We’ve hit December, which means the countdown is on until summer and the holidays arrive. Christmas music is playing in shops, people are going to end-of-year work functions, and kids are finishing school for the summer break. So, what can you expect to happen in New Zealand over this time? Let’s find out.
What’s the summer weather like in New Zealand?
Yeah, you’re probably wondering where summer is. It’s on its way. It has a habit of not turning up until January – and it’s even been known to send a little snow beforehand. Expect any kind of weather around the end of December/start of January. But often, our real summer kicks in in January. Temperatures vary around the country, but they average in the 20s, sometimes early 30s – degrees Celsius, that is.
What holidays does New Zealand have over summer?
School holidays start around mid-December and continue until the end of January/start of February. New Zealand has four public holidays over Christmas and New Year:
- Christmas Day – most shops shut, some dairies and petrol stations will open
- Boxing Day – many shops will reopen, but not all
- New Year’s Day – some shops will open, some not
- Day after New Year’s Day – most shops will open
Many New Zealanders take a break from work over this time – usually a couple of weeks. So, expect bigger places like Auckland to be quieter and beachy places like Whangamata to be buzzing!
What do Kiwis do over the summer holidays?
We head outdoors! Well, many of us do – swimming, fishing, diving, kayaking, water-skiing, walking … and more. Camping’s a popular activity – New Zealand has some amazing spots to pitch a tent or set up a caravan. A lot of the country celebrates Christmas, either on 25th December or around that time. Generally, it involves being with family and eating. New Year’s Eve is 31 December – often celebrated with a few drinks and welcoming the new year at midnight.
How can I join in?
Heading to your nearest beach is a good start. Or grab some camping gear and hit a campground. Check out some Kiwi musicians at one of the many music festivals or gigs around the country. The main thing is to relax and soak in the sunshine (hopefully). Just remember to drive safely, slap on some sunscreen, and swim between the flags!