Christmas is almost here and like everyone else we can't wait! To celebrate 9 days before Christmas, we've rounded up 9 things to do and see before the big day!

Commercial Bay magic mail machine

1. Send a letter to Santa | Santa's Mail Machine at Commercial Bay

Send your very own personalised letter to Father Christmas with Santa's Mail Machine at Commercial Bay! Write a letter to Santa at one of the writing stations and watch as it shoots off through the three story Mail Machine and off to the North Pole. Your Christmas wish might even come true! Mailboxes open daily from 10am - 8pm.

Christmas in the city centre

2. Check out the magical Christmas decorations in the city centre

Get into the Christmas spirit as you wander around the city centre taking in all the decorations and doing a spot of Christmas shopping. From the beautiful illuminated Light Forest and the giant baubles in Te Komititanga to the doves and globes in Vulcan Lane and more, the city centre is all dressed up this Christmas. Click here to see more.

Commercial Bay shopping

3. Enjoy late night shopping in the city centre

Tick off your Christmas shopping list at Commercial Bay, Britomart and Smith & Caughey's, with their stores and boutiques open late across multiple nights from Thursday 16 December in the lead up to Christmas. And while you're here you can enjoy live music, Christmas performances, giveaways and more. Click here for more details.

Light Show in Te Komititanga

4. Don't miss the Christmas Light Show in Te Komititanga

Brought to you by Heart of the City, Commercial Bay and Auckland Council, the Christmas Light Show at Te Komititanga illuminates the entire Chief Post Office (CPO) in downtown Auckland, spanning 55 metres wide and 32 metres high each evening until Christmas Eve. Head down and be taken on a delightful festive journey, bringing the spirit of wonder and joy to the heart of the city 

Mexico's summer menu

5. Catch up with friends over drinks

Make the most of the festive season and book in the last of your Christmas catch-ups. Whether you're looking for cocktails, champagne or craft beer,sitting in the laneways, on a rooftop terrace or waterside, there are many great bars to head to in the city centre.
Have you been to Rooftop at QT, Captain's Bar, The Good George Brewery or The Shakespeare? Click here for more inspiration.


6. Say hi to Santa and check out Smith & Caughey's Christmas Windows

Pay Santa a visit at Smith and Caughey's Enchanted Forest (bookings only this year) or see beautiful hand painted moving puppets and twinkling lights in this year's window display that goes by the theme of The Fairies' Night Before Christmas. Smith & Caughey's have been named, alongside Macy’s in New York and Selfridges in London, as having one of the seven incredible Christmas window displays from around the world. And don't forget their dedicated Christmas Shoppe inside, where you can stock up on all the best decorations to deck your spaces out at home! 

White and Wongs

Waterside dining at White + Wongs

7. Catch up for lunch with colleagues or friends 

Christmas is a time to be spent with others and the city has some amazing spots for a memorable catch up. So get the family together, grab your colleagues or call your friends and head to one of many special restaurants in the city centr. Sone though starters include Dr Rudi's, White + Wong's, Cafe Hanoi and Huami. Click here for some more inspiration. 

mince pies

8. Grab a Christmas dessert from city centre cakers, bakers and dessert extraordinaires

On dessert duty for Christmas this year? From cookies to mince pies, pavlova, cakes, specialty chocolates and macarons, you can find them all in the city centre. Click here for more details and get ordering now!

Aotea Square Christmas tree

9. Head to the Aotea Square to see Auckland Live's giant Christmas tree

Aotea Square is merry and bright with the arrival of the Auckland Live Christmas tree. It’s the perfect opportunity to treat yo’elf to a holiday selfie under the twinkling lights while getting all your Christmas shopping done on Queen Street.

Last updated: 16 December 2021