Australia, Community, History & Traditions, Travel

Christmas in Australia

While large parts of the northern hemisphere revel in Christmas, soft snow underfoot and Jingle Bells, those contemplating a visit to Australia, might need to know a few facts before they arrive:

rubber thongs

It’s Hot Here

It’s hot, darn hot and especially so if you rarely experience temperatures exceeding 26 degrees C.

Be prepared for sunburn. Be sure to bring or buy sunscreen, open shoes or “thongs”, (the ones that you wear on your feet!), and a decent, broad-brimmed hat!

Oh, and drink at least 2 litres of fluid a day. This does not include your coffee allowance! [Coffee is a diuretic and will dehydrate you].

An Australian Christmas

“But it doesn’t feel like Christmas,”

That’s the tell tale sign that you’re probably not speaking with an Australian resident. Despite Australia’s best attempts at creating a traditional European atmosphere with hot Christmas lunches comprising Roast meat, vegetables and puddings, it just isn’t the same feel when the mercury passes 30 degress celsius.

Well may foreign visitors smile at our attempts at, “Xmas hygge” replete with plastic Christmas trees with fake snow. They might relish laying on the beach eating buckets of prawns, (read: shrimp, but very large ones), on Christmas Day, but to those residents from the North, a hot Christmas will, no doubt, never be a real Christmas.

pool
Sunshirts rashis for swimming

Let’s Go Swimming

As strange as it may seem, Australians wear clothes in the ocean or swimming pool. Yes, the fashion disaster, but highly practical, lycra rashi shirts and shorts, or all in ones for little kids, are essential clothing if you want to avoid sunburn. That is because Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. At Christmas time, you can get sunburnt in as little as 10 minutes.

Seriously!

There are jellyfish and they aren’t friendly…

With the mercury soaring well above thiry degrees celsius, you will probably try and cool off by jumping in the ocean, for a swim.

Except, if you’re in the state of Queensland.

Summer is jellyfish season, which means regardless of how hot it is, it’s far too dangerous to go plunging in the sea, especially in the tropical north.

That must seem like a cruel joke to foreigners, but it is the truth. You can of course, still swim and take your chances, or wear ladies stockings to prevent the jellyfish tentacles stinging your skin. That really is your options! You’ve been forewarned.

Are you still keen to don your Aussie cosie* *read: Swimsuit now?

If you are, you might like to:

Meet your Friendly Neighbourhood Crocodile

Crocodile

There is no swimming in the Top End, or the region called The Northern Territory either, but that’s not because of jellyfish; it’s the crocodiles that are lurking in the waterways. One of the hottest places in the world, surrounded by water, and you can’t go for a swim because you’ll be torn apart by a prehistoric reptile. If you don’t believe me, here is a quote from a Northern Territory local, in his own words:

“It’s ingrained in all of us — when you go fishing, you are taught to be alert [and] don’t hang your hands over the boat for example,” he said. Although the fear is warranted, it’s all about calculated risk and an awareness of the place we call home.

The Freshwater crocs pose less of a threat as they are more likely to attack only when they feel threatened. “It’s hot, and we always need to cool down and so most locals will take the plunge, even if it means risking it all for the sake of a cool dip.”

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-17/territory-swimmers-ready-to-take-calculated-risk-and-test-waters/11495124

Shall we talk about the Snakes?

Perhaps I should address the elephant in the room, or more accurately, the snake in the house.

Snake

Sensible tourists don’t go wandering through any long grass or bushland, particularly next to creeks or waterways, because we do have extremely venomous snakes here. And, if you stay with some Aussie friends, you may see one in the backyard, or if you are really lucky, in the house. They are on the move at Christmas. Pythons, especially like to curl up behind toilets, but don’t worry, the pythons aren’t venomous.

Have fun with that.

A Death Adder in an Australian backyard

It’s hot, then cold and rainy, and then hot again

Most visitors to our shores have the impression Australia is a land without winter, and it is all about bright, sunny days and nothing else.

That isn’t always the case.

