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14 best Christmas holiday destinations for Australians 2024

Where to hightail it to over the Christmas break – as well as the best sites to score the biggest holiday deals.

Christmas travel deals

Whether you want to spend Christmas on sun-soaked Queensland beaches or find a cool change in the southern states, we've personally shortlisted the top Aussie destinations to go to this festive season.

Plus, we've got some top international destinations to put on your radar for next Christmas. It's never too early to start planning your festive break.

Want it all sorted out for you? Skip down to our top 5 sites to book holiday packages and the best Christmas travel deals we've found to date.

Top holiday destinations for Christmas in Australia

1. Best for beaches: The Whitsundays

You can expect all the typical festive trimmings when you spend Christmas in the Whitsundays. Resorts lay on events from carols by candlelight to visits from Santa.

For little ones, keep on top of our school holidays activities guide here.

  • Cost: Luxe accommodation due to high demand and high-end prices for Christmas Day dinners.
  • How long should I stay? 3–5 days.
  • Recommended hotel: Spend Christmas in one of Club Wyndham Airlie Beach's luxury rooms and pop over to Daydream Island for a relaxing day trip.

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Christmas tree & clock tower in Martin Place

2. Best city break: Sydney

No surprises here. Sydney is constantly one of the most popular places to be over Christmas. It could be the nightlife, the harbour icons or the chance to visit friends and family.

Whatever it is, it's a city break that offers loads of entertainment and activities over the summer.

  • Cost: Mid-high due to the season and demand.
  • How long should I stay? 2–3 days.
  • Recommended hotel: Stay in the heart of the city where the Christmas trees, shopping and merriment are a short walk away. The Hyatt Regency Sydney is an affordable upscale hotel with prime positioning.

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Family sitting on beach looking at sea wearing Santa's hats

3. Best for families: The Gold Coast

The kids are out of school and they've been itching all year long for a holiday. No joke. And if we had to choose one place in the nation where kids young and old are entertained to no end, it's the Gold Coast.

From theme parks and beaches, marine sports to shopping centres, spa retreats to Hinterland walks, this city has it all.

Bear in mind that you won't be the only family hightailing it to this spot. With sun and theme parks aplenty, the Gold Coast is a go-to over the summer break. Get in early.

  • Cost: Budget–luxe accommodation available. Choose from hostels and holiday parks to luxury resorts and retreats.
  • How long should I stay? 5–7 days.
  • Recommended hotel: When a great location at an affordable price is a must, Mantra on View is your go-to. Rooms start at $175 per night in December and Surfers Paradise Beach is less than a block away.

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Steps At The Neck Lookout Against Sky

4. Best low-key destination: Tasmania

Australia's southernmost state is warm. Comfortable temperatures over the summer months make it ideal for adventure-seekers wishing to hit those trails or road trip around the island.

  • Cost: Mid-range as Tasmania isn't one of the nation's more expensive states, but summer is its peak season.
  • How long should I stay? 4–5 days.
  • Recommended hotel: Treat yourself to a spot on the waterfront at the Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel. Don't forget to check out the bar and restaurant that guests highly recommend.

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Scenic View Of Sea Against Sky

5. Best to support your local: South Coast NSW

New South Wales residents can explore their own backyard this year by making their Christmas one along the south coast.

From Wollongong to Shellharbour, Kiama to Shoalhaven and Batemans Bay to Merimbula, plenty of tourist townships were hit hard by the bushfires and then the pandemic. They're sure to appreciate your support this summer, especially as it's their peak season.

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Top holiday destinations for Christmas around the world

1. Best for FOMO: Bali

Bali is one of the top international spots for Aussie Christmas holiday-makers. If you're thinking of joining the masses over the festive season, you can bet your bottom dollar that it's the place to go.

Stick around until New Year's Eve when the skies become frenetic with fireworks and celebrations last well into the next day.

  • Cost: High-end-priced accommodation and mid-range food.
  • How long should I stay? 5–7 days.
  • Recommended hotel: With its own beach, huge pool and Jacuzzis, the Melia Bali gives you more than one opportunity to spoil yourself at Christmas.

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2. Best short international break: Auckland, New Zealand

Kicking off the festive season with a huge Santa parade and Christmas in the Park festival, Auckland goes all out at Christmastime. With the sunshine also comes the flowering of the red pōhutukawa, which is the Kiwi take on the Christmas tree.

  • Cost: Mid-range accommodation and reasonably priced food.
  • How long should I stay? 3–5 days.
  • Recommended hotel: You can count on festive feasts at the in-house restaurants when you book a Christmas stay at Cordis Auckland.

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