Christmas in Australia

"Enjoy Christmas on the beach"

Whilst the majority of the world experiences cold wintery conditions, Christmas in Australia is quite different.

December is the peak of summer here in Australia, making it a wonderfully hot time of year with plenty of sunshine.

If you and your family are bored of doing the same thing EVERY year, then spending Christmas here could be the very thing. Why not spend Christmas day down at the beach and have your very own Aussie Barbie!

Christmas Traditions

Christmas in Oz can feel a bit strange if you are used to the cold wintry scenes often depicted on Christmas cards.

The reality is that the Australians celebrate Christmas in exactly the same way. Christmas decorations are proudly put up in the cities and towns. Houses on the streets compete for the best lights and Christmas decorations and most families will have a Christmas tree (either real or fake)

Carol services are held on the beaches and in the parks during the run up to Christmas and are generally large affairs. Carols in the Domain in Sydney for example brings in the crowds and sometimes the latest pop bands perform too. Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne is equally as popular.

The shops are filled with Christmas music, cards with wintry snow scenes (!) and Santa generally makes guest appearances in the local shopping centres.

The locals really go to town too on putting their Christmas lights up on their houses - Brisbane probably does it the best, having a competition to find the best Christmas lights display- Christmas Lights Brisbane

Christmas Day

The day itself is about family, presents and food.

Given the usual heat, most families opt out of cooking the traditional turkey roast dinner, inherent from the British traditions. Instead, Christmas day in Australia tends to be more laid back with seafood and a barbie being the order of the day. The odd mince pie still gets eaten!

The beaches are generally busy and the free barbeque facilities are particularly packed. Boxing Day tends to be the day that the locals head down to the beach, opting to spend Christmas day in their homes surrounded by family.

There also tends to be an alcohol ban on some of the beaches e.g. Bondi Beach, where the backpackers and family-less travelers tend to hang out.

Where to celebrate Christmas in Australia

Christmas in Australia is peak holiday season. This is the time of year when the students and school kids break up for their long summer holiday (mid December until the end of January)

It means that its the most expensive time to visit Australia. Accommodation and flight prices both take a hike during this busy time. If you want to experience Christmas in Australia then you MUST book in advance all your flights and accommodation.

In terms of where to go, the weather is fantastic across all of Australia with the exception of tropical Queensland (Cairns and above), the Northern Territory (Darwin area) and top end of Western Australia (Broome and above)

Traditional holiday destinations are along the East Coast of Australia but for a less busy holiday try the West Coast around Perth travel and the Margaret River

Sydney New Years Eve

There is nothing like experience New Years Eve in Sydney. Click here for more information on New Years Eve Sydney

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Finding Accommodation

If you've read my page on finding cheap hotels Australia, you'll see that I don't recommend waiting until the last minute to book anything during the peak summer season, especially Christmas in Australia . It does mean finding a bargain at this time of year is difficult.

There are a couple of alternatives though. This time of year the locals go on holiday, leaving their houses unoccupied. This is certainly true of Sydney and Melbourne where there is a mass exodus around Christmas to places further up the coast.

I'd recommend having a look on under short term leases and couchsurfing. There is a similar website for most of the cities in Australia e.g or

If that doesn't work, then try placing an ad yourself either on the gumtree sites or in the local papers: Sydney Morning Herald, Herald Sun Melbourne, Courier Mail, Brisbane, The West Australian, Perth.

What about a house exchange? This is perfect if you plan to base yourself somewhere for a couple of weeks. Click on the link below.

Live like a local – Stay for FREE. 20,000+ Worldwide Listings. Local-weekend-international swaps

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas in Australia!

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