While the Northern hemisphere slips in to the winter months, December is the height of the summer for those in the south. Where better to enjoy this summer than the green and fertile islands of New Zealand. With bundles of beautiful coastline and a number of gorgeous lakes, December is the best time to visit New Zealand. Here’s why.
It might sound obvious what with it being December but celebrating Christmas in summer opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Those kiwis sure know how to enjoy Christmas too and you’ll find lots of exciting festivals and celebrations throughout December.
One popular town at Christmas is Mount Maunganu where you’ll find a small town packed between a beautiful beach and the harbor that sees enough cruise ships stop by. It’s Christmas Festival and Santa Parade is fast becoming one of the best in the country and definitely a great place to celebrate in December. Located in “Downtown the mount” which is the town’s shopping district, there’s a great kiwi atmosphere here and as the town is situated in the Bay of Plenty, there’s a lot more to explore outside the town too. One of the most beautiful coastal areas of New Zealand which when you consider the beauty of the rest of the islands here, it’s really saying something!
If there’s one thing kiwis love it’s Farmers Markets. Now self-respecting town could live without one. There’s a lot of farmers in this country and the quality of their produce is among the best in the world. Not only can you grab yourself some of the freshest meat and vegetables, it’s also a fun day out exploring the stalls meeting some of the locals, depending on the town you’re in. You’ll find a great list of farmers markets in New Zealand here. We can recommend the markets in Parnell, Tauranga, Napier and Christchurch. Definitely worth checking out.
Camping on the Beaches
In the height of the summer there is no better place to be than the beaches of New Zealand. With over 15,134km of coastline there are a lot of beaches to explore too.
Again the Bay of Plenty is spoilt with some of the best beaches in the world. You’ll also find some great beach spots along the west coast of the south Island too, some of which aren’t easy to spot from the coastal roads but with a local map and the occasional stop to ask for directions you can find pristine untouched beaches that really take you away from the rest of the world. A great way to spend December!
New Years Eve
If you’re looking to celebrate New Years Eve in style then there is no better place than the “Primal Getaway” festival. Taking place on Cook’s Beach in Coromandel on the east coast of the north island. it’s a chilled out summer festival with 4 days of beach chilling, camping, great music from New Zealand’s finest artists and a New Years Celebration quite unlike any other. There’s tonnes of daytime activities like surfing, skate ramps, water-sports and BBQs. By night the beach comes alive with bands, DJs and bars. Check out the Primal Getaway website for more details and purchasing tickets.
If festivals aren’t your thing the fireworks display in Auckland is worth checking out. It’s quite a show with the famous Auckland skyline lit up by thousands of fireworks.
Trekking in New Zealand
With all that stunning countryside New Zealand isn’t short on trekking opportunities. The Routeburn track on the south island is a popular area for “tramping”. You can also go hiking, kayaking, plunging, climbing, sliding & rappelling! The Routeburn Track has some amazing contrasting landscapes and there’s always a chance you’ll see red deer, bats, & elks in the area. The trekking here is not for the faint hearted but is highly rewarding with some of the best views in the world. There’s a number of camps, bases and even emergency shelters should the weather turn. December is a great time to go trekking in New Zealand as the weather is generally good and visibility is clear. It’s definitely worth checking out the official Routeburn website for the latest information on the trail.
Other areas worth trekking and enjoying the landscape are Franz Josef Glacier or Fox Glacier in the area known as Arthur’s Pass. Central Otago is also worth a visit for its many vineyards and wineries. You can also go fruit picking, a perfect summer activity!
If you’re looking for some sunshine and summer activities in December then New Zealand is one of the best places on earth! Rich in wildlife, culture and activities, you’re sure to find something to suit and have a december holiday to remember.