7 Things to Do on Christmas Day in Sydney

Maze Backpackers - Things to Do on Christmas Day in Sydney

Did you know that 90% of the world’s total population live in the Northern Hemisphere? Keeping this fact in mind, it’s safe to say that most people are not familiar with a hot, summer Christmas. And that’s probably the main reason celebrating Christmas down under like an Aussie is so great and different. There’s no snow or minus temperatures here – a day at the beach, a refreshing swim, and a prawn-filled outdoor barbecue lunch is how the locals spend Chrissy Day.

Ready to try it out yourself? Keep reading to find out seven very Australian ways of spending Christmas Day.

1. Take a ferry to Manly

Thankfully, public transport is still available on Christmas Day – which makes things easier. Make the most out of it and plan a day trip to Manly Beach via ferry. The ferry is pretty easy to catch – they depart regularly from the boat terminal at Circular Quay and the ride takes about half an hour. View the timetables here.

Christmas Day is most likely to be warm, sunny weather, which makes a ferry ride even more appealing. While in Manly, make sure you stroll through the Corso before settling and relaxing on the beach.

2. Go for lunch and drinks

Instead of a Christmas dinner, Australians like to celebrate with a Christmas lunch. So while you’re here, why not try it out? While some places may be shut for the holidays, there are many that stay wide open for a Chrissy lunch. Head to Chinatown (perfect for tantalising food while on a budget) to find some of the best noodles and dumpling places in town. The great thing about Chinatown is that most of it is open, so you’ll have plenty of places to choose from. Alternatively, walk around the city and find some hotel (pub) that’s offering a nice meal – and a nice beer to go with it. Lots of hotels tend to be open during Christmas Day.

3. Take a scenic cruise

What about getting around to that scenic cruise you haven’t had time to do? Sydney Harbour is a beautiful sight, with the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and Darling Harbour right there to make it even more alluring. If your budget allows it, you can even have Christmas lunch on the cruise, as some providers offer a lavish, multiple-course on-board meal.

4. Have a picnic in Centennial Park

Making the most out of the outdoors is also very Australian, so you can’t go wrong with a picnic in Centennial Park (which is huge and really beautiful). If you can’t make it to Centennial Park, you can take your picnic to another park – it shouldn’t be hard, as Sydney has tonnes of them! Beaches are also a good idea – although be aware there might not be enough shade.

Plan ahead in regards to buying food and drinks, as most supermarkets and bottle-os are closed on Christmas Day. When it comes to alcohol, be aware that rules apply when drinking in public areas. It’ll vary from council to council, so if you want to drink, check the specific regulations about the place you want to have your picnic. Lastly, remember to be environmentally-friendly and to clean up after yourself. Public spaces belong to all of us!

5. Walk around The Rocks and Circular Quay

The Rocks is a very European-like suburb, with tiny streets, old-fashioned looking lanes, and sandstone houses from the city’s early colonial days. The Rocks also features some of the best Sydney Harbour views. You’ll be able to take in the mesmerising sights of the Opera House, Luna Park, the Harbour Bridge and, of course, the ocean. Nothing like a cultural walk on Christmas Day!

6. Check out Martin Place’s Christmas decorations

Martin Place lights up every Christmas, and the lights and surrounding decorations can be seen from miles away. These decorations are somewhat an institution for Sydneysiders: they have been used to decorate Sydney streets since the early 1900’s, and started as a way to encourage people to visit the city centre’s shops and do their Christmas shopping. After a while, the decorations also became a synonym for charity. Nowadays, perhaps the most famous and well-known decorative item is the 33 metres-tall Christmas tree that sits in the middle of the busy walkway. While the decorations are an old tradition, the tree only came to be in the early 70’s, right after Martin Place was shut as a street and became a pedestrian-only walkway.

7. Go to the zoo or aquarium

Make Christmas Day an unforgettable adventure and go say hello to the animals. Taronga Zoo, Sydney’s most popular zoo, is open on Christmas Day, and so is the aquarium. While the aquarium is a short stroll from the city centre and is located in Darling Harbour, Taronga Zoo sits in Sydney’s north shore. The best way to get there is via ferry – which makes it even more exciting and worthwhile, as the views are pretty amazing. While in the zoo, you’ll have the possibility of doing things other than seeing the animals – such as checking out the climbing ropes or the sky safari.

Celebrate Christmas at Maze Backpackers

Christmas Day in Australia is an experience like no other. Sunny days and warm temperatures mean you can go to amazing beaches and parks while enjoying long lunches, picnics, and barbecues. Don’t forget to check out famous Sydney attractions in the process as well, such as Chinatown, The Rocks, Darling Harbour, and the zoo. It’ll certainly be a Christmas you’ll never forget!

Need somewhere to stay while you’re in Sydney? Maze Backpackers offers affordable hostel accommodation located right in the heart of the CBD, with shops, restaurants and transport on your doorstep, you’ll experience everything Sydney has to offer. Book with Maze Backpackers today.