Depending on what part of our expansive continent you stay in, you might get days so hot and humid that you can barely move your arm off the sofa. Later in the arvo – (read: afternoon), a tropical thunderstorm with terrential rain will soak you through to the skin, in a matter of seconds – even with a raincoat, which most of us don’t own. There is no need for it.

The tropical storms might cool you down temporarily, but rest assured, it will be hot again in about 30 minutes, which is when the storm will probably finish.

beach storm

Alternatively, you just might get a little rain or sleet at Christmas, if you visit the little island at the bottom of Australia, called Tasmania – you know the land mass that is closest to Antarctica – bar New Zealand, of course. Mt Wellington in Tassie, (oops Tasmania), often has a dusting of snow, even at Christmas. Mostly it’s just for a few hours, until it melts away.

Just saying…

Birds – there is lots of them

bird
Rainbow Lorikeet

We have a plethora of bird species, so if you are an enthusiast, you will think you’ve reached paradise. Mostly active at dawn and dusk, they can range from the extremely colourful, as in the Rainbow Lorikeet, sing beautiful songs like the common Butcherbird, or laugh hysterically at you,like a Kookaburra.

Don’t take it personally.

As a child, I could never work out why the storybooks would tell of birds flying south for the winter? Such was the domination of British literature in Australia, in the sixties and seventies. Unless their internal compass is faulty, the birds here don’t fly south, as the only land they would reach would be Antarctica.

Climate Extremes

There is always a flood or a fire, in Australia, somewhere in summer. The Northern half of Australia is prone to tropical storms, called cyclones, at Christmas and cyclones bring monsoonal rains, severe winds and floodings, in their wake. The rest of Australia is prone to Bushfires, and we have had more than enough of those this year.

Ah…Australia: beautiful, isn’t it?

It is Peak Holiday Season

For most of the world, there’s a small shutdown between Christmas and New Year, and then it’s back to work as normal. For Australians, Christmas time is the green light to leave town. You’ll find Aussies at the beach, or, ironically, snowboarding in Japan).

Well almost…. Doctors, Nurses, retail workers, hospitality staff, fireman, airport workers amazingly still have a job to do all year around. Pretty much the only ones on holidays are the Tradesman and Office staff, those who work in the education sector and fireplace installers.

That is a good thing, right?

Shop til you Drop

As for retail, the triple hit of summertime, the long school break and Christmas means it is the busiest time for retail shopping. It is manic at the large air-conditioned malls, as all those residents without air conditioners hibernate there to cool off during daylight hours. To say nothing of the mayhem at Boxing Day sales. It is hot at Christmas and people WANT A BARGAIN, and they WANT IT NOW!

Be Prepared.

highway Australia
This becomes a Car park at Xmas time

Traveller Tip: the highways to the beach are car parks! Start out early in you are driving.

Don’t light a Camp Fire

We have some spectacular national parks in Australia, places where you can hike or camp and enjoy the great outdoors. Unlike other countries, however, you just can’t have a campfire. Even though everyone is aware of the very valid reasons for that, it’s still disappointing for tourists and even more so for the locals whose homes might be threatened by a bushfire that started out as a campfire. As I said, we have had more than our fair share of bushfire this year.

People become obsessed with cricket and tennis

You’re unsure of the point of Cricket?

So am I, but anyway – Cricket is a game that is sacred to Australians, they stand for hours on an open grassy field in the sun, at the height of summertime. Crazy! The important games go for five entire days, and at the end you might not have a winner or loser. Insane? I know, I know.

No one really watches cricket anyway and mostly we ‘dis’ the commentators – it is an Aussie tradition. But the cricket and tennis will always be on in summer, and in many Aussie households, you’re absolutely not allowed to touch the remote, or complain about it, or point out that it’s really boring. Even if noone is watching it……

All the Northerners lamenting the cooler weather – are you still ready to book your holiday flight to Australia?

If you can handle all of that, I will welcome you with open arms!

