When traveling to places with unpredictable rainfall like New Zealand or Australia’s Snowy Mountains the difference between a happy trip and a miserable experience often comes down to the quality and appropriateness of your wet weather clothing.
A few years ago I joined a UTS Outdoor Adventure Club trip to Kosciuszko National Park in Australia’s Snowy Mountains with the aim of spending New Years Eve on top of Australia’s highest mountain and taking a photo of sunrise on New Years Day.
We were still an hour or two away from the top of Mount Kosciuszko when a big thunderstorm gathered overhead and it started to rain heavily.
My previous experience was doing bushwalks around Sydney in good weather so I was wearing really inappropriate clothes and wet weather gear (cotton tshirt, fleecy jumper, thin pants and cheap basic raincoat) which meant I was sweating heavily inside the cotton tshirt and my raincoat let in a fair bit of water (see photo of me bottom right).
In the years since then I have learnt a lot about enjoying travel during potentially wet weather.
The key is to wear layers of clothing with water repellent features on the outside (make sure they use quality seam seal tape) and moisture wicking features (non-absorbent synthetic fibres that insulate while wicking liquid away from your skin) on the inside.
I was recently invited on a whirlwind week exploring New Zealand South Island via Dunedin and wore:
- Goretex Windstopper and Jacket (their research lab had sent me these to try out and test for them),
- Marmot fleecy mid-layer,
- Mountain Designs (synthetic) plus Glowing Sky (Merino wool) base layer long sleeve shirts
- Gondwana pants with additional polyester overpants for really rainy conditions
- Water resistant boots with long fleecy moisture wicking socks
Neerav Bhatt – Photography in Milford Sound photo credit: Craig Mullis
The result? I had a great time despite the cool weather and constant rain because I was wearing quality appropriate wet weather clothing throughout the trip.
DISCLAIMER: I was not paid for the NZ trip and have sole control over what I write and say about it. All expenses for the trip were covered by Tourism New Zealand and regional subsidiaries. Camera gear was loaned by Canon (except for my own personally owned Canon S90 camera). Some clothing was sponsored by Goretex