Christmas in Australia: A Visitors Guide
Christmas in the Middle of Summer
For those of us who live in the southern hemisphere Christmas is all to do with long summer holidays, days at the beach, and for Autralian's particularly: trying to reconcile traditional heavy winter food with temperatures well over 100F.
For visitors to Australia at this time of the year here is a quick guide to Australia's Christmas traditions and some quick survival tips.
Oh and if you are looking for cheap airfares at this time of year: make sure you get a flight which will see you arrive late Christmas Day: they are generally cheaper and flying on Christmas Day can be a surprisingly pleasent experience - everyone really is happy and relaxed and not looking for an argument: even the check in staff!
Business Hours in Australia at Christmas
Christmas is the start of Australia's peak travel season. Almost everyone has 3 paid public holiday's on the 25, 26 December and 1 January. Many other busineses close down from the 24th through to the 2nd or 3rd depending on weekends. Business such as CBD coffee shops who rely on city workers for their trade will shut for 2 or 3 weeks - well into January.
Also don't expect many business to work late on Christmas Eve. Many public servants and other office workers will get an official or un-official half day.
Where to Eat on Christmas Day
On Christmas Day itself most cities run only skeleton public transport - thought what is available is usually free. Many restarunts will close and those associated with large hotels are often booked out for Christmas lunch and dinner far in advance. You should plan on where to eat well in advance. Many hostels and camping grounds will have a pot luck "orphan's Christmas".
Most large cities and towns will run a charity Christmas lunch for those in need which may be a volunteer option if you find yourself at a loose end.
Alternatively head for the beach with BBQ ingrediants: most beachs have BBQ available for a nominal charge and you are guaranteed a beach party on Chrsitmas Day!
Boxing Day Sales
Christmas you won't find a shop open: for emergencies a 7/11 or a large petrol station are your best options.
On Boxing Day: beware the crowds. Boxing Day (26 December) has become the tradition BIG sale day after an entire 24 hours without shopping the big sales are on. Roughly equivalent to Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales in the US this is one of the best days to shop for major household appliances - but unless you are really sure you need the bargain stay away - its crazy out there!
The Song's Not Common but the Photos are Spot on!
Hot Locations for Christmas in Australia
Sydney is traditionally a popular spot for Christmas and Famous for the New Year's fireworks.
From Christmas on any beach town within 200km of a capital city will be crowded and busy, book well in advance for anywhere from Melbourne to Brisbane especially Byron Bay, Lakes Entrance, Sunshine and Gold Coasts. Expect to pay more for accommodation and have to book for minimum periods over the publich holidays.
Less Crowded Places in Australia at Christmas
If you trying to avoid the crowds then head to anywhere in the Top End of Australia Come December the wet or green season is in full season.Darwin, the Kimberleys, northern Queensland get almost all their annual rainfall at this time of the year. These days sealed roads (normally) stay open, but the far more common dirt roads are closed.
Many tourist attractions and accommodations are closed at this time of the year, but if you are prepared to plan and prehaps fly you will see this extraordinary part of Australia in what the locals often say is their favourite season
Far North Photo's by the AuthorClick thumbnail to view full-size
Rolf Harris Six White Boomers - well Reindeer's Don't Cover Oz!
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