Though the snow is undoubtedly festive, the icy temperatures and seasonal rain make Britain harder to bear in the winter months. Busy roads, queues for shops and a frantic search for all the right foods and gifts can make ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ also the most stressful. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, therefore, to swap the grey skies of home for sun, sand and a stunning change of scene? Australia is the answer.
Christmas in Australia is a sparkling contrast to the all-indoor event most families across the UK experience each year. It is well-known that the Aussies love a party and Christmas is no exception. The beautifully warm and dry climate means all of the fun can be enjoyed at the beach or on the seafront terrace at a luxurious Australian hotel.
Australia is an incredible destination throughout the year, but the Australian summer (our winter) is the best time to really make the most of all this vibrant nation has to offer.
Of course, Australia is a sprawling landmass with plenty of sights, both natural and man-made, therefore we advise a longer than average stay and explore some of the grand states, each unique in their own way. Here is a collection of our ‘Christmas in Australia’ highlights.
As the undisputed kings of the barbecue, you’re right to assume Australian Christmases centre around al fresco dining. Whilst the traditional turkey is readily available, most Australians opt for seafood and fish as the focal point for their festive feast, with steak, well-seasoned chicken and even some Thai options, due to the significant Asian influence Australian cuisine enjoys. The traditional ‘Christmas Day at the beach’ is easy to emulate with disposable barbecues, one of the country’s ‘bestselling’ items in the build up to the big day, but many luxury beachfront hotels will have their own sophisticated twist on this iconic classic.
Australians really love their sport and Christmas is a time when festivities and a national competitive spirit combine to create world renowned sporting spectacles. Perhaps the most famous is the Boxing Day Test. Cricket is one of Australia’s most fevered passions and, since 1950, it has been traditional for teams to play a match on Boxing Day at one of the world’s largest sporting stadiums, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Expect 100,000 fans from all over the world watching Australian’s best eleven, proudly sporting their ‘baggy green’ caps and entertaining a global audience. An electric atmosphere, legendary hospitality and plenty of post-match activities to be found in Melbourne make this one of the best December events in Australia.
New Year’s Eve in Sydney is unlike any other with a show-stopping firework display that really gets the new year started with a bang. Surrounded by legendary landmarks, such as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, spending new year in this incredible city is sure to be one you remember for many years to come. A true global spectacle, Sydney makes December 31st a full-day party, with many locals and tourists opting for picnics in the park or boat tours to ensure a front row seat for the fireworks. For something extra special, book a table at the Opera Bar and dine on world-class oysters, or stay at one of the city’s most elegant addresses for a stunning view of the action below.
Known as the ‘New World wines’, Australian vineyards produce some of the most popular reserves and labels on the wine scene. Barossa Valley and Clare Valley in South Australia, Southern Highlands in New South Wales and the Perth Hills district in Western Australia are among the most popular wine regions but wine tastings are available throughout the country and in some of the bigger cities such as Melbourne and Brisbane, wine pairing and fine dining are the stars of the cuisine scene. A tour and tasting at the stunning vineyards are an ideal excursion during any luxury Australian holiday, however at Christmas, when the weather is warmer and the harvest season is over, the experience is truly magical.
Great Barrier Reef
No trip to Australia is complete without a day diving or snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. An underwater kingdom brimming with multi-coloured marine life, the Great Barrier Reef must be seen to be believed. Stretching over 2,300 kilometres, over an area of approximately 344,400 kilometres squared and comprising 900 tiny islands, this eco paradise is a World Heritage Site and a natural wonder of the world. Private tours are the best way to experience all that the Great Barrier Reef has to offer, and to see more of Australia’s pristine marine and wildlife, a trip to this beguiling setting can be combined with a tour of the Whitsunday Islands and Fraser Island for a feeling of being explorers and castaways in a natural nirvana.
Get Away From It All
Australia is blessed with vast swathes of undulating landscapes and peaceful retreats. Outside of the cities, Australia boasts some of the most tranquil and serene settings on Earth, making it the ideal destination for those who’d prefer a quiet Christmas or to start the new year relaxed and refreshed. In the Northern Territory, home to the sacred natural landmark, Uluru, peace prevails and the sense of solitude is uplifting. If a digital detox or a determination to free yourself from the everyday stresses of modern life is on your resolutions list, Australia is an ideal destination to seek out exceptional spas, opulent ocean views and scenic sanctuaries.