When you live in a country where December days are marked by searing heat and outdoor barbecues, it’s not uncommon to yearn for a white Christmas or the winter festivities that come with Christmas in Europe.
Christmas in July is an Australian mid-year tradition that allows us to experience a little bit of what Christmas is like in the colder parts of the world, all while embracing the unique essence of Australian culture.
In this guide, I share Australia’s best Christmas in July events for 2023, where you can head out to a Christmas market, go for Christmas lunch or enjoy festive cocktails with friends.
Christmas in July Australia 2023
Christmas in July encompasses a vast array of activities that capture the spirit of a classic Christmas while adapting to the unique Aussie winter.
Picture yourself in a bustling market filled with Christmas decorations in the heart of Canberra or slipping on ice skates for a spin around a cool rink.
Imagine relishing a beautifully crafted festive lunch or dinner at a local eatery or a cosy evening in a pub, sipping on heartwarming seasonal drinks or cocktails.
These experiences encapsulate the magic of an Australian Christmas in July.
Christmas in July Dates
Christmas in July celebrations in Australia unfold throughout the month, turning every day into a potential festive feast, although some choose to focus their festivities specifically on the 25th of July, mirroring the date of the traditional December Christmas.
Christmas in July Events
At a Christmas market or festival, you find yourself amid traditional stalls selling artisan goods, from handcrafted ornaments to warming winter treats, all lending an air of traditional festive cheer to a cold July day.
Christmas in July dining options are plentiful, with specially curated set menus served in cosy, warm eateries, where chefs infuse a unique blend of Australian flavours into hearty Christmas fare.
For those seeking a more adult-oriented experience, pubs and bars play a special part in the Christmas in July celebrations. These venues serve seasonal drinks, from spiced mulled wine to creative Christmas cocktails, bringing a sense of warmth and cheer to the winter evenings.
Christmas in July Canberra
Canberra – Envision a setting alight with twinkling fairy lights, creating a festive glow that guides your way through Canberra’s Christmas market celebrating Xmas in July.
Feel the warmth of mulled wine seep into your hands as you wander and explore. Tempt your palate with the enticing allure of melted cheese delicacies and find comfort from the winter chill in tranquil igloos or beside cosy fire pits.
Prepare yourself for the sight of traditional wooden chalets brimming with one-of-a-kind presents, artisan creations, artwork and a selection of gourmet food. The air fills with sounds from the live music performances, adding to the lively atmosphere.
This festival provides you with a true sense of Canberra’s festive spirit, further enhanced by an assortment of local food stalls. These are hosted by vendors hailing from the ACT and its neighbouring regions, offering you a taste of local specialties and flavours.
Read the full guide for all the essential information on visiting Christmas in July Canberra in 2023.
Christmas in July Melbourne
Melbourne – In a fusion of tradition and trendiness, Melbourne celebrates Christmas in July amidst its quintessential cool ambience.
Picture bustling food markets filled with the aroma of mouth-watering dishes, rich Christmas-style dinners abundant with festive tastes and a range of events that stoke the holiday spirit well before December.
The celebration of Christmas in July in Melbourne begins with the Winter Night Festival at the renowned Queen Victoria Market. Known as a hub for diverse and unique food offerings, this market is the prime location in Melbourne for gastronomic exploration, especially during these winter festivities.
Discover Christmas in July Melbourne in full with this guide to all the great events and festivals taking place across the city.
Christmas in July Sydney
Sydney – Set within the vibrant environs of Campbelltown, the Chill Fest World of Winter Fun transforms the cityscape into a festive playground that evokes the magic of Christmas in July, ensuring a delightful time for each member of your family.
Whether you find joy in lacing up a pair of ice skates and gliding across a shimmering ice rink beneath the winter sky, delighting in a Christmas meal, or simply immersing yourself in the merry surroundings humming with festive cheer, Chill Fest is an ideal hub for all.
This event is more than a celebration; it’s a vibrant and immersive experience where every moment is imbued with the charm and warmth of a winter Christmas.
Get details of Chill Fest and other Christmas in July Sydney events taking place in 2023.
