10 Things to Do on Christmas in New Zealand in 2024

Things To Do on Christmas in New Zealand

Head to Wanaka Beach, visit Bobs Cove in Queenstown, enjoy a meal at a restaurant, go for hiking on Hooker Valley Track, spend time at Auckland Botanic Gardens, visit Skyline Gondola, head to SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium, bungee jumping from Kawarau Bridge, SkyWalk at Sky Tower, Wellington Cable Car ride and more.

Santa Caps, Boxing Day, and Carols - Christmas in New Zealand goes way beyond all of this. Most of the traditions that are followed, share similarities with the rest of the world. But there are also some unique ways in which New Zealand celebrates Christmas.

You'll find many fun facts about Christmas in New Zealand because the way Kiwis celebrate this festival is a little different from the rest of the world. One of them is the BBQ Lunches since Christmas arrives during summer in New Zealand. You’ll also notice how Pohutukawa is preferred over the regular Christmas tree. It’s an evergreen tree that blooms red flowers every year in December.

Another fun fact is how the Kiwis mostly celebrate Christmas outdoors. You’ll find the locals enjoying the Santa Fun Run, in which people from all age groups run in Santa Costumes. You can also head out for a walk on Franklin Street, which is among the best places in New Zealand for Christmas. You'll find all the row houses on the street decorated with holiday lights.

Get ready to celebrate Christmas with Thrillophilia's pocket-friendly New Zealand tour packages. Plan a holiday with us and get a chance to admire the festive decorations as well as enjoy the most popular activities in New Zealand.

Here are the list of things to do on Christmas in New Zealand:

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Head to Wanaka Beach

Wanaka Beach is considered the best place to spend Christmas in New Zealand. You can check out the local listings for events and activities in town. Enjoy witnessing various events like the Winter Games, and Wanaka Beer Festival. You could also choose to enjoy water sports like paddle boarding or kayaking in Lake Wanaka.

Ardmore Street, Wanaka 9305, New Zealand
Timings: Open 24 hours Every Day
Price: Free of Cost

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Visit Bobs Cove in Queenstown

Take a walk in Bobs Cove, which is known as one of the best places to spend Christmas in New Zealand. You can admire the manuka groves and beech trees. If you're a bird-lover, you'll love listening to the chirping of Kereru, Tui, and Bellbird. You can also take a look at the scenic views of the town from the top of the tower. Spend some time relaxing around the lakefront, which is a popular picnic point.

Location: Mount Creighton 9371, New Zealand
Timings: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Everyday)
Price: Free of cost

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Enjoy a Meal at a Restaurant

New Zealand offers a variety of restaurants to its travelers. You can visit the Jellyfish Restaurant & Bar in Nelson, popular for delicious food and top-class wine. Thai food enthusiasts can visit the Tongtara Thai Restaurant in Nelson. You can also enjoy your favorite snacks and beverages at the stunning waterfront in Nelson at Boat Shed Cafe. 

1. Jellyfish Restaurant & Bar: Aranui Road, M?pua, New Zealand
2. Tongtara Thai Restaurant: Hardy Street, Nelson, New Zealand
3. Boat Shed Cafe: Wakefield Quay, Stepneyville, New Zealand
1. Jellyfish Restaurant & Bar: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM (Wednesday to Saturday) and 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (Sunday and Monday)
2. Tongtara Thai Restaurant: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM (Every)
3. Boat Shed Cafe: 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM (Monday to Friday) 9:00 AM to 9:30 PM (Saturday and Sunday)

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Go for hiking on Hooker Valley Track

Hooker Valley Track is a great activity that you can enjoy at the Mount Cook National Park. The park is considered the best place in New Zealand for Christmas. The Hooker Valley Trail is 5 km long and offers amazing views of the Southern Alps. Don't forget to enjoy watching the Mount Cook Buttercup, the biggest species of buttercup flower on the planet.

Hooker Valley Track, Mt Cook National Park 7999, New Zealand
Timings: Open 24 Hours (Everyday)
Price: Free of Cost

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Spend time at Auckland Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens are among the most scenic places to explore during Christmas in New Zealand. You can admire many blooming flowers in the garden like Podocarp, Magnolias, and Cherry Blossoms. Get a chance to learn more about Kereru and Puriri trees, two regional trees, at the Potter Children's Garden within the complex.

Hill Road, The Gardens, Auckland 2105, New Zealand 
Timings: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Everyday)
Price: Free of Cost

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Visit Skyline Gondola

Enjoy a Gondola ride that takes you to the Skyline complex, above Queenstown. It’s considered among the best activities to enjoy during Christmas in New Zealand. You can enjoy the stunning views of Coronet Peak, Walter Peak, and Lake Wakatipu. Don't forget to grab a snack at the Market Kitchen Cafe, while looking at the scenic views of Queenstown.

Brecon Street, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand
Timings: 9:30 AM to 9:00 PM (Everyday)
Price: INR 2,600/- (Adults), and INR 1,700/- (Kids) (Approx)

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Head to SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium

Explore SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, which is the best place to spend Christmas in New Zealand. You will get to admire a variety of underwater creatures like Spiny Sea Dragons and Stingrays. Visit the exclusive penguin enclosure, where you can see two species of penguins - King Penguins, and Gentoo Penguins. 

