Christmas in the southern hemisphere is less about snow and reindeer, and more about the sun, the sand and barbeques in the lawn.For those of you looking to spend a warm and sunny Christmas, head straight down to the cheerful land that is New Zealand and get ready for an amazing experience.
New Zealand has a strong European heritage and you will spot many similarities between the New Zealand Christmas and the traditional Christmas, but with a twist that is unique to this part of the world. On the surface it might appear that just the weather is different, but the Kiwi Christmas is special in its own way and as a tourist visiting this land for the first time, you are in for a definite treat.
What are you waiting for? Let’s head over, shall we?
The first thing that you will notice about Christmas time is the weather. December is summer in New Zealand and you will be greeted with sunny skies and warm waters when you arrive. Christmas is the beginning of the summer vacation and many Christmas events and activities revolve around that. Forget this festival as you’ve always known it and relish a Christmas barbeque dinner on the beach instead of a proper sit-down meal, like we are familiar with.
Head out on the streets and enjoy the Christmas Parade as it makes its way down the road. Marching bands, decorative floats and, of course, an appearance by the most loved Santa Claus, himself is what makes this experience unique. Try and coincide your vacation with a trip to Auckland to catch the largest and best-known parade in New Zealand. It’s known to be especially attractive for children.
Instead of a pine tree you will often spot the Pohutukawa tree used as a traditional Christmas tree. This tree is popular and grows abundantly along the east coast of New Zealand, flowering during this season. The bright red and crimson flowers are a wonderful sight and New Zealanders associate them most with Christmas.
There are pine trees too, and these are decorated in a traditional manner with tinsel and twinkling lights, just like in the European and American tradition.
You will find the streets and shops abuzz with activity with families and individuals bustling about to buy gifts for their loved ones. You can soak in all the excitement and joy of the festival, simply by being there.
If you wish to get out of the cities and want to explore the magical land that is New Zealand, there are numerous road trips that you can plan with your friends or family. The country is filled with an endless array of natural landmarks and the breath-taking vistas along the way will make for the perfect road trip.
What is it that you wish to do in New Zealand? Are you an adventure seeker? Then might we recommend an action-packed road trip? Or would you simply want to unwind and relax, sipping on a glass of wine, reconnecting with yourself? Then turn the steering towards Marlborough where the wine county beckons.
Christmas is a special time in New Zealand, and not just because of the weather and the many unique experiences. The diverse culture, the friendly people, the joyful celebrations and the holiday season make it the best time to visit this country.
Whether you are celebrating Christmas or not, getting here will put you in the festive spirit and make your time in New Zealand one of the finest vacations of your life.
Merry Christmas, or ‘Meri Kirihimete’, as they say in Māori.