Christmas in July in Australia in 2024

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Are you thinking about celebrating Christmas in July this year but not sure where to go? Are you wondering why Australians even celebrate Christmas in July? Well you’re in the right place. We’ve scoured the country to find the best Christmas in July events for 2024 and popped them here for you to explore.

In this article I have pulled together some interesting facts about Christmas in Australia. As an Aussie who LOVES Christmas, I share with you:

  • Why Australians celebrate Christmas in July
  • How we celebrate Christmas in July most importantly
  • Where Australians celebrate Christmas in July!

All for your planning pleasure!

Why Australians celebrate Christmas in July

Australians don’t actually celebrate Christmas during the month of July – that still happens on December 25 when we have a summer Christmas. But it is still a popular new-ish tradition where we enjoy a range of events that happen in July each year and have a wintery feel, so that we can feel a bit like our northern relatives.

What is Christmas in July?

‘Christmas in July’ is more of a concept – a fabulous excuse for a festive feast and an opportunity to enjoy the types of Christmassy things that don’t work in a blazing hot Australian summer (think snow, sweaters and roaring fireplaces).

While the phrase ‘Christmas in July’ can be traced back to the French opera Werther in 1892, and the first known ‘Christmas in July’ event occurred in 1933 at a girls’ summer camp in North Carolina, its appearance in Australia is less certain.

Legend says it’s thanks to some Irish tourists who were visiting the Blue Mountains in July 1980. It’s believed they convinced the proprietor of a local hotel to have a ‘Yulefest’ party to celebrate Xmas in July and it was such a success that the hotel ran it again the next year and the year after that, and the idea caught on. Whether fact or fiction, the reality is today ‘Christmas in July’ celebrations are a popular winter activity across our big, brown, beautiful country.

What date in Christmas in July?

Christmas in July is on the 25th July each year. However, as the events below show you, you can celebrate at any time in the month of July!

How Australians celebrate Christmas in July

Christmas in July at the beach

In Australia, Christmas in July celebrations centre mostly around a sumptuous feast and plenty of festive decorations reminiscent of the white Christmases of the northern hemisphere. It’s a chance for us to don a crazy Christmas sweater or other Christmas outfit, (perhaps some Christmas earrings) indulge in eggnog or mulled wine, and cosy up in front of a roaring fire. In some Australian states it’s even cold enough for snow. I’ll show you where below!

While some people throw their own Christmas in July party, there are plenty of restaurants, hotels, wineries and breweries that do all the hard work so all you have to do is turn up and enjoy the festivities. So if you’re looking for some Christmas in July ideas, read on to discover the range of events happening around Australia.

Australia Christmas in July – why wouldn’t you?

If you would like to be included in our article you can contact us for more information. Prices start at $295 + GST.

Places where you can celebrate Christmas in July in Australia

Christmas in July has become such a huge part of Aussie festivities we have written individual guides to help you find the Christmas in July events near you. Just click on the city link below to be taken to the article with all the updated local details for that city!

Other places to celebrate Christmas in July in Australia

Christmas in July – Blue Mountains

The place where it’s all said to have begun. ‘Yulefest’ remains a major feature on the Blue Mountains communities’ calendar. Cold winds and occasional snowfalls provide a perfect setting to celebrate Christmas in July Blue Mountains style. If you are a photographer, get your camera ready, because the view is spectacular!

You’ll enjoy warm ‘Mountains’ hospitality alongside log fires, sing-alongs and wonderful Christmas fare. There’ll be Christmas trees and decorations at every turn, and an occasional sighting of Santa. From hotels to cottages, tearooms to underground caves there are seemingly endless opportunities for celebrating Christmas in July.

To find out all the details about Yulefest visit the Blue Mountains website.

Cradle Mountain | Tasmania

Put on your most unattractive (or your finest) Christmas sweater and head along to celebrate a classic Christmas buffet extravaganza, complete with all the extra goodies, live tunes, and an abundance of joyous merriment. If we behave, we typically receive a visit from the jolly fellow in the red suit who brings delightful surprises for the little ones.

Throughout the weekends, you will be able to taste spiced wine, hot chocolate, and hot chocolate with concealed hint of Baileys… Let’s hope for a snow-covered Christmas, so we can gather around the fire, indulging in the warmth of spiced wine!

Dates: Saturday 7th, Sunday 8th, Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th July

Lunch: 11.30am – 2.30pm 

Dinner: 5pm – 8.30pm

Adults – $110 | Children (between 5-14) – $55 | Children (under 5) – Free

For more details or to make a booking, visit the Cradle Mountain Hotel website.

Southern Downs and Granite Belt | Queensland

The coldest place in Queensland during winter is the perfect location to enjoy Christmas in July celebrations.  The cool temperatures mean roaring fires and the chance of snow, so you have good reason to wear your best Christmas sweater.

The region has plenty on offer throughout the month of July with a range of festive feasts in wineries and restaurants; a 1920s inspired cocktail party; and a Christmas-themed dinner and movie night.

For a full list of events and dates, visit the Southern Downs and Granite Belt website.

Other Christmas-like events across Australia

Looking for some other Christmas in July ideas that don’t involve big feasts? There are lots of winter wonderland style events that give the feel of a northern Christmas

Snow Time in the Garden | Hunter Valley

The annual winter celebration in Pokolbin is back with a range of activities for kids of all ages. There’s a 9D immersive virtual-reality snow experience, a 40-metre ice slide to toboggan down and ice skating. You can watch ice-sculpting demonstrations and can even build a snowman. Snow Time in the Garden also has a dedicated play zone and rides like the ferris wheel and carousel, and 14 hectares of beautiful gardens to explore.

Dates: 24 June – 23 July

Website: Hunter Valley Gardens

The Winter Village | Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth

The Winter Village is a delightful and magical winter wonderland that has something for the whole family. Enjoy ice-skating and the wonder of snow showers (albeit the pretend kind of snow) and keep an eye out for other events and activities that will pop up throughout the winter months. There’s also a pop-up bar and kitchen, and you can cosy up in one of the private igloos that are decked out with comfy armchairs, soft cushions and twinkling fairy lights.

Entry is Free. Igloo packages for 2-8 people are available from $49 per person.

Website: The Winter Village

Sovereign Hill Christmas in July – Winter Wonderlights

Sovereign Hill Winter Wonderlights
Sovereign Hill Winter Wonderlights

The Christmas in July event at Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill is a month-long celebration. The gold rush heritage village turns into a winter wonderland with a European-style street market, falling snow (the pretend kind) at set times during the day, and lights and 3D cinema projected onto the facades of buildings in Main Street during the evening. There’s also Christmas story-telling, a range of shows in the theatre and a brass band, and of course you can pan for gold as usual and maybe find your own Christmas gift.

Dates: 24 Jun – 16 Jul

Website: Sovereign Hill

We hope the above article has given you some more information about the meaning of Christmas in July for Australians.

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If you would like to be included in our article you can contact us for more information. Prices start at $295 + GST.

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Regina Gleeson

Regina is a fan of all things Christmas! As the Listings Editor of the popular Families Magazine she was instrumental in putting together the Christmas content in the print publication and on their website since its inception in 2013. She is extremely community-minded and makes it her personal mission to contribute content that is low cost (or free!) and suitable for families. This thirst for knowledge and desire to experience the things she writes about makes her an irreplaceable member of the team.

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