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98 thoughts on “Christmas in Australia”

      1. I have been armed with the fire hose …. poised at the ready, for some time now. It’s not great.
        But I am a child of the coast – born on the edge of the ocean with the music of the waves in my ears. I cannot but adore the Australian summer (although, I admit, this one is pushing the friendship).

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        1. I am sorry to hear that you have been threatened by fire. That is not good. It is a national disaster of catastrophic proportions. Frustratingly, we as a nation, could have been more prepared, if our leadership had a different mantra other than, “How good is Australia?” The head in the sand approach to climate change does us no good. It has been a very difficult summer. There is no two ways about that. Having said that, I might do a followup post balancing the viewpoint with what is good about Australia!!
          I really do enjoy the Australian coastal life – after all, I just moved to a home by the sea, but much prefer cooler temperatures and the winter season. Every place has its upsides and downsides, and really a lot of this post is my amateurish attempt at self-deprecating tongue in cheek humor. Aussies are known for that right?

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          1. Yes. I think it will be a sad day when the average Australian starts to take themselves too seriously. Unfortunately there are a few things that we need to pay attention to and scientific facts should be at the top of that list. When the Prime Minister is putting his faith in some mythical higher power we are in a bit of trouble.

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    1. I didn’t want to damage the tourist industry too much by mentioning our friendly sharks and spiders! Lol! But rest assured, they were in my mind when I wrote the post. I think a small jumping spider even made its presence felt by jumping across the keyboard while I typed this post! 40 degrees again predicted for today’s temperature fir much of the country – for heaven’s sake!
      I got to go now and dispose of a canetoad I see out in the backyard!

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      1. It was 40 here today… Oh, wait, it was F not C 😉 (4 C as compared to 104 F!) I know you have broken some records this year for continent-wide high temps. Yuck, I’ll take my 40 F! I am on Cape Cod right now and we have a lot of great white sharks here as well. The movie Jaws was filmed off the shore here,though there weren’t nearly as many sharks in the 1970s as now. The seal population has boomed in the last decade or two and the sharks follow the seals. Have a great week (despite the wild wildlife 😉 )

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        1. I would definitely take 40 F over 40 C!! Cape Cod sounds idyllic, despite the Great whites! Each year there are a few perils, usually tourists taken by a Great White. Usually in Western Australian or the quieter coastal spots on the East coast where they have no shark nets. Do you have shark nets too, Trent?

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          1. I haven’t heard of shark nets, so I don’t think so. Even though there are a lot of sightings during the tourist season, there are very few attacks – usually the sharks are spotted in plenty of time to get people out of the water.

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  1. Very interesting to read about your summer here in very North situated Finland. Our world is totally different, but between years 1960- 1970 many Finns moved to Australia after work and some moved back, most of them stayed.
    Your birds are amazing, you don’t need alarm clocks, you have Kookaburras. Thank you for the video of them. It sounded really fun, for a while.
    You didn’t mention spiders…
    I think the most difficult part for us there would be to remember all the warnings.
    You would like to visit here, only one poisonous snake, not lethal. We have those birds flying to the South. No cyclones, some tiny spiders, no crocos, jellyfish…
    Welcome to see our Christmas.

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    1. I once had a Danish Christmas. It wasn’t a white Christmas, but it was beautiful, nonetheless and I did have a white New Year in Norway and Sweden – that was a dream come true. I have visited Finland, but only in the early summer, so no Christmas spirit around then, but it was delightfully green. Something we don’t see much of in Australia – at the moment.
      I think you would like Australia and don’t stress too much about the warnings – it really is ok. Common sense is really your best weapon against accidents!!
      I did know there were a lot of Finns moving here especially to work on some of the mountains hydro projects. We had a lot of Finns here too, in my region. There is still a very active Finnish club and Finnish church- they even have their own nursing home.
      A Finnish Christmas would be a delight. Are you far enough north to have snow? As I hear it is still black in Helsinki?

