As a native of the Northern Hemisphere, I found that Christmas in Australia was really different from what it is ‘up north’.
Australians observe many English traditions, even though they really are unsuited to the hot weather. Many families serve heavy dinners of roast goose or other meats, along with calorie-laden vegetables and all trimmings.
Then, things could get more Australian. The younger set might grab their surf boards and head out to the beaches. Most other people, if they could shift themselves after the heavy dinner, might go to the beach, or if they had a sailboat, would go out into Sydney harbor to catch some wind in their sails. Larger craft would sail out through the ‘Sydney Heads’ into the Tasman sea, either to sail the open ocean, or to head for some other river outlet to explore those shores.
Most Australian cities have fabulous beaches. We often went to Sydney’s famous Bondi beach; others that we visited were Maroubra and Manly beaches. Other excellent surf beaches are up and down the ocean front, all the way past Brisbane in the north, and south to Melbourne, and beyond.
When our boys were young we took them to Balmoral beach on Sydney harbor, away from surf or rip currents; really a pleasant way to spend the afternoon on sea and sand.
All Sydney beaches, both ocean and harbor, have shark nets to keep the predators away from the beaches. For the more remote beaches up and down the coast, swimmers and surfers just take their chances.