It may be sunshine, dips in the lake and flip-flops rather than snow, reindeer and roaring fires but warm temperatures, friendly locals and Queenstown’s 'open for business' attitude mean it’s easy to have the most relaxed Christmas ever.
If you’re from the Northern Hemisphere and you’re feeling homesick there are a number of restaurants (including most hotel restaurants) open in Queenstown that serve traditional Christmas roast dinners or special Christmas menus to suit a range of budgets.
Or you can celebrate Southern Hemisphere style and head down to the lakefront with your own ingredients for a good old kiwi barbeque.
Lamb, seafood and chicken are favourites with New Zealanders, accompanied by fresh salads and washed down with an ice-cold bottle of boutique beer or a glass of Central Otago wine.
For a real treat finish up with a pavlova dessert topped with cream and kiwi fruit or a bag of fresh cherries.
A surprising number of activities still operate on Christmas day. You can still go jetboating, paragliding, cruise on the Earnslaw steamship, ride the gondola and more. It's a buzzing time of year in Queenstown so it pays to pre-book accommodation before you arrive and make any activity bookings or restaurant reservations before Christmas day.
There are also lots of events happening over the festive season.
Watch the video above about Christmas 2011 in Queenstown.
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