12 Reasons to Visit Sydney this December

Forget a white Christmas and experience the festive season Sydney-style! Swap the snow for the sunshine with these 12 great things to see, do and taste in the Harbour City this December.

Sing Christmas carols at Bondi Beach

Chrissy doesn’t get more Aussie than belting out Jingle Bells on the sand of Bondi Beach, which is exactly what you can do at Carols by the Sea on Wednesday 11 December.

Bondi CarolsPhoto: Destination NSW

Watch a moonlight movie under the stars

Grab a picnic and head to the Belvedere Amphitheatre in Sydney’s leafy Centennial Park, with a super summer season of open-air movies kicking off on Thursday 28 November. See here for your full guide to all the brilliant outdoor cinemas popping up around Sydney this summer!

Pick up a present at the Finders Keepers market

You won’t find any mulled wine or nutcrackers at these Christmas markets, but you will find loads of gift ideas at the 200 trendy arts and design stalls! It's coming to Barangaroo from Friday 6 - Sunday 8 December.

Stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden

Summer in Sydney is the perfect time to explore the Royal Botanic Garden – a green oasis located between Sydney Harbour and the city centre – on a free guided tour at 10:30am every morning.

Royal Botanic Garden

See a 6.5-tonne Christmas tree

You’ve never seen anything sparkle quite so brightly as the QVB Swarovski Christmas Tree, standing 24 metres tall and weighing 6.5 tonnes thanks to 82,000 Swarovski crystals and 65,150 lights.

QVB treePhoto: Flickr

Catch some cricket

Cricket and Christmastime go together like Santa and Rudolph, so grab a ticket to the high-octane Big Bash League to see the Sixers turn the Sydney Cricket Ground into a sea of pink.

Admire the Christmas lights

The city of Sydney twinkles with fairy lights throughout the month of December, including spectacular light projections on Town Hall and St Mary’s Cathedral, and the Boulevard of Light at Pitt St Mall.

Town HallPhoto: Wikipedia Commons

Check out authentic Indigenous art

Do some Christmas shopping at the Blak Markets at La Perouse on Sunday 15 December and you’ll make a difference to the Aboriginal communities who create these unique handmade arts, crafts and produce. While you're there, take a walk around the incredible Botany Bay Kamay National Park, or have a cheeky dip at Congwong Beach!

Blak markets DNSW.jpgCredit: Destination NSW

See Australia’s largest free concert

Warm up your singing voice for Carols in the Domain, Australia’s largest free annual concert that will inject some festive cheer into the city centre on Saturday 21 December.

Marvel at the David Jones Christmas windows

It wouldn’t be December in Sydney without kids squishing their noses against the glass of David Jones’ Elizabeth St store, admiring the extravagant Christmas display inside.

Witness Australia’s biggest boat race

The day after Christmas, head down to the harbour to catch more than 100 yachts embark on the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, a Boxing Day tradition.

Sydney to Hobart DNSW.jpgCredit: Destination NSW

Celebrate a world-famous New Year’s Eve

The world’s attention turns to Sydney every December 31 for a mind-blowing fireworks show, and joining the crowds camped on the waterfront is a bucket list experience you need to tick off once in your life. 

NYEPhoto: City of Sydney

Nearby Hostels

    Sydney Harbour YHA - The Rocks thumbnail
    From $38.95 per night
    Sydney Harbour YHA - The Rocks
    The only hostel in Sydney that has views of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Sydney Harbour YHA is the best place to stay in Sydney for the New Years Eve fireworks and the Vivid light festival.
    Sydney Central YHA thumbnail
    From $31.35 per night
    Sydney Central YHA
    Our heritage-listed building, opposite Central Station, is ideally positioned near the Sydney Airport Train line, Darling Harbour, Chinatown and the Powerhouse Museum.
    Sydney Railway Square YHA thumbnail
    From $32 per night
    Sydney Railway Square YHA
    The hostel that literally has its own platform at Sydney Central Railway Station. You won't have an excuse for missing your bus, train or plane, with direct access to the Sydney Airport Train line and bus terminals at your doorstep.
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