Tamaki Drive, Orakei, Auckland 1071, New Zealand
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (Everyday)
Price: INR 3,700/- (Adults) and INR 2,600/- (Kids) (Approx)

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Bungee jumping from Kawarau Bridge

If you're someone who's looking for an adrenaline rush, the Kawarau Bridge Bungy is a must-visit. Available at the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, it is one of the most loved tourist activities in the region. You can jump from a height of more than 140 feet above the Kawarau River.

Location: Queenstown Trail, Arrow Junction, New Zealand
Timings: 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM (Everyday)
Price: INR 13,600/- (Adults) and INR 11,200/- (Kids) (Approx)

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SkyWalk at Sky Tower

Enjoy taking a walk around the tallest tower in the country, the Sky Tower. It is more than 600 feet tall and offers 360-degree views. The experience is unique because there are no grab rails, to ensure nothing comes between you and the stunning views. Don't miss out on grabbing a bite at the Sugar Club or the only revolving restaurant in New Zealand, Orbit 360° Dining.

Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Timings: 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM (Monday to Friday) and 9:30 AM to 8:30 PM (Saturday and Sunday)
Price: INR 9,500/- (Adults), and INR 7,100/- (Kids) (Approx)

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Wellington Cable Car ride

Get a chance to enjoy the Wellington Cable Car ride, which runs from the town's center to the Kelburn Lookout. While on the ride, you will get to admire the amazing views of Wellington town and the scenic harbor. There are many other experiences that you can couple with the cable car ride. Some of them include exploring the Botanic Garden via the top entrance, and a visit to the Carter Observatory.

Lambton Quay, Wellington Central, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Timings: 7:30 AM to 8:30 PM (Tuesday to Thursday, and Saturday), 7:30?AM to 9:30?PM (Friday), 8:30?AM to 9:30?PM (Saturday), and 8:30?AM to 7:00?PM (Sunday). 
Price: INR 550/- (Adults), and INR 300/- (Kids) (Approx)

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People Also Ask About New Zealand

  1. How does New Zealand celebrate Christmas?

    New Zealand gets Christmas during the summertime, which makes it unique. Locals take part in a variety of outdoor activities like picnics, beach trips, and barbeque lunches. You can join the locals in the celebrations and enjoy the traditional food items including the famous pavlova dessert. All the houses on the street are covered in holiday decorations and play carol audios in the evening.
  2. Is New Zealand a good place for Christmas?

    Yes, tourists from across the globe love celebrating Christmas in New Zealand. You will get to experience comfortable weather with the sun shining through most of the day. Enjoy many outdoor activities like picnics at Bob's Cove, the Beer Festival at Wanaka Beach, and more. You can also enjoy a visit to the Botanical Gardens in Auckland and admire a wide range of flowers like Magnolias, Podocarps, and more.
  3. Is New Zealand expensive during Christmas?

    No, a trip to celebrate Christmas in New Zealand isn't usually expensive. Generally, a 7-8 day trip would cost you somewhere between INR 1,78,000 to 2,30,000 approximately (per person). Within this timeframe, you will be able to explore many places and activities. Some of it would include the Skyline Gondola Ride, Auckland Botanic Gardens, Hooker Valley Track, and more.
  4. Are things open on Christmas Day in New Zealand?

    No, most of the shops and businesses stay closed on the day of Christmas. The markets follow the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990, which doesn't allow most of the stores to open on Christmas. But, you'll find the stores dealing in essential services open, such as Gas Stations and Hospitals.
  5. What are the best things to do for Christmas in New Zealand?

    There are many things that you can enjoy doing during the Christmas season in New Zealand. Enjoy visiting the Auckland Botanical Garden and admire the more than 9000 varieties of plants. You can also check out the natural landscapes of the country at the Kawarau Bridge and Hooker Valley Track. Enjoy exploring the magical marine life at the SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium.
  6. Which are the best places for shopping in New Zealand during Christmas?

    You can choose to explore many markets in New Zealand during Christmas. Explore The Great Christmas Market in Nelson, which showcases more than 90 stalls. You can buy a variety of items here including arts, handicrafts, and snacks. Christchurch Farmers’ Market is another popular shopping destination that is home to locally grown fruits and vegetables. It is recommended that you carry some cash as these markets are not known to accept digital payments.
  7. Is Christmas popular in New Zealand?

    Christmas is the most popular festival in New Zealand. The country celebrates it with a twist, and that is because the festival is witnessed during summer in the country. You'll find the locals enjoying outdoor activities like BBQ lunches at the beachside. Or even relaxing at the famous picnic spots at Bob's Cove.
  8. How is the weather in New Zealand during Christmas?

    New Zealand observes a comfortable temperature during the Christmas season. You will witness the start of summer during this time, with average temperatures ranging between 19 to 24 degrees. It is the perfect time for outdoor activities like beach trips, hiking expeditions, and more.
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