What’s Hot About An Aussie Christmas

25 December 2017
Read Time: 8.6 mins

Beach cricket... Barbecued prawns... a run on the bottle shop at Christmas Eve. There are some deeply enshrined Australian Christmas traditions that everyone who spends Christmas Day in this country can relate to, although we all have our own unique twist on what an Aussie Christmas is all about.

We asked some of the Flight Centre Travel Experts how they do an Aussie Christmas, and here is what they had to say...

family at park for a barbecue Aussie parks are a big hit on Christmas Day for those extended-family gatherings. Image: Getty

We start with swapping out morning coffee for Espresso Martinis…

Tom Herbert-Doyle, Digital Marketing Manager


For me it's that barbecue at the beach!

Zubair Khatry, Studio & Digital Manager


Definitely Dad peeling the prawns while everyone else enjoys them. Oh and can't forget a bit of Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You! Classic.

Ben Marshall, Social Media Coordinator

fresh seafood cooking in the pan Australia Australian for turkey: fresh seafood. Image: Getty

I love playing post Christmas breakfast pie face (if you don't know what it is look it up!) with all the kids and adults, swimming in the pool and eating way too many chocolate balls.

Bronte Jones, Social Media Specialist


For me, an Aussie Christmas revolves around the pool – putting an esky filled with cold beers into a floating aqua duck (genius). It’s also about cold ham and prawns as opposed to a hot roast, cracking the sparkling wine around 10am to have with stone fruit, as well as an Aperol Spritz or two. It’s wearing swimmers all day and a floaty Christmas dress – not restrictive Christmas jumpers and scarves. It’s about the sun, finishing off the tasty leftovers by the pool while watching the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, or the cricket.

Jessica Holmes, Content Writer

inflatable pool toys Your typical Aussie pool owner likes to bring out the big guns on Christmas Day. Image: Getty

A big lunch with the family, of prawns, ham, an amazing mango salad and of course pavlova, followed by a competitive game of Marco Polo in the pool – before going into a food coma! 

Tamara Bloom, Graphic Designer


Christmas to me is the annual table tennis competition in my parents’ garage. We always lose the balls in between the lawn mower and the emergency chairs. I'm reigning champion fair and square but my brother wouldn't agree!

Kristy Eakins, Senior Account Manager


For me, Christmas is all about my dad's home-made potato salad. And naps!

Dianne Pittaway, Graphic Designer

rumballs on a platter Rumballs… retro Australian Christmas treats that are never out of fashion. Image: Getty

It's not until you spend a Christmas abroad without your family that you will ever truly appreciate how great your own version is. I spent several years living overseas and the first time I spent Christmas without my family most certainly was the last time I let that happen. I think as children, you grow up seeing all of these movies featuring large families gathering for a wintery northern hemisphere Christmas and it makes you think that maybe we're missing out on some of the magic with our hot and sweaty Aussie rendition. We're not, we're so much luckier because of it. Having a morning mimosa while unwrapping presents before the big seafood and barbecue lunch cook-up followed by an afternoon floating in the pool, dishwasher doing the dirty work – that's my magical family Christmas.

Sam Aldenton, Content Writer

beach cricket at sunset Howzat!? Beach cricket on Christmas Day is a much-loved Aussie tradition. Image: Getty

Prawns, avocado and pineapple at the beach house! With plum pudding for desert, which has a traditional threepence in it (in our house, if you get a threepence in your piece, you get a Scratch-It!) Plus we eat tonnes of delicious christmas treats every day over the Christmas period – rum balls, things like that. One year we tried ice cream Christmas cake – it melted real fast. Also, sitting around reading and chatting Christmas arve after lunch and a walk on the beach.

Tijana Jaksic, Content Writer


If you’re in Sydney, Bondi Beach is an obvious fave (especially if you’re visiting Australia and you’re a ‘Christmas Orphan’) but we used to go to La Perouse to soak up the rays on Christmas Day.

Cassandra Laffey, Content & Publications Manager


My highlight is drinking champagne in the pool on my pineapple floatie and my new husband topping up my drink. Coming from cold, wintery Austria, Christmas in Australia just feels like a holiday. The most important part of this is being with the person I love most... he is also a champion drink topper-upper. 

Anna Hellinger, Senior Account Manager

So Where Should You Celebrate Your Aussie Christmas?

