What’s happening this Christmas in Australia

Christmas comes to life across Australia in December with Christmas Festivals, parades, markets and light displays guaranteed to make holiday memories live on. From Melbourne’s traditional Carols by Candlelight event to Perth’s Light Trail and classic Aussie Christmas events in country NSW – find out about some of the top Christmas events this year for the family to enjoy!

Vision Australia Carols by Candlelight – Melbourne

Date: December 24

Carols by Candlelight is fun for all! Image from Vision Australia.

The Vision Australia Carols by Candlelight event is an iconic Melbourne Christmas tradition that has captured the hearts of generations over 80 celebrated years. Held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, this Christmas extravaganza features live performances by renowned artists, choirs, and orchestras, and the opportunity to sing along to your favourite classic Christmas carols.

Be part of the magic as thousands of attendees light their candles, creating a communal sea of lights. All proceeds from the event also go to Vision Australia, a charity that provides support for those with vision impairment, making this an occasion that embodies the spirit of giving during the holiday season.

Where to stay

Enjoy the magical Christmas carols Melbourne puts on display by settling into one of the many accommodation options in the heart of the city. You’ll find everything from boutique heritage-listed hotels to suites and apartments. 

Adelaide Christmas Festival

Date: November – December 2023

Visit the Giant Christmas Tree. Image from City of Adelaide.

Adelaide knows how to celebrate Christmas in style. The Adelaide Christmas Festival is a month-long celebration that kicks off in late November and culminates in the much-anticipated Christmas Pageant. The pageant is a spectacular parade featuring colourful floats, marching bands, and, of course, Santa.

The festival offers various activities for all ages, including festive markets, outdoor movie screenings, and live music performances. Marvel at Adelaide’s stunning giant Christmas Tree, which is illuminated with enchanting Christmas lights to conjure a magical atmosphere for all who visit.

Where to stay

You’ll find plenty of accommodation options around Adelaide within walking distance to many of Adelaide’s popular sites and attractions.

Christmas Lights Trail in Perth

Date: 17 November 2023 – 2 January 2024

The Christmas Lights Trail – is more than just lights! Image from Visit Perth.

The Perth Christmas Lights Trail is one of Australia’s leading Christmas events each year. This trail takes visitors on a mesmerising journey through the city’s most beautifully decorated streets and landmarks. In 2023 this includes 22 captivating light installations throughout the City and Northbridge. Embark on a journey to discover all 22 installations on the full trail or take a stroll along the family-friendly Merry Mile path.

You can also get into the holiday spirit with live entertainment and performances including Christmas choirs and markets, complete with special appearances by Santa Claus each week. Encompassing some of Perth’s iconic locations and landmarks, the Christmas Lights Trail is the perfect seasonal outing.

Where to stay

Get into the holiday spirit with one of the many outstanding accommodation options close to the action in Perth. 

Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland – Queensland

Date: 2 – 24 December

Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland will be the Christmas event of the year. Image from Toowoomba Christmas Wonderland.

Toowoomba is famous for its beautiful gardens – so it’s no surprise that Christmas in Toowoomba delivers an enchanting Christmas wonderland. Held in the gorgeous Toowoomba Botanic Gardens and Queens Park, Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland is a festive spectacle that showcases a dazzling display of thousands of lights and decorations as well as great seasonal entertainment.

There’s plenty on in 2023, including shows from Jazz Central, Saint Mary’s College Band and Choir and Choir and more. You can also enjoy delicious cakes, puddings and other treats from the food stalls. The event often includes special appearances by Santa Claus and other beloved Christmas characters. A great way to create lasting family memories in the holiday season.

Where to stay

Explore Toowoomba’s seasonal charms from accommodation options that suit every taste and budget such as Comfort Inn Grammar View and Comfort Inn Glenfield.

Cowra Christmas Festival – NSW

Date: 1 December 

Come by the Cowra Christmas Festival. Image from Visit Cowra.

Known for its beautiful gardens and heritage, the Cowra Christmas Festival brings its festive country spirit to life as Cowra’s Main Street comes alive with bustling market stalls, local food vendors, live music – and, of course, appearances from Santa himself. Capturing the essence of an Aussie Christmas, you’ll also find entertainment including singing and dance performances.

When you’ve worked up an appetite, treat yourself to some tasty delights from Cowra’s festive Eat Street. Shops are also open late during the festival, meaning you can browse until late for all your Christmas shopping needs. A great way to celebrate a special time of year!

Where to stay

Ideally situated just a short walk to town, the Econo Lodge Alabaster is close to local sights such as the Cowra Peace Bell and the Cowra Heritage Walk. 

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