How New Zealanders spend their Summer holidays
The birds are out in force, the landscapes are looking fresh and green, and sunscreen is a top commodity in stores all over the country – New Zealand’s Summer has well and truly arrived.
So how are Kiwis planning to spend their Summer holidays? Naturally, we’ll be out enjoying the sunshine just like any country, but there are a few specifics New Zealanders are proud of in particular. Take a look at our favourite Summer pastimes so you can join in on the fun, too.
Days at the beach
The grand majority of New Zealanders live close to the shoreline. This is because almost all of our major cities and towns are found on coasts, which means practically every Kiwi has grown up spending summers frolicking in the waves.
Many Kiwis will be down by the water this Summer, with kites, Frisbees, soccer balls, plastic cricket equipment and good books to read on the shore. Some will even venture out and take day trips to the islands around our coastlines for something a little extra special.
It’s important to note that the New Zealand sunshine is much harsher than it is in other parts of the world, so you shouldn’t even head outdoors without a good layer of sunscreen to protect you (as well as hats, sunglasses, and light clothing).
Summertime BBQs and picnics
There have been many instances when the Kiwi saying ‘bring a plate’ has caused confusion – and giggles and laughter! It’s a common way of saying ‘bring a snack/meal/dessert to share’, that you’ll hear from party hosts. It may sound as though they simply need some extra crockery to cater to a large crowd (and fair enough, too), but it’s really a way of encouraging guests to bring something of their own creation. Usually, the host will provide the main meal and some sides, while guests will bring along smaller dishes such as starters, breads, salads, or sweet treats for dessert.
This is especially common for Kiwi barbeques and picnics, where everyone pitches in and brings something from home. It’s a great way to get into the community spirit and pick up a new favourite recipe!
Walking and hiking
Kiwis are an active bunch, and there are few things we love more than a good hike during Summer. Fortunately, our entire country is one big walking trail, so we never run out of new places to explore!
We at Habitat Tours are lucky enough to walk and hike as part of our jobs. We regularly get to see the raw beauty of the Waitakere Ranges, and the excitement of visitors as they see it for the first time makes it special – no matter how many times we see it. Then there’s the beautiful Tawharanui. Here, dedicated New Zealanders have created a predator-free space, which has allowed the native and endemic wildlife to thrive. It’s now one of the most special places in the country to take a walk and see many of our wonderful species, from the morepork to the kiwi.
And of course, then there are great hikes such as the Tongariro Crossing, the Abel Tasman track, and absolutely any spot of land in the unbelievable Milford Sound. No matter your plans for this New Zealand Summer, make sure you have at least one hike to look forward to on your calendar.
Tristan Cullen - Passionate Conservationist