There’s no shortage of things to do in Australia. If anyone knows that, it’s us…
However with such a breadth of things going on around the country, it can sometimes get a little overwhelming to separate the champs from the chumps. You’re busy people, we get it.
To help you out, we have collated a guide of the best-goings-on for the month of December, helping you plan your calendar accordingly. Thank us later.
If you want to immerse yourself in a Christmas wonderland this December, then make your way to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest lights display, Christmas Lights Spectacular.
Walk through the immaculate grounds of the Hunter Valley Gardens, located a two-hour drive north of Sydney, and take in the beauty of more than three million sparkling lights, in addition to the entertainment, activities and amusement rides to be enjoyed over the summer period.
There are also 20 unique light displays including an eight-metre-tall Mega Christmas Tree, Candy Land, Walk-Through Bauble, Around the World, Princess Castle and the Giant Teddy display. New additions include the Magic Castle with its illuminated walk-through tunnel, you can also walk through ‘Snowy’ the Snowman’s eight-metre-high belly, and see the illuminated polar bears, penguins and sleigh dogs at the White Christmas display. If you’re visiting with your significant other, don’t forget to visit Lover’s Corner to journey through the heart tunnel and share a kiss under the mistletoe.
Watch out Taronga– there’s a new zoo on the block! The highly-anticipated Sydney Zoo opens December 7th in Western Sydney. Opening day tickets already sold out, but you can still act quickly to buy entrance to the zoo’s second day open and be one of the first to see it.
This zoo is Sydney’s first ever combined aquarium and zoo, allowing visitors the chance to ogle at all manner of land-faring and aquatic critters. It’s also notable for its accessible design. There are no stairs or hills, so it’s super friendly for those with prams and wheelchairs.
Online prices are a $100 family package, a $40 adult ticket and $20 children ticket.
What would summer be without the occasional rosé festival scattered here and there? Luckily, Sydneysiders don’t have to find out.
At the Rosé Bay Wine and Food Festival on Sydney Harbour, the pink festival-namesake is only the tip of the iceberg. There will also be other wines of all hues available for tasting as well as bubbles, fine cheese, oysters and baked goods from Australia, France and beyond.
Just think of it as a life-size charcuterie board.
Picture white-curtained cabanas fluttering in the wind, the sound of a mariachi and the smell of tacos and lime. Thanks to Bungalow 8’s Margarita Mansion takeover, this exotic Mexican scene is much closer to home.
The posh cafe donned thatched chairs and Aztec-designs, called in a roaming guacamole cart and live entertainment to fire up the fiesta this summer. They are offering margaritas and frozen cocktails galore, including tropical flavors such as Mango Fuego and Loco Coco, for $18.
Grab a group of friends and rent a cabana for Bottomless Brunch. In the Margarita Mansion, that means two hours of endless tacos and margs for $60 per person.
If you’re a lover of the classic, Friday-night espresso martini, then this fest has a few other tricks up its sleeve for you. Ever had a coffee spritz? A coffee negroni?
Gracing the Northern Beaches of Sydney for the first time, The Mr Black Espresso Martini Festival is dedicated to all coffee cocktails. Hosted by Park House, there will be a food truck serving up the bev, and wood-fired pizza, boozy affogato and tacos available to accompany your caffeine.
Reserve your tickets here and attend for free.
The Nutcracker High Tea
Intercontinental Sydney and The Australian Ballet have partnered together to celebrate the upcoming season of Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker with a special Nutcracker High Tea.
Indulge your sweet tooth in an assortment of treats inspired by The Land of Sweets. There will be a lemon meringue macaron with delicate ballet-themed design, a guava raspberry tartlet with Nutcracker pink pashmak, a vanilla bean cupcake topped with ruby chocolate ballerina shoes and buttermilk scones with jam and cream.
