A Very Kiwi Christmas

It’s Christmaaaaaaasss! As we all know, Santa starts his journey through the Southern Hemisphere, with New Zealand being one of the first countries he visits. Although we don’t have a Christmas tree, he still manages to find us at the Jucy Snooze hotel! But to begin this Christmas tale, we must wind back to two days ago when we arrived in Christchurch…

It was a couple of days before Christmas, and we toured Christchurch by bus.
We had only an hour to buy each other presents, but we didn’t make a fuss.

We scouted in Warehouse, we scouted in Dress Smart
And picked the cheapest wrapping paper so our presents didn’t look like art.
With our backpacker budget, we bought chocolates and booze
So we have something to open for Christmas at Jucy Snooze.

The Christmas Challenge

And we’re back to Christmas Day! We have the most magical of lie-ins until 7am before doing some last-minute wrapping in the campervan. With breakfast, we exchange gifts, to which Robin can’t resist holding a “Christmas Challenge” for Laura. Yes, every birthday and Christmas, Robin makes Laura work for her gifts by setting a challenge. This year, she has a puzzle to solve within two hours. Because Laura is not the best at puzzles, Robin has hidden “an advantage” in the campervan to make her more likely to complete the challenge in two hours.

Bring on the cheesy present exchange! Bring on the cheesy present exchange!
Robin so involved in his brain teaser that he forgets he has more presents Robin so involved in his brain teaser that he forgets he has more presents
The Christmas Challenge begins! The Christmas Challenge begins!
All aboard the backpacker sleigh to New Brighton Beach! All aboard the backpacker sleigh to New Brighton Beach!

Thinking “outside the box”

An hour and a half later, Laura has taken apart every box, every draw, every shelf of the campervan. She has even looked in the van’s outside compartments, literally thinking “outside the box”.

When Robin can see Laura is in a bit of sweaty state, hair everywhere, rolling around on the floor in despair, he finally gives her another clue: “It tells you when you are hot.” The gas compartment!

A classic Kiwi Christmas

By Robin practically giving it away, Laura finds her advantage, but decides to complete the puzzle during our activity of the day, having a classic Kiwi Christmas at the beach. Because it is summer during Christmas here in New Zealand, many Kiwi families flock to the beaches, have BBQs or cold light meals so they can enjoy the great outdoors. We’ll be honest, it isn’t exactly sunny today, but it’s certainly nice enough weather for a trip down to New Brighton Beach, one of a few Christchurch beaches.

Present-opening session at Jucy Snooze

Christmas at New Brighton Beach

We pack some Christmas food, put on our Santa hats, and hit the road to New Brighton!

Although New Brighton is part of the South Island’s largest city, it really feels like a seaside town of its own. The streets are decorated with palm trees, ice cream shops, and funfair at the waterfront. Grabbing our food, puzzles, Laura’s unopened present, a Nerf, and a picnic blanket, we walk onto a super long-stretching beach with the perfect view of the New Brighton pier bustling with people. Because the beach here in New Brighton is so large, it’s easy enough to find a quiet spot to ourselves where we can set up the ultimate Christmas dinner and watch heaps of surfers catching some waves.

Camembert, honey roasted chicken, grapes, artisan bread, potato salad, chips and hummus… This is what Christmas is all about: stuffing yourself silly!

Christmas dinner on the beach seems like a good idea, until sand gets in your food! Christmas dinner on the beach seems like a good idea, until sand gets in your food!
Even a bee enjoys the kite show at New Brighton Beach Even a bee enjoys the kite show at New Brighton Beach
Robin is enjoying his Kiwi Christmas dinner way too much Robin is enjoying his Kiwi Christmas dinner way too much

Puzzles, kites and intense Nerf sessions

We’re not even 100% sure you can call this an activity, but lazying on the beach watching surfers and a guy fly his impressive collection of kites sure feels like a relaxing activity after 215 days of more than 215 crazy activities all over New Zealand.

Laura finally completes her puzzle to open her present and Robin completes his brainteasers Laura got for him (no strings attached, by the way. They were only bought for fun), so we feel way too buzzing to sit around any longer. We get the Nerf out, that’s a rocket-shaped toy that you throw to each other for any of you who are not well-versed with the Nerf. It’s an intense Nerf session on the beach to say the least.

Calling back home

From here, it’s back to Jucy Snooze for Robin to have a relaxing evening in front of the TV and Laura to give her family a video call from the crazy amount of seating areas in the common area. Bean bags, hammocks, swings, stools, sofas… With free WiFi and USB sockets absolutely everywhere, it’s the perfect place for video calls back home.

Bring on boxing day

Tomorrow, we are hitting the boxing day sales in possibly the coolest shopping mall we’ll ever get to shop in: a shopping mall made out of shipping containers. We are also keen to check out the gardens that gave Christchurch the name: “The Garden City”. Join us then, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Laura and Robin

Christmas the Kiwi way!
Christmas the Kiwi way! Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Want more?

Until tomorrow’s blog post, go for a walk, paint a picture, or check out these articles:

We also like to hang out on HerePin, post pretty pictures on Instagram (#BackpackerGuideNZ to be featured), and post daily travel tips dedicated to New Zealand on Facebook!

See you tomorrow!

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