make sure to seize the chance to observe the stars. Aoraki Mt Cook is among the world's top Dark Sky Reserves, so if you're fortunate enough to be camping there, it's one of the most ideal places for stargazing.

    Roasting Marshmallows at Quinney's Bush Campsite

    Roasting Marshmallows at Quinney's Bush Campsite

  • Pack versatile clothing.

    Layers are your best bet for staying comfortable in changing temperatures. Mornings might require a cozy jumper or long sleeves, but as the day heats up, you may find yourself wanting to shed some layers and rock a singlet. Remember to pack essentials like short and long pants, plenty of socks, rain-proof clothing, tops, and hats to ensure you're ready for anything.

    Paige Hareb and the Kiwi Camping Tuatara Hard Shell Rooftop Tent

    Paige Hareb and the Kiwi Camping Tuatara Hard Shell Rooftop Tent

  • Need some inspiration for your Autumn adventure? Here's a list of some of the Kiwi Camping team's favourite places to camp in the off-peak season around NZ:

    Wanaka: Beautiful trees and plenty of adventure activity for all campers.
    Mackenzie District: Alpine camping at its best!
    Central Otago: Cycling trails and vineyards galore.
    Pureora Forest Park Gets you close to the 42 Traverse; April is your last chance for 4WD; however, this track can be hiked all year round.
    Tāwharanui Peninsula: Stunning white sand beaches with an open sanctuary. Check out the rock pools, bike tracks and scenic lookouts.
    Whangateau: Stunning harbour views coupled with unrivalled serenity, not far from the Goat Island marine reserve.