There will also be an array of savoury finger sandwiches served alongside tea or coffee and a glass of French champagne for $89 per adult or $79 per adult with a glass of sparkling wine or non-alcoholic beverage (including tea or coffee). Younger guests (12 years and under) will be offered a petite version of The Nutcracker High Tea for $39 each.
For more information and to book The Nutcracker High Tea at InterContinental Sydney visit here.
The traditionally French concept of “pique-nique,” a social eating occasion, made luxe yet laid-back arrives soon down under in Melbourne.
Yarra Valley Winery and Chandon paired up to provide the most picturesque summer picnic. Picnic baskets, available for $65, include an arrival glass of Chandon and a selection of shared dishes. Chandon will release a three summer cocktails to coincide with the arrival of “Pique-Nique,” which will all be available at the winery.
This one’s perfect for a romantic getaway or a weekend with friends.
As the old saying goes, laughter is the best medicine. And wine isn’t too bad for the spirits either.
Grapes of Mirth brings comedy and wine together at wineries around Australia and they are coming to Victoria soon. Imagine enjoying a stellar lineup of comedians while sitting picnic-style amongst the beautiful Brown Brothers winery. Of course, the wine, bubbles and beers will be flowing.There will be picnic hampers available in addition to more substantial options from the Brown Brothers chefs.
Click here to buy your tickets and for more info.
Melbourne’s new restaurant encourages being kinda fancy while also letting your hair loose. It’s bringing the upper echelons of lobster and champagne to the people in an approachable, fun setting.
Under the glow of pink neon signs, Pinchy’s is serving an unfussy menu including lobster rolls, crab tacos and vegetarian paella alongside bubbles and creative cocktails.
The Bourke Street restaurant makes its debut with confidence stemming from two highly successful pop-up activations at HWKR and Emporium.
Ready your wallets for this prime opportunity at nabbing unique and hand-crafted Christmas gifts at Melbourne’s eighth Big Design Market.
This year’s will be the biggest yet with over 250 designers showcasing their wares at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Center. If the excuse for a shopping spree wasn’t enough, there will be cocktails, kids activities, food and craft brews on site.
Swap watching horses race for automobiles this December.
Unique cars, both modern and historic, will hit the track on three different circuit configurations at this motorsport park. Viewing is free for all, so there’s no reason to show up and ogle at the diversity of flashy wheels racing around.
Get into the holiday spirit with City of Adelaide’s ten evenings of Christmas entertainment and events.
Adelaide’s Victoria Square will begin its Christmas festivities on December 13 and carry on for a little over a week leading up to Christmas Eve. There will be holiday movies playing on Fridays, Christmas market stalls on Saturdays and Sundays, and live choir caroling. Festive food trucks, a photo-op with Santa’s sleigh and a daily tree lighting (at 8:30 pm) sweeten the deal.
Check here to see details on market stalls and such.
Gincident (noun): An event that happened due to one too many gins.
Whether you are familiar with the term or not, this festival invites everyone to experience a gincident together. Entry is $25 in advance (or $35 at the gate) and includes access to free gin samples.
Classic G&T’s and other creative juniper cocktails will be available for purchase in abundance. And of course, no festival is complete without live music and local food vendors.
Make the most of your time off between Christmas and New Years by putting this new hip hop and electronic festival in your diary.
Headlined by the likes of RUFUS DE SOL and Tyler the Creator, there is sure to be a feast of both well-known and fresh beats. The festival is outdoors, so you can dance the night away in the summer sun.
Don’t worry about food because the festival promises to offer a variety of sustenance meeting all dietary needs, including gluten-free, vegan and healthy options. It’s up to you to just bring the good vibes!
There’s no better time to put your pinkies up and pretend you’re fancier than you are than the holiday season.
The historical Queensland Parliament building is upping their usual high tea offering for a special seasonal occasion. The special will be Christmas-themed and include live classical music and a glass of sparkling wine upon arrival.
The cost is $53.32 per adult and $27.46 per child. Book your tickets and see more info here.
