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Melbourne in December



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The end of the year brings forth the holiday season around Australia, and Melbourne in December is no exception, with the lead up to Christmas and the new year coupling with the warm summer weather to make it one of the busiest yet most popular times to visit the city all year, especially for those looking to make the most of the outdoors, soak in some sunshine, and experience its beaches.

Melbourne in December at a Glance:
Public Holidays: Christmas Day – 25 December, Boxing Day – 26 December
Season: Summer
Average Temperatures: 24.2 – 12.9 degrees Celsius

Of course, December is Melbourne's peak period, but if you're willing to fight the crowds you will be in for a delight as the sheer act of experiencing the city is an entertaining way to spend your time there, as the streets become lively and numerous events and festivities take place.

Melbourne in December

Another positive of Melbourne in December is that the weather is typically far more reliable than in November, so making plans that are weather-dependent is much easier as weather forecasts tend to be more accurate (although, as always, the weather in Melbourne can still change quite quickly compared to most other Australian capital cities.) While days can be quite hot and sticky as humidity levels rise, the nights can still be fairly cool so bringing a light jumper or cardigan along may still be a good idea although a jacket is unnecessary.

While many of Melbourne's locals typically choose December to leave the city and travel themselves, the number of people flocking there from out of town is still huge, and accommodation prices can be expected to be through the roof unless booked well in advance, while availability may also be relatively scarce. If you're visiting Melbourne in December from out of town, there are plenty of pleasant experiences to be had taking advantage of the city's cosmopolitan feel and, especially, its many great shopping opportunities that range from large outlets to small boutiques – the majority of which are easily reachable via public transport, whether it be bus, train or tram.

Lastly, if the crowds of the city turn out to be too much for you, there are plenty of popular natural and more laid-back scenic options outside the city within easily reachable distance that truly come into their own during the warm days of summer. Thus, some of the most popular activities and things to do in Melbourne in December include:

Relax on the beaches of Melbourne

Melbourne Beaches in DecemberWhile it may not compare to some of the world-famous, iconic beaches of Queensland and some other parts of Australia, Melbourne still has its share of lovely seaside locations that make for a great visit during December regardless of if you're planning to swim, walk or simply laze on the beach and soak up some sunshine.

While some of the best beaches may be more difficult to reach if you are staying in the city centre and don't have access to private transport, there are still several options for beaches in Melbourne that you'll be able to travel to without too much trouble. Port Melbourne's beach can be accessed from the city's light rail system simply by travelling to the end of the line; once arriving, hop out and walk around 400 metres and you'll be there. As the closest beach to the city, it is often crowded by locals who are looking for some aquatic enjoyment, yet due to the recent and gradual rejuvenation of the area and its plentiful grass lawns that are dotted with palm trees, wide stretches of sand and shallow yet swimmable waters it still provides everything one could ask for in a beach this close to an urban centre.

Another popular choice is St Kilda beach – situated at the edge of this bayside suburb, it is also just a short distance from the city centre and is one of the most picturesque points of the Bay. A number of clean, sandy beaches are available and the streets surrounding them are alive with new development that includes many restaurants, cafes and other venues that make grabbing a bite to eat an easy and enticing prospect.

Lastly, a list of popular Melbourne beaches wouldn't be complete without mentioning those found in Sorrento, with its main beach section being a popular location with several foreshore reserves that contain a variety of facilities for visitors. Clean, pleasant and safe for swimming, Sorrento has sheltered picnic and public barbecue areas that make it a good choice of destination for a “family” day out without having to sacrifice an entire day's worth of travel from many of Melbourne's accommodation districts. Expect to spend about 1.5 hours worth of travel getting there, but if you're looking for the best possible beach experience, it's well worth the effort.

Check out our detailed guide to Melbourne family friendly beaches here.

Go shopping in Melbourne city centre

Melbourne ShoppingIf there's one thing that Melbourne can easily claim to have over pretty much everywhere else in Australia, it's the variety and quality of its shopping facilities that range the entire spectrum from the discount to the extravagant. On the “discount” end of the scale, there are 3 main areas close to the city centre where you may be able to find a bargain – near Southern Cross Station, at the Docklands and also in the city's Southbank. In these areas you'll find not only large outlets but also plenty of smaller streets that are lined with both shops and cafes that make the shopping experience especially pleasant, especially the Dockland's Harbour Town.

The largest – and arguably the best in terms of comprehensiveness – shopping centre in Melbourne is located at Chadstone, which has the added benefit of a free shuttle bus that operates from the city. Lastly, if fashion is what you're seeking, be sure to pay a visit to the popular areas of Chapel Street, Leonard Street, Claude Maus, Arabella, Ramsay Scanlan and Theodore, Gorman & The Signet Bureau, each of which offers both quality products and frequently exciting deals. Melbourne also is one of the few Australian cities that is lucky enough to be host to popular international brand/clothing store Zara, which can be found at the Bourke Street Mall.

You can check out our detailed Melbourne shopping guide here.

Witness Phillip Island's Penguin Parade

Phillip Island Penguin ParadeThe ideal place to visit if you want a memorable experience near Melbourne in December outside the city, the nature-rich destination of Phillip Island is one of the most popular wildlife viewing spots in Australia due in large part to its huge colony of Little Penguins. Tours that take you from the Melbourne CBD to the island allow you to take in this unique spectacle firsthand that occurs every evening at dusk, with the warmer temperatures of summer making it far more comfortable being outdoors at night and watching the cute little creatures scurry up the sand.

While the Penguin Parade itself draws millions of visitors to the island every year, it isn' the only wildlife fixture to be found – koalas, colonies of fur seals, wallabies and kangaroos round out the experience as well.

Lastly, bear in mind it is always a good idea to bring warm, waterproof clothing when travelling to Phillip Island from Melbourne in December as nights can still be colt and/or wet regardless of the season.

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What to do in Melbourne by Month:

These are just a few of the most popular activities and - things to do in Melbourne in December - for a full list of things to do in Melbourne throughout the different months of the year, be sure to check out our main region page for hundreds of options!

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