Christmas get-togethers can often begin with big reunions outside Auckland Airport's arrivals gate. This week, the Herald captures some of those precious moments.

Doris and Jose Aponte arrived in Auckland on Monday with daughter Dorica, tired from their long flight but delighted to see Dorica's sister Alex.

This is Mr and Mrs Aponte's first trip to New Zealand, and both said they were very excited to spend time here.

"We've heard so much about what a beautiful country New Zealand is, and we can't wait to see it for ourselves."

The trio from Puerto Rico planned to spend their two-week trip on Waiheke Island. Alex Aponte said she would take them to visit the local beaches and vineyards.


"I haven't visited any of the vineyards yet, because I was waiting for my family to get here."

Ms Aponte has recently moved to the island with her partner Scott. She said said her family would enjoy the "traditional Kiwi summer" with lots of barbecues and trips to the beach.

Mr Aponte said it would be nice to have a cooler Christmas this year, away from Puerto Rico's heat.

"I won't need my fan this year."