A Blue Mountains Holiday: Christmas in July


Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Adam.J.W.C. – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6844875


The Mountain Heritage Hotel Photo Credit: MountainHeritage.com.au

Celebrate a second Christmas in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales where Christmas in July is a wonderful holiday adventure. It doesn’t even have to be July, as the holiday feel and celebrations happen all winter long throughout the Blue Mountains from June through August. You may have heard of Christmas in July before, but you may not know that the tradition originates from The Mountain Heritage Hotel and only dates back to 1980.

As the story goes, that winter, a group of tourists from Ireland were staying at The Mountain Heritage Hotel. With the snow and the wintery atmosphere, they remarked at how this seemed just like Christmas-time back home. Feeling the spirit of the holiday, they ordered a dinner of turkey, stuffing, plum pudding and all of the usual Christmas fixings. After dinner, they sang Christmas carols by the fire. That is how this new tradition was born. Now, this is a full-fledged annual celebration known as Yulefest. It happens throughout the Blue Mountains; the neighbouring towns and each hotel join in the festivities in different ways including elaborate dinners, festive balls, Christmas trees, and lights, songs and much more.

Getting to the Blue Mountains


Blue Mountains Map Photo Credit: Google Maps


Blue Mountains Aerial View Photo Credit: VisitNSW.com

One of the great benefits of a Blue Mountains Christmas in July holiday is that it is so easy to get there. You might be surprised to find out that this winter wonderland is just a 1 ½ hour drive west of Sydney. So you can fly into Sydney, hire a car and drive the beautiful scenic route to the Blue Mountains or extend your Sydney holiday with a mountain getaway. Whether you are planning to go during the Yulefest or not, you have to appreciate the beauty of these mountains and the surrounding attractions.

Yulefest and the Winter Magic Festival in the Blue Mountains


The Mountain Heritage Hotel Photo Credit: MountainHeritage.com.au


The Mountain Heritage Hotel Photo Credit: MountainHeritage.com.au


The Mountain Heritage Hotel Photo Credit: MountainHeritage.com.au
When you travel to the Blue Mountains during winter in Australia (June through August), you will find the Christmas spirit all around. Each year on the weekend closest to the Winter Solstice, there is a huge Winter Magic Festival in addition to all the hotel dinners, lights, balls, and other Christmas fun. During the Winter Magic Festival, there is plenty of entertainment with a parade and the famous street markets with vendor stalls selling all sorts of wares, gifts, and treats. Among the festivities for both Yulefest and the Winter Magic Festival is the special Christmas feast on the Zig Zag Railway. While it doesn’t always snow in the Blue Mountains, it will be quite chilly and allows you to experience what it is like for a winter Christmas.

Things to Do for Christmas in July in the Blue Mountains


Leura Cascades Photo Credit: ViistNSW.com


Scenic World’s Scenic Skyway Photo Credit: ScenicWorld.com.au


Jenolan Caves Photo Credit: JenolanCaves.org.au

Of course, the Blue Mountains themselves are definitely an attraction on their own. In addition to touring through the mountains by car or on foot, you can visit the beautiful city of Leura, the town of Katoomba, or the Jenolan Caves. In Katoomba, there is Scenic World, a very popular Blue Mountains attraction. There you will be able to see the panoramic beauty of the landscape over the Jamison Valley on the Scenic Skyway and the walkway with many lookout points. From up above the valley, you will finally understand why they call it The Blue Mountains; the sun shines down on the eucalyptus tree oil that is released into the air and the sun’s rays and reflections cause the blue hue. In Leura, there are plenty of beautiful places to explore including gardens, waterfalls, and the Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum. Just south west of Katoomba are the Jenolan Caves, which are located in Kanangra-Boyd National Park, which neighbors Blue Mountains National Park. The Jenolan Caves are widely considered the most spectacular cave system in all of Australia. In fact, these caves are among the oldest cave systems in the world. The caves feature crazy limestone crystal formations, pure and clear underground rivers, with 10 amazing and different show caves. Guided tours are available for different ages and fitness levels to show you the magnificent wonder of these ancient caves.

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