A New Zealand Summer smells like sausages on the bbq and sun screen on hot skin! A New Zealand Summer sounds like the local bands "The Black Seeds", "Six60" and "Tiki Taane". No that's not all but if this is your first New Zealand Summer then there is a certain etiquette which you should follow if you are wanting to get the most out of this experience! Summer is the BEST time of year for many New Zealanders. From Late November - Mid March we all go into holiday mode. There are less people in the city and a lot more people out to the beaches and popular holiday spots on both islands.
What with all the celebrations over Christmas and the New Year, all of the PAID public holidays seem to fall right at the beginning of the year and there are corners of the country that you never would have known existed if it wasn't for the extended sunshine hours!
If you are wanting to blend in with the crowd then the first thing you need to have sorted on your list is the correct Kiwiana Summer attire. A singlet, shorts (stubbies) and jandals. This is generally all you need if you are planning to be a beach bunny. Jandals can be worn pretty much anywhere from the beach to the pub!
If you decide to rock up to the beach or a festival wearing sneakers and a scarf, there will be some seriously concerned faces. If you find that it is still cold then I presume you may have just flown in from the Gold Coast or all the way from Egypt! This however is the heat we look forward to all year and your best bet is to acclimatise as fast as possible.
One very simple way to warm up is with a bottle of beer! This scenario can choose to go one way or the other... the sensible NZ Summer thing to do would be to "slip, slop and slap" on the sunscreen and "sip, stay and play" when it comes to the drinking.
Lake Pukaki in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park - location of Lake-town in The Hobbit Trilogy - in autumn is a spectacular vision of golden trees contrasted against opaque turquoise waters and the snow-covered Southern Alps.
Credit: Tourism New Zealand / Rob Suisted
On the other hand, you are guaranteed to bump into a few Kiwis that weren't so smart... burnt to a crisp from the intense sun and drinking beer from a funnel. The funnel is a very iconic part of the Kiwi Summer. You are bound to bump into a funnel one way or another during your NZ Summer encounter. NZ blokes are also famous for manning the bbq with a beer in hand. We really are quite the beer drinking country, all year round, not just in the Summer! Just remember "Don't drink and Fry!"
If you have just arrived from somewhere that is generally cold such as Canada, Sweden or Russia then you may have already thought your Kiwi wardrobe through! Some other tips on how to cool down the Kiwi Summer way would be to purchase a delicious Hokey Pokey Ice cream! This is just vanilla ice cream with little hokey pokey chunks all through it. This is really as iconic as it gets in NZ. Follow these few tips and you really will be starting to scare the family back home, they may even fear that you will never return!
A Kiwi Summer feels like crisp sea spray on your skin, surrounded by some of the most blissful scenery in the world and shaded by beautiful Pohutukawa Trees (our very own New Zealand Christmas Tree which has incredible red flowers during summer).