Christmas in July: top things to do to escape Australia’s winter blues

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When Vincent Hernandez arrived successful Australia from France, helium loved it – but noticed thing was missing. A European Christmas.

So successful 2018 the festival manager launched a Christmas successful July solemnisation successful Sydney’s Rocks district, to bring the festive play helium knew truthful good from location down under.

“For immoderate Europeans surviving successful Australia … Christmas should beryllium successful winter,” helium says. “All the bully things that travel with the comfortableness food, the cheese, mulled vino are for winter.”

His market, which emulates accepted Christmas celebrations successful Strasbourg, “went crazy”, and is expanding to the ACT.

“It’s eclectic, but it’s however we’d bash it successful France, having a large infinitesimal with household oregon friends, enjoying large food, having a bully portion and a bully time,” helium says. “It’s a taste experience. People accidental ‘where’s Santa?’ and I accidental ‘Santa is not successful Strasbourg’.”

With July upon us, it’s clip for puffer jackets, ample energy bills and, for the festive of spirit, Christmas celebrations.

Australia whitethorn beryllium known overseas for its blistering summers and sandy beaches but that doesn’t mean we can’t bash the chilly play right.

Here are the apical things you tin bash this twelvemonth to flight the wintertime blues.


Firelight festival 1 – 3 July

Melbourne’s Docklands is coming alight this July implicit 3 fiery evenings. Firelight is the city’s largest wintertime festival, featuring much than 40 occurrence pits and drums, airy shows, unrecorded music, roving performers and pop-up nutrient stalls. Entry is free, travel for the occurrence sculptures and enactment for the giant, glowing lion.

East Gippsland Winter festival 19 June – 10 July

There’s nary amended excuse to flight the metropolis than East Gippsland’s yearly wintertime festival. Over 3 and a fractional weeks, locals bring the community’s originative assemblage to beingness with pop-up creation installations, vino and trade beer, wintertime feasts and unrecorded music. The programme this twelvemonth is packed, including a fig of escaped and kid-friendly events.

Silhouette radical   astir   a bonfire
The Orange Winter Fire festival features Enjoy the Field Days Big Bonfire with expansive views of Borenore. Photograph: Kevin Cable/Alamy

Winter Wild 12 – 16 & 26-28 August

Winter Wild takes spot implicit 4 days successful the bosom of Apollo Bay. Not conscionable a fashionable summertime destination, the Otway seashore is transformed travel wintertime into a hub of art, music, nutrient and culture. This twelvemonth has a fig of programme highlights including a show from beloved Melbourne punks Amyl and the Sniffers, and a escaped outdoor Wild Feast of smokehouse barbecues and elephantine paella pans.

New South Wales

Bondi festival 1 – 17 July

After a two-year hiatus, Bondi festival is backmost with a vengeance this play featuring the iconic Bondi Vista Ferris Wheel, the “world famous” crystal rink and an abundance of theatre shows and comedy. There’s thing similar a belly laughter to lukewarm an icy heart.

Bathurst Winter festival, 2 – 17 July

Over 2 weeks this July, Bathurst shopfronts are acceptable to beryllium transformed with agleam colours and artscapes arsenic portion of the Illumination Light Walk, outdoor crystal skating is backmost and food, art, euphony and rides are each returning. Fun for the kids, and the grown ups.


There whitethorn beryllium nary amended spot to observe Christmas successful July than the Blue Mountains, acceptable against a backdrop of clifftops and snowfall. The mountains’ grandest hotels transform during Yulefest with festive feasts, carols and spicy mulled vino bringing an abundance of wintertime cheer crossed the region.

Be definite to instrumentality successful August, erstwhile Katoomba’s Winter Magic festival puts connected 13 stages of unrecorded acts, alongside illuminations and stalls. Dress up and costume is encouraged.

Mulled vino  successful  rustic ceramic mugs connected  vacation  Christmas background
Enjoy mulled vino bars astatine French inspired wintertime markets. Photograph: Ekaterina Smirnova/Getty Images

Orange Winter Fire festival 5 – 14 August

Orange Winter Fire festival brings the vigor to the cardinal tablelands with jam packed events, viking feasts and the region’s champion reddish wines to beryllium sampled by toasty fires. Enjoy the Field Days Big Bonfire with expansive views of Borenore oregon publication your ain backstage abstraction astatine Stockman’s Ridge Wines.


Huon Valley Mid-Winter festival 15 – 17 July

If singing to an pome histrion by firelight is your thing, the Huon Valley Mid-Winter festival is for you. Over 1 packed weekend, an eclectic premix of musicians descend connected the vale alongside storytelling events and lengthy beryllium down meals paired to tube aged ciders. Prepare your pagan gear, determination are prizes for champion dressed costumes, too.

Festival of Voices 1 – 10 July

Is it imaginable to sing yourself warm? There’s lone 1 mode to find retired astatine Tasmania’s iconic Festival of Voices. The archetypal wintertime festival to grace the authorities is turning 17 this year, envisioned to bring airy and joyousness to residents successful the traditionally frosty season. This twelvemonth is nary exception, showcasing a wide scope of choirs, chorals and gospel ballads.


Christmas successful July festival 30 June – 3 July

There whitethorn beryllium nary amended spot to emulate the bluish hemisphere’s December chill than Canberra. This July, caput to Parkes for a French inspired food, vino and wintertime marketplace featuring wood huts, Christmas lights, melted food stations, snowfall and mulled vino bars. Did I notation melted food stations? It’ll consciousness conscionable similar 25 December. The festival moves to Sydney’s Rocks territory connected 14 – 17 July, sans the campfires and roasted marshmallows.

Canberra Truffle festival mid June – mid August

Over 2 months, winter’s astir decadent dainty is king successful the ACT portion erstwhile the Canberra Truffle festival comes to town, a gourmet matter showcasing the precise champion truffles person to offer. Truffle farms, restaurants, wineries and galleries are each progressive this year, with signature menus, truffle and vino pairings and cooking classes connected offer. Yum.

Western Australia

Cabin Fever 15 – 24 July

There’s thing for everyone successful Western Australia this wintertime with much than 40 events spanning Busselton to Margaret River, showcasing the champion of a wintertime successful the west. With food toastie battles, a nighttime of pinot noir, six-course degustations and fireside fondue sessions, pallets are acceptable to beryllium good and genuinely quenched.

South Australia

Illuminate Adelaide – July

For the full period of July, Illuminate Adelaide is returning to airy up the metropolis with art, laser shows, euphony and performances. This year, the Gorillaz are headlining the program, portion a caller crystal skating rink volition boast unrecorded DJs each weekend.