We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.


Berkshire, UK
Level Contributor
182 posts
5 reviews

Only 2 weeks to go til we start our journey to NZ, starting to pull together bits ready to pack.

First question, should we take binoculars? I guess you will say what are we doing, whale watching (Kaikoura), boat trip/hike ((Kaiteriteri), self drive to Milford Sound from Te Anau and Sound cruise, heli/hike Fox Glacier. Then just driving and walks.

The binoculars take up a lot of weight for us to carry (hand luggage), will obviously take if there is any chance they might be used but don’t want to carry around for 6 weeks if they will not come out the rucksack!

Would really appreciate any views you may have, even it’s just to tell us we are silly to even think about not taking them. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

10 replies to this topic
Dunedin, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Dunedin
Level Contributor
2,887 posts
77 reviews
1. Re: Binoculars

Are these binoculars something you would normally use at home, if you go away for a weekend, for example? I'd say only bring them if they're already a habit for you to use. I don't see many people sporting binoculars but there have been times I have wished I had some.

Level Contributor
352 posts
45 reviews
2. Re: Binoculars

search for 8x42 compact/pocket binoculars - can be found from$100 to $800 and 8 to 24 ounces - once you decide on price range, go find them in a store. Nothing beats handling them to figure out if things.

The biggest snag wit the lightweighted one's is ...your own shaking hands. Stay away from onboard stabilization and camera models


since you are in the uk, not sure of all models available ...glws

Berkshire, UK
Level Contributor
182 posts
5 reviews
3. Re: Binoculars

Ok thanks Barry, then I guess the answer is no, we got them for spotting birds and animals in South Africa, and only as a norm take them there, very rarely use anywhere else.

Appreciate your help!

Thanks Phil for the suggestion, we bought some pretty good ones, a few years back, but come with a weight, for the use they would get we don’t really want to spend the money on more pairs, but again, appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

Edited: 06 October 2018, 03:12
Level Contributor
11,762 posts
72 reviews
4. Re: Binoculars

I think the only place they might come in handy would be for whale watching. But, if you are like me, you'd have trouble finding the whale through the binoculars and once you did find him and got the focus right, he'd be gone! It would be more an exercise in frustration than anything else.

Leave the binoculars at home.

Berkshire, UK
Level Contributor
182 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: Binoculars

Ah deSchenke, that reminded us, we did exactly that, we took the bins on a whale watching trip, and gave up using them part way through the trip as we kept missing the whale sightings, saw much more without them! Thanks for reminding us, think they will be remaining at home.

Te Anau, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island, Te Anau
Level Contributor
4,746 posts
49 reviews
6. Re: Binoculars

I usually pack a small pair of binoculars when I go on holiday. I've wracked my brain, and I can't think of a single time I've used them.

They are like those evening gowns my wife packs. And never wears.

🤔 Maybe that's a not too subtle hint. Maybe I should take her out more 😬

Level Contributor
15,416 posts
50 reviews
7. Re: Binoculars


If you have to ask you have your answer.

I have a lightweight folding pair of Nikon binocs that have lived in my day pack for over thirty years and are used regularly.

I have a magnificent pair of Zeiss binocs that my dad brought back from the war {the German that owned them didn't need them any more :-) } these only get used rarely at home or when we go to the races.


Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
10,123 posts
221 reviews
8. Re: Binoculars

I'd have them under lock and key in a cabinet Oz😀

9. Re: Binoculars

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with prohibiting self-promotional advertising or solicitation.

We ask all of our members to keep their forum messages free of self-promoting advertisements or solicitation of any kind - members affiliated with any tourism-related business should not include commercial contact information or URLs in their forum messages.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 08 January 2019, 18:03
New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
30,693 posts
93 reviews
10. Re: Binoculars

I have a small spotting scope which I carry when hiking - it is very compact, yet powerful. Great for looking across a valley or bird spotting. I wouldn't bother carrying bulky/heavy binocs.

Reply to: Binoculars
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted