Where to Spend Christmas in Australia

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Spending Christmas in a winter wonderland surrounded by snow might sound fun to some. Hot cocoa, a yuletide fire, stockings by the fireplace, it’s what we know from most festive movies. However, have you ever thought of spending your Christmas holidays in Australia? 

Christmas in Australia usually means lazy beach days, unlimited sunshine and parties, and lots of fun Christmas games. There’s still a sense of magic, without the cold or snow. So, whether you’re a local or a tourist, a Christmas ‘down under’ is an absolute must-do. 

We’ve put together a list of destinations, so pick your best place for Christmas in Australia and enjoy! 

Sydney Christmas beach holidays

Sydney, the most beautiful city in New South Wales is one of the world’s liveliest places and it makes for one of the best Christmas destinations in Australia. From comedy bars to extreme sport, here are a few ways how you can spend Christmas here. 

One of Australia’s most famous beaches, Bondi Beach, hosts an annual Christmas party with an incredible star-studded line-up. 

Dress in your favourite Christmas-themed dress or Christmas t-shirt and head off to Bondi Beach on Christmas day. Don’t miss out on the music line-up, Christmas trees, and photo opportunities. If you are keen on Christmas markets we have a detailed guide on that too.

Starting every year on 29 November, a festival entirely dedicated to Christmas kicks off in Darling Harbour. From paddle boat rides to Christmas movies under the stars, this festival is fun for the whole family. 

Keep the kids entertained with activities and workshops while the adults enjoy the fireworks and Christmas carols. We have an updated post about all the best things to do in Sydney for Christmas here.

These harbour cruises are perfect for families and groups of friends. This 3-hour cruise around Sydney Harbour can take up to 6 passengers at a time and includes an incredible restaurant-quality dining experience. 

Get a spectacular view of the Sydney skyline at sundown while sipping on cocktails. They also have one of the best Christmas lunches in Sydney.

Where to stay during your Sydney Christmas holiday

Sydney has some of the most beautiful hotels in the country. Here are a few of our top picks if you’re keen on visiting the city over the festive season. 

Oaks Sydney Castlereagh Suites

A beautiful space, located in central Sydney and just walking distance from all major attractions. 

243 Pyrmont

This fully-equipped apartment is a stone’s throw away from the Convention Center. During your stay, you’ll have access to a hot tub and a sauna. 

Secret Garden Backpackers 

This modern dormitory-style spot is centrally located, perfect for young travellers on the prowl for a fun time. 

Unique Sydney excursions

Here are a few activities that you can’t miss during your Christmas holidays in Australia.

Adventure in the Blue Mountains – Fall in love with the view of Sydney from above with this rock climbing tour of the Blue Mountains. 

Sydney Harbour Sightseeing Cruise – Choose from a whole range of cruises that will be sure to suit every person on every budget.   

Find out what is on to celebrate Christmas in Sydney here. And we show you where to get a REAL live Christmas tree in Sydney here.

Melbourne Christmas getaways

If you’re in Melbourne during the Christmas season, make sure to check out our What’s On for Christmas in Melbourne festive guide. From projections on Town Hall to bustling street markets, Melbourne Australia is a hub for activity. You can even host a Christmas party in one of the best locations in town!

Laneway in Melbourne transforms into a Christmas wonderland during the festive season. Notable bars and restaurants come together to celebrate with a food fiesta and pop-up stalls. 

Pick up some gourmet gifts and unique food items while moving to live music in the background. You can even attend a cooking demonstration while you’re there! 

During Fridays and Saturdays leading up to Christmas day, you can enjoy a free performance at No Vacancy Gallery in Jane Bell Lane. 

Enjoy treats from the local cafe between 12:00 and 14:00 while enjoying the festive atmosphere of the gallery. It’s a perfect fit for friends and family looking for some quality time during the Christmas Season. 

Melbourne is well-known for its gorgeous Christmas markets, its outdoor Christmas carol events and its incredible street art murals. From Lygon Street to Kensington, artists have adorned Melbourne with colourful and inviting works that draw many annual tourists.

Blender Studios takes over the street of Hosier Lane with a live street art performance. Catch some amazing yuletide themed artwork in the city’s most famous art location. You will get to see names like Kaff-eine, Liz Sontag and Kasper all make their mark on Hosier Lane. 