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      1. So nice to know that you have seen snow
        Normally at this area is snowy winter, but this year is strange, we got snow for Christmas and now it is melted away, not a spoonful is left.
        I would like to see Australia. It is so special continent with koalas and kangaroos.I followed a series in TV of truck drivers driving to very distant places. It showed so much the nature there. Also a series of your railways was very interesting.
        Wishing you Happy New Year!
        Kristiina

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        1. Thank you, Kristiina. There are some amazing places in the Australian continent to see. I also saw a bit of the truck driving shows. How resilient and adaptable those drivers had to be! Fixing things on the go. Finding solutions to problems in remote places. Was that the show you saw?

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  2. Enjoyed your post as it is genuine and well Written about culture and experience there.
    And oh my goodness – the sunburn photo brought back memories – it has been decades since I peeled and glad it is not often – did you know the person on that photo ?
    Well happy holidays and hope those who need more rain will get it soon.
    😊

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    1. It is a standard sunburn photograph, Yvette. Although as a child, my shoulders often peeled like that. I remember it all too well and can say that my children Never got sunburnt under my watch. Although it happened at places like school camp. One daughter and son have extremely fair skin and freckle easily so they tend to stay away from the sun anyways. So that is a good thing for them. The MoTH does have a lot of problems with skin cancer. Years ago, no one wore a hat or covered up much. A campaign in the early 80’s changed that – and awareness escalated.
      Happy holidays to you – we tend to still say Merry Christmas mostly. But seeing as its almost New Year – Happy holidays seems more appropriate.
      Crossing fingers for rain.🙏🌧🌧

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  3. Haha, too late…I’ve already been to Aussie three times, of which ome over Christmas! I spent Christmas 2002 in Perth and had one of my all time favourite X-masses ever! We had a lovely group of people (14 nationalities) and enjoyed a relaxed BBQ in the park. I would love to come back.

    My wish right now, though, would be for the bush fires to stop. ❤

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    1. You would not have enjoyed this Christmas, San, if you have been threatened with fire for many months. It is not to say it is 100% bad but my preferences lie elsewhere. 40 degrees predicted with high winds nationwide today- which means more fires will burn down homes and animals will die – the heat and lack of political leadership makes me cranky and sad!

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      1. Not saying that I would enjoy fires and apologies if you think I was implying that. It’s scary as hell and all I can think about is the people and animals. I know someone who lives in Victoria and the stories she shares sometimes are crazy, especially when the fires come close to her home. I remember travelling from Adelaide to Perth on a greyhound and we drove through bushfires on either side of the road. I can’t imagine living in such conditions.
        I just meant to relate to the heat aspect of your post and share a lighthearted memory.

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        1. I know what you meant, San. No worries. The fires are in our minds all the time now. I had to turn the radio of as I couldn’t bear to hear it anymore. And it is always good to hear your light hearted memories.

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  4. Malaysia also had cricket but I’ve never understood it. An acquired taste it seems, LOL! One Christmas Eve in Kuala Lumpur, we had a dead snake on our doorstep (we lived in a house then) – my mom said it was brought by the monkeys (there were loads outside the house) but who knows who really put it there…

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    1. Well at least there’s something in common between Finland and Australia here you’d be stuck in the malls, as well. Or perhaps at the beach, getting sunburnt. I suppose we both have had a black Xmas. Down south everything is covered in black soot and burning embers a big as your hand carried on the wind, land in one’s back yard, meaning everyone has to be constantly vigilant unless you live in the inner metropolitan areas. Extreme conditions predicted even in Tassie, 40 degrees is forecast. Fires in western Australia now.

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          1. Now that is a worrying htought. We become anindoor species. Even though I spend more time indoors. I do like early morning walking. Malls or shopping centres as we call them, freak out people on the Autistic spectrum for good reason. They are overstimulating, sensory overload and need much more soundproofing! I do hope this isn’t the future. It does make one think….. Actually our chats often make me think. I just posted something that dovetailed from one of our discussions. Thank you and the very best wishes for a Happy New Year, Snow.

