The Aviation Security Service says there has been a three-fold increase in the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels being seized at airport security points.
In the year to May 2010, officers stopped about 10,000 people found to have packed items such as sunscreen, deodorants and alcohol in their hand luggage.
The year before just 3000 people were stopped.
The Aviation Security Service says seizures have increased since airlines asked officers to stop so-called queue-combing, where passengers had restricted items taken from them before they passed through screening machines.
Aviation Security Service head Mark Everitt says it is a huge problem for his officers and every item seized is audited before it is destroyed by a contractor.
He says tourists leaving the country get frustrated when they are stopped and have their souvenir wine seized.