Our Christmas Itinerary
Waking up beside the water in the river city is always a treat, even when we do it this close to dawn. The first rays of each new sun strike the top of Mount Warning, about 2 hours south, and we have somewhere special to be not long after the sun rises in Brisbane: on top of the iconic Story Bridge.
After the safety instructions, we climb as a group 80 metres above the Brisbane River, right to the top of the steel cantilevered bridge, opened in 1940. This is your last chance for a bridge climb Christmas gift – photographs of you dressed like a Teletubbie in your grey-and-blue jumpsuit are a guaranteed hit.
From up here you can see all the way from the Sunshine Coast up north to the Gold Coast down south. For tourists, Brisbane is mostly a gateway to these miles of beaches. And for Christmas, it’s south to the beaches that we must go. And we’re going down faster than you might imagine – this is an abseil climb!
If you’re used to a northern hemisphere winter Christmas, then an Aussie beach Christmas comes with fair warning. There are no chestnuts roasting on an open fire – in fact, there’s a total (outdoor) fire ban here at the moment, as the mercury moves past 30°C (86°F) most days.
Hot roasts and puddings are mostly replaced by cold slices of ham and pavlova smothered in summer fruit. And forget staying indoors – an Australian ‘White Christmas’ means beach cricket and plenty of sand being kicked in the air.
Limoso put us in an airconditioned car for the trip – to avoid the GC crowds, we’re driving a little further south, to spend Christmas on the northern New South Wales beaches of Kingscliff and Cabarita.
Christmas day feels similar wherever it is celebrated. The anticipation; the opportunity to reflect on another year over, and a new one just begun. Travelling at Christmas and away from family, it can be a sad time, as those you love enjoy festivities without you. This can also be an opportunity to forge new traditions, replacing mulled Gluhwein and turkey with cold beer and prawns (or vice versa).
After the pressies, it’s down to the beach. Everyone’s a mate today, so get stuck into the nearest game of cricket – guaranteed there’s someone trying out the new set from Santa.
Some folk are sticklers for the rules of beach / backyard cricket – 3 step run ups to bowl, one-hand one-bounce catches, and any shot into the water is six and out. We’re more relaxed – making the water part of the game is a perfect excuse to field knee-deep in the ocean! Everyone agrees that you can’t get out first ball.
And there’s always patience for beginners – ask for a bat, have a swing, try not to get caught, and remember to have fun.
There’s unanimous agreement on the evening of Christmas Day, as we sip another cold drink, eat some more prawns, and brag about the waves we caught on a borrowed body board, or the diving catch we made in the sand. Today was brilliant, and with Boxing Day (December 26th) also a public holiday, we’ll be doing it all again tomorrow.
From the team at Every Daydream, have a Merry Christmas. On Thursday, we’ll be back with another great Australian summer tradition – the ocean road trip!
Want to go? Need to know!
- Story Bridge Adventure Climb were just the third bridge climb in the world, and offer a range of bridge climb packages including a New Year’s Eve fireworks climb
- Gold Coast accommodation books out early for the festive season. We think the less popular destinations, like the Sunshine Coast and Northern NSW, are much nicer anyway
- There are even pseudo-professional beach cricket series in Australia – watch some video here
- Become an Aussie Christmas legend by making your own pavlova from scratch. Or just be sure to buy a kilogram of prawns on your way to the party!
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Wherever you are in the world, what are your Christmas traditions?
Have you experienced a Christmas travelling away from home?
Tell us in the comments.