8 Iconic Places In New Zealand To Spend Christmas 2021

Megan Zara Walsh Megan Zara Walsh - Staff Writer

Christmas Break 2021 New Zealand

Another year has passed, and still, the future of international travel looks bleak on account of covid-19. Therefore, if you’re used to jetting off for the Christmas holidays, it’s best to plan well in advance, and possibly, organise your Christmas holiday getaway within New Zealand. Fortunately, there are many magical places where you can have a traditional and fun Christmas with friends or family. Here are eight recommendations from Secret for 2021.

1. Rotorua

Rotorua is probably one of the most underrated places on the planet. Lucky for you, the folks here take Christmas very seriously, from the Christmas parade to summer activities like water rafting to the magical Redwoods Treewalk, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Renowned for bubbling mud pools, natural hot springs, a fascinating Maori culture and breathtaking hikes, it’s the perfect family adventure trip or getaway for couples. Indeed, you can enjoy summer Christmas activities without being exposed to harsh weather conditions like the west of the globe.

📍 Bay Of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand 

2. The Coromandel

This popular destination is the closes thing you’ll get to an exotic beach holiday. It’s the ultimate oasis of tranquility with an array of places to discover. Depending on your budget, there are a range of campsites, beachside accommodations, hotels and more, for the perfect stay. Opt for a Christmas BBQ and picnic on the pristine beaches, cool off in gigantic swim holes, visit the famous Hot Water Beach, take the forest train at Driving Creek Railway, discover an underwater world via water activities…the list is endless. Certainly, everyone in the family will have an unforgettable Christmas here.

📍 North Island, New Zealand

3. Queenstown

Queenstown is an adventure haven where holiday goers can have both a relaxing and thrilling vacation. Think scenic hikes to Bob’s Cove overlooking the lake, attractions like horse riding, ziplining and jetboating, majestic boat rides on Lake Wakatipu, just to name a few. Have your Christmas dinner by the lake, and admire the phenomenal New Years Eve fireworks display. If you’re feeling extra luxurious, Nest Kitchen & Bar usually organise a fantastic four course Christmas dinner with stunning views of the lake. Subsequently, you must plan a day trip to Milford Sounds, which is a three hour drive, and boasts lush waterfalls and unspoiled natural beauty.

📍 South Island, New Zealand 

4. Nelson & Marlborough Sounds

Make your Christmas holidays extra special by heading to the majestic sea-drowned valleys in this region. Depending on your budget, you could stay at the famous Punga Cove Resort (pictured), situated on the iconic Queen Charlotte Track, which has exclusive access to the beaches, waterways, and plenty of fun adrenaline activities like the Christmas Day water taxi cruise and other sports. Alternatively, you could rent a campervan, road trip around and set up camp near the scenic surf beach of Whites Bay.

📍 South Island, New Zealand


5. Wanaka

No matter your budget, this bustling scenic alpine town offers an excellent place to have a magical Christmas. Select between a large range of stays, from hotels, Airbnbs, camping grounds, and more. With Mount Aspiring National Park and Wanaka Lake practically on your doorstep, adventure enthusiasts can go biking, skydiving, water jumping into the glacial blue blues, kayaking and plenty more activities. Indeed, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy here.

📍 South Island, New Zealand

SEE MORE: 16 Unforgettable New Zealand Experiences For Your Bucket List 

6. Waiheke Island Vineyards

Mudbrick Vineyard
Photo Credit: Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant

This Christmas escape would suit a couple or group with no children. Stay among the vines on this exotic island, and experience awe-inspiring sunsets over Auckland and Rangitoto paired with marvellous wine and intimate romantic dining. Specifically, the award-winning Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant is an incredible place for an indulgent Christmas Day dinner overlooking the Hauraki Gulf. Meanwhile Delamore Lodge offers a unique Mediterranean-inspired stay.

📍 Auckland, North Island, New Zealand

7. Dunedin

Dunedin has been described as the Bali of New Zealand, rich in Scottish and Maori heritage, where you’ll find an array of castles, wildlife, beaches, scrumptious food, natural wonders and overall, delightful Kiwi vibes. During the Christmas season, you can expect one of the best Santa parades, beautiful Christmas lights attractions, markets, and fun activities. Additionally, St Clair’s urban beach is an amazing place to stay because you’ve got access to attractions like surfing and hot water pools, beach ways where you’ll spot friendly seals, and lots more.

📍 South Island, New Zealand 

8. Christchurch

Christmas 2021 New Zealand Getaways
Photo Credit: Christchurch Christmas Lights Show

For a change of city scenery, why not escape to the South Island for Christmas celebrations. In Christchurch, expect Santa parades and Christmas displays such as the famous and unmissable Christchurch Christmas Lights Show. Like any city, there are endless accommodations, from hotels to Airbnbs, catering for any budget. If you’re travelling with a young family, make the trip extra special by opting for a cosy Airbnb, where Santa can deliver the kids presents traditionally.

📍 Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand

Enjoying Secret Wellington? Check out 7 Fantastic Day Trips From Wellington.

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