Best five ways to spend Christmas down under

Christmas is fast approaching and with it comes a summer of fun activities for those of us down under. Unlike other parts of the world it’s not cold or white on Christmas Day, in fact there are usually blazing blue skies and even the odd electrical storm, flood, hailstorm, cyclone or bushfire. You’ll get anything but snow!

Still we know how to enjoy ourselves none the less. Here’s five fantastic ways to spend Christmas in this part of the world:

1. On the beach

Bondi Beach in Sydney is where all the action happens on Christmas Day. And actually if you’re anywhere near a beach it’s a place to go if you’re at Coolangatta, Noosa, Broome, Mission Beach or Cable Beach. Families and friends will be meeting for BBQs and picnics, playing games, having a swim and generally hanging out near the water. You might catch Santa in his board shorts, you can surf or swim and get a tan.

2. The great outdoors

Thanks usually to the fine weather at this time of year, most people do spend their Christmas day outside. Suss out your ideal Christmas spot now. If you can’t get near the beach, the local pool or park is the next best option. If you can, book yourself into a hostel with a pool in our network. If that fails, then quickly make friends with your neighbours with a backyard pool, suss out the local river, lake or dam because you’re probably going to need it. It gets hot here around Christmas! Whatever place you do choose, make sure there’s also a bit of lawn for some backyard cricket – one of Australia’s Christmas Day traditions.

3. Keeping it cool

Sponge cake with fruit, http://www.visitedplanet.com

Just how do we survive a hot Christmas dowunder? Temperatures can range anything from 30-40 degrees on the mainland. Well the food and drink is one way to keep it cool. Unfortunately your traditional hot roasts, vegetables and lovely saucing puddings all go. This isn’t the northern hemisphere, so stick to the salads, cold meats and cool drinks and you’ll enjoy the day even better. In fact Aussies tend to veer towards seafood, fine Australian wine and a robust local beer – drunk straight out the bottle. So it shouldn’t be too unappealing for you we hope. Traditional foods eaten in Australia on Christmas Day include pavlova (a meringue dessert in place of plum pudding) and anything from seafood to pasta, fruit salad, mince pies, shortbread, chocolates and ice cream.

4. Head to the mountains

Don’t think you can take the Australian heat on Christmas Day? Well there are other options. You could head south to Tasmania where it’s a lot cooler throughout the summer, alternatively go to the nearest mountain region near you. That could be Sydney’s Blue Mountains, Cairn’s Atherton Tablelands, Brisbane’s Lamington National Park or Melbourne’s Dandenongs. All are worth considering for a bit of cooler air.

5. Carols by Candelight

Just because it’s hot doesn’t mean we don’t get into the Christmas spirit. Every major town and city in Australia will have an outdoor concert in the weeks leading up to the 25th. These are perfect on warm summer evenings. Bring your blankets and your candles and join others singing Christmas Carols. To find out when they’re on consult the local newspaper.

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Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at blog@vipbackpackers.com

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