Christmas in Australia: Sun, Sand, and Santa Hats

christmas in australia

Ah, Christmas time in Australia. The sun is shining, the barbecues are sizzling, and the beaches are packed. It’s a unique and somewhat bizarre experience for those used to traditional snowy Christmases, but Aussies wouldn’t have it any other way. So, let’s take a look at what makes Christmas in Australia so special.

A sunny Christmas

Firstly, let’s talk weather. In the northern hemisphere, Christmas is a time for snow, frost, and chilly temperatures. But down under, things are a little different. December marks the start of summer in Australia, and temperatures can soar up to 40°C (104°F) in some parts of the country.

This means that instead of snuggling up by the fire with a hot chocolate, Aussies are more likely to be found at the beach, wearing Santa hats and enjoying a refreshing dip in the ocean. It’s not uncommon to see families having picnics in the park, or firing up the barbecue for a Christmas lunch in the backyard.

The great outdoors

One of the best things about Christmas in Australia is the opportunity to spend time outdoors. With long, sunny days and warm weather, it’s the perfect time to explore the country’s stunning natural landscapes. From the beaches of Bondi and Byron Bay to the rugged wilderness of the Outback, there’s something for everyone.

And let’s not forget the wildlife. Christmas in Australia means you’re likely to come across some unique creatures, such as kangaroos, koalas, and wombats. In fact, many Australians like to incorporate native animals into their Christmas decorations, with kangaroo and koala-shaped ornaments adorning trees and homes.

Traditions with a twist

Of course, Christmas in Australia still has its traditions, but with a unique twist. Instead of roasting a turkey or ham in the oven, many families opt for a seafood feast, featuring prawns, oysters, and crayfish. And while carol singing is still popular, it’s not unusual to hear classic carols like “Jingle Bells” or “Deck the Halls” reworked with an Aussie accent and a few humorous lyrics.

Another popular tradition in Australia is the Christmas lights display. Many homes and businesses go all out with extravagant light shows, attracting visitors from far and wide. In fact, some streets and neighborhoods have become famous for their Christmas lights, with people flocking from all over the country to see them.

And let’s not forget about Santa. In Australia, he’s still a jolly old man in a red suit, but instead of a sleigh and reindeer, he’s more likely to be found surfing or riding a kangaroo. It’s all part of the fun and irreverent Aussie spirit.

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Beaches, Barbecues, and Cricket

One of the most iconic images of Christmas in Australia is a group of friends or family members gathered around a barbecue on the beach. It’s a tradition that’s been around for decades and continues to be a popular way to celebrate the festive season.

Along with the barbie, it’s also common to see a game of cricket being played on the beach or in the park. It’s a casual and relaxed way to enjoy some friendly competition while soaking up the sun and enjoying a cold beer.

Festive Decorations

While many Australians choose to decorate their homes with traditional Christmas decorations like tinsel and ornaments, others prefer to embrace the Aussie spirit by incorporating unique and quirky decorations. For example, it’s not unusual to see a Christmas tree decorated with surfboards or decorated with Australian native flowers like wattle or banksia.

Another popular decoration is the Christmas wreath made from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. The fragrance of the eucalyptus leaves mixed with other festive scents like cinnamon and cloves creates a delightful aroma that fills the home.

Boxing Day

The day after Christmas, known as Boxing Day, is a public holiday in Australia, and it’s one of the most anticipated days of the year. It’s a day for relaxation and enjoying time with family and friends. Many Aussies use the day to continue their festive celebrations with another barbecue or beach outing.

Boxing Day is also a big day for sports, particularly cricket and horse racing. The famous Boxing Day Test match, a five-day cricket match held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is a much-loved tradition and attracts large crowds from around the country.

New Year’s Eve

Finally, New Year’s Eve in Australia is a truly unforgettable experience. The celebrations begin early in the day, with many people spending the day at the beach or in the park, enjoying picnics and barbecues with family and friends.

As the sun sets, the cities come alive with festivities, including fireworks displays over the iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Melbourne skyline. The atmosphere is electric, and the celebrations continue long into the night.


Christmas in Australia may be a little unconventional, but it’s a unique and unforgettable experience that’s loved by Aussies of all ages. From barbecues on the beach to cricket in the park, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you’re ever in Australia during the festive season, be sure to embrace the Aussie spirit and join in the celebrations. Merry Christmas!

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