Around four weeks ago now, Adam set off on his flight from Heathrow to Cairns, and joined Emma and I to backpack around Australia. Prior to him arriving, we decided to head to big cities for Christmas and New Year, and made a plan to drive our car the long journey from Cairns to Sydney, then on to Melbourne for the festive period. I’ll write more on the journey and stops along the way at a later date.
Sydney and Melbourne, as major cities in Australia had plenty of festive things to go see and do. In Sydney, we watched the stunning light projections onto St Mary’s Cathedral, saw Christmas trees in various locations and listened to Christmas carollers. In Melbourne, we saw more carol signers, a village made of gingerbread, a giant lit-up bauble and real life penguins on Christmas Eve. However, no matter how hard we tried none of us could really get into the festive mood!
The problem was that the festive period in Australia is nothing like it at home. It’s far too hot for one, with Christmas Day in Melbourne reaching an insane 38 degrees. Surrounded by friends (and strangers in your 12-bed dorm) rather than family, is also quite bizarre for this time of year. You can’t wear Christmas jumpers as it’s far too hot, and can’t catch up with old friends at home which is what I’d always do at that time of year. In saying that though, we did get the chance to meet up with two of my ex-flatmates who are both currently in Melbourne, and two friends we’d met on the Fraser Island trip here which was great.
In true Aussie style, on Christmas Day we decided to go for a barbie on the beach, and bought a dinner we could barbecue as our Christmas meal. Unfortunately for us, despite seeing BBQ stations at almost every beach we’d been to in Australia, we seemed to choose the only beach without any! Thankfully, some of our roommates saved the day that evening with a makeshift BBQ made from a foil tray filled with coal and a pizza tray placed on top. We found it much harder to keep alight than expected, and in the end all we managed was some chicken skewers with a side of brussel sprouts and carrots that we’d pre-boiled before coming out. Not your usual Christmas dinner!
St Kilda beach was heaving, with thousands of people there celebrating and partying. We played in the sea, chilled with drinks and our BBQ and then came back to the hostel to play articulate (one of my presents!). Board games are a tradition for many people, so i’m glad we had something to play as that did make me feel a little more Christmasy!
Overall, we had a great day, but it’s definitely up there as the most bizarre Christmas of my life!