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Australia in December

Christmas Month

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Pleasure boats on Sydney Harbour at start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
Carol Wiley/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

December is a month of holidays. Not only are there two public holidays — Christmas Day and Boxing Day — but quite a number of businesses, particularly factories, close down for the Christmas season, so it's holiday time for their workers.

School's out, too, as school terms end around a fortnight or so before Christmas Day, so the youngsters are also in holiday mood.

December weather

Being the start of the Australian summer, the weather is quite warm, in the mid- to high 20°sC (70°sF) in most major cities, except in the north, such as Cairns and Darwin, and in Alice Springs in the Red Centre, where the temperature is likely to break past the 30°C (86°F) mark.

While the incidence of rain is not high in many parts of Australia, the probability of storms and wet days does exist. At Australia's Top End, it is in fact the monsoon season and December in the Northern Territory leads into its wettest month, January.

Festive season

Mostly December is a festive season and a time — when the summer heat hits — for going to the beach for swimming, surfing, sailing or simply sunning oneself.

Holding barbecues in the summer would be an Australian tradition, particularly with coldies — cold beer — in hand.

Racing to Hobart

Boxing Day is the start of the annual Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, covering an arduous 630 nautical miles if sailing in a straight line, which doesn't happen, of course, as yachts seek stronger wind paths to propel their boats faster.

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