Christmas in July Perth
Perth – In the heart of Western Australia, Perth takes on a distinctly festive air during July, as the city warmly embraces the tradition of Christmas in July. The cityscape transforms into a winter wonderland, despite the milder weather, presenting an extraordinary spectacle that delights both locals and visitors alike.
The city’s own take on Christmas in July offers a unique blend of traditions that are both warmly familiar and excitingly novel.
One of the major highlights of the festivities in Perth is Lightscape in Kings Park.
Christmas in July Brisbane
Brisbane – As winter graces Queensland’s capital, the city of Brisbane becomes alive with the charm of Christmas in July. The balmy subtropical climate takes a backseat, as the city takes on a festive spirit that exudes warmth and joy.
Engage in the magic of Brisbane’s Christmas in July as you wander through the colourful night markets, brimming with seasonal goodies and unique crafts. The city’s eateries join in the cheer, offering hearty Christmas feasts that expertly meld traditional festive flavours with a distinctively Brisbane twist.
Christmas in July Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains – As winter blankets the iconic landscapes, the Blue Mountains region transforms into a magical scene straight out of a Christmas card. Celebrating Christmas in July in the heart of Australia’s natural beauty provides a unique and heartwarming experience.
Feel the festive spirit as you walk through town centre. The local cafes and restaurants warmly welcome you with their special Christmas in July menus, filled with hearty winter dishes.
A centrepiece of the celebrations in this region is the Yulefest, a long-standing tradition cherished by both locals and visitors. During Yulefest, you can experience everything from festive feasts in cosy dining rooms to live entertainment evoking the joy and laughter of the season.
Christmas in July Sovereign Hill
Ballarat – With the onset of winter, the historical town of Sovereign Hill in Ballarat harks back to its gold rush era roots, adding a dash of merriment to its charming old-world atmosphere. The town, known for its 1850s recreated streetscape, truly comes alive during the celebration of Christmas in July.
As you walk along the cobbled streets, the twinkling fairy lights and vintage Christmas decorations bring a festive feel to the gold rush era setting. Food stalls line the lanes, serving up traditional Christmas fare that will warm you up from the winter’s chill.
The star of the celebrations in Sovereign Hill is the Winter Wonderlights event. Here, the whole town is bathed in a beautiful spectacle of lights, with the facades of the 19th-century buildings serving as a canvas for a mesmerising light show.
Christmas in July Adelaide
Adelaide – With winter’s arrival, the vibrant city of Adelaide embraces the joyous spirit of Christmas in July, wrapping its charming streets and bustling cityscape in a blanket of festive cheer.
As the winter chill rolls in, the warmth of the Christmas season shines through, creating a unique blend of tradition and local charm.
Feel the magic of Christmas in July as you meander through Adelaide’s iconic Central Market, which brims with winter produce and festive delights.
Local restaurants and cafes join in, crafting special Christmas menus that perfectly marry traditional flavours with Adelaide’s culinary prowess.
A highlight of Adelaide’s festivities is Illuminate Adelaide.
Christmas in July Hobart
Hobart – As winter sweeps over Tasmania’s capital, Hobart is wrapped in the heartwarming spirit of Christmas in July. The city, set against the backdrop of Mount Wellington and the waters of the Derwent River, presents an enchanting stage for the Christmas celebrations.
Feel the festive cheer as you stroll along Hobart’s historic waterfront, where the wharfs and sandstone buildings take on a festive charm. Local eateries in Salamanca Place and North Hobart join the celebrations, offering special Christmas in July menus brimming with hearty winter fare that showcases Tasmania’s fine produce.
A focal point of Tasmania’s festivities is the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival. Here, in the Huon Valley, locals and visitors gather to celebrate the region’s apple-picking history and to indulge in the festive spirit. The festival offers a rich array of experiences, from singing around bonfires to the tapping of the apple cider barrels.
Christmas in July Gold Coast
Gold Coast – As winter rolls in, the sun-kissed beaches and vibrant cityscape of the Gold Coast trade their typical subtropical allure for the merry magic of Christmas in July. Despite the mild winter weather, the spirit of the season adds a festive touch to the city’s bustling atmosphere.
Local restaurants and beachfront cafes join the celebrations too, introducing special Christmas in July menus featuring heart-warming meals and festive cocktails.