If you have kids and are looking for where to get Santa photos in Melbourne, we have you covered. If you are wondering where to eat on Christmas day in Melbourne, we know that too!

Where to stay in Melbourne

Melbourne is a beautiful coastal city in southeastern Australia that’s waiting for your arrival. Check out our top booking for this city, and choose your favourite. 

Novotel Melbourne Central

This modern space screams elegance and simplicity. Novotel is situated near central Melbourne and perfect for couples looking for Christmas holiday destinations.

Pegasus Apart-Hotel

At this funky hotel, you’ll have access to a fitness centre and a heated indoor swimming pool. It’s conveniently located just a 5-minute walk from Queen Victoria Market. 

The Village Melbourne

This location is a melting pot of art deco and modern contemporary art. It’s perfect for young visitors looking for a night out at one of the many bars and restaurants. 

Unique Melbourne excursions

You can’t have a Christmas in Melbourne without visiting the beach and tasting wine. 

Food and Wine Tour – This tour of the Mornington peninsula is perfect for foodies. Get to know the region’s best produce and snap some shots of the incredible landscape.

Great Ocean Road Sunset Tour – This Great Ocean Road tour from Melbourne will take you on an incredible journey along what is widely acclaimed as one of the world’s best drives past wonderful, rugged beaches, through charming little seaside towns, to view cuddly native Aussie wildlife and – of course – to see the amazing, huge limestone rock formations of the 12 Apostles themselves.

Find out what is on to celebrate Christmas in Melbourne here.

Christmas holiday on the Gold Coast

Spend Christmas in one of the best surfing spots in the world – the Gold Coast. During the festive season, this area turns into a summertime wonderland and attracts sun-seeking tourists from all over the world. 

Every year, Warner Bros. Movie World creates a winter wonderland on Main Street. The area is adorned with lights, there’s a Christmas parade and a Looney Tunes live show. 

This event is fun for the whole family, and it includes a 4D movie experience and meeting the boss himself – Santa. 

The annual carnival at Sanctuary Cove is a program centred around The Marine Village. It’s a week-long experience for the whole family, and is all for free. 

Have fun with pony rides, train rides, petting zoos, and much more – But don’t forget to say hello to Santa before you leave. 

How about spending a night on the beach, visiting the gorgeous Gold Coast Christmas markets, surrounded by carollers and fireworks? After a long day of surfing, whip out your picnic blanket and get into the spirit of Christmas. 

Take part in the Gold Coast tradition that has been bringing families and friends together for years. Just make sure to arrive early so that you can enjoy the beach and the amazing waves. 

If you wanted to book a Christmas lunch on the Gold Coast read this detailed guide and to find ALL the local events happening for Christmas on the Gold Coast click here.

Looking to plan a jam packed full itinerary while you are there, then this is the best list of things to do on the Gold Coast that we know of!

RELATED: If you are planning a Gold Coast Christmas party and hunting for a great venue, we know that too!

Where to stay on the Gold Coast for Christmas 

Now that you have your to-do list for your Christmas holidays in Australia, it’s time to score some fitting accommodation. 

Novotel Surfers Paradise 

This location is perfect for the avid surfer. Enjoy great ocean views and quick beach access with this location. Surrounded by restaurants, bars, and theme parks, this spot is right in the heart of Gold Coast. There are many room options to choose from, so tailoring the space to your needs is very easy.  

Qube Broadbeach

This amazing modern space is located just 700m from Broadbeach. You’ll have access to the fitness area, the pool, and the spa centre during your stay, making it a great space for a couples’ holiday. 

Bunk Surfers Paradise

Just a few minutes’ walk from Surfers Paradise Beach, this location is perfect for backpackers and young travellers. 

Unique excursions on the Gold Coast

No Gold Coast holiday experience is complete without water sports. Take a look at these top opportunities.

Jet Boat and Jet Ski Ride – See the Gold Coast from the water with this fast-paced jet ski and jet boat joy ride. 

Surf Lessons – You cant go to the Gold Cost without taking a surf lessons… it is practically the law!!

Perth Christmas breaks

The metropolitan hub of Perth is an excellent spot to visit during Christmas. From surfing to streets adorned with twinkle lights, Perth is the perfect mixture of classic Christmas and beach-bumming. 

