By Vicky Anscombe on 29 June 2015

No, we haven’t got our dates mixed up; it’s Christmas in Australia, and if you’re after a holly jolly trip of a lifetime, you need Yulefest. Not even Christmas in December can beat it for festive cheer. Well, we think so. But you will need to head to the Blue Mountains in order to partake in mulled wine-fuelled fun.

Every year, from June to August, thousands of people flock here for Yulefest. Here’s what they’re after; roaring fires, roast dinners, sing-alongs and the occasional snowfall.

Yulefest doesn’t disappoint. It offers you everything that Christmas does, and from June - August every year, you can indulge your love of all things Christmas - with the trimmings. This year, you can enjoy a cheerful-yet-chintzy laugh with The Goon Show (replete with, yes, you guessed it, Christmas dinner). You can stay in a manor house, sing carols, eat mince pies and get cosy around a log fire. There are candlelit dinners. There are Christmas feasts. You can even meet Santa. And you can book your break here.

You might be wondering how this bizarre (yet strangely compelling) tradition was started. In the winter of 1980, a group of Irish visitors wistfully remarked that the snow and the cold reminded them of Christmas, and they organised a one-off Christmas dinner in the middle of the year (summertime in Ireland, don’t forget) to celebrate it. Local guesthouses, resorts, hotels and restaurants decided they liked the idea of the tradition, and it’s been going for 36 years.

The tradition’s stuck because of the excellent hospitality offered to guests; hotels and guest houses can’t do enough for their guests. And just in case you were worried that all the little things which make Christmas so special might be lost in translation, you’re wrong - there’s mulled wine, Christmas pudding (set on fire, of course), bon-bons, silly paper hats, roast turkey, glazed hams, plum pudding and, of course, mince pies. You’ll be expected to sing carols until you’re hoarse and smaller guests can even enjoy a trip to see Santa (he works all year round, you know). There are even grand black tie balls; just watch out for the mistletoe if you’ve had a few drinks.

Want to book? Just click here to see the delights of the season all in one place and prepare to loosen your belt a few notches.

Image credit: Me!bourne Mermaid


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