Throughout our Flip Flop Festivities series, we’ve explored how Christmas is celebrated all over the world. From centuries old fairy tale traditions in Europe, to colorful, neon festivities in Asia, and giant gingerbread houses in the United States, Christmas is a time of magic and wonder. If we had to pick one place to celebrate Christmas, where would it be?
The idea of spending Christmas in a winter wonderland surrounded by snow sounds fun to some people. Not for beach-loving, flip flop dudes like us. The typical festive movie scene includes hot cocoa, yuletide fires, and stockings by the fireplace.
What if we told you there’s a place you can swap this out for lazy beach days, endless sunshine, and lots of fun Christmas games? It’s still magical without the cold or snow.
That’s what the year-end holidays look like in Australia! If you’re a flip flop lover like us, a Christmas “down under” is a must-do.
Christmas in Australia marks the beginning of the summer holidays. It falls on one of the hottest months of the year in Australia. Summer is from mid-December to early February, which makes it our ideal spot to spend Christmas (in flip flops, of course!). Since it’s so hot, more and more Australians choose to celebrate Christmas in July. Cooler temperatures during this month allow them to celebrate more traditionally than they could in the heat.
Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas in Australia traditions in July or December, one thing is for sure – you will have an unforgettable time!
Due to the heat at Christmas time in Australia, there are quite often massive bush fires. Volunteer bush fire fighters travel from all over Australia to help in other states and save people and property from bush fires.
On Christmas Eve, some Australians hang wreaths on their front doors and sing carols. Christmas trees and lights are also used to decorate houses and gardens. There are sometimes little competitions between neighbors to see who has the best light display. At night, neighbors often visit each other to see the light displays. Displays are sometimes put on as early as December 1. With their coordinated street display, one street in Sydney raises over $(AUS)35,000 every year for charity!
Australians also decorate their houses with ‘Christmas Bushes’, native Australian trees with small gold leaves and cream-colored flowers. During summer, the flowers turn a deep red (usually by the week of Christmas in Sydney). Poinsettias are also used as decorations.
Jacarandas are another spectacular tree in Australia that might be in bloom during Christmas. The flowers are bright blue/purple. Depending on where you live in Australia, it can flower from October into December. There are plenty of colorful birds around, such as lorikeets and rosellas, so if you’re lucky, you might see them!
Each state capital city holds a Carols by Candlelight service. The carols are sung by famous Australian singers like The Wiggles, John Farnham, Anthony Warlow, Colin Gery, Niki Webster, and many others. Across Australia, these carol services are broadcast on TV. Additionally, each state’s capital city holds a large Christmas pageant that is broadcast nationwide. Almost every town and city have a festival or parade. Fireworks are sometimes displayed in local parks.
Local bands and choirs often perform Christmas Carols and songs during Carols by Candlelight services held in many towns, cities and schools. In Australia at Christmas time, the words to the Carols about snow and winter are sometimes changed to special Australian words! Several original Australian Carols are also included.
Santa sometimes uses kangaroos instead of reindeers when he gets to Australia. He also changes into clothes that are better for summertime. Children often leave carrots for Santa’s reindeer and cake for Santa, along with some cold beer, but it’s usually non-alcoholic since Santa must drive his sleigh.
Christmas in Sydney
Sydney is the most beautiful and liveliest city in New South Wales, making it an ideal Christmas destination. The best ways to spend Christmas in this city range from comedy bars to extreme sports.
Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s most famous beaches, hosts an incredible star-studded Christmas party every year.
On Christmas Day, wear your favorite Christmas dress or Christmas t-shirt and head to Bondi Beach. Don’t miss out on the Christmas trees, music line-up, and photo opportunities.
The Sydney Christmas Market offers something for everyone on your list this holiday season. Sydney has a wide variety of markets, from large and busy to smaller and more intimate. Xmas markets are held on Christmas night, weekdays, and weekends, so you can find one that fits your schedule.
Family friendly markets offer shopping, food, entertainment, and sometimes even a visit from Santa! Christmas markets are a great place to find Secret Santa gifts as well! You can find a great selection of local markets in the suburbs as well as the Central Business District.
Darling Harbour kicks off its Christmas festival on November 29 every year. This festival offers everything from paddle boat rides to Christmas movies under the stars.
The kids will enjoy the activities and workshops while the adults will enjoy the fireworks and Christmas carols.
Harbour cruises are ideal for groups of friends and families. Guests can enjoy an incredible restaurant-quality dining experience during this 3-hour cruise around Sydney Harbour.
Sip cocktails while taking in the Sydney skyline at sundown. Sydney’s best Christmas lunch is also served here.
Christmas in Melbourne
There is always something happening in Melbourne! The town is abuzz with Christmas from projections on Town Hall to bustling street markets. This is one of the best spots to be for a great Christmas party.
