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.
There are some affiliate links in this post at which no extra cost to you if you book an activity through our links. It helps us dedicate our time to keeping this site going.
Please check the websites first before visiting in 2020. Some of these activities might not be going ahead due to Covid.
Table of Contents
Party On A Boat In Sydney Harbour
If you’re travelling around Sydney, the best thing to do on Christmas Day is have fun on a Sydney harbour cruise! There’s a few to choose from so here’s our top picks!
If you’re looking for more of a cheesy party atmosphere whilst you dig into your Christmas lunch, we love this cruise by Sydney Pearl Cruises. Whilst they offer up a 3 hour cruise with a gourmet buffet lunch, you’ll need to pay for drinks separately.
They’ve also got a DJ on board spinning loads of old favourites including the Macarena. Doesn’t get more random for Christmas but we love it!
Prefer a Christmas Day dinner cruise in Sydney with DJ instead?
If you’re looking for a relaxed Christmas cruise on Sydney Harbour, then I suggest going through Vagabond Cruise. This 3 hour cruise will have you eating everything n offer from traditional Christmas roasts to Aussie seafood lunch. You’ll just need to pay for any alcoholic drinks.
An Aussie traditional Seafood Christmas lunch cruise
If you’re just as confused as I still am about they whole seafood Christmas lunch in Australia, why not go the whole hog and book yourself a proper Aussie seafood Christmas lunch cruise with Oz Whale Watching!
Please note, you won’t be going whale watching on this cruise as the whale migration takes place between June – November along the East Coast of Australia!
2. Check Out Taronga Zoo
Image via pedestrian.tv
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!
Pick your Taronga Zoo pass below!
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.
Make sure you visit Sirius Cove after you’ve been to the zoo!
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).
3. Make Christmas Day In Sydney Special With The Bridge Climb
Image via: bridgeclimb.com
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!
Pick a Sydney Bridge Climb Tour below!
4. Visit Sydney Aquarium Without The Crowds
Image via Rydges.com
Sydney Aquarium 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.
If there’s one way to get you into the Christmas spirit, go and check out some of the best Christmas lights in Sydney! 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!
Want to try something a bit different instead of a traditional Christmas lunch? Head over to China Town to one of the best yum cha in Sydney at Marigold for Christmas lunch!
We went to Marigold in China Town recently and absolutely loved it! The food isn’t only cheap, it’s really good. Best of all, the atmosphere is like no other. The staff are really friendly and tentative, it’s the type of place we’d go back to in a heartbeat because we loved the experience so much!
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 For A Posh Lunch With Unlimited Champers
Image via bestrestaurants.com
If you’re wondering where to have Christmas lunch in Sydney with excellent views of Sydney Harbour, Q Dining in Sydney are offering up a four course Christmas lunch WITH free flowing champers for $299 per adult. Find out more here.
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.
We love the hidden gems around Sydney that even the locals don’t even know about! If you’re looking to find some of them, check out our favourite secret gardens in Sydney!
Best of all, you can get to them by public transport and they won’t cost you a thing to get into. These are some of the awesome free things to do in Sydney!
12. Go For A Blue Mountains Hike
You can still get up to the Blue Mountains on the train on Christmas Day so plan your own adventure by checking out our guides to some of the best hikes in Sydney!
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!
Looking to do a different hike in Sydney? You can catch the train down to Cronulla, then the boat over to Bundeena to hike to Wedding Cake Rock and onto Big Marley Beach. It’s a stunning walk and should be on every single person’s must do list when visiting Sydney!
15. Where To Volunteer On Christmas Day In Sydney
Image via The Rev. Bills Crew Foundation.
There seriously isn’t a better thing to do than opting for some Christmas volunteering in Sydney.
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 here.
Bonus! Check Out The Amazing St Mary’s Cathedral Lights
St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney (next to Hyde Park) runs a month long incredible Christmas lights display every year. And, you can watch it on Christmas Day too! Get there early as you’ll watch Christmas carols, and buy food and drinks from the stands there. It’s a bit like Vivid Festival but on the church.
Make sure you pop inside St Mary’s Cathedral too, there’s something magical about going in there at Christmas!
Wondering what to do on Boxing Day in Sydney?
If you’re looking for a few things to do on Boxing Day then there’s two things you should definitely consider.
Sydney to Hobart Cruise
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.
There’s no better way to witness the race than to be on a boat on Sydney Harbour