Lots of food, coats, cold weather and even snow are part of what most of us understand as Christmas, exactly the opposite of what an Australian Christmas looks like. Due to its geographical location in the Southern Hemisphere, at this time of the year heat starts to come to Australia and therefore the cities become more lively. Some would say that Christmas without cold is just not Christmas, they may be partly right, but Christmas in shorts and thongs is not bad at all.
Christmas Day itself is already different Down Under, despite Australians also spend most of the time with family and friends many people choose to hold a barbecue at the beach or a picnic in a park or prepare a meal of cold meat and seafood followed by Pavlova, a soft meringue cake topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
More is coming just one day later on Boxing Day, the 26th of December. This festivity has its origins in the British Isles and other nations that belonged to the British Empire, as is the case of Australia. Originally, this used to be the day for donations and gifts in boxes (hence the name “Boxing Day”) to the poorest classes of society. Today is a public holiday when also big sporting events are organized such as rugby or football matches.
Finally, as a closing celebration, New Year’s Eve. Australia focuses its attention on the Harbour Bridge in Sydney. Last year (2021-2022) at midnight just over 1 million people could see again one of the most amazing fireworks shows in the world. More than 7 tons of fireworks were burned for a massive celebration which had a cost of $6.9 million according to the organizing team of the mega event. In cold or heat, in sandals or with a warm jumper, the most important at this time of year is that everyone is surrounded by family and friends to spend a happy time together. In Australia, you might not be with everyone you wish, but it will definitely be a great opportunity to spend at least a different and original Christmastime.
MARTIN PLACE CHRISTMAS TREE
Experience the magic of Christmas! Sing along with choirs at the Martin Place tree every night, from 24 November to 24 December, 6 pm to 8 pm.
1 Martin Pl, Sydney NSW 2000, Free
CHIPPENDALE CHRISTMAS MARKET
This fashionable little suburb is hosting its first-ever Christmas market Sydney has become a pretty pro and throwing massive festive shopping sprees, and now Chippendale is joining in the fun with their brand-new Christmas market. The inaugural event is being hosted by Something For Jess café.
9 December 11 am to 3 pm | 27 Abercrombie St, Chippendale NSW 2008, Free
SYDNEY NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS
Sydney celebrates New Year’s Eve in style with one of the largest, most technologically advanced fireworks displays in the world. More than 1 million spectators view the celebrations along the Sydney Harbour foreshore, and the event reaches a global audience of more than 1 billion.
All the best spots will be crowded quite early! Be prepared and organized!
Places to watch the fireworks | 31 December Midnight, Free
QUEEN VICTORIA CHRISTMAS MARKET
It’s a Merry Market Christmas at Queen Vic Market! This season, we’ll be embracing the Christmas spirit with loads of festive fun for the whole family including ice skating at the Air Canada Ice Rink, Santa’s mailbox, carols, sustainable gift-making workshops, and a Christmas kid’s trail, plus visits from Santa Claus himself. The Market is your one-stop Christmas shop to stock up on seasonal food favourites, great gifts and stocking fillers from the wide variety of fresh produce and specialty merchandise traders.
3 December – 30 December 8 am to 2 pm | Queen Victoria Market, Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Free
WE ARE IN AUSTRALIA FOR YOU!
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CAROLS IN THE PARK
‘Carols in the Park’ is an event that brings the community together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This year’s event will feature face painting, carols sing-along, BBQ, Santa, and lots more.
16 December, 7 pm to 9 pm | Atherstone Regional Play Space, 260-266 Bridge Rd, Melton South VIC 3338, Free
AUSTRALIAN NATIVITY SCENE
Wilson Fernandez, the creator and artist at St. Elizabeth’s Parish, has been creating the nativity crib scenes to capture the wonder and essence of Christmas & the birthplace of baby Jesus for several years. Over the years, the traditional Australian Nativity Scene has drawn crowds from all over & all walks of life. The Nativity Scene has not only grown in display size, but the attention to detail is worth noting.
107 Bakers Road Dandenong North 3175, Free
GOLD LOTTO CITY HALL LIGHTS
With its enchanting narrative and creative flair, The Gold Lotto City Hall Lights has fast become a highlight of the festive season. Watch a playful Aussie Christmas tale come to life via animation in City Hall every 15 minutes from 7.30 pm.
7 December – 24 December, 7:30 pm to midnight | 87C Roma St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Free
THE ENCHANTED GARDEN
Come and explore the magic of the Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland this Christmas, where a wonderland of glittering lights will mesmerize and delight all members of the family over eight nights.
7 December – 19 December, 10 pm | Roma Street Parkland, 1 Parkland Blvd, Brisbane City, QLD 4000, Free.
We all love our Christmas movies and picnicking along the river with family and friends. What better way to combine the two with Christmas Movies at River Quay in South Bank! Think all the Christmas classics, including Elf and Home Alone. Bring a rug to sit on and a pillow to get comfy.
14 December – 23 December, 10 pm | River Quay, South Bank, Clem Jones Promenade, South Brisbane QLD 4101, Free
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS TRAIL
Explore your city this Christmas As the streets and malls fill with cheer, watch as the city lights up ready for you and your family to explore.
8 December – 24 December | All around Perth CBD, Free
LEFT BANK XMAS PARTY
Are you hitting up the Xmas tradition, XMAS EVE 2018 at The Left Bank? If you are, you’re going to want to kick on into Xmas! And what better way to do it than the Official After Party.
24 December, 10 pm | Hugo’s Fridays, 14-16 South Terrace, Fremantle WA 6160, $15
INTERNATIONAL XMAS BEACH PARTY
When we travel, we leave family behind, and our travel mates along with the residents of the city become our new family. For Xmas, we will party together.
25 December, 8 am to 6 pm | Leighton Beach, North Fremantle, WA 6159, Free
CHRISTMAS IN SURFERS PARADISE
Appreciate Christmas vibes in Surfers streets from the 13th to the 24th of December with the visit of the Santa and some roving entertainment. Let the magic of Christmas take over you with the carols on the beach, under the stars at Surfers Paradise. Don’t miss the fireworks display at 8 pm!
23 December, 6:30 pm | Surfers Paradise Beach, Free
CHRISTMAS IN BURLEIGH HEADS
It’s well known, that December is one of the best seasons in Australia for picnics. Pack your blanket, meet Santa and enjoy the Burleigh Christmas Carols with some local food trucks and art & craft stalls in Burleigh Heads.
13 December from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm | John Laws Park, Burleigh, Free
Do you need late ideas for your Christmas presents? Find unique gifts and handcrafted items from over 100 stalls, and try some Christmas treats from their specialty food trucks. Be entertained by a Christmas outdoor movie, a Santa’s arrival by helicopter, Christmas carolers and more!
14 December – 16 December, 4 pm | Broadwaters Parklands, Gold Coast, Free