What’s Open Christmas Day?
Chances are, if you’re reading this page you’re here for one of two reasons, either A) because you don’t celebrate Christmas or keep your Christmas celebrations low-key, or B) there’s a minor emergency: maybe you need a pharmacist, or—even worse!—you forgot to get Great Aunt Mabel a present and she’ll be here in 30 minutes. Whatever the reason, our guide to What’s Open Christmas Day should help you out with activities and entertainment, and those emergency supplies!
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Yes – you CAN cuddle a koala on Christmas Day! Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, located on Jesmond Road, Fig Tree Pocket, opens every day all through the year. The oldest and biggest koala sanctuary in the world is also home to wombats, dingoes, platypus, birds of prey, wallabies, reptiles and so much more and offers a wealth of daily shows and experiences. You can see sheep herding demonstrations and birds in free flight, and watch the zookeepers’ talks about dingoes, Tasmanian devils, snakes, koalas, and platypus (they’ll swim right by you in their giant aquarium!). Purchase a bag of special food and wander through the “Free-Range Feeding” zone to hand-feed the wallabies, kangaroos and emus, and don’t forget to pose with a koala or snake for your souvenir photo – you can share it instantly on social media via the zoo’s free wi-fi! There really is so much to see and do at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary; you might need to do a return trip on Boxing Day!
Find out how to get discounted entry every day to Lone Pine – click here.
South Bank Parklands
The 17 hectares of Brisbane’s South Bank Parklands are a perfect place to relax and play on Christmas Day. The kids will go wild for the three state-of-the-art playgrounds, one of which is a water-play park – ideal for a hot summer’s day! There’s a safe artificial beach for the whole family to swim and cool down, plenty of sand to build an ‘Australian snowman’, public barbecues and picnic areas for lunch, a variety of gardens to stroll through, and a fascinating Nepalese Pagoda to visit. All this is set on the banks of the Brisbane River with pathways perfect for bikes and scooters. You really can spend the whole day here! And if you want a bird’s eye view of it all you can ride the …
Wheel of Brisbane
Trading for Christmas Day will be 2.00 pm – 10 pm and with NO SURCHARGE, the Wheel of Brisbane is a wonderful, relaxing way to see the river, parkways, and buildings of Brisbane whilst learning of its history. The gondolas are fully air-conditioned with 360-degree views, and they can comfortably accommodate up to 6 adults and 2 children for the 10-12 minute ride. You’ll definitely want your camera for this experience!
South Bank Cineplex
To top off your day at South Bank you can take in a movie at South Bank Cineplex (located on the corner of Grey Street and East Terrance), which is open on Christmas Day afternoon and evening. Check out session times here.
Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens and Lookout
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong, open at 8am daily throughout the year, including Christmas Day. If you’ve never been before it’s well worth a visit with plentiful picnic areas, a playground, a specially designed hide and seek children’s trail, and lots of walking tracks taking you through the beautifully themed gardens and around the lake. Please note: no dogs are allowed in the gardens.
The Brisbane Lookout at Mount Coot-tha is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, and is renowned for its outstanding panoramic views and walking trails. The Kuta Café is open every single day so whether you start at the bottom and climb to the top, or take the easy way up in the car, you’ll be able to reward yourselves with ice-cream and refreshments while taking in the spectacular scenery at the top. The Summit Restaurant at the lookout is also open on Christmas Day but dining reservations will need to be made in advance.
Kookaburra Showboat Cruise
For a Christmas Day dining experience that’s extra special take a trip down the Brisbane River on a Kookaburra Showboat Cruise, with dining options including breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can relax and enjoy the beautiful food on offer while taking in the sights and entertainment, safe in the knowledge that someone else will take care of all the washing up! They are definitely open Christmas Day!
Sometimes it’s not all fun and games on Christmas Day and you might find yourself in need of medical help or first aid. Your local hospital’s emergency department will always be open for bigger emergencies, but for minor ailments you can find your nearest open pharmacy by clicking this page for a list of after-hours doctors.
We’ve all forgotten some key ingredient to Christmas Day lunch, or needed a quick gift for an unexpected guest, but when you’ve left it to really totally and undeniably last minute (i.e. Christmas Day morning!) you might think you’re stuck! Don’t worry, many IGA and FoodWorks stores are independently owned and many choose to Open Christmas Day. To find out if your local store is open, click the link here for their contact details and give them a call.
And if you’re travelling on Christmas Day Coles Express have confirmed that ALL their service stations will be operating normal hours, so not only can you get fuel, but you can also stock up on last minute boxes of chocolates, CDs and other goodies as gifts! If you don’t have a Coles Express near you, take heart; many suburban and city service stations will be open too!
Have we missed anything? Be sure to let us know your suggestions for what’s open Christmas Day in the comments below!