10 places to get the best Santa photo

The annual Santa photo is a great way to capture how your children grow and change each year.

Help make sure the photo is a success by maybe popping in and seeing Santa a few days prior, choose a quiet time so your kids aren’t rushed and don’t forget to wear something yourself that you are happy to have pulled out every year and exclaimed over, just in case you need to hold your child next to Santa to get the photo.

Find your nearest friendly Santa from the list below.

#1: Milford Shopping Centre,24 Milford Road, Milford, Auckland

MilfordGet a professional photo taken with Santa this festive season at Santa’s Wonderland in Milford Shopping Centre.

Plus get a FREE Christmas stocking to take home and decorate.

Daily from 30 November to 24 December 2019, from 12pm – 5pm.

Find out more

#2: Snowplanet, 91 Small Road, Silverdale, Auckland

snowplanet-santaEnjoy the snow at Snowplanet – and a photo with Santa in new Winter Wonderland. Santa will be at Snowplanet from 23 November to 24 December 2019.

Prices start at $9 per person, and bookings are essential – phone 09 427 0199 or email santa@snowplanet.co.nz .

Find out more

#3: Santa’s Cave Te Whare Hana Kōkō, 326 Main Street, Palmerston North

This historic Santa’s Cave is a Manawatu favourite. No matter that you think its enthralling, magical, kitschy, or even a little creepy, it’s a must do.

There’s grown up nights for the big kids as well as PJ nights for the kids who would love a bedtime story from the jolly man himself.

Find out more

#4: Highbury Shopping Centre, Birkenhead, Auckland

Highbuyry CentreSanta will be in Highbury Shopping Centre daily from 8 to 24 December 2019 (10am – 1pm weekdays and 10am – 4pm weekends).

Come and have your annual Santa photo taken and enjoy some of the other seasonal offerings at Highbury.

Pet photos available too! Have your gifts wrapped and donate to the SPCA

Find out more

#5: Centre City, 11 Gill Street, New Plymouth

santa photosCapture the magic of Christmas by having your photo taken with Santa in his winter wonderland from 6 to 24 December 2019.

Sensory and pet sessions available too.

Find Santa on Level 1 next to Lush Cafe.

Find out more

#6: The Palms, Corner Marshland & New Brighton Rds, Christchurch

Santa at the PalmsCome and meet Santa outside Kmart from 2 to 24 December 2019.

Santa is also available for ‘Scene To Believe’ Christmas photos.

Every child who purchases a photo receives a free book (subject to availability).

Find out more

#7: Santa Grotto at Kids Kingdom. Rainbows End, Manuaku

santasSanta has taken up residence in the Kidz Kingdom castle from 23 November to 22 December 2019 at Rainbow’s End!

Santa will be in his Grotto Saturdays and Sundays from 10.30am to 3.30pm. During the week you can see the grotto and meet his elves from 11am to 2pm.

Visiting Santa is free with your Kidz Kingdom or Rainbow’s End Child Superpass and photos are available for purchase.

Find out more

#8: Meridian Mall, 285 George Street, Dunedin

Meridian SantaSANTA and his helpers would love to get a photo with you and hear how good you have been this year!

Find him in his Grotto on the lower level from 10am to 1pm on week days and until 4pm on weekends.

Post a letter in Santa’s mailbox and get Santa’s helpers to wrap your gifts!

Find out more

#9: Harvey Norman stores nationwide

santaSanta is coming to your local Harvey Norman store.

Head in store for your free 6″x4″ photo with Santa!

11am to 2pm Saturdays and Sundays from 23rd November until Christmas.

Find out more

#10: Queensgate Shopping Centre, Cnr Queens Drive and Bunny Street, Lower Hutt

Meet Santa in his amazing new Toy Emporium. 10am to 4pm daily.

Take advantage of the late night shopping and extended hours to meet Santa until 7pm.

Every child who has a photo with Santa will receive a gift!

Find out more


  1. dawnblyth 06/01/2019 at 9:14 pm

    A timeless tradition in many families. We love getting one each year with our two boys though I think soon it will be harder to get one with the eldest boy. Its a great way of seeing how your children grow each year

  2. Shelz69 05/01/2019 at 10:03 pm

    I love the pet photo idea, very cool. I always like the harvey norman santa at northwood in Christchurch

  3. Alezandra 04/01/2019 at 7:41 pm

    Surprised not to see the North City one, I remembered seeing a queue for a photo picture taking with Santa. We don’t do Santa photos though. My 3 year old son isn’t wanting to take a photo with Santa and we prefer just saving money for a photo op for his gifts. But I do see some families who enjoy having a photo op especially with grandparents too.

  4. Shorrty4life1 03/01/2019 at 3:36 pm

    Great to know. We got to chch bit late we went on boxing day. But we did go to pak n save at northtown mall in Timaru and found that great they would let you take your own photos and each child gets lollies, a present and a balloon. The kids thought it was wonderful

  5. kymmage 31/12/2018 at 12:25 pm

    Would love to go to snow planet to do one. We always do Smith and Caugheys and love it. I didn’t even know about SKY city. But maybe we should take a look next year!

  6. SarahBlair 21/12/2018 at 10:39 pm

    Before we moved, where we used to live in Te Awamutu they had a man play Santa every year (they still do) and they make a Santa’s Grotto, it’s all decorated and looks very magical and all the kids in town go and get a photo and a toy from Santa, usually a soft toy that had been donated. It’s all very lovely except for the fact that the man who plays Santa is my dad, my kids Grandad, so we haven’t had Santa photos for years as my kids insist on telling all of the other kids that ‘Santa is my Grandad’ which either ruins it for the others or results in fits of jealousy from kids who want their grandad to be Santa too.

  7. MuddledUpMolly 21/12/2018 at 4:53 pm

    Great to see a range of options here but as we live in Wanganui, we are restricted to just the two options either at our local shopping centre or Harvey Norman. We always go to Harvey Norman and purchase a basic package which suits us well 🙂

  8. felicity beets 19/12/2018 at 5:27 pm

    would be great to get a photo with Santa – it is also good to hear that a lot of places are doing special sessions for children with special needs – i.e. less crowds, quieter music etc.

  9. Bevik1971 18/12/2018 at 11:39 am

    My daughter has never been interested in getting a photo with Santa haha. I’m certainly not going to make her sit on his knee if she doesn’t want to 🙂 I did ask her this year if she wanted to do a Santa photo and she didn’t jump at it haha

  10. Mands1980 14/12/2018 at 7:54 pm

    This is great to know about the different places to visit Santa and ones you can give money , a gift or be given a book for your child. We are a small rural town so get what we can get without going to the city to see Santa and the kids are happy.

  11. Micht 10/12/2018 at 2:14 pm

    I would like to also add another to the list as its where we usually take our kids each year. Northlands Mall in cHristchurch. The Santa there is so friendly and the packages are quite handy. Also the pics are great and every child gets a brilliant story book. This year is a book by Margaret Mahy.

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