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  5. Let me guess – you are NOT paid by the Australian tourist board – ?
    A lot of what you’re saying I know from South Africa. I swam in the Okavango Delta once with a lookout post searching for crocs. But I admit that one eyes every tree trunk floating buy very suspiciously, looking for eyeballs… Having said that I would give a lot for a South African Christmas braai (that’s what a barbie is called there) and swop it immediately for our fondues and raclettes. I find Christmas much more relaxing in the southern hemisphere. But be that as it may – you still celebrate the same New Year’s (if a little bit earlier) – so I hope you have a good one!

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    1. Thanks for the positive take, eklastic. I have a South African friend so I know of a Braai! Good fun. But we are in the midst of a national disaster with a flaccid leadership. So your fondues sound more attractive atm. Many New Year fireworks displays have been cancelled with the exception of Sydney – where the marketing opportunity is seen as a higher priority than supporting the Rural Fire Services fighting the bushfire. Ironically, the fires this year would possibly counteract any tourists who decided to visit Australia after seeing the NYE fireworks.

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      1. I can understand what you are feeling. I saw it from a purely northern/southern hemisphere festivities position. BTW: In Germany the fireworks discussion rages as well. Here we have less orchestrated big fireworks but everybody wants to go boom-crash-aaaaahhhh themselves. With the resulting fires, accidents (because many who light the fireworks are less than sober), traumatised pets etc. In many towns the old areas are completely out of bounds because of the century old houses being threatened. We’ll have to see what changes the future will bring. Meanwhile, I am hoping that Australia gets the fires under control, pronto. Not just for the sake of Australia but hte world. Best wishes to you personally.

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        1. Thank you indeed. Interesting to hear that in the old towns, fireworks are not allowed. We have not had access to personal fireworks for about 47 years! I suppose thinking about the fire situation – it probably prevented many fires in the past – due to the season being summer when New Year arrives! I do feel sorry for the pets too, as I stupidly took my dog to a public display once. – Never again, I had trouble holding her. She was terrified. Do you have a pet, yourself?

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          1. We have a cat (it’s his 2nd newyears) and we’ll be spending tonight relaxed at home, being there when and if Henry needs us. I shamelessly enter my other blog with Henry as the subject here: https://henrythecat.home.blog/ 😀
            The other argument against private fireworks is the enormous pollution that comes with it. According to newspaper articles, New Year’s celebrations create as much dust particles as two months traffic, And the streets look disgusting for weeks to come, left overs from rockets can be found far into the New Year if it’s paper, plastic of course, much much longer.

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          2. I never ever thought of the fallout from the fireworks but of course, there must be plastic casings and the like dropping from the sky. Hard for the individual who let off the skyrocket to tidy up that,as well. So Australia got something right banning them years ago, even though the fallout and soot from the current bushfires will most like cause much more damage to the air quality.
            I will take at lok at your cat blog post. Thanks,
            Amanda

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  6. So similar to South AFrica but we have swimming pools so we can dip without the croc and not too many jellyfish so we can swim in the sea except when there’s a south easterly wind blowing.. brings the blue bottles.. 😉

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    1. Yes, there are many similarities between SA and Australia. So you have blue bottles too? They must be a feature of the Pacific Ocean. Do many homes have private swimming pools in South Africa, Lisa?

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  7. You definitely have not talked up Australia. The one place that really attracts me about that continent is Tasmania. It’s not likely to happen that I can visit, but we can always hope.

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    1. Tasmania is really a beautiful place. There are stunning national parks and beautiful vistas that you can see no else in the world, so I did recommend it. I do like Tassie – it is usually much cooler than the rest of the country. However, today even Tasmania is predicted to have a temperature of 40 degrees and the fire danger down there is extreme. In past years, there have been bushfires in Tassie that forced people down onto the beach as that was the only place they could go to escape the inferno.

