Looking for things to do on Christmas Day in Sydney? If you’re on holiday, travelling or living in Sydney as an expat, fear not… we’re here to help you out!
When you’ve grown up knowing Christmas to be all about the cold weather, sitting next to the fire, watching the Coca Cola Christmas ad pop on TV and hoping for snow to fall… it’s just bizarre to be in the heat. And it’s super hot at this time of the year in Sydney.
But I’ll tell you what… your first Sydney Christmas is a proper novelty. Seeing Santa wearing shorts is something you won’t be able to accept. But, you’ll get carried away with it being both Summer and Christmas at once which basically equates to a double celebration.
So if you’re a backpacker reading this, or if you’ve just moved over to Sydney and wondering how you should spend Christmas, or if you’re just looking to for something different to do this Christmas in Sydney, here’s some of our favourite things to do on Christmas Day in Sydney.
If you’re travelling around Sydney, the best thing to do on Christmas Day is have fun on a Sydney Harbour cruise! Either spend the day at one of the various things we mention in this article, before getting ready to party on Sydney Harbour.
Pre-book this Christmas Day Dinner Cruise on Sydney Harbour with Vagabond Cruises to spend a memorable Christmas meeting new people and having fun together while looking out at some of the best views in Australia!
Included in the cruise is a seafood buffet, roast meats, salads and desserts. Expect to dance the night away at one of the best things to do on Christmas Day in Sydney!
2. Check Out Taronga Zoo
Looking for something a bit more low key? Taronga Zoo is actually open on Christmas Day between 9:30-5:00pm. This is a brilliant time to wonder around without the crowds. It’s also a perfect activity for everyone!
Bring your swimmers with you as well and go for a swim in the secluded Sirius Cove Beach next door to Taronga Zoo and follow the path all the way back to Kirribilli. It’s honestly beautiful. We lived in Kurraba Point a few years back and I used to run all along the harbour around to Cremorne.
Not forgetting, just before you get to Cremorne Point (which has fantastic harbour views) look for the secret Lex & Ruby Gardens, it’s awesome (you can read about it here).
4. Visit Sydney Aquarium Without The Crowds
Pre-book your Sydney Aquarium ticket here as it will be open from 10am-6pm on Christmas Day. As a huge highlight when visiting Sydney, this is an awesome thing to do in Sydney on Christmas Day that you’ll be able to experience without the crowds!
Pick the right Sydney Aquarium pass for you below!
5. Pop Next Door To Wild Life Sydney Zoo
Wild Life Sydney Zoo is a hugely popular Sydney tourist attraction where you’ll get to see loads of the famous Australian wildlife right in the heart of the city. Pre-book your ticket here before it sells out. Luckily Wild Life Sydney Zoo is also open on Christmas Day between 10am-4pm.
Pick the right Sydney pass for you below!
6. Check Out The Christmas Lights In Sydney
If there’s one way to get you into the Christmas spirit, go and check out our Best Christmas lights in Sydney Guide! Find out where this street is in Sydney, where the residents have a secret website so they can judge each others houses to win prizes in their annual competition. You’ll see how it’s taken very seriously because you won’t find another street in Sydney like this!
3. Make Christmas Day In Sydney Special With The Bridge Climb
When your friends and family ask you what you did on Christmas Day in Sydney, how cool would it be to say, ‘oh you know, I just climbed to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge’.
Unbelievably the Sydney Bridge Climb is open year round so you’ll be able to book a climb either in the morning, twilight or night time on Christmas Day!
7. Go on a road trip from Sydney
Looking to escape the city on Christmas Day? Why not hire a car if you don’t have one and get out and explore the region. There is so much to see and do which doesn’t require any opening times.
Unsure where to start? Check out our 30 Best Day Trips From Sydney guide to help inspire you. You could go visit the whitest sand beach in the world in Jervis Bay which is just three hours away. Go find some of the best waterfalls in Sydney, or even pack a picnic and find a beautiful lookout point in the Southern Highlands and have the most relaxing Christmas Day ever!
8. Christmas Lunch At Sydney Tower
If you’d prefer to have a more traditional Christmas lunch with knock out views over Sydney, head over to Sydney Tower. Here you’ll get access to over 55 dishes. Make sure you wear stretchy pants for this one!
9. Go to the cinema
Summer is the best time to visit the cinema where air con is appreciated and, the best movies are coming out in time for Oscar season and let’s not forget about the open air cinemas all around Sydney! Check out our full Best Cinemas In Sydney guide to see why going to the cinema in Sydney is a must experience!
Cinemas open on Christmas Day in Sydney include: Hoyts, Event Cinemas and Palace Cinemas.
10. Head To Bondi Beach And Celebrate!
On Christmas Day it’s a tradition to see backpackers come together to take over Bondi Beach. If you’re happy to be amongst the crowds for a party atmosphere then you can’t go wrong.
13. Go To The Figure 8 Pools In Royal National Park
If you wanted to get out of Sydney for the day, head down to The Royal National Park – the second oldest national park in THE WORLD which is just 1 hour away from Sydney. You can catch the train down and then start your hike from there!
Check out some of our Royal National Park Guides to keep you busy:
Christmas Day could be the perfect day to complete the mammoth Bondi to Manly walk! It’s an 80KM walk so it’s not for the faint hearted, but hear me out on this one. Think about it… it will be so quiet through the city, you’ll have such a memorable time doing this incredible hike through Sydney on a super quiet day.
You’ll feel proud of yourself for doing something active that doesn’t involve eating too many Quality Streets or Roses, and you’ll remember this experience for years to come. Book yourself into a hotel or airbnb on the way to complete it in a couple of days. You’ll pass by so many hidden gems in Sydney like beaches, gardens and so much more!
The Wayside Chapel put on a church service and a street party for all to join on Highes Street in Potts Point. They feed 800 people on Christmas Day and you can even drop by with a plate or donate $25 to feed someone else.
Want to volunteer for the Oz Harvest? You’ll need to attend a session before you volunteer, but it will be oh so worth it. Find out more here.
If you want to help out but not on Christmas Day itself, The Smith Family are looking for volunteers to help pack and deliver toys and books for kids.
Watch the Sydney to Hobart Cruise on Boxing Day in Sydney
If you’re looking for a few things to do on Boxing Day then there’s one thing you should definitely consider; the Sydney to Hobart yacht race!
The Sydney to Hobart race is a legendary annual event which sees all of Sydney come together to watch hundreds of boats set sail for the race of the year down to Hobart. It’s best to watch it either from North Head if you’re in Manly or South Head from Bondi area to see the best views!
Things To Do On New Years Eve In Sydney
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Unsure how to spend New Years Eve in Sydney? Check out our favourite things to do this New Years Eve in and out of Sydney which includes Sydney Harbour vantage points only locals know about, and much much more!