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Experience A ‘Kiwi’ Summer Christmas Getaway

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When you picture the holiday season and Christmas, most people think of snow, cold winter nights huddled up by a blazing fireplace, knitted sweaters, and hot chocolate.

You might also think of the inconveniences of a winter holiday; freezing cold, shoveling snow, scraping ice off windshields, slipping on ice, and road closures.

But there is another way to celebrate the holiday season in a truly unique manner.

If you’ve never experienced a summer Christmas, then you must visit New Zealand during the holiday season.

A Christmas in New Zealand will have you swapping roast turkey dinners for backyard barbecues, snow boots for jandals, icicles for ice creams, and road closures for road trips.

Essentially the whole country goes on vacation, and you, too, could be enjoying a stress-free holiday season exploring some of New Zealand’s most stunning locations.

What Makes an Iconic Kiwi Summer?

If you’re coming to experience the holiday season in New Zealand, it’s important to know what makes it so good! Here are some of the common things that make an iconic Kiwi Christmas and summer holiday.


Whether it’s at home in the backyard, at the beach, in a park, or by the lake, the classic summer barbecue is a casual way to bring Kiwi families and friends together to enjoy the holiday season. Most Kiwis don’t have a traditional Christmas dinner and instead have Christmas lunch outdoors in the sun with barbecued food.


Jandals are known by many names – Flip-flops, thongs, sliders, pluggers, and slippers. In New Zealand, Jandals are the default footwear for summer. No one will question your choice of footwear, no matter the occasion. Restaurants, beaches, shops, malls, bars, and weddings; they are acceptable anywhere!

Pōhutukawa Trees:

Vibrant, red Pōhutukawa trees decorate the shorelines of North Island beaches. The native crimson flower has become an iconic part of the New Zealand Christmas tradition and is known as the Kiwi Christmas tree as it blooms throughout the summer holidays.

Beaches & Outdoor Activities:

As many Kiwis have get-togethers and barbecues during the summer break, it makes for a perfect time to enjoy some outdoor activities. A quintessential part of the classic Kiwi summer is having a game of backyard cricket or heading off to go on camping trips.

New Zealand is an amazing place to explore the outdoors, no matter your interests. Swimming, kayaking, hiking, boating, fishing, surfing, and more! You are never far from water, and stunning beaches are commonplace in New Zealand.

Road trips:

Kiwis migrate from their urban city environments, load up the car, and head to their favorite destinations – Typically to a family holiday home, known as a bach (Pronounced ‘batch’). Or hiring a bach near the beach and enjoying time away with friends and family.

Below are some of the top places where Kiwis like to holiday in the summer.

Best Places to visit for a Summer Holiday in New Zealand:


The Coromandel is the ultimate summer destination to visit in New Zealand. With over 85 km (52 miles) of coastline and some of New Zealand’s best beaches and holiday homes to choose from.

You could spend an entire summer exploring what The Coromandel offers. Providing travelers with many iconic gems such as the Cathedral Cove located in Hahei, Summer holiday hotspots like Hot Water Beach – where you can dig your own natural hot pool, New Chums Beach, as well as Pauanui and The Lost Springs in Whitianga, and so many other Coromandel beach beauties.

Aside from beaches, there are countless tourist attractions like the Water Works, Driving Creek Railway, Stargazers, or for the adventurous – the Pinnacles hike.


Tauranga is a harborside city in the Bay of Plenty region that buzzes with activity. It catches a lot of sun in the summer, making it a dream location for days at the beach or out on the water. Whether it is fishing, sailing, dolphin watching in the day, or sampling the fine cuisine on the bustling Strand at night, it’s a popular year-round destination with plenty of things to do.

Tauranga means ‘place of rest’ in Māori, and its sparkling harbor and sandy beaches make it a wonderful place to kick back and relax. If you are seeking adventure, there are many opportunities to explore – we recommend heading for the summit track up Mount Maunganui for stunning views overlooking the coastline. You can also check out Kaiate Falls or McLaren Falls Park.

Tauranga has many beautiful places to stay, and there are a range of beachside apartments throughout the city that we recommend which give you a central point to base yourself on and begin to explore and enjoy your summer stay.


As the sunniest area of New Zealand, it’s no wonder so many people fall in love with the Nelson – Golden Bay region. Whether you want to immerse yourself in Nelson’s rich arts and crafts or dive into the natural beauty of the Golden Bay area, there are plenty of idyllic escapes and things to do.

Just an hour’s drive from Nelson is Abel Tasman National Park, containing one of New Zealand’s most breathtaking coastlines. You’ll discover white-sand beaches, and stunning islands, and you may even meet some of the local fur seal colonies. For a more relaxed visit, you can book a luxury sailing trip – alternatively, you can opt for hiking the trail. Both options will create life-long memories.


If you are looking for a change of scenery over the Christmas holidays, you’ll absolutely LOVE New Zealand. Aim to book a good week or two in order to explore – there is so much to see and do. Once you fall in love with a Kiwi Summer, you’ll wonder why you spent so many years shoveling snow in the freezing cold!

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