Eunices puppies

Eunices puppies

Patricia Newell-Dunkley Photographs Reginald J. Dunkley

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Greetings and good wishes for the festive season from down under, the weather is hot and everyone is looking forward to escaping to somewhere cool, the beach, a lake, a river, or the backyard pool.

Christmas Day is often spent on the beach; others go camping, or spend it traditionally at home.  The festive food always includes turkey and ham, but seafood is a must especially prawns. People head down to local markets on Christmas Day to buy fresh prawns and lobster, they are an absolute must. Christmas lunch is midday and cruising food can go on as an all-day affair.

Here on the Central Coast of New South Wales is a favourite place to spend Christmas. Renowned for its friendly and welcoming lifestyle, nature reserves, and spectacular coastline, fringed with picturesque bays and lakes, stunning sandstone cliffs and headlands, a huge expanse of waterways and pristine beaches.

Bird Lorikeet close up

Bird Lorikeet close up

With excellent facilities for all sorts of water sports including kite surfing, boating, fishing, swimming, surfing, diving, snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing, sailing windsurfing, and other types of boating. The Central Coast is an ideal location for a delightful and diverse family holiday, or a romantic getaway.

There are venues galore, Pubs and Clubs, and a Gig list to keep you busy for weeks, plus restaurants, cafes, coffee bars etc. to suit every taste. It is little wonder the population doubles over the long holiday season.

Bondi Beach plays host to one of the biggest parties in Sydney, with thousands of festive families, locals, and a huge huge intake of young tourists and backpackers, from all over the globe wanting to experience Christmas under a blazing sun.

There is no shortage of restaurants, shops, and nightclubs, everything is laid on for a fun experience of a lifetime, and memories made.

Christmas Day in Melbourne is more sophisticated and formal; many families choose to have lunch at upmarket restaurants with panoramic views of Melbourne including the Yarra River. Where such delights as king prawns, lobster rolls, herb-crumbed Black Angus strip loin steak is served, plus the traditional favourites and modern Aussie dishes.

Melbourne public parks remain open on Christmas Day, and the Royal Botanical Gardens is extremely popular for picnics, a game of cricket, and a Harp concert in the afternoon.

Perth in Western Australia is a cultural melting pot; however the majority still celebrate in the Aussie style, beach, and breakfast with champagne and exchange presents. Swim in the pool then a barbeque lunch, more champers and a beer or two, an afternoon nap and another swim, with leftovers for the evening meal.

Adelaide in South Australia has a Christmas Pageant and this is the biggest event in their calendar. This magical occasion is full of fantasy, floats, colourful characters, bands, dancers and Father Christmas. It is put on by National Pharmacies and has been shared by generations of Australians for the last eighty seven years.

Christmas in Brisbane, Queensland, specialises on free events for the children.  There are Christmas workshops with gingerbread creations, marshmallow snowmen, and ornaments for the tree to be made, enchanted gardens to explore, and a massive Christmas Parade through Brisbane City. There is also a beautiful illuminated animated Christmas tale at St. Stephens Cathedral.

Canberra the National Capital celebrates with its 75th Carols by Candlelight, they also have huge Christmas markets where you can buy anything and everything. There are concerts, exhibitions, workshops, and festivals, and with some of the finest restaurants to be visited on Christmas Day. The Capital City has Christmas Lights displayed all around the city putting on a spectacular show.

Lastly but not least is Hobart in Tasmania, a picturesque location that has everything to offer, including much cooler weather and no searing heat.  Christmas is a very popular time for holidays in this beautiful waterfront city. The Salamanca Markets are world renowned with over 300 stalls that offer absolutely everything including gourmet foods and wine and are held every Saturday.

Whichever State you visit over the Christmas Season is bound to be unforgettable.

Here at Shelly Beach the tourists are arriving and pitching their tents or parking their caravans and the area is getting ready for a long hot summer. The possum is safe and seems happy with his lifestyle, Princess Pixie the Pomeranian is still on guard, and the birds are eating their breakfast, all is well.

My books “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Wallis the Woman I Love, Letters of a Travelling Lady,” are available on Amazon, Xlibris, and Crowood Publishers.

Cheers.    Patricia