The Best Christmas Markets in New Zealand

Christmas Cookies | © Pixabay
Christmas Cookies | © Pixabay
While New Zealand may not have as strong a Christmas market tradition as Europe, the country works hard to bring a festive flair to its stalls. From special farmers’ markets to well-established holiday fanfares, here are some of the best places to visit in the cheery summer season.

The Great Christmas Market, Nelson

Founders Park, Nelson
Founders Park, Nelson | © Stephen Colebourne/Flickr
Held in Nelson’s Founders Heritage Park, the Great Christmas Market typically boasts more than 90 stalls packed with New Zealand made goodies. Expect plenty of arts and crafts, Christmas nibbles, tasty coffee, and lots of energy as people revel in the dynamic atmosphere. Bring plenty of cash as most stalls won’t have card machines. While you’re out and about, make sure to check out the park’s historic features too.
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Orewa Xmas Twilight Market, Auckland

An annual night market held on Auckland’s Orewa beach. The Xmas Twilight Market is a free entry, community-driven event known for its wondrous gift and food stalls. Ideal for those searching for a uniquely New Zealand present and some locally made treats to savour while they’re browsing around.

Orewa Market Stall © ItravelNZ/Flickr

The Underground Christmas Market, Wellington

Wellington’s Underground Market has built a strong reputation for its regular and thematic events. During Christmas, there are more than 90 stalls marking their presence throughout the festive season – Christmas Eve is the only day the market is not operating in 2017. This is a fantastic option for those wanting a special gift – food or otherwise – that’s ethically produced by local artisans.

Christmas Candle © Pixabay

The Old Packhouse Market, Kerikeri

If you’re heading up north, Kerikeri’s Old Packhouse Market is the largest weekend market in the Bay of Islands region. Every week the market comes alive with a trove of quality produce, cheeses, poultry, meat, seafood, as well as arts and crafts – all proudly made and produced by locals. There are special events during the Christmas season, and live entertainment year-round.

Christmas Arts and Crafts © Pixabay

Christchurch Farmers' Market

Christmas Cookies
Christmas Cookies | © Pixabay
Christchurch Farmers’ Market has been a strong community fixture since 2003. It is known for hosting an array of thematic events throughout the year, with plenty of locally grown produce and interesting features to please all avid market goers. Christmas markets are a local tradition too – keep an eye on their official Facebook page to know when special holiday events are happening.
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Arrowtown Christmas Market

Arrowtown is a small settlement very close to Queenstown that is definitely worth visiting in the jolly season. Every year, Arrowtown Plunket hosts a special Christmas Market Fundraiser that’s filled with interesting trinkets, fabulous clothes and jewellery, and stylish home wares. A gold coin donation is all that’s asked for admission, and then you’ll have free reign to shop for a lovely Christmas gift with a charitable conscience.

Arrowtown, New Zealand © sharonang/Pixabay

Magic of Christmas Farmers Market, Palmerston North

This annual market in the North Island city of Palmerston North follows the simple philosophy that Christmas shopping should not be a stressful burden. Its emphasis is on a laid-back atmosphere with great food, plus a myriad of fantastic products ranging from arts and crafts to clothing, books, stationery, homewares and assorted accessories. The Magic of Christmas Farmers Market runs for two days, and has a NZ$6 entrance fee.

Christmas Treats © Pixabay