A Kiwi Christmas - Top 5 things to do
New Zealand is a unique country to experience a "Summer Christmas" like nowhere else in the world. A warm, dry climate invites you to explore the outdoors and enjoy Christmas under the glorious summer sun. Here are our top 5 recommended summer Christmas activities:
During Christmas time in New Zealand it is customary to clean up the BBQ, head outside and open-grill a variety of fresh, seasonal food. There are many holiday homes available to rent before the Christmas peak that come equipped with a BBQ for use. Holiday hotspots include the Coromandal near Auckland, Central North Island lakes, Golden Bay Nelson and the wider Queenstown area. Search on Bookabatch.co.nz or Airbnb.co.nz for the best selection of batches and holiday homes for rent.
Over 70% of New Zealanders live within 10km of the coastline and many kiwis flock to the beaches during Christmas time. In November and early December, the beaches and lakes are much less crowded and warm enough for a refreshing swim. Pick out your favourite book, set up the hammock or beach towel and enjoy the peace and serenity before the Christmas rush!
Summer in New Zealand brings many local and global music festivals. Set in sweeping valleys and beautiful vineyards, you will find buzzing concerts headlining both local and global musicians during the summer months. Check out Toast Martinborough scheduled for 17 November near Wellington, The South Island Wine and Food festival on December 7 in Christchurch and Rhythm and Vines welcoming in the New Year in Gisborne.
New Zealand boasts some of the world's most beautiful hiking trails. Take a walk along the coastal tracks of Abel Tasman or venture into the sacred forests of the Central North. Many flowers and trees are in full bloom at this time of the year. Look out for the red blossoms of the famous pohutukawa - New Zealand's very own Christmas tree.
Head to the local markets and shops to find that perfect gift or souvenir in the lead up to Christmas. The vibrant main centers of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are perfect for an exclusive day of shopping, wandering or café hopping. If you're around on December 26, don't miss out on New Zealand's famous "Boxing Day" sales. Boxing Day is an opportunity to find that perfect gift or souvenir for a great price!