Christmas in Australia is definitely an alternative experience for a Northern Hemisphere girl… Grab a case of beer, buy a kangaroo burger and put it on a communal barbecue by the beach. Add to that a beautiful group of people and you’ve basically got the perfect recipe for a traditional Australian Christmas. The decision to spend Christmas day in Byron Bay was ideal.
It’s pretty difficult to describe the atmosphere in Byron, the locals are hippies and if you ask them what they do for a living, they’ll tell you they either make tie-dye crochet tasseled beach clothing, busk or spend their days on the streets braiding the hair of travellers like myself. The beach is stunning, but that’s not unusual from what I’ve seen of the Australian East Coast and the fact that there are free public barbecues scattered across the coast every 3 meters gives it that real stereotypical Australian feel. Everyone here is so laid back they are almost asleep and the most difficult decision you ever need to make is whether to buy halloumi or feta cheese! You can also embrace your role as a traveller pretty seriously in this laidback location; your hair will be matted with sea salt, flip flops (or ‘thongs’ as they’re known in Australia) won’t leave your feet and if you’re anything like me, will probably spend a small fortune on hippie style clothing which I’m sure you’ll probably regret when arriving back to the arctic temperatures of your hometown.
Perhaps the best thing about Byron is that it almost seems inappropriate to be on the WiFi everyday. Instead it’s easy to find much more ‘old-school’ ways to enjoy yourself, such as falling asleep on the beach with a book or sitting on your balcony sharing a drink with new found friends from all over the world. Aptly, to write this blog I had to take a break from socialising, grab a G&T and sneakily borrow free internet from a bar by the beach: a welcome break from sleeping all day in the sun!
The photos above depict Byron Bay and come Boxing Day, this sleepy beach-side paradise sorely misses the sea of bikini and Santa hat combos that washed the streets over the festive season. In sum, the Australian Christmas was an amazing, refreshing and unique experience. What could be better than cracking a bottle of champagne and eating a cheap mince pie on the beach with the breeze in your hair whilst the sun is sets on a scorching day. Byron Bay really made me realise how lucky I am to have loving friends and family to miss spending the festive period North of the Hemisphere with. Let’s just say I missed the traditional roast-dinner a little bit!
Three Useful Tiplr Tips for Christmas in Byron Bay:
- Buy your Santa hat early, they are like gold dust on Christmas morning and you don’t want to be the only beach-bum without one.
- Don’t queue like a Brit for the public BBQ or you will never get a slot, instead, make friends with another group and sneak your snags (A.K.A sausages) on in exchange for a beer.
- Remember to bring a freezer bag (known as an ‘eskie’ in Australian). You will need a stash of food and drink to last all day and nobody likes sand in their snacks or a warm beverage.
Photo Credit: Rose-Hannah Lishman