No surprises here. The Surfers Paradise will once again be opening up again this December just as they have since 1995. Peruse over 100 stalls at the Gold Coast’s only beachfront night markets.
Everything from scrumptious desserts, locally-made art, hand-created unique fashion and local produce is available at these markets held every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evening starting December 4th. This is the perfect place to begin hunting for Christmas gifts!
I mean, if the name itself doesn’t have you signing up, we don’t know what else we can say.
Starting December 4th, Salts Meats Cheese is offering their famous risotto cheese wheel demonstration. For $39, watch risotto prepared in a giant wheel of cheese with your choice of either smoked cheese, gorgonzola or truffle pecorino. Enjoy your cheesy dish along a paired glass of wine and follow it with the restaurant’s dessert of the day.
Talk about taking your Italian food date night to the next level.
The Aussie NightMarkets return to Canberra again this year to offer a range of mouth watering food trucks, desserts and evening entertainment. Access to this holiday smorgasbord of fun will cost you a mere $1.
Click the “Interested” button on the event’s Facebook page for the chance to win a prize pack of free money to spend and 2 unlimited ride wristbands at the event.
The Melbourne Cup may be over, but the race season certainly still is going on.
Magic Millions Kingston Town, the final event in the TABtouch Masters, will take place in Perth early December. On the big day, gates open at 9 am, the first race begins at 12:45 pm and the last race begins at 5:30 pm. So don your fascinators, suits and heels because the only thing better than race day is race day during the holiday season.
While cherries are the sweet focus of this festival, there’s a lot more to do, see and taste that goes beyond the vermilion fruit.
Don’t fret, there will be things like cherry pie competitions, cherry art and a cherry farm tour. But there will also be a high tea, a fashion parade and all other manner of sweets, food and entertainment. This festival is really just a catch-all of good time activities with the rosy cherry at the center of the fun.
See the full weekend programme here.
This market is perfectly timed 10 days before Christmas as a place to find last-minute, unique and meaningful gifts.
There will be vendors of all kinds offering creative art, sweet treats, homemade jam, olive oil and more. Support the local artisans of the Perth Hills, enjoy a lovely evening of beauty and music and nab some great presents to boot! You can find them at 125 McDowell Loop from 10am – 4pm on the 15th December.
Bust out your tinsel and Santa hats for this holiday-themed ride along the Nightcliff foreshore. Bikes, trikes, scooters, roller blades, etc are all acceptable and encouraged.
The ride will start and end at the Nightcliff Swimming Pool and free registration for the event includes free entry to the pool for the evening. The ride is scheduled from 4-6, but if you decide to stay around later, you’ll be treated to beautiful Christmas caroling by Darwin City Brass Band.
This family-friendly event is a perfect way to keep the kids entertained in the days leading up to Christmas.
There are few events in Australia that garner as much media attention as the Sydney to Hobart Sydney yacht race. Well-deserved attention, we think, because what could be more epic than gathering to watch yachts race along the Australian coast?
The finale of the race in Hobart is icing on the New Years Eve cake and prompts a day of massive festivities before the yachts even begin to fly in to their finish line. The Hobart Race Village will be bustling with food and drink stalls, live music and activities. It offers great viewing of the finishing yacht race as well as the evening’s fireworks display of fireworks, pretty much making the Hobart Race Village the ideal place to be on the last day of 2019.
The rugged landscape of Tasmania sets the perfect landscape for this set of intense cycling events. The men’s race will take place December 3-7 in five stages on different courses ranging between 0.59 to 115.9 km. The women’s race, returning for its second year, will take place December 5-7 in three stages.
For more info on the locations of each stage of the race and where is best to watch the trek unfold, check here.
In this installment of Tasmania’s ever-popular Niche markets, Albert Hall will transform into a beautiful Christmas market. 60 stallholders of design gurus and artisans will gather to show off their wares in one place. Buying gifts at this market is doing double the good as it will benefit the charitable cause of Burnie’s Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre, as well as the thrilled recipient of your unique gifts.