Europe's snowy cobblestone streets may be the obvious setting for old-world Christmas markets, but you don't have to miss out if you're celebrating at home this year. Taking the festive tradition and adding a little summery flair, Australia's cities are hosting a range of Christmas markets that are perfect for gift-hunting. Still haven't checked off your own nice-list? Make your way to these wonderful events and have yourself a merry little Christmas...
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Niche-Mas Tasmania, Launceston – December 7-8
It's no secret that Tasmania is affectionately known for its slightly quirky culture (and people) – this special event at Launceston's Albert Hall brings it all together in the best way possible.
Celebrating its tenth birthday, Niche-Mas is where you can pick up a beautifully unique gift and meet a collection of fabulous creatives under twinkling fairy-lights. With twenty per-cent of sales going towards StGiles (a service that helps disabled children), the event is sure to give you the warm and fuzzies.
Carriageworks Christmas Markets, Sydney – December 22
Whether you prefer to leave your Christmas shopping to the last minute or you're just looking for a fabulous day out, make your way to the Carriageworks Christmas Markets in Sydney's Evenleigh. A hipster-friendly hangout that you'll no doubt recognise from Insta, industrial-chic Carriageworks will host more than 120 producers and providores just three days before Christmas.
After nabbing yourselves a gift for five and picking up a few gourmet goodies for Christmas lunch (don't forget your real Christmas tree), grab yourselves some delicious street food. Or, get a little fancy and try expertly made fare from Quay and Bennelong (like the famous snow egg). Both acclaimed restaurants will be keeping spirits merry and bright, setting up shop at Carriageworks for the day.
Christmas Festival at Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane – first three weekends of December
The weather isn't so frightful and baby, it isn't that cold outside, but that suits us just fine. Making the most of its warm climate, Brisbane keeps the festive cheer alive with three weekends (Friday to Sunday) of Christmas markets at the trendy Brisbane Powerhouse.
Great for a laid-back evening out, the event features live music, plus food and market stalls, all with a distinct focus on local producers, handmade and fair trade goods. From traditional Christmas puddings to personalised tree ornaments, there are plenty of treats to fill your stocking with here. But if you're happy to just chill out and take in the enchanting scene with a cold beer in-hand, we wouldn't blame you.
Christmas Fare Sydney, Sydney – December 13
Another fantastic open-air festive market, Sydney Living Museum's annual The Christmas Fare will have oh-so much to impress foodies and those just seeking a lovely outing. On for one day only (December 13), the event will gather over 40 of the city's finest food artisans to serve their delectable baked, pickled, smoked, crafted and poured delights – well, one of the best parts of December 25 is the food, right?
Head to the Hyde Park Barracks Museum and check out incredible wares from boutique producers, chefs and urban farmers, grab a bite from one of the ready-to-eat food stalls, order something refreshing from the pop-up bar and enjoy the live entertainment for a brilliant date-night. Looking for a gift for someone special? There'll also be make-your-own food hampers, premium handmade artisan creations, books, toys and games on sale to make your Christmas shopping easy.
Alliance Francaise French Xmas Market, Melbourne – December 15-16
Melbournites, looking for something a little bit different? Taking place at Alliance Francaise's St Kilda branch (the very elegant Eildon Mansion), French Xmas Market will win over Francophiles and romantics. Showcasing French products, food, wine and music, the event is sure to be c'est magnifique!
Enjoy a touch of European charm this Christmas and take home a bottle of French wine or some super-sweet macarons for loved ones, or indulge in crepes and raclette in the St Kilda sunshine. Joyeux Noël, indeed!
Spending the holidays in Australia this year? Find plenty of inspiration for a short break or weekend away here...
Images sourced via: www.whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/, www.facebook.com/carriageworks/, www.facebook.com/events/250359008986720/ and www.facebook.com/alliancefrancaisedemelbourne/