If you’re forgoing a Northern Hemisphere white Christmas this year for a Southern Hemisphere sandy Christmas in Sydney instead, then you have stumbled upon the expert guide to make sure you’re properly filled with holiday cheer. Even if the sun, heat and beach throw you for a loop, Sydney has plenty of holly and jolly to get you in the mood this season from spirit and the sea to sights and sounds.
Hipster Santa has come to town with his designer duffel bag full of rad stuff for the cool kids. Stationed in The Living Mall in Central, Hipster Santa hangs around hosting various workshops and events such as hula hooping classes, homemade notebook sessions and classic movie nights. This cool Santa also holds daily selfie sessions from noon to 1 p.m., and wraps your Christmas presents with his bros Thursday through Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. Follow Hipster Santa on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr to find out about all his hipster happenings, and don’t forget to hashtag him (#hipstersanta).
Since Australia misses the whole snow, sleet and frost debacle during Christmas, the Aussies take advantage of the heat and sun they have while enjoying a big day out on Christmas Day. The standard Aussie Christmas Day tradition is to gather together for a big seafood feast — complete with “shrimp on the barbie” — and then hit the surf as a whole family. During your Christmas in Sydney, do as the locals do and head to one of the many sandy landscapes such as the famous Bondi Beach around town. Join in the family holiday fun as much of Sydney migrates to the coast to enjoy the sand and water.
Although you won’t find any snow in Sydney, there is still plenty to see around town when it comes to Christmas décor. With most of the main attractions set up in Sydney’s CBD (central business district), take the new Bright Walk for a journey of lights and ornaments, and maybe pick up a few last minute presents on your way. Stops along the route include the David Jones Christmas windows on Elizabeth Street (this year’s windows pay homage to the department store’s 175-year history) and the dazzling three-story Swarovski Christmas tree complete with 144,000 crystal ornaments at the Queen Victoria Building on George Street, and end your walk at Darling Harbour with yet another brilliant tree at Santa Fest, plus a slew of blow-up Santas to wish you a Merry Christmas. If you plan your walk accordingly, you can finish up harborside to enjoy a special Christmas fireworks show held every Saturday, on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Australia’s largest free concert, Carols in the Domain, has been a family tradition in Sydney for the past 31 years. The event is held this year on Saturday, December 21 at The Domain (adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens) starting at 8:30 p.m., and will also be broadcast nationally. Many Australian music stars join together in a sing-a-long carol concert perfect for the family. Acts include the casts of Grease The Musical and Strictly Ballroom The Musical, as well as several renowned choirs and the acclaimed Australian Girls Choir. Carols in the Domain is a fantastic Australian family tradition that brings out the true Aussie Christmas cheer in everyone.
Photos Courtesy of City of Sydney