Christmas in the South Island for solo traveller
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Nov 22, 2012 3:58 PM Last Post By: Gipton_1
Nov 20, 2012 4:20 PM
Christmas in the South Island for solo travellerHi there.
I moved to Auckland in August to start a PhD, but swiftly headed off to do fieldwork in the Pacific, where I am at the moment.
I get back to NZ a week or two before Christmas, and - as I don't know many people in NZ yet - thought I'd use the Christmas/ New Year period to get out and see a bit of the South island. Problem is, I don't know much about the South island, or how things work in NZ over Christmas, and I only have access to dial-up internet out here which makes searching pretty difficult!
Does anyone have any advice about fun, friendly hostels to stay at over Christmas and New years? Or know of any places/events that would be good fun at this time? Any suggestions welcome! I'm 25, adventurous, but not really a party animal. So something low key and friendly would be ideal.
Also do adventure activities, renting boats etc. still operate over the holidays, or do most things shut down for a while?
Nov 20, 2012 9:19 PM
1Most hostels in NZ will be friendly over Christmas as they will be full of people like you. Do be aware that most of the country shuts down on Christmas day itself (apart from small convenience stores owned by non-Christians and petrol stations). This may also affect restaurants. From Xmas day onwards expect hostels & buses etc to be full so it might be wise to pre-book as much as possible.
Nov 21, 2012 8:08 AM
2a friendly Christmas in a hostel has much to do with the owners - the two best I had were at Kiwiana in Takaka (not sure if Jules still runs it) and Beaconstone outside Westport (for which a car is almost essential). Of course it also depends who else is there.
all activities, most shops and most transport stops on Dec 25th, most will restart in the next day or so. Plan to be in one place from 24th to 26th.
Nov 21, 2012 1:15 PM
3Yep I'd only be planning for Christmas Day to be pretty quiet.
I have heard from quite a few people that Kaikoura is a really nice, friendly, welcoming place to be over Christmas. I've heard some lovely stories of big Christmas meals with other backpackers at hostels there. Might be worth checking it out.
Otherwise there are also a couple of very welcoming hostels I've heard of around Picton - I think the YHA Anakiwas is one of them, but it's one of the more expensive hostels.
And the hostel/campground in Marahau, just outside Nelson, is also a very nice place to be around Christmastime... busy, worth booking, cos they are a kicking off point for the ATNP track.
Nov 22, 2012 2:44 AM
4Anakiwa is a wonderful spot - Picton 25 minutes on a twisty road. There is also Anakiwa Backpackers right at the end of the road where it meets the Queen Charlotte track. Shayne and Tanya were lovely hosts, and kayaking on the sound was idyllic.
so many lovely places for a summer Christmas!
Nov 22, 2012 3:58 PM
5Good advice above.
Although Christmas Day is generally pretty quiet, the rest of the time is business as usual as far as the tourist industry is concerned - so no problem finding adventure activities.
Queenstown is a party town, the centre of adventure activities and extremely busy over the Christmas period. Wanaka is more relaxed but still has plenty of hostels - its a while since I stayed there so I can't recommend a specific hostel.
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