Camping season is upon us and there's no place better to pitch a tent this summer than one of the many picturesque camping spots across New Zealand. Whether it's a family getaway or a festival trip with mates, preparation is key — so we've compiled some essential tips to help you make the most of your summer adventure.

1 Write a checklist
Prepare a list of everything you'll need to take and tick things off as you go. Leave enough time to pick up any extra bits and pieces you'll need. If you're short on any camping accessories these can double as Christmas gifts for the family (win/win).

2 Do your research
Check what facilities are available at the campground in advance — particularly if you're travelling with kids or heading to a more remote area. Confirming things such as cooking and toilet facilities, and whether the site is powered, can make all the difference in knowing what to pack. (It's always worth chucking in a few spare rolls of toilet paper regardless.)

3 Check the forecast
Look up the weather before you go and make sure it's safe to travel and you're well equipped for changeable conditions. Assess any hazards before you set up. Pitching your tent under a tree is great for shade from the sun, but in drizzly conditions large drips from the tree falling on the tent will keep you up all night and could quickly turn into falling branches.


4 Test out your existing gear before you leave home
Lay out your camping gear on the lawn to check everything's in order and you're familiar with the assembly process.

This will save you precious time on arrival that could be better spent at the beach — and give you a chance to replace anything that needs it. There's nothing worse than turning up to your camp
site and finding that you are missing a tent peg.

5 Pack warm
Pack sensible shoes, a pair of comfortable trackies and a warm, waterproof jacket. Even in the height of summer we're prone to some cooler evenings.

6 Compression bags are your best friend — especially when packing space is at a premium
You can also insert these into your sleeping bag cover and voila, you have a pillow.

7 Establish a few different zones at your camp site
One for pitching your tent, one to wash and dry clothes and the other as a sheltered communal area where you can enjoy meals and socialise, with chilly bin storage and fold-out chairs.

8 Pack a kit of essentials that can be easily accessed while you're away
Include things such as sunscreen, a basic mobile phone, water bottle, torch with spare batteries, insect repellent and a first-aid kit.

9 Don't forget the entertainment
In addition to your favourite water sports, no camping trip is complete without a good portable speaker for music (preferably with long-life batteries) and a pack of cards.

10 Keep safe and enjoy yourself!


Sunday Travel

has teamed up with Torpedo7 to give away the ultimate camping prize pack to one lucky reader. Valued at more than $2000, the prize includes the following Torpedo7 products:

● Air Series 500 Tent
● Queen Airbed
● Single Airbed
● Helios 300 Down Sleeping Bag — RZ
● Stowaway 6-Shelf Cupboard
● Serenity Lounger
● Director HD Plus Chair
● Sovereign Dining Table
● Premium Twin Burner Stove
● Premiere Aluminium Cook Set
● Enamel Plate — 25cm
● Enamel Mug — 500ml

To be in to win, tell us your favourite summer camping spot in New Zealand, and what makes it so special. Have you got any fond memories of family trips there? And do you have any great tips for making a classic Kiwi camping holiday go smoothly?

Email your entry, in no more than 100 words, along with a photo of your favourite spot, to or enter below. The winning entry, plus a selection of our favourites, will be published in summer issues of Sunday Travel.

Competition closes Tuesday, December 19, 5pm. Winner will be notified on Wednesday December 20.
Torpedo 7