During the holiday season, Laneway in Melbourne transforms into a Christmas wonderland. Restaurants and bars come together to celebrate with a food fiesta and pop-up stalls.
Enjoy live music while shopping for gourmet gifts and unique food items. During your visit, you can even attend a cooking demonstration.
You can enjoy a free performance on Fridays and Saturdays leading up to Christmas at No Vacancy Gallery in Jane Bell Lane.
From 12:00 to 14:00, you can enjoy treats at the local cafe while enjoying the festive atmosphere of the gallery. It’s perfect for friends and family looking for some quality time during the holiday season.
Christmas markets, outdoor carol events, and street art murals make Melbourne a popular destination. Throughout Melbourne, artists have created colorful and welcoming works that attract many visitors every year.
Live street art is performed by Blender Studios on Hosier Lane. You can see some amazing yuletide themed artwork at the city’s most famous art location. At Hosier Lane, you’ll see names like Kaff-eine, Liz Sontag, and Kasper.
Christmas in Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is one of the best surf spots in the world – so why not spend Christmas there? This area becomes a summertime wonderland during the festive season, attracting sun-seeking tourists from around the world.
The Warner Brothers Movie World creates a winter wonderland every year on Main Street. There’s a Christmas parade, a live Looney Tunes show, and lights adorn the area.
The event includes a 4D movie experience and the opportunity to meet Santa himself.
Sanctuary Cove hosts an annual carnival around The Marine Village. You can enjoy the experience with the whole family for free for a full week.
You can ride pony rides, go on train rides, visit petting zoos, and so much more. Don’t forget to say hello to Santa before you leave.
Imagine spending a night on the beach, listening to carolers and watching fireworks at the gorgeous Gold Coast Christmas markets? Grab a picnic blanket after a long day of surfing and get in the mood for the holidays.
Join the Gold Coast tradition that brings families and friends together. Be sure to arrive early so you can enjoy the beach and waves.
Christmas in Brisbane
During the festive season, Brisbane is buzzing with activity. During the silly season, the city hosts several free Christmas events. Schools are out for breaks and kids are enjoying a range of school holiday activities.
Bring all your friends and family to Roma Street Parkland for a movie night under the stars.
Enjoy a variety of Christmas movies from the crystal-clear waters of the South Bank. Children and adventurous young adults enjoy this annual tradition. Visit their gorgeous Christmas markets while you’re there.
Keep an eye out for Santa as he wanders around Brisbane. Take a selfie with him if you catch him. During the month of December, he might be hiding in David Jones Queens Plaza, Myers or any number of Brisbane Christmas parties.
Christmas in Perth
Perth is an excellent place to visit during the Christmas season. With its twinkling lights and surfing, Perth is the perfect mix of classic Christmas and beach-bumming.
Colorful floats, clowns, and performers light up the streets of Perth every year. During the holiday season, this is a great experience for the whole family. The children’s faces will light up when they see Santa float by on a cloud of presents.
On the Northbridge Piazza, you can watch holiday movies on a large LED screen. Throughout the city, outdoor cinemas pop up throughout December. The night sky is an ideal setting for a romantic date or a family movie night.
During the festive season, there are many specialty shops, gorgeous Christmas markets, and places to sing carols. There are many shops and major department stores where you can see Santa and get all kinds of cool decorations and gifts.
Wrapping It All Up
Nothing’s better than Christmas on the beach – and that makes it hard to beat a country like Australia. There is a unique twist to Christmas in this amazing country, and tourists are flocking there to get a taste of the fun.
No matter where you celebrate Christmas, we hope the holidays are a time for family, fun and food.
We hope you enjoyed reading about how Christmas has been celebrated around the world. We’ve only touched on a few countries here, but there are many more that can be explored—and even more things to learn about them! Happy holidays from all of us at Flip Flop Daily!
Most people spend Boxing Day with their friends and enjoy barbecues at the beach. During Boxing Day, a famous yacht race is held from Sydney to Hobart in Tasmania. The Boxing Day Cricket Test Match is another Boxing Day tradition. Every year, it is held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Boxing Day.
Christmas is a busy time for the Flying Doctor Service. Outback residents send Christmas greetings to each other over the radio network on Christmas Day.
The main meal is usually eaten at lunchtime by most families for Christmas. In most cases, people now have a cold Christmas dinner or a barbecue with seafood like prawns and lobsters along with ‘traditional’ English food. Fresh seafood is often in high demand on Christmas Eve at fish-markets. There may also be cold desserts like pavlovas and trifles, in addition to the ‘traditional’ Christmas pudding.
Christmas crackers are often served at Christmas meals in Australia.