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Sydney in December



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While December is undoubtedly the busiest month in Sydney and the city is at its most crowded, this is not without reason as it is also by far one of the most vibrant and energetic times, with the obvious attraction being the holiday seasons around Christmas and, specifically, New Years Eve.

Sydney in December at a Glance:
Public Holidays: Christmas Day - 25 December 2012, Boxing Day - 26 December 2012,
New Year's Eve - 31 December 2012
Season: Summer
Average Temperatures: 25.8 - 18.6 degrees Celsius

Hundreds of thousands of people from both around the country and internationally flock to Sydney for the celebrations, with the yearly fireworks over Sydney Harbour being one of the most beautiful and famous displays with its iconic landmarks forming an amazing backdrop to the proceedings, with the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge combining with the reflection off the water adding the final touch.

Accommodation prices predictably soar during this period, with the hotels and other facilities that offer waterfront views being particularly desirable (and hard to book!). If you can manage to acquire accommodation or are willing to fight the huge crowds who attend New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour – or are lucky enough to know a relative who has a boat – then it is an experience that is highly recommended.

Sydney in DecemberDecember also marks the official commencement of summer in Australia, and although the months of February and January are technically the hottest of the year, December is (in)famous for having sudden days that can make the thermometer climb unexpectedly, with days in the high-30 degrees a regular occurrence although daily average maximums tend to hover around the 26 degree mark, with nightly minimums sitting around 18 degrees.

Along with this increase in temperatures comes an increasing number of crowds at all the popular beaches of Sydney as people look to soak up the sunshine and work up their tans – expect very heavy crowds at Bondi, Manly and Cronulla beaches during the entire December period – especially as the month is accompanied by school holidays. Thus, while the holiday festivities are truly memorably, many people choose this time to get out of the city and head to less crowded venues and attractions. Some of the most popular things to do in Sydney in December include:

Celebrate New Years Eve on Sydney Harbour

Sydney New Years FireworksAs mentioned above, an essential experience if you're planning to be in Sydney over the New Years period – especially if you've never done it before – is attending the celebrations on Sydney Harbour. Famed for its yearly displays of fireworks, laser shows and more, no expense is spared for the festivities by the businesses, sponsors and government involved.

The fireworks themselves can be seen all the way from the vantage point of Gladesville Bridge to the Heads of Sydney Harbour, with special designated fireworks barges situated between Point Piper in the east and Cockatoo Island in the west. The ceremony typically has two separate fireworks displays – one earlier, “Family” display at 9:00pm designed for those with kids in mind, and the main midnight fireworks display and bridge effects demonstration at 12:00am that kick off the New Year in an incredible and impressive fashion. Lasting around 12 minutes, the display attracts approximately 1.5 million viewers to the greater Sydney Harbour area each year – a true indicator of its overall popularity.
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Take a dining cruise

Sydney Harbour Dinner CruisesThere are few more romantic ways to celebrate a Christmas for couples than a dining cruise on the harbour itself, regardless of if it's for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Start the day off on a high with a Sunday breakfast cruise, relax with the delights of a delicious Seafood buffet lunch, or enjoy “high tea at sea” - or if you aren't planning a family evening, a starlight dinner amongst the glow of the city lights and landmarks aboard a spectacular cruise ship could hit the spot perfectly.

The typically clear November days and nights mean that you are likely to get blue or starry skies which only serve to enhance the experience. In all, a Sydney Harbour dining cruise is a must for special occasions, visitors to Sydney or those who are simply looking for a great day or night out.
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Go dolphin watching at Port Stevens

Port Stephens DolphinsOne of the best and most fulfilling escapes from the crowds of Sydney city in December is a trip to the beautiful coastline north of Sydney – an area full of quaint holiday villages, white sandy beaches and glittering blue ocean that makes for a great “time out”.

The Port Stephens region in particular is a great destination to choose from and has become exceedingly popular as a dolphin watching hotspot, and a tour from Sydney will provide a nature-oriented focus that will make you forget about the urban life. Observe alligators feeding and meet other famous Aussie wildlife including kangaroos and koalas in a natural bush setting. Ride the wave crests with the dolphins in the azure blue waters of sheltered Port Stephens where this quiet arm of the Pacific Ocean is home to a pod of the most intelligent of all marine mammals.
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What to do in Sydney by Month:

These are just a few of the most popular activities to participate in in Sydney in December – for a full catalogue of even more things to do in Sydney throughout the different months of the year, be sure to check out our main region page!

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