Best things to do during Christmas in Sydney

Christmas in Sydney is an event of the year like no other. While Christmas celebrations often bring images of snow, chilly winter season and steaming mugs of hot chocolate, in Sydney, it’s having fun under the summer sun. 

As visitors and locals alike enjoy the vibrant energy of the coastal city, Sydney transforms into a sparkling summertime wonderland. Here are some things to do to enjoy Christmas Down Under.

Christmas at The Rocks

Miniature village
Artist Nico Nicoson’s miniature Christmas village is modelled on the buildings found within the sandstone lanes of The Rocks.

This summer holiday season, The Rocks historic streets are transformed into Christmas Wonderlanes. Enjoy strolling through historic precinct, and have Instagrammable photo-ops under the 7-metre-high Christmas tree. 

Additionally, Playfair Street offers The Rocks Laneway Cinema where visitors get to watch their favourite movies under the stars at 7pm on a Wednesday night. 

A miniature Christmas village has also popped up at The Rocks. Artist Nico Nicoson’s Christmas villages are modelled on the buildings found within the sandstone lanes of this historic precinct. Nicoson doesn’t just recreate The Rocks, however; he reimagines it with a sun-soaked Christmas twist that captures the laid-back Aussie holiday vibe.

In Nico’s hands, The Rocks’ heritage sandstone buildings are reborn. These mini marvels are more than historic replicas; they’re drenched in the Aussie Christmas spirit – sun, surf, and the quintessential backyard celebration. Think sunbathing on the beach, backyard cricket, and those iconic summer feasts. It’s a microcosm of the season’s best, a tiny tribute to all the things we love most about celebrating Christmas in summertime.

Have fun at Darling Harbour 

Sydney's Darling Harbour
Enjoy the spectacle at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

A line up of exciting activities is underway as Darling Harbour embraces the Christmas spirit through sumptuous buffets, live programs, and of course, fireworks. 

Darling Harbour’s waterside precinct shall also witness the return of the famous Christmas bauble which comes with colourful lights perfect for Instagram stories. 

In addition, popular spots at Darling Harbour will also join the holiday fun with amazing treats dished out by more than 15 restaurants and dining hubs over the festive season. 

Furthermore, fireworks displays are all set for all Fridays and Saturdays of December at 9 pm. 

Stroll under Canopy of Light

Canopy of Light, Sydney
Take a stroll and enjoy the lights at the Canopy of Light.

Witness Pitt Street Mall transform into a mesmerising spectacle, with thousands of lights suspended overhead to create a magical wonderland effect. 

The 80,000 LEDs and 10 two-metre tall stars installed in the Canopy of Light make the bustling mall even livelier this holiday season. Guests may also opt to visit the stunning Martin Place Christmas tree after strolling through the city centre under the glow of Sydney’s Christmas lights display. 

See Martin Place Christmas Tree

Martin Place Christmas Tree, Sydney
Visit NSWs tallest Christmas at Martin Place.

The tallest Christmas tree New South Wales in now all lit up in Martin Place and features more than 110,000 LEDs, a 3.4-metre colour-changing star, and more than 300 shimmering baubles. 

The famous 24-metre high Christmas tree has 800 branches decorated with 15,000 flowers representing nine different native floral species. 

Visit Mosman Christmas Night Market

Christmas in Sydney at the Mosman Market
Bring the entire family at the family-friendly Mosman Night Market.

For distinctive Christmas gifts, head to the Mosman Christmas Night Market. While wandering through local artisan stalls, visitors can shop for a variety of clothing, handcrafted jewellery, home goods, delectable baked treats, and more. Savour gourmet takeaway food while enjoying and relaxing in the licensed area while live performers entertain the crowds. 

The Mosman Christmas Night Market is a holiday event perfect for the family this summer Christmas season.

Experience Double Bay Christmas Fair

Christmas in Sydney at Double Bay Fair
Join the first ever Double Bay Christmas Fair at Guilfoyle Park.

Guilfoyle Park will transform into a Christmas Wonderland with Double Bay’s first Christmas Fair. The event has a host fun-filled list of activities such as Christmas Markets, baby animal petting zoo, Christmas face painting, pony rides, a visit from Santa and a Christmas Concert. 

The event is on December 9 from 10am to 8pm. 

Donate a gift to the Tree of Friendship

Tree of Friendship at Market City Shopping Centre
Donate a gift at Market City Shopping Centres Tree of Friendship.

Go the extra mile this holiday season by donating a gift to the Tree of Friendship located at the heart of the Market City Shopping Centre. 

The Tree of Friendship is dedicated to helping kids aged six to 12 years old build friendships through play and connection. This is in support of the children in RPA Paediatric Clinic, PCYC South Sydney, and Bear Cottage. 

Visitors and locals alike may like to donate a gift for outdoor and indoor sports like board games, kites, balls, bats, and scooters. This Christmas, the organisers of the Tree of Friendship are also looking for arts and crafts as well as musical instruments. Donations accepted until December 30. 

Christmas Party aboard the Showboat

Christmas in Sydney aboard the Showboat
Enjoy Christmas Party with friends aboard Sydneys Showboat.

For a perfect Sydney Christmas experience, step aboard the city’s dazzling Showboat cruise liner. Over the course of three festive hours, visitors will be wined and dined while soaking up panoramas of the glittering Harbour Bridge and Opera House during a dinner cruise along the harbour. There’s also an all Australian-cast cabaret show, Voyage of Love, to complete the holiday cruise experience.  

With Sydney’s icons illuminating the backdrop all night, the Instagrammable photo opportunities are endless too. 

In addition, the Showboat offers range of special holiday lunch and dinner packages. is the ultimate guide to visiting Sydney. It provides up-to-date information on attractions, places to visit, restaurants, shops, visitor information and transport. The site is published by Cruise Media Australasia, a Big Splash Media company. Editor-in-Chief and Publisher: Peter Lynch.

All map distance references are taken from the Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay.
Images courtesy Destination NSW

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