215 Days on the Road
It’s Christmaaaaaaasss! As we all know, Santa starts his journey through the Southern Hemisphere, with New Zealand being one of the first countries he visits. Although we don’t have a Christmas tree, he still manages to find us at the Jucy Snooze hotel! But to begin this Christmas tale, we must wind back to two days ago when we arrived in Christchurch…
It was a couple of days before Christmas, and we toured Christchurch by bus.
We had only an hour to buy each other presents, but we didn’t make a fuss.
We scouted in Warehouse, we scouted in Dress Smart
And picked the cheapest wrapping paper so our presents didn’t look like art.
With our backpacker budget, we bought chocolates and booze
So we have something to open for Christmas at Jucy Snooze.
The Christmas challenge
And we’re back to Christmas Day! We have the most magical of lie-ins until 7am before doing some last-minute wrapping in the campervan. With breakfast, we exchange gifts, to which Robin can’t resist holding a “Christmas Challenge” for Laura. Yes, every birthday and Christmas, Robin makes Laura work for her gifts by setting a challenge. This year, she has a puzzle to solve within two hours. Because Laura is not the best at puzzles, Robin has hidden “an advantage” in the campervan to make her more likely to complete the challenge in two hours.
Thinking “outside the box”
An hour and a half later, Laura has taken apart every box, every draw, every shelf of the campervan. She has even looked in the van’s outside compartments, literally thinking “outside the box”.
When Robin can see Laura is in a bit of sweaty state, hair everywhere, rolling around on the floor in despair, he finally gives her another clue: “It tells you when you are hot.” The gas compartment!
A classic Kiwi Christmas
By Robin practically giving it away, Laura finds her advantage, but decides to complete the puzzle during our activity of the day, having a classic Kiwi Christmas at the beach. Because it is summer during Christmas here in New Zealand, many Kiwi families flock to the beaches, have BBQs or cold light meals so they can enjoy the great outdoors. We’ll be honest, it isn’t exactly sunny today, but it’s certainly nice enough weather for a trip down to New Brighton Beach, one of a few Christchurch beaches.
Present-opening session at Jucy Snooze
Christmas at New Brighton Beach
We pack some Christmas food, put on our Santa hats, and hit the road to New Brighton!
Although New Brighton is part of the South Island’s largest city, it really feels like a seaside town of its own. The streets are decorated with palm trees, ice cream shops, and funfair at the waterfront. Grabbing our food, puzzles, Laura’s unopened present, a Nerf, and a picnic blanket, we walk onto a super long-stretching beach with the perfect view of the New Brighton pier bustling with people. Because the beach here in New Brighton is so large, it’s easy enough to find a quiet spot to ourselves where we can set up the ultimate Christmas dinner and watch heaps of surfers catching some waves.
Camembert, honey roasted chicken, grapes, artisan bread, potato salad, chips and hummus… This is what Christmas is all about: stuffing yourself silly!
Puzzles, kites and intense Nerf sessions
We’re not even 100% sure you can call this an activity, but lazying on the beach watching surfers and a guy fly his impressive collection of kites sure feels like a relaxing activity after 215 days of more than 215 crazy activities all over New Zealand.
Laura finally completes her puzzle to open her present and Robin completes his brainteasers Laura got for him (no strings attached, by the way. They were only bought for fun), so we feel way too buzzing to sit around any longer. We get the Nerf out, that’s a rocket-shaped toy that you throw to each other for any of you who are not well-versed with the Nerf. It’s an intense Nerf session on the beach to say the least.
Calling back home
From here, it’s back to Jucy Snooze for Robin to have a relaxing evening in front of the TV and Laura to give her family a video call from the crazy amount of seating areas in the common area. Bean bags, hammocks, swings, stools, sofas… With free WiFi and USB sockets absolutely everywhere, it’s the perfect place for video calls back home.
Bring on boxing day
Tomorrow, we are hitting the boxing day sales in possibly the coolest shopping mall we’ll ever get to shop in: a shopping mall made out of shipping containers. We are also keen to check out the gardens that gave Christchurch the name: “The Garden City”. Join us then, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Christmas the Kiwi way!
Until tomorrow’s blog post, go for a walk, paint a picture, or check out these articles:
- The Backpacker 12 Days of Christmas
- What to do for Christmas in New Zealand
- 22 Stunning Beaches in New Zealand
See you tomorrow!