When thinking of Christmas and December in the UK, or Ireland, a few things come to mind: the possibility of snow that rarely comes through (unless you’re up North somewhere), cold winds, dark mornings AND afternoons, and way too many other depressing weather conditions. Personally, if I’m going to have a winter Christmas I’d rather have it somewhere in PROPER snowy, dry, winter. Somewhere like Finland, Iceland or Sweden. Maybe even Canada! However, I will admit, it is nice to be at home with family in Ireland for Christmas. BUT, if you want to mix it up a bit and try out a sunny, summer Christmas, then read on!
Xmas in Oz – What to Expect
It just so happens that December is the start of the Australian summer, with Christmas Day falling perfectly into the time when it’s getting nice and warm. With the average temperature ranging from 18.6 to 25.8 C on land, and beach-side water temperatures hitting 23.7 C, per Australia.com, the land down under can be the perfect Christmas destination for people trying to escape the cold of winter back home.
I’ve spent a couple of summers down under myself being born in New Zealand. I remember one Christmas in Sydney we had a BBQ for Christmas dinner. Everyone was decked out in shorts and t-shirts instead of glittery Christmas gowns with heavy winter coats. We woke up to the sound of cockatoos cackling as they flew overhead. And, of course, there wasn’t a single flake of snow anywhere!
This winter presents itself as one of the best seasons to visit Australia if you’re into your sport, or at least enjoy some competition and the banter that ensues from it. I’m not a big sports fan but I LOVE the atmosphere in the stadiums when everyone comes together to support their team. Right now, the England and Australia national cricket teams are battling out one of the grandest rivalries in sport for the Ashes. Boxing Day (Saint Stephen’s Day) this year will witness the fourth test of the Ashes series, with two other tests also being contested earlier in December, meaning that the competition will already envelop Australia by the time Boxing Day rolls around.
There are so many incredible sights to see while in Australia to add a different background to your Christmas snaps. For instance, by way of some Australian fun facts for you, the Land Down Under boasts over 10,000 beaches, which means that you could visit a new beach every day for 27 years. Some of the other great sights that you can see are the Uluru (Ayers Rock), the Great Barrier Reef, the Blue Mountains, Sydney Tower, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, as well as many others. Sydney looks to be the prime location to base your Australian adventure on Christmas Day as, according to Sydney.com, as well as exploring all of the fantastic sights in and around the city, their zoos and aquariums are open on Christmas Day! And as I mentioned before, I had a great time celebrating Christmas in Sydney with my family.
One of the biggest draws of Australia is the incredibly diverse indigenous wildlife. Depending on where you stay during your visit, be it in the middle of a major city or more towards the outskirts or coastline, you’ll get to see many fantastic animals that are so different to what you’re used to seeing in the UK. Some you can see in the wild, some you’ll need to visit one of the many zoos or aquariums to see, but you should certainly keep an eye out for a Koala, Kangaroo, Dingo, Wombat (my absolute fav), Frilled Neck Lizard, Platypus, Sugar Glider, Cassowary, and if you’re daring enough, a Saltwater Crocodile and Sharks.
You’d be hard-pressed to see a Great White Shark this time of year, as they’re more common through Australia’s winter months when the Seals are pupping, but other denizens of the deep such as Tiger Sharks and Reef Sharks can be found, as well as seals, manatees, rays, turtles, dolphins, and possibly even whales. Obviously you need to RESPECT the wildlife. Observe from a distance, don’t chase after any animal and absolutely NEVER feed the Ibis (you’ll understand when you get to Oz). For any of the more dangerous species make sure to go on an organised, environmentally friendly tour.
Sydney is pretty much open for business on Christmas Day if you’re the type who would like to be active on December 25. Public transport is available; you can take the ferry to many top locations, or a bus to Bondi Beach. Or you can simply walk down to the harbour to enjoy one of the fine restaurants standing waterside. There’s also all sort of events on leading up to Xmas. Plus, if you stay for New Year’s Eve there are always incredible fire displays around the harbour! So there you have it, just a few of the many reasons to try a Christmas in Australia.
Have you spent Christmas in Australia?
Would you like to?
- A Girl’s Guide to Travelling Solo in Australia
- A Guide to Australia for UK visitors
- A Luxury Guide to Sydney
- Secret Beaches in South Australia
- Things to See in Australia