Crafting the perfect NZ summer picnic

Ah, the Kiwi summer – the warm breeze, the endless coastline, and the lush parks call us outdoors. And what better way to revel in the warm season than with a picnic? Here are some expert tips to craft the ultimate New Zealand summer picnic.

Choose the right location

While we’re spoilt for choice, consider what you want from the day. Do you fancy a coastal view with sandy toes? Or do you prefer the tranquillity of a shaded park? Here are some top picks for picnics in Auckland, Whangarei, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown.

Pack the essentials

The foundation of any picnic is its basket. Opt for one that’s sturdy yet lightweight, and large enough to store these items (as suggested by

  • Sun protection

  • Icepacks to keep things cool
  • A small cutting board and a sharp knife
  • Bottle opener
  • Blanket
  • Cups, plates, and cutlery
  • Napkins
  • Rubbish bag
  • Paper towels
  • Baby wipes for clean-up…

…and of course, food!

What food to bring? recommends preparing some wholesome home-cooked food in advance, keeping in mind any dietary restrictions your group may have. It’s a good idea to bring something that can be enjoyed cold and it’s easy to eat without making a mess, even if you’re sitting on a picnic blanket.

Things like a good salad, rice paper rolls, chicken skewers, and slider sandwiches are excellent options. Also, don’t forget to include some fruit – watermelon slices, grapes, or a mixed fruit salad can be hydrating and cleanse the palate.

For something slightly more elaborate, you can check out these 12 easy picnic food recipes from Woman’s Weekly.

Plan activities and games

If you have children, chances are you’ll need to keep them entertained throughout the day. Classic outdoor games like beach cricket, frisbee, tug of war, or pétanque are ever-popular choices. And for those seeking a more relaxed entertainment, there’s always a good book to get lost into, or some soothing music.

Looking for more inspiration? has a handy list of 12 old fashioned outdoor party games that your children may love.

Sustainability is key

As Kiwis, we know it’s our responsibility to preserve New Zealand’s natural beauty. So, make sure you follow the seven ‘leave no trace’ principles:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare.

  2. Travel and camp on durable ground.
  3. Dispose of waste properly.
  4. Leave what you find.
  5. Minimise the effect of fire (but before then, check if fires are permitted where you’re going).
  6. Respect wildlife and farm animals.
  7. Be considerate of others.

Make it comfortable

Last but not least, sitting on the ground may feel good initially, but after a while is also likely to become a tad uncomfortable. A thick picnic blanket might provide some cushioning, and portable folding chairs can be a lifesaver for those who’d prefer a raised seat. Consider inflatable pillows as well, as they don’t take up much space when deflated.

Also, remember, New Zealand’s sun can be pretty intense. Alongside sunscreen, it’s a good idea to pack a portable umbrella or shelter, especially if your chosen location has limited shade.

Enjoy your summer picnic!

And if at any point you’d like to explore your insurance options, check out our handy digital advice tool. Or reach out if you have any questions: click here to contact us today, or call us on 0800 800 400.


Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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