As the holiday season approaches, many envision a winter wonderland adorned with snowflakes and cosy gatherings by the fireplace. But halfway across the globe, Christmas takes on a whole new identity in Perth, Western Australia.
With its sunny skies, outdoor festivities, and unique traditions, celebrating Christmas in Perth offers an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer.
So, let’s dive into the sun-kissed charm of a Perth Christmas and discover how this coastal city creates its own festive magic.
Christmas in Perth: Embracing the Southern Hemisphere Summer
When December arrives in Perth, it’s not snowflakes that fall from the sky but golden rays of sunshine. Embracing the heat of summer, we locals swap our snow boots for thongs (flip-flops) and trade in our gloves for sunscreen.
Christmas has a laid-back atmosphere, as families and friends gather for beachside barbecues, picnics in the park, and outdoor concerts.
It felt strange transitioning from the conventional winter Christmas to Perth’s summer celebrations when I moved here in 2001, but there are plenty of positives in having a hot festive season.
Christmas Lights & Decorations
While Perth may not experience a white Christmas, it certainly doesn’t shy away from decorating for the occasion. Perth Christmas lights dazzle, transforming streets, malls, and parks into magical wonderlands.
Follow the Christmas Lights Trail in Perth City or visit Mandurah to see the extravagant homes along the canals adorned with decorations.
Perth Christmas Markets and Shopping
Now, who doesn’t love a bit of holiday shopping and some festive markets? The Perth Christmas Markets are where you can find unique gifts and indulge in mouthwatering treats.
Beachside Christmas Celebrations
If your family loves the beach, you’re in for a real Aussie treat. Celebrating Christmas by the coast is a special experience. Head to spots like Cottesloe, Scarborough, or Mullaloo for sun, surf, and Santa sightings.
Christmas morning at the beach has become a tradition for us and hundreds of other families. Parking can be an issue, but there’s a great atmosphere on the beach with people dressed in Christmas wear and bathers!
Festive Events and Performances in Perth
Watch for events like Carols by Candlelight in Langley Park or one of the suburbs; it’s a real community favourite. And if you’re into theatre, there are usually some fantastic Christmas-themed shows around town.
With longer daylight hours, Australians enjoy the warm evenings by hosting outdoor movie nights. Blankets are spread out on lawns, and inflatable screens appear in parks. Families and neighbours gather to watch classic Christmas films under the stars, with popcorn and the balmy night air.
In Australia, the backyard pool takes centre stage during the silly season. Families throw pool parties on Christmas Day, decorating pool areas with festive ornaments and inflatables.
Family-Friendly Christmas Activities in Perth
If you’ve got the little ones with you, there are many family-friendly activities, including the Perth Christmas Pageant. Perth Zoo, Caversham Wildlife Park, and the aquariums often have special Christmas programs that combine fun and education.
Christmas Dining and Cuisine
While a hearty roast might be the norm in colder climes, Perth’s Christmas cuisine is a refreshing departure. Embracing the abundance of fresh seafood, Australians opt for prawns, cold meats, and salads for their festive meals.
The iconic pavlova, a delicate meringue dessert topped with fruits, symbolises the sweetness of the season and has become a must-have at any Australian Christmas table.
Santa Claus himself gets a sun-soaked makeover in Perth. Donning board shorts and a sun hat, the Australian Santa often arrives on a surfboard instead of a sleigh. Although the traditional Father Christmas can be found at shopping malls in the lead-up to Christmas.
As environmental consciousness grows, more locals embrace eco-friendly gift-giving, opting for homemade presents and locally sourced goods.
Would you enjoy a hot Christmas or do you prefer the cold? I sometimes miss having a hot Christmas lunch in front of the fire in my Festive jumper, but the beach and cocktails by the pool are fun too.
List of Perth Christmas Events for 2023
- Christmas Twilight Market – 17th Nov, 4 – 9pm @ Supreme Court Gardens, Perth
- Wanneroo Botanic Gardens – 23rd Nov to 15th Jan, 6.30 pm to 9 pm
- Hillary’s Broadwalk Christmas Mini-Market – 9th & 10th Dec, 10 am to 4 pm
- Carols at Scarborough – 10th Dec, 6 pm to 10 pm
- Mandurah Christmas Lights Cruise – 1st Dec to 6th Jan
- City of Armadale Carols by Candlelight – 11th December, 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm
Christmas Day Lunch Perth Venues 2023
- The Vines Resort Swan Valley- Breakfast or lunch 8:30 am to 3 pm
- Sailing for Oranges Fremantle- 12 pm to 3 pm
- Mercure Perth’s Beccaria Restaurant – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm or 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm
- Duxton Hotel Firewater Grille (now fully booked) & Duxton Ballroom – 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm
- The Stirling Arms Hotel Guidlford – 11 am to 2 pm or 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm
- Mulberry Estate Buffet Swan Valley – 11:00 am to 02:00 pm
- The Guildford Hotel – 12:00 pm to 02:00 pm
- The Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – Lunch 12 pm to 3 pm or Dinner 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
- The Globe Perth – 12 pm or 3 pm sitting