I have finally managed to organize myself to be in New Zealand (South Island) over Christmas. It is early to be thinking about Christmas, but things fill up fast there and I am often away from the internet during the second half of the year.
I will visit a relative who is in her sixties. I would very much like to arrange a arrange a vacation for us in the South Island over the Christmas period, for about 5 - 10 days.
I would like us to be somewhere where there are things to do. And for Christmas dinner, I'd like access to a restaurant or cooking facilities. My relative cannot walk long distances, so tramping/hiking is not an option. She probably would not want to be in a tour bus all day. However, she is easy to please otherwise. I think she would be happy relaxing somewhere beautiful or looking around craft stores or going on cruises. She'd probably also like to participate in short organized activities. I love to be more active, but I'm happy to go along with whatever she feels like doing.
I have spent all day on Google and have not come up with any good ideas or accommodation options. There don't seem to be any Christmas packages. Overall, my accommodation budget would be about 500 - 600 Euros (about $NZ 800 - 900).
I looked at Queenstown and Christchurch. I get the impression that Queenstown might be a little too fast-paced and expensive. I don't think my relative would feel at home amongst partying teens or designer stores. On the plus side, it seems like there are cruises to do there, beautiful scenery to look at, and interesting activities for people who aren't so active (like a cable car ride). If I'm wrong, please let me know.
In Christchurch, I'm not sure if there is much going on over Christmas. Also, I don't see any apartments for rent and the per-night prices on decent hotels seem pretty high. As for other areas, I don't know if there's anywhere that would work for a week-long (or more) stay.
I would really appreciate hearing from anyone who has any recommendations.