Home » 10 fun festive things to do during December in Sydney [2024]

10 fun festive things to do during December in Sydney [2024]

December in Sydney may not see snow during the holiday season; it does, however, have a unique spin on Christmas. Whether you see Santa in Board shorts or enjoy a swim on Christmas day, the festive season in Sydney is full of Christmas cheer. So here are ten fun, festive things to do during December in Sydney.


1. Bondi Beach and beyond

December in Sydney is the perfect time to go for a dip in the ocean and visit the iconic Bondi beach. You could choose to swim in the sea, go for lunch with a view at Bondi Icebergs or walk from Bondi to Maroubra. There are loads of fun and festive things to do and see at Bondi; however, don’t limit yourself to Bondi; there are many great beaches to explore in the eastern suburbs.
Coogee – many cafes to enjoy beachside
Tamarama – a short walk from Bondi Beach
La Perouse – A great place to go without the crowds and the waves.

Bondi Beach

2. Manly and beyond

Manly is fun at any time of the year, but summer has that extra something special. I would also recommend getting to Manly via ferry. Whether you opt for the express ferry (a little more expensive) or the slow ferry, the views are amazing on a beautiful day. There is plenty to do in Manly, from a hike to North Head Scenic Walks to settling for a long lunch at Hugo’s. But like Bondi, many other beaches will take your breath away in this area.
Balmoral – the water is flat, so it is friendlier to swim in.
Palm Beach – Much more chilled than the beaches mentioned, and you may see them filming in and around the area for “home and away”.
Narrabeen – is less populated than Manly but has a great beach with waves.

Manly Walk

3. Christmas markets

Okay, they aren’t the type of Christmas markets you will find in Germany, but they are full of Christmas spirit. If shopping in malls during December in Sydney and buying from retail chains for Christmas presents isn’t what you want, these markets are a better option. Christmas markets can be found scattered in and around Sydney during December.
sydney christmas market

4. Sydney Harbour

There is plenty to do on Sydney Harbour during December. You could catch a ferry to Manly, enjoy watching a movie at the floating cinema or spend the day on the island. Or if checking out the harbour from the water’s edge is more your thing, then there are loads of choices. Spending the afternoon sipping cocktails at the Opera Bar or eating lunch in Darling Harbour is also a great way to see Sydney’s famous harbour.

Sydney Harbour

5. Carols by Candelight

Australia is the home of Carols by Candlelight, the tradition may have begun in Melbourne in 1937, but it is in full swing in Sydney. You can find them dotted around in almost every neighbourhood in Sydney or Carols in the domain, which is televised and hosts Aussie Celebrities.
Carols by Candle light

6. Brunch with friends or family

There are plenty of great cafes to choose from; however, places like the grounds of Alexandria offer a unique instagramable alternative and a photo with Santa. You can eat inside or alfresco, but remember that parking can be hard to find. Other choices, like The Boatshed at La Perouse or the Boathouse in balmoral or Palm Beach, offer a relaxed outdoor summer vibe.

The Grounds of Alexandria

7. Long lunch Outdoor Dining

Sydney offers some of the best outdoor dining experiences in a range of Sydney suburbs. Try The bucket list at Bondi, which allows you to enjoy a long lunch by the beach, or The Coogee Bay Hotel, where you can sit in the beer garden and order a delicious meal from their extensive menu. If you would instead like to venture over the bridge to the north side, then Newport is always busy and has always been one of my favourites for years. Try The greens in North Sydney has a chilled afternoon feel and is perfect on a sunny summer.


8. Beautiful Walks 

Barron Joey Lighthouse makes for a perfect afternoon stroll; Sydney’s most northern point views are amazing. It won’t take long to get to the top; you can take the more difficult steps, but they will contact you to the top faster, or you can choose the leisurely uphill climb via the ascending walkway. Check out the oceanfront cliff walk from Coogee to Bondi; the path is signposted, so it is easy to follow; you can choose a longer route from Maroubra or a shorter route from Bronte; the stunning view along this famous coastal walk will not disappoint.

Maroubra Beach

9. Outdoor Cinema

If you love watching movies but hate being restricted to an air-conditioned cinema, then you must try one of the outdoor cinemas in Sydney. Centennial Park’s Moonlight cinema in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs is the original outdoor cinema. It is still busy; however, if you want to see Christmas movies, you should head to Darling Quarter Village Green, Darling Harbour best part is that it’s free! Most of the other outdoor cinemas start in January.

 outdoor cinema

10. Christmas lights

Nothing beats the Lights of Christmas at St Mary’s Cathedral Square; this light spectacular lasts until Christmas night. However, if you would instead check out the lights in your neighbourhood, go to the Christmas lights website and find the nearest neighbourly Christmas lights spectacular.
christmas lights syd

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I hope this post has given you the information you need. If you have any recommendations, tips or advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we may receive a commission at no extra cost if you purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information.

Check out my Instagram page or join the Truly Expat Facebook group.


Pin it for later!

fun things to do in sydney

Would you like to read more about Sydney?

What to do in Kurnell in a day

What to expect at Swami’s Yoga Retreat Kenthurst

The best of Sydney in Winter in 1 day


  • Paula Barreca Barnes

    So 17 years ago, my husband and I set off with our little family in tow, embarking on a short-term assignment in Taiwan. Although without any knowledge of expat life or the Taiwanese culture, we took the chance and decided this would be an exciting little adventure; little did we know it changed the direction of our lives forever.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *