If there was ever a time we needed a mid-year pick-me-up, July would be it. Smack bang in the middle of the year and the Australian winter, the entire month can feel like one long drawn-out hump day (especially when you’re amid year two of a global pandemic). Enter Christmas in July. This injection of mid-year cheer invites us to live out all the northern hemisphere Christmas clichés we see on our screens each December, but can’t attempt on account of the heat and humidity. It’s time to rug up in your winter woollies and take a walk in a winter wonderland…
Plan a rom-com-worthy getaway to Tassie and stay at this eco-luxe cottage for the Christmas in July weekend. Located an hour’s drive from both Launceston and Devonport, the quaint holiday home has all the ingredients of the perfect Scandi-inspired cold-weather Christmas, including a cedar wood hot tub to soak in while surrounded by alpine gardens.
Looking for somewhere to snuggle up by the fire, indulge in festive foods, relax with a good book and spend time with your friends and family? This converted barn in Daylesford, one of Victoria’s prettiest winter villages, is the ideal place to host a traditional Christmas dinner for a large group. Make sure to include local gourmet treats from the region’s vineyards, cheesemakers, truffle hunters and trout farms on the menu.
Only an hour from Adelaide, a lake house holiday awaits. Enjoy watching the fog rise over the lake while you remain toasty in your recycled timber cabin, reminiscent of an alpine chalet.
Taking cues from Italy’s Dolomite Alps, Pepe’s Italian & Liquor has transformed its iconic inner-city haunt into a (very chic) Italian ski resort. Inside, the space is decked out with timber skis, alpine flags and a menu full of winter warmers – including hot toddies – and in the courtyard outside you’ll find snow showers and a custom sleigh. Don’t forget to dress the part in your goggles and gloves!
3. Attend a Christmas market
Australian Capital Territory
In a time when we cannot travel, this Christmas market hopes to transport you to a magical and festive place and bring the feel of Strasbourg’s most beautiful winter Christmas market to Australia’s capital city. Expect melted cheese stations, French crepes, snow falling, magical lights and a Mulled Wine Garden, all taking place at the National Rose Gardens in Canberra. Find more details here.
4. See a Christmas concert
It may not be the one-horse open sleigh they sing about in “Jingle Bells”, but drive one-and-a-half hours north of Perth and you’ll find people sliding down the Lacellin sand dunes at full speed. The dunes reach up to three storeys high and once you hire your board, you can take on whatever slope and speed you’re comfortable with. Soak up the sweeping views of the Indian Ocean and surrounding farmland and enjoy the exhilaration of flying down the dunes.
6. Go ice-skating
Glide across Perth’s pop-up ice-skating rink, the dazzling centrepiece of the city’s winter village. Don’t be scared off if you’re a nov-ice, nothing is quite as romantic as clutching nervously at the hand of a potential love interest as they guide you around the rink.
Stuck at home this July? Lucky most of the ingredients you need to make this cool-weather Christmas staple are probably already in your pantry. Heat the contents of a bottle of dry red wine in a saucepan and add orange slices, cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Let the wine simmer (but not boil) for at least 15 minutes or up to three hours and serve warm.
8. Watch a Christmas movie
No matter where you are, the best way to get into the Christmas spirit is to watch a heart-warming Christmas classic. Personal favourites include Netflix’s first original animated feature Klaus – the charming reimagining of the legend of Santa – and the Nancy Myer’s masterpiece that is The Holiday (hello Jude Law in a woolly turtle neck).