Must-Visit New Zealand Christmas MarketsTia Winter | 23 February 2018
The strong tradition of Christmas markets that Europe has maintained for centuries is now finding its way around the rest of the world. With its own heritage of farmers’ and other markets, New Zealand is the perfect place for more of these events to flourish.
There are plenty of terrific established and new holiday markets to check out all over our beautiful country, and exploring them for yourself is as enjoyable as the goodies you’ll find there. To get you started, we’ve listed our top picks here.
Auckland’s Orewa Xmas Twilight Market
The festive and beautiful Orewa Xmas Twilight Market is held every year, by the twilight and then the light of the moon, on Orewa Beach. Entry to this community-driven event is free, which is astonishing considering the incredible food and gifts on offer. If you are looking for a present that is unique to New Zealand, or you want to savour some local treats, this is the place for you.
The Underground Christmas Market, Wellington
The Underground Market in Wellington is known for holding regular, highly enjoyable, themed events. The obvious theme in December is Christmas, and over the season more than 90 stall owners will make an appearance. The only day in the festive season that the market is not open is Christmas Eve, so don’t rely on this ethical, artisanal market for your very-last-minute shopping!
The Great Christmas Market in Nelson
The Great Christmas Market is held in the Founder’s Heritage Park in Nelson, and usually boasts over 90 stalls bursting with home-made treats of all kinds. Christmas-themed nibbles and creative arts and crafts make this a gift-giver’s dream, and you can sip on some of the tastiest coffee around as you browse. Stall-owners give off an energetic, dynamic vibe that you won’t be able to resist getting swept up in, and you can take in some of the park’s historical features at the same time.
Kerikeri’s Old Packhouse Market
The Old Packhouse Market in Kerikeri is the biggest weekend market around the Bay of Islands. The quality cheeses, poultry, meat, seafood and produce on sale will help you serve beautiful Christmas meals, and there are beautiful locally produced arts and crafts too. If you really want to get in the festive mood, grab your iPad and head along to this market. Once you’ve purchased some delectable treats take a seat and enjoy a few Christmas themed mobile casino games, or listen to carols as you walk around!
Arrowtown’s Christmas Market
Nestled close to Queenstown, Arrowtown is well worth visiting at any time of year but especially at Christmas. Arrowtown Plunket hosts a fundraising Christmas Market every year, and you’ll find incredible clothes, jewellery, homeware and trinkets. Entry will cost you nothing more than a gold coin, and you’ll walk away with great Christmas finds and something money can’t buy – a glad heart from making purchases that donate to charity.
The Farmers’ Market at Christchurch
Christchurch’s Farmers’ Market has been going since 2003, and has become a very strong fixture in the local community. Here is another market known for its thematic events, and along with interesting features and local produce this should delight all market enthusiasts. If you’re going to be passing through the area, check the official Facebook page to learn of all special events.
The Magic of Christmas Farmers Market in Palmerston North
The organisers of Palmerston North’s annual Christmas Market believe Christmas should be less about stress and more about magic. With a laid-back atmosphere and great food, arts, crafts, clothing, books, homeware, accessories and stationary, they help to create a little of that in your life. A fee of NZ$6 will get you in.
These marvellous Christmas markets offer something for everyone, and whether you are looking for food for your table, or gifts for under the tree, you’ll find everything your heart desires.
Alt image text: