One of the first signs that summer is on the horizon is the smell of a BBQ wafting through the air on a still-light evening thanks to daylight saving. Over the following months, plans are made and annual traditions begin for summer – and a very Kiwi summer, at that.
As the weather begins to warm up, the picnic rugs are dusted off and brought out for summer evenings in the park or by the ocean. Complete with the classic fish and chips, tomato sauce and a bottle of L&P, this is a great way to wind down after a busy week.
Come November, you’ll start to see the beautiful pohutakawa trees beginning to bloom. This evergreen tree is unique only to New Zealand. Their distinct red blooms lend themselves to being known as the ‘New Zealand Christmas tree’ as they’re out in full force from November to January.
In line with the classic Christmas red, summer heralds the start of berry season. Picture juicy cherries, strawberries, raspberries…the list goes on! Visit a local strawberry farm to pick your own (complete with a fresh strawberry ice cream afterwards); or stop by a roadside stall to peruse the fresh produce, often paid for with cash via a homemade honesty box.
While New Zealanders will never experience a white Christmas due to being in the Southern Hemisphere, they absolutely relish the long, hot summer days. Often spent at the family beach house, Christmas Day is filled with friends, family, a game of backyard cricket, maybe a nap, and the pièce de résistance – a pavlova for dessert. While it can come in different shapes and sizes, the perfect meringue is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, topped with freshly whipped cream and a plethora of ripe summer berries.
Finally, Air New Zealand produced this ‘Summer Wonderland’ promotional video in 2016 featuring Ronan Keating and Julian Dennison (a New Zealand actor). Have a listen to this catchy rendition of ‘Walking In A Winter Wonderland’ which sums up a very Kiwi Christmas and summer.