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  8. True it may well be, Amanda – and it’s even partly true of this part of Australia (but for the salties !) – but you could still try to generate some enthusiasm, me old mate !
    That snake appears to have been run over by something that completely flattened it: seldom have I seen a slitherer quite so flat !
    😀

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    1. A dead red bellied snake in your yard is better than alive one M-R.
      I do realize my post was terribly lop-sided and I should have balanced it more. I blame listening to the news!! It feels like the whole country is burning and the rest is playing cricket! The only other discussion I hear, is if fire fighting volunteers should be paid for saving homes, lives, animals and property. Of course they should receive compensation, but it seems there is to much focus on donating to a stadium at Scomo’s church!
      Stay cool down there. It is going to be a hot one.

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      1. Boodie’n’me are doing fine. Only difference from any other day is that he’s sleeping in the chair opposite mind rather than on mine with me.
        🙂
        As for Smoko, words cannot express. Bloody anything about the bastard.

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  9. Yes, I am with Finland when it comes to Christmas. I remember our first Christmas in Australia. The church during mid-night mass was stinking hot, thousands of moths buzzing about. The congregation smelt of beer and then waking up to that bloody cricket drone on the radio, day after day.
    It all felt so de-hydrated, especially the spiritual side of things.

    Well done Forestwood.

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    1. Thanks Gerard. We are on the same page. Although there are great things about Australia, I find it disgusting that they would rather have fireworks than redirect money to the fire rescue, due to the marketing potential. Marketing is more important than property, animals and lives. If they can’t cancel this year, as it is too late, cancel next years and utilize that money.

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  10. It took me nearly 20 years to visit Australia – something to do with the 48 hours of travel time and the reputation of having the most deadliest indigenous animals on the planet 🙂

    All was forgotten when I finally got there in 2016 and discovered one of the most spectacularly beautiful places around. Despite the snakes, heat, croc’s, jelly fish and strange Aussie idioms.

    I think these are all stories to keep us (the ousy North Americans) out of the the country!

    I’m wise to you …. 🙂

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    1. Hehe!! You are clever!
      But seriously, stories they are and there are plenty of wonderful things about my country especially the animals and the nature. Some of the other characteristics – like the heat and the cricket eould not be missed – by me at least.
      How long were you here for?

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      1. Sorry to say I haven’t lived there – just holidays and business trips for one to two weeks at a time in Sydney & Melbourne

        What is it about cricket & colonies in the tropics? When I lived in Jamaica, there was also a national obsession with the sport, with everyone tuned into their radios and the radio commentaters droning on for hours. What’s surely not appreciated by non-colonials, is that the game goes on for DAYS!

        I can’t say I miss either cricket or the heat.

        I’m sorry to hear about the continued wild fires & heat. It cannot be fun. Rest assured though that Australia is not the only country blighted with questionable leadership. Seems like a global epidemic.

        Take care Amanda. A new year & decade of possibilities is ahead!
        – Sandy

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        1. Yes Jamaica is right into the cricket too. So you are right about the colonies. I’m not sure what the fascination is either. Perhaps they get involved because it’s so slow it is meditative?
          Questionable leadership – Yes the world needs to wake up!
          Maybe in the 2020’s we will see that happen. Happy New Year, Sandy.
          P.s. How did the Xmas baking turn out?

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        1. Unfortunately, you will problably be correct, however the fire season might be worse or hopefully better than this one. This year it started early due a lack of rain, so only good, steady rainfall and plenty of it will ameliorate the conditions. It seems less likely with global warming. We are the driest continent on earth, bar Antarctica.

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  11. What a fun read, Amanda. Australia is really is quite a country, isn’t it. Here in Europe I’ve heard more than enough people exclaiming how anybody manages to survive there when they’re surrounded by all those creatures that want to kill you 😀 Haha. It’s always the same comment.
    Christmas in summertime does sound interesting to me, but due to the influence of all those American movies and living in Europe for all these years, it would probably not feel like Christmas to me either. Crocodiles and snakes – yikes! Not being able to swim in Northern Territory due to crocodiles sounds like a torture to me :O We are so used to completely not having these sorts of dangers in mind here. The same with natural disasters, nothing really goes on here.. At least in Poland.

