Meri Kirihimete (Merry Christmas in Te Reo Maori)!
Christmas in New Zealand is a day for celebration with family and friends. Right in the middle of summer. With a long, warm, sunny day with sunset around 9pm, it’s a very different experience than Christmas in the northern hemisphere.

Here are our Top 7 ways to celebrate Christmas like a kiwi.

1. Celebrate at the beach

Take a picnic and relax in the sun. Make the most of the long day with swimming, sunbathing, sandcastle building, and beach volleyball - all while wearing jandals.

Beanch-jandalsJandals at the beach

2. Have a barbeque for Christmas lunch

Christmas can be pretty casual in New Zealand and who wants to be stuck in a hot kitchen all day in the middle of summer? Instead pop all your favourites on the BBQ with lots of salads on the side - don’t forget the kiwi classic, sausages in bread with tomato sauce.

BBQ1Barbeque with friends

3. Have a picnic under a Pohutukawa tree in a local park or at the beach

The Pohutukawa is known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree as it blooms with bright red flowers in December.

Pohutukawa-in-beach-park-1Pohutukawa tree at a grassy beach-side park

4. Enjoy a classic Kiwi Pavlova

A meringue-based dessert, crusty on the outside and fluffy on the inside, it's best served with whipped cream, strawberries, and kiwifruit on top.

PavlovaPavlova with whipped cream, strawberries, and kiwifruit

5. A game of cricket

Cricket is the ultimate kiwi summer sport, play it on the beach, in a park, or a friends backyard.

beach-cricket-1Beach Cricket

6. Leave a beer out for Santa

A beer for Santa is essential if you want your presents delivered. Pineapple lumps and carrots for Santa’s reindeer are an optional extra.

Beer---Pineapple-lumpsLeft image: Beer. Right image: Pineapple Lumps. Image credit: Ho Su A Bi /

7. Attend a local Christmas Parade

Every town, city, and suburb has their own small, or large, Christmas celebration in November or early December.

Tauranga-Christmas-Parade---Michael-W-NZ---Shutterstock.comTauranga Christmas Parade. Image credit: Michael W NZ /