Tips for spending Christmas in Australia

Christmas at the mall

Australian Christmas tree ©Cole Vassiliou/Flickr

Could you imagine Santa showing up in a convertible or riding the waves on a surf boat? Well, if you decide to travel to Australia for Christmas, these wild creations of your imagination might as well become reality. Christmas falls in the middle of summer in Australia, which makes everything a bit different. Those not willing to put up with below zero temperatures and several inches of snow, or those who are just curious to see a different side of this popular holiday will probably enjoy these tips for spending Christmas in Australia:

What makes Australian Christmas different

Except for the weather, you mean? Well, for a start, Australian student are in the middle of their summer vacation on December 25th. This means that families will have more time to plan everything and be together. Also, it might be a bit difficult to get a real Christmas tree or spend your time singing carols around the fire. But leaving jokes aside, the Australian Christmas tradition remain close to the Anglo-Saxon ones, although you must remember that Australia is one very diverse nation.

original christmas tree

christmas bush ©macinate/Flickr

Christmas traditions in Australia

As I was saying above, like in many Christian or English speaking countries, Christmas signifies the Birth of Jesus, but it also has other ‘secular’ meanings, like the arrival of Santa, the singing of carols and the big family diner. Australians too will spend the Christmas unwrapping gifts and enjoying a huge portion of stuffed turkey and roast ham. The traditional Christmas pudding won’t be missing from people’s tables.

family picnic

Christmas picnic ©benghan/Flickr

There are also customs and symbols that are typical to an Australian Christmas. For example, you’ll often see the Christmas bush and the Christmas orchid at this time of the year. Some people  might also skip dinner and go outside for a Christmas picnic at the beach or play sports.

Suggestions for Christmas destinations

There are plenty of places where one can spend a memorable Christmas in Australia. There will be plenty of events during this period, especially in big cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. The beaches are full of vacationers this time of the year, so even as a traveler you can just grab some bread, sausages and mince pies from the supermarket shelf and head for the nearest beach.

Christmas at the mall

Australian Christmas tree ©Cole Vassiliou/Flickr

For a more intimate, traditional atmosphere, you can try some of the country’s picturesque wine regions,  like Yarra Valley in Victoria, Barossa Valley in South Australia or Swan Valley in the Western part of the country.  Here you can just rent a country cabin or coquette villa and indulge.

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