What to do on Christmas Day in Australia

I had a great question sent to me about what there is (and isn’t) ‘to do’ over the Christmas holidays in Australia.

Got me thinking (and googling) what you can and can’t do over Christmas if you’re visiting Australia. The question I was asked specifically related to Sydney, so here’s what I found out for there first…

Image of Sydney's bridge climb
Sydney’s bridge climb is open on Christmas Day

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is open on Christmas Day, and as of today there was still availability on a number of climbs. I loved climbing the Harbour bridge, and do think it is worth it if you’re OK with heights!

I also looked up Captain Cook Harbour Cruises, and there is Christmas Day special sailing which, at AUD$249 per adult, isn’t cheap but you do get a 5-course meal and a 2 hour 45 minute cruise.

Of course you can always just head to the beach with a picnic (avoiding Bondi in Sydney, if you’re wanting to avoid the cliches – and lots of drunk backpackers!).

We’ve spent a couple of Australian Christmases ‘at the beach’ and if you head to a tourist/holiday area you’ll find quite a few of the cafes, bars and restaurants will be open on Christmas Day if you don’t fancy cooking. Alternatively, do what most Australians do and either pack up a picnic for the day or fire up the barbie (BBQ).

Image of Father Christmas emrging from the surf in Noosa, Queensland Australia
Our beachside table at Bistro C in Noosa provided a front seat view of Father Christmas’s arrival

We had a great Christmas Day by the beach in Noosa (Queensland) one year, and Byron Bay (New South Wales) another year. We had a delicious al fresco lunch at Bistro C in Noosa right on the sand (complete with a visit from Father Christmas – who looked suspiciously like our waiter I might add). Great location for a turkey dinner! (although I had salmon!!). In Byron we’d stocked up at the Farmer’s market and had a barbecue at our apartment (Julian’s). Nothing nicer than a day on the beach or a nice cliff top stroll after lunch to make you feel quite smug about your Down Under festivities :)

I also remember from being in Palm Cove (just north of Cairns) in the week before Christmas another year that there were Great Barrier Reef trips available all through the Christmas holidays and on Christmas Day too. I just looked up a well-known reef cruise provider (Quicksilver) and the booking system let me make reservations for 25th December so that could be a great Christmas Day out diving or snorkelling the reef. One of my favourite Australian Hotels is in Palm Cove if you’re heading that way…The Sebel Reef House.

Here’s another idea of something different to do – if you’re in Melbourne on Christmas Day why not have lunch at the Aquarium? Here’s a BIG list of restaurants across Australia that are offering Christmas Day lunch.

And for perhaps the ultimate Australian Christmas Day experience what about the Sounds of Silence dinner at Uluru in the Red Centre (Ayers Rock)? Outback festive dining in style. Although do be warned it’s bl**dy hot in the middle of Australia in December!

I would love to add to this list of what to do on Christmas Day in Australia so please comment or email me with things you’ve done, are going to do, and places you’ve visited at Christmas time Down Under. I could stay here and Google all day of course but I have presents to wrap :)

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