A Very Merry Guide to a Kiwi Christmas in Queenstown


Here’s to a very merry Christmas in Queenstown!

Surprise, it’s December! With Christmas looming just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of how you’re going to spend this glorious holiday. With hot weather, long evenings and never-ending activities, Queenstown is one of the best places to be in New Zealand over the festive holiday season. Let us explain why…

Christmas in Queenstown is like nowhere else. You really have to be here to see it, to believe it. CNN Travel included Queenstown last year on a list ‘15 of the Best Places to Spend Christmas’ – WOW! If CNN recommends it then it MUST be good.

If you’re from the Northern Hemisphere then you’re in for an absolute treat as the Southern Hemisphere brings with it long evenings, pot-luck BBQs, endless family time, and plenty of Backyard Cricket (BYC).

Sticking to Tradition

Even though it’s a Northern Hemisphere tradition, New Zealand still embraces the same Northern Hemisphere Christmas decorations consisting of snowmen, holly leaves, santa hats, and fake snow, just to name a few. You’ll find Santa not in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, but hanging out on the sandy beaches in his red felt shorts and floppy Santa sunhat with a cold craft beer in his hand. If you’re out and about at the right times, you may just spot him.

Home Away From Home

As a significant proportion of Queenstown’s occupants are travellers who are on working holiday visas, many of them band together to create an ‘Orphan’s Christmas’ at various locations where people can come, mingle, and spend Christmas together, sometimes with complete strangers! Many of these are situated around Queenstown’s many free gas barbeques dotted around the town’s lakeside and parks. Make sure you get in early to stake your claim to one of these!

Kiwi Christmas Food

Typical Kiwi Christmas menu options include lamb, seafood, or chicken flamed-grilled on a barbeque and many other options all shared in a ‘pot-luck’ style. This is a great option to spread out the preparing of food within a group as not any one single person has to do all the cooking! Handy tip: Make sure you grab a pack of bread buns for leftover lunches on Boxing Day and wash it down with the rest of the pavlova for dessert – YUM!

Adventure for Christmas

Queenstown doesn’t really shut down over the holiday period and you’ll find many, if not most activity operators are open on Christmas Day as this is Queenstown’s busiest times. Seeing as though it’s aptly named ‘The Adventure Tourism Capital’ then it surely must live up to its name! If you want to partake in adrenaline activities for all or part of the day then Queenstown is definitely your jam. Take your pick from jet boating, paragliding, and luging, just to name a few. 

Thunder Jet is open on Christmas Day and we’d love to have you hang with us on the water for Christmas. What a better way to spend Christmas than a spot of jet boating for the day!

Because of it’s warm summery days, Christmas is spent predominantly outside either on the lake doing activities or on the edge of the lake watching fondly as you soak up the sunshine.

Come and join us for a day of camaraderie, chuckles and cheer! At least come and hang with us in the sun by the lake.

Contact us directly for bookings on (03) 441 1116 or via our booking page  – we can’t wait to see you!