As the dying embers of November burn out and December rolls in, there is only one thing on Sydney's mind – Christmas! Alongside the Lights of Christmas spectacular at St. Mary's Cathedral, Darling Harbour is set for a month-long Yuletide extravaganza with Santa Fest 2014 this festive period. By hiring a vehicle from East Coast Car Rentals, you can visit each and every attraction across the city during December – just remember to bring us back some Yule log and a mince pie upon returning your vehicle.
Ho, ho, ho your boat
New for 2014, the Santa Paddle Boats are sure to provide you and your family with a memorable experience. Self-paddled, use your feet to spin the propellers and make your way out of the Darling Harbour Marina and into Cockle Bay. Just the right size for two adults and two children, you can hire a boat for just $20, granting you 25 minutes of fun out on the water. Not only that, but the Santa Fest organisers have placed 21 huge, inflatable floating Santas across the bay and it's encouraged to navigate your way around them all. They are brightly lit, too, so an evening journey in the boats will prove a delightful encounter.
O (Floating) Tannenbaum
The Christmas Floating Tree is exactly as it sounds! Make your way over to Palm Grove, where you'll find a huge tree decorated with a glittering galaxy of sparkling lights. Though this may not seem anything out of the ordinary over the Christmas period, this tree is a little different, as it's suspended, making for an exceptional photo opportunity. The tree can be found hanging under the expressway in Darling Harbour, so be sure to bring a camera, family and friends to capture a festive memory that you'll treasure for years to come.
On every Saturday leading up to the big day itself, as well as Christmas Eve, Cockle Bay will set the scene for an astounding fireworks display. A whole range of colours and shapes will dart across Sydney's night sky, accompanied by a festive soundtrack of traditional numbers and cheesy festive hits. Out on the Harbourside, crowds will gather to witness the spectacle and a very special display is planned for Christmas Eve, but we can't ruin the surprise just yet!
Sydney Santa banter
When people think of Santa Claus, the traditional image that springs to mind is that of a jolly, white-bearded bloke in a red suit, with a bobble hat (bell optional) to keep his head warm from the prevailing snow and winds as he carries out his chimney-related duties. Of course, Christmas in Australia occurs when the sun is really starting to shine, so Aussie Santa has no need for his snug, woollen outfit. No, Santa delivers presents whilst riding in on a surfboard, replete with sunglasses and a tan. What's more, he's checking in to the Harbourside Shopping Centre during for the first three weeks of December before heading out on his present delivering escapade, so why not take the opportunity to get a photograph with Aussie Santa? You'll come out of it with a bonza picture. A ripper, in fact.
Run, fatboy, run
Santa isn't known for his fitness regime, which is perhaps why hundreds of Santas have signed up to take part in this year's Santa Fun Run, on Sunday, December 7. At just five kilometres, the distance isn't too arduous, and by registering, you'll be doing something for a greater cause. That's because funds raised by the Santa Fun Run go on to help disadvantaged Australian children, from those that require vital medical care, to seriously ill young ones that just want to attend a Christmas party. The organisation behind the Santa Fun Run, Variety, helped over 105,000 Australian children last year, so why not give it a go? You won't even have to buy a costume, as they are included in the entry fee!