Never does the land down under flip life on its head so much as it does at Christmas time. So if you’re heading to Australia over the festive period, there are a few things you should be aware of in advance.
Heat sweats, not meat sweats
Although the latter may still apply should you suitably gorge on Christmas dinner, the major shock will come courtesy of the temperature difference. For the turn of the year is the height of the Aussie summer, and there will be no prospect of a white Christmas, aside from a freak tropical hailstorm.
Fire up the barbie
What better way to enjoy the alternative blessings of the sun than firing up the barbie, maybe throwing a shrimp or two on there, and enjoying a very different style of Christmas dinner. Parks and lagoons all over the country have public barbecues that are free to use; so why not join the throngs for a spot of sunbathing or a friendly game of cricket?
Forget the sledge, grab your surfboard
The local park or golf course is not going to turn into a scene straight out of Narnia in any hurry. So you’ll have to forget about searching the loft, or garden shed, for last year’s sledge you hurriedly bought at the local toy store. Instead, wax up your surfboard and hit the swells, there can scarcely be a more Aussie way of enjoying Christmas Day than catching a few waves in the beating sun.
Head to Thailand, not Lapland
If you’re one of those who enjoys a trip away over the Christmas break, venturing all the way back to Europe for some time on the slopes, or even a visit to Santa Claus, is a long old journey back from Oz. Your closet option for a popular escape route is Southeast Asia, where you’ll be treated to yet more diversity when it comes to the usual festive rituals.
Not a fireplace in sight
There aren’t too many Aussie homes that boast a fireplace, so you’ll have to say goodbye to that warm hazy image of unwrapping presents by the fire. If you really want your Christmas to feel like home, set the air con to come raging on a good couple of hours before you get up, that’ll at least justify the big fluffy dressing gowns.
Festivals over festivities
Certain savvy locals have cottoned on to the fact that the Australian Christmas habits couldn’t be further away from many people’s idea of yuletide; so they turned to the joyous nature of festivals rather than festivities. The beach is a popular choice of venue, including the infamous Bondi Beach in Sydney, so get together with countless other lost travellers and have a few jars to stop pining for home.