The streets of Perth light up annually with colourful floats, clowns and performers. This is a great experience for the whole family during the festive season. See the children’s faces light up when they notice the Big Man himself float by on a cloud of presents. 

Enjoy holiday movies on a large LED screen in the Northbridge Piazza. There are multiple outdoor cinemas that pop up during the month of December all over the city. You can enjoy a movie under the night sky as a family or a romantic date with your significant other. 

The city is teeming with speciality shops and gorgeous Christmas markets and places to sing Christmas carols during the festive season. Santa is located in many shops and major department stores where you can grab this years Santa photo and find all kinds of cool decorations and gifts. 

If you are looking for where to eat lunch in Christmas in Perth, this is what you need to know.

Where to stay in Perth? 

Here are a few of our favourite spots in Perth. 

Adina Apartment Hotel Perth

This fully-equipped apartment in Perth is located near the convention centre and is a perfect fit for families. The modern living spaces have great views of the city and a bar and restaurant are located within the building. 

The Sebel West Perth

The Sebel is known for its beauty and 5-star service. This is a great place for couples and it’s located close to all major attractions. 

The Emperor’s Crown Hostel

This is a good spot for young travellers and backpacking enthusiasts. The space is reminiscent of an old railway station and is fully equipped with whatever you’ll need. 

Unique excursions in Perth

Spending Christmas in Perth comes with an array of fun activities

Perth Swim with Dolphins Cruise – This bucket list item is a must-do while in Perth. 

A visit to Rottnest island to see the Quokkas – find out more here.

Brisbane Christmas holidays

Brisbane buzzes with activity during the festive season. The city has some fun Christmas events lined up every silly season which are all free to attend. The schools are out for the break and the kids are enjoying a range of school holiday activities. Here are a few of our picks. 

Pack up all your friends and family and head off to the Roma Street Parkland for a movie night under the Australian stars. 

Watch a range of Christmas movies from the crystal clear waters of South Bank. This annual tradition is a hit for children and adventurous young adults. While you are there, check out their gorgeous Christmas markets.

Look out for Santa as he wanders around Brisbane. When you catch him, be sure to ask for a selfie. He might be hiding anywhere in David Jones Queens Plaza, Myers or at any number of Brisbane Christmas parties during the month of December. 

We have an updated post about all the best things to do in Brisbane for Christmas here and where to eat Christmas lunch in Brisbane on Christmas Day here. Keen on Christmas carols in Brisbane? We know that too!

Where to stay in Brisbane over Christmas

Check out these fantastic accommodation options in Brisbane.

River Plaza Apartments

These luxury apartments are perfect for the whole family and they sport an exceptional view of the city. It’s a great spot for couples and families who want to experience the best of Brisbane. 

The Capitol Apartments

These beautiful and spacious apartments are within walking distance of the major attractions in the city and can quickly become a home away from home. 

Nomads Brisbane Hostel

If you’re keen on experiencing Brisbane’s nightlife and meeting new people, this space is perfect for you. It’s centrally located and offers a lot of comforts. 

Unique excursions in Brisbane

Brisbane is teeming with activities during the festive season. 

Brewery Tour in Brisbane – Take a tour of Brisbane’s up-and-coming craft brew area and meet some passionate locals. 

Moreton Island Dolphin and Tangalooma Wrecks Snorkelling Adventure – View some of QLD’s best marine life up close with this dolphin cruise headed for the Moreton Bay Marine Park and see dolphins, turtles, dugongs and more. 

Find out how the locals celebrate Christmas in Brisbane here and book your Christmas lunch from these options here.

Choosing the best place to spend Christmas in Australia

This incredible country has a unique take on Christmas and tourists are flocking its shores to share in the excitement. 

Each region has its own flare and there is something for everyone. Remember to book your spot for the next festive season and have Christmas under the Australian sky. 

Tell us which location seems like the most fun for you. Let us know in the comments below! 

Join our Facebook group to jumpstart your Christmas planning all year long!

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Janine Mergler

Janine has a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) from the Queensland University of Technology and works as an editor of the popular Families Magazine. Janine owns the Christmas in Australia website because she is a huge fan of Christmas and everything about the festive season and she wants to share it all with you! Travelling the country to find all the best Christmas experiences in Australia, she can be found celebrating Christmas in July and getting more and more excited as 25th December approaches! Join my Christmas in Australia Facebook group too!

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