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14 best Christmas holiday destinations for Australians 2022

Where to hightail it to over the Christmas break – as well as the best sites to score the biggest holiday deals.

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Whether you want to spend Christmas on sun-soaked Queensland beaches or find a cool change in the southern states, we've personally shortlisted the top Aussie destinations to go to this festive season.

Plus, we've got some top international destinations to put on your radar for next Christmas. Because it's never too early to start planning your festive break.

Want it all sorted out for you? Skip down to our top five sites to book holiday packages and the best Christmas travel deals we've found to date.

Top holiday destinations for Christmas in Australia

1. Best for beaches: The Whitsundays

You can expect all the typical festive trimmings when you spend Christmas in the Whitsundays, as resorts lay on events from carols by candlelight to visits from Santa.

For little ones, keep on top of our School Holidays Activities guide here.

  • Cost: Luxe accommodation due to high demand and high-end prices for Christmas Day dinners.
  • How long should I stay? 3-5 days.
  • Recommended hotel: Spend Christmas in one of Club Wyndham Airlie Beach's luxury rooms and pop over to Daydream Island for a relaxing day trip.

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Christmas tree & clock tower in Martin Place

2. Best city break: Sydney

No surprises here. According to Luxury Escapes the third local destination Aussies are keen to visit in 2021 is Sydney. It could be the nightlife, it could be the harbour icons, it could very much be the chance to visit friends and family.

Whatever it is, it's a city break that offers loads of entertainment and activities over summer.

  • Cost: Mid-high due to the season and demand.
  • How long should I stay? 2-3 days.
  • Recommended hotel: Stay in the heart of the city where the Christmas trees, shopping and merriment are a short walk away. The Hyatt Regency Sydney is an affordable upscale hotel with prime positioning.

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Family sitting on beach looking at sea wearing Santa's hats

3. Best for families: The Gold Coast

The kids are out of school and they've been itching all year long for a holiday. No joke. And if we had to choose one place in the nation where kids, young and old, are entertained no end, it's the Gold Coast.

From theme parks and beaches, marine sports to shopping centres, spa retreats to Hinterland walks, this city has it all.

Bear in mind that you won't be the only family hightailing it to this spot. According to Expedia, it's the number one most searched for destination for the 2020 summer break. Get in early.

  • Cost: Budget-luxe accommodation available. Choose from hostels and holiday parks to luxury resorts and retreats.
  • How long should I stay? 5-7 days.
  • Recommended hotel: When a great location at an affordable price is a must, Mantra On View is your go-to. Rooms start at $165 per night in December and Surfers Paradise Beach is less than a block away.

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Steps At The Neck Lookout Against Sky

4. Best low-key destination: Tasmania

Being Australia's southernmost state, Tasmania's warm but comfortable temperatures over the summer months make it ideal for adventure-seekers wishing to hit those trails or road trip around the island.

  • Cost: Mid-range as Tasmania isn't one of the nation's more expensive states, but summer is its peak season.
  • How long should I stay? 4-5 days.
  • Recommended hotel: Treat yourself to a spot on the waterfront at the Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel. Don't forget to check out the bar and restaurant which come highly recommended by guests.

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Scenic View Of Sea Against Sky

5. Best to support your local: South Coast NSW

New South Wales residents, get behind the #travelherethisyear campaign and make your Christmas one along the south coast.

From Wollongong to Shellharbour, Kiama to Shoalhaven, Bateman's Bay to Merimbula, plenty of tourist townships were hit hard by the bushfires and then the pandemic. They're sure to appreciate your support this summer, especially as it's their peak season.

  • Cost: Mid-high seeing as this is the peak season.
  • How long should I stay? 2-3 days.
  • Recommended hotel: Most accommodation is local and unique so check out Airbnb for a stunner to call your home away from home. We're in love with this Peaceful in-town luxe cottage in Berry and Flash Camp on the Shoalhaven River.

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Top regional destinations for Christmas

This Christmas many are veering away from the city in leiu of a "tree" change in regional towns.

Hotel booking site Agoda has crunched the numbers and found that these gems have seen the greatest jumps in interest over the Christmas break in 2020 compared to 2019. These are in alphabetical order.

  • Bicheno, Tasmania
  • Budgewoi, NSW
  • Coles Bay, Tasmania
  • Cooper Pedy, South Australia
  • Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
  • Dubbo, NSW
  • Hay, NSW
  • Kooralbyn, Queensland
  • Lismore, NSW
  • Moama, NSW
  • Mulwala, NSW
  • Orange, NSW
  • Port Lincoln, South Australia
  • Robe, South Australia
  • Tullah, Tasmania
  • Yarrawonga, Victoria

Top holiday destinations for Christmas around the world

For early 2021 planning, naturally.

1. Best for FOMO: Bali

Bali is one of the top international spots for Aussie Christmas holiday makers. If you’re thinking of joining the masses over the festive season, you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s THE place to go.

Stick around until New Year’s Eve when the skies become frenetic with fireworks and celebrations last well into the next day.

  • Cost: High-end-priced accommodation and mid-range food.
  • How long should I stay? 5-7 days.
  • Recommended hotel: With its own beach, huge pool and Jacuzzis the Melia Bali gives you more than one opportunity to spoil yourself at Christmas.

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2. Best short international break: Auckland, New Zealand

Kicking off the festive season with a huge Santa parade and Christmas in the Park festival, Auckland goes all out at Christmastime. With the sunshine also comes the flowering of the red pōhutukawa, which is the Kiwi take on the Christmas tree.

  • Cost: Mid-range accommodation and reasonably-priced food.
  • How long should I stay? 3-5 days.
  • Recommended hotel: You can count on festive feasts at the in-house restaurants when you book a Christmas stay at Cordis Auckland.

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