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    1. That is a good thing that no natural disasters happen in Poland, Pooja. I suppose historically Poland had its fair share of tragedy, didn’t it.
      I did unfortunately, make it sound like we are in fear of our lives every day but of course in our city, these dangers are very small. I have only seen a handful of snakes cross my path in my lifetime. The country areas too have to exert a good deal of common sense. We don’t really live on the edge here. In fact sometimes I think, snowy climates present more of a risk wuth hypothermia. Then there is always the ice snow slip from the winter roof that could knock you out or kill you. But as you know, I love wintery climates nonetheless.
      Do you worry about falling over and breaking a leg etc. in the snow when walking somewhere alone in winter and freezing to death?

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  12. I am glad you left out the insects Amanda, that would really give the northerners the hebie jebies. I so enjoyed the read and tried not to pfft too much 😀 😀 Have a Happy New Year

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    1. Pfftt as much as you like bushboy, but you know it is mostly true! In hindsight, I should have balanced it more to the positive and I blame the dismal climate outlook atm for the tone of this post.
      I think if I had told the readers about the flies, they would have run for the European old towns faster than a sandwich disappears at a CWA meeting. Lol.

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        1. I tend to mix my metaphors quite a bit so I wasn’t even sure that was the correct wording. But I felt it described the behaviour quite accurately. Do you have another you can think of: as is faster/quicker than a…….?

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  13. I’ve experienced Christmas and New Year’s with 70- and 80-degree temperatures, but not scorching hot as you folks in the Southern Hemisphere. But I would like to spend such a holiday cooking outdoors and / or running along a beachfront. I’ve never confronted a rattlesnake or a jellyfish in person. But, as I said a while back, it seems everything in Australia is poisonous!

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    1. Except the koalas, kangaroos, wombats, sugar gliders, possums, wallabies, bilbies, marsupial mice, thousands of bird species and many more…. do come – we don’t bite either!

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      1. Whether we are hardy or not, Nancy, I am not sure. Our climate is harsh but I feel we aren’t anywhere near as resilient as those that pioneered this harsh landscape.

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  14. Even if it now sounds very different to me, I’m sure my parents didn’t celebrate Christmas very differently when we were living in the Canary Islands (I was too small to remember, hehehe). Except for the snakes!!
    I hope you had a beautiful Christmas, Amanda! Happy New Year!! 🙂

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      1. I had to google it!! Apparently, there are snakes only in Gran Canaria, and it was introduced by humans… And now it’s a plague and people and government try to fight it. I had no idea!!! But the other 6 islands are snake free 😊 but the rest looks quite similar, except wildfires are between june-august, not in Christmas time… wildfires must add quite a bitter feeling during Christmas there in Australia 😕

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        1. I think it must be an awful way to spend Christmas. And each year, at Christmas, that reminder of losing one’s home and possessions or the potential that it might happen again. There was at least one family that had lost their home twice in fires over the years.

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    1. I saw a cartoonish map of the world a while back that had the term “Everything is poisonous” emblazoned over Australia. Some time ago I posted on my Facebook page about a newly-discovered species of seahorse off Australia and added, “Since it’s from Australia, it’s probably poisonous.” I mean, Australia even boasts the only venomous mammal on Earth: the platypus! With the exception of our friend, Amanda, even some of the people are poisonous! LOL!

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      1. Well, Alexandro! I am so glad I am not lumped in with the venomous creatures surrounding me. We do have lots of cute and cuddly things too, that unfortunately do not get so much media attention. The Quoll, the Quokka, the Bilby, even a marsupial rat totally different to the black rats that are pretty gross. And then there is the Koala. The Seahorse may well be poisonous, but even they can be pretty cute and so tiny. Interestingly, it is the father that falls pregant and gives birth to the babies! I think it might be the only species to do this. I haven’t even seen a playtpus in the wild, although I have seen their burrows. They are pretty secretive creatures so it is very unlikely that one of those would endanger my life, or yours, if you were to step on our shores. But then the funnel web spider is another matter……

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