Celebrating Christmas and New Year in Darwin

    By Ken Teo at Ausinet – 9 December 2020 – Australian Institute of Electrotechnology
Christmas and New Year Celebration in Darwin

Australians celebrate different festivals around the year, but Christmas and New Year are usually celebrated with the most enthusiasm. The last week of the year is dedicated to holidays, festivals festivities and celebrations held throughout the country.


Around December, the weather in Darwin is way warmer than in other cities in the country. This time of the year, you will meet Santa Claus in the sand instead of the snow and fireworks with your T-shirt and shorts on instead of an Eskimo costume. Christmas and New Year in Darwin are truly warm and vibrant. Many fabulous events are happening over the next few weeks. We have rounded them all up for you so make sure to take note and enjoy your year-end holidays to the fullest.

Christmas in Darwin

Christmas in Australia comes about in the middle of summer or the beginning of the summer holiday. The days leading up to Christmas are usually frantic as most people are still choosing the right Christmas gifts for their loved ones, and decorating their houses and gardens with Christmas trees and lights. On Christmas day itself, most families will try to be home together to eat their Christmas dinner while enjoying valuable family time.

In Darwin, Christmas adornments can be seen all over town, from the Smith St Mall to the outermost shopping areas. The Christmas events in Darwin begin with the Lord Mayor lighting the Christmas tree in Smith St on Friday 4 December at 7:30 pm, along with a choir for a family evening under the dazzling decorative lights.

Christmas Adornments at Smith St, Darwin CBD

Image Courtesy from City of Darwin Facebook

You will find numerous festivals with carols, live performances, dancing and a whole range of children’s entertainment in Santa’s Village at Smith St Mall every day until 24 December. Be sure to check out the calendar below for details about everyday events.

Darwin Christmas Celebration Calendar

The highlight of the Christmas season in Darwin is definitely Carols by Candlelight on 6 December, which is held annually at the George Brown Botanic Gardens Amphitheatre. This gorgeous location provides the perfect place for hangouts, picnics and carols performances. Performers of the night were the Army Band and many well-known carol celebrities including the Darwin Youth Choir and the Darwin Chorale. The main event kicked off at 6:30 pm and concluded with a firework finale at 8:30 pm.

Carols by Candlelight Darwin at George Brown Botanic Gardens Amphitheatre

Image Courtesy from Carols by Candlelight Darwin Facebook

In Darwin, Christmas adornments, lights and fantastic displays can also be noticed at homes all over the town. From Larrakeyah in the city to Moil, Wulagi, Knuckey Lagoon and Palmerston, families have been decorating their homes every year around Christmas. However you want to celebrate Christmas, be sure to interact and be present in the moment with your family and friends, not with your smartphone or tablet alone.

Christmas Home Displays

New Year in Darwin

New Year’s day is a public holiday celebrated in all states and territories. For many people, New Year is an opportunity to relax after the festivities of Christmas Eve and some people prefer to unplug by going on a vacation in nature. In Northern Territory, the wet season at the beginning of the year means the waterfalls are in full flow now. It is one of the main reasons why people love travelling in the NT during Christmas and New Year.


You can do the same thing too. Let Santa Claus present you with a scenic flight to navigate the magnificent Kakadu’s Jim Jim and Twin Falls, along with the breathtaking country and stone landscape. You will instantly be transported out of Kakadu National Park into Jurassic Park. Litchfield National Park waterfalls are also a sight to behold, with Wangi Falls as a major highlight. The majority of the park is open every day of the year, and you can watch the waterfalls from platforms made for that purpose.

Kakadu Jim Jim Falls in wet season

By Nigel Malone – Nigel Malone, CC BY-SA 1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23297647

Finally, no New Year celebration would be complete without a decent countdown and fireworks. New Year’s Eve at Darwin Waterfront is Darwin’s biggest free New Year’s Eve countdown bonanza organised by the NT government. It is a soiree of free family-friendly festivities to welcome the new year and entertainment usually starts from 4 pm on the 31st of December. The events for this year celebration include a national headline concert, tribute stage show, local artists, national children’s act, roving entertainment and food stalls.

New Year Countdown and Fireworks Extravaganzas

At both 9 pm and midnight, the skies will ignite with two ten-minute fireworks extravaganzas. Make sure you bring along your picnic spread, hampers and chairs and nestle in for the evening. You can bring Eskies, but glasses or alcohol are not allowed. Restaurants will also be taking reservations with front row seats for the festivities.


The festive season in Australia is full of excitement, entertainment and shopping. The last week of every year is the peak of the festivities. Take advantage of your time off time to visit the NT, celebrate and enjoy your holidays.

Last reviewed date: 09/12/2020

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