Byron Bay

Byron Bay Lighthouse, Cape Byron, Australia Byron Bay Lighthouse welcomes the day on the east coast of Australia. Image: Getty

As the eastern most point of the Australian mainland, Cape Byron is the first place in the country to catch those Christmas morning rays as the sun pops over the Pacific Ocean. Start your Aussie Christmas Day earlier than anyone else in one of the most beautiful coastal areas of Australia.


Bondi Beach crowds, Sydney, Australia Bondi Beach is home to hundreds of Christmas ‘orphans’ on Christmas Day in Australia. Image: Getty

Sydney is an amazing place to celebrate Christmas in Australia. Take your pick of countless seafood buffets at any one of the city’s top restaurants, or embark on a Christmas Day lunch cruise on Sydney harbour, downing oysters and champagne as you enjoy the iconic view.

The biggest magnet on Christmas Day, however, has to be Bondi Beach. If you want to see a few surfing Santas, get your festive self down to Bondi for your Aussie Christmas Day. Anyone who calls the northern hemisphere home and wants to send some envy-inspiring “Wish you were here” sunny Christmas pics back to their family and friends will absolutely love Bondi Beach on Christmas Day.


Ranked third on Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel – Top Cities’ list for 2018, Canberra is the only Aussie city to be ranked in the top 10 and the highest an Australian city has ever appeared on the list. Who can argue with that? Find yourself a table at one of the cities many top-class restaurants and make your Aussie Christmas lunch a capital affair.


There are so many good things about Melbourne on Christmas day and we can sum them up like this: Food, food, food. Melbourne restaurants go above and beyond on Christmas Day in Australia and if you’re not planning a barbecue at home, nabbing a last-minute booking that comes with a Christmas buffet is a fantastic idea. Other options include a trip to the seafood markets followed by a picnic in one of Melbourne’s beautiful parks, such as The Royal Botanic Gardens.


Bay of Fires, Tasmania, Australia Bay of Fires, Tasmania, for a breathtakingly beautiful Christmas. Image: Getty

You’ll be hard pressed to find somewhere cool on Christmas Day in Australia (millions of air-conditioned homes excepted) but your best chance for less-than-overwhelmingly-hot temperatures would be the sweet Apple Isle of Tasmania. Maximum temperatures average 20 to 24 degrees celcius along the coast and in the lowlands, which is pretty much perfect no matter what you’re used to. Tuck into some of the regions mouthwatering gourmet produce such as Bruny Island Cheese, freshly caught seafood and Tamar Valley wines.


Santa on the beach with a ride-on esky You’ll see more than a few Santas if you’re on the beach for Christmas Day in Australia. Image: Getty

Queensland’s capital is usually hot and humid on Christmas Day but you’ll be sure to get great sea breeze if you head north or south, to either the Sunshine Coast or the Gold Coast. Again, prawns will be on the menu but if you turn up at many of the beachside parks nice and early you’ll be able to enjoy a barbecue with an ocean view. Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast or Main Beach, Noosa, on the Sunshine Coast are two of the most popular spots for a beachside Aussie Christmas in south-east Queensland.


 Cottesloe Beach in Perth at sunset Cottesloe Beach in Perth is the perfect place to watch the sun go down on your Aussie Christmas Day. Image: Getty

Perth also has its fair share of spectacular beaches so you’ll have no shortage of options for a traditional Aussie Christmas if you’re in Perth. Port Beach is great for families because it doesn’t have the big surf (but it does have white sand beaches) and Cottesloe Beach is a Perth institution. As an added bonus, spending your Aussie Christmas in Western Australian means that as the big day draws to a close, you’ll be one of the lucky people in the country who get to watch the sun go down over the water... while enjoying some fine Margaret River wine, of course!

There are just too many fantastic ways to celebrate an Aussie Christmas for us to mention here. What’s your take on it? We’d love to hear your suggestions so find this post on our Facebook page and leave a comment for us. Thank you!

Merry Christmas and happy travels, from everyone here at Flight Centre.

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Erin Bennion

Based in Brisbane, Erin is a writer and content creator with a penchant for using fancy old French words wherever possible and an insatiable hankering for trawling through vintage markets in small Scandinavian towns (no really). One of her dreams is to take her family to see General Sherman in Sequoia National Park and give that old guy a group-hug. Don’t follow her, she could end up anywhere. Twitter @erinbennion