It’s been a rollercoaster year for many of us, but Christmas is a special time to look back and reflect on what’s most important. We asked a few of our friends and family at Edmund Hillary about what Christmas means to them – and what makes a great Kiwi Christmas in Aotearoa New Zealand.



Peter Hillary, co-founder Edmund Hillary


One of our favourite summer activities was camping on a piece of land near the Clutha River near Wanaka. We would cook over an open fire, bake trout in the embers and later in the evenings we toasted marshmallows on green poplar stems. These were marvellous summer nights shared with friends and laughter. 


George Hillary


When I think of Christmas and summer holidays in New Zealand, I think of time spent out on the West Coast near Piha. We would spend lots of time swimming, surfing, and collecting mussels off the rocks to have with dinner. We would regularly go for walks and explore the more remote beaches and coves in the area, seeing all sorts of wildlife and wild surf conditions along the way. And at the end of the day, back at the Hillary Family beach bach, we would enjoy a BBQ in the long, warm summer evening and watch the sunset.  





Clare, Edmund Hillary Brands


Growing up in the Northern Hemisphere, it was a big transition to have my first Kiwi Christmas in 2009. I anticipated disappointment and missing my English countryside, the excitement of crisp, cold nights and all the traditional trimmings of a mid-winter Christmas dinner. But what was missing was made up for in bucket loads by celebrating long into the evening of Christmas Day, family BBQs and picnics and the ease and warmth of summer.  It’s different but I love it.