travel and life with lee mylne

Merry Christmas from Australia

Roadtripping in Australia in December brings unexpected entertainment. Many people living in rural areas take time to adorn their farm gates with tinsel, ribbons, Santa figures and other Christmas-themed decorations.

Last week I returned from an 800km trip around Queensland’s Scenic Rim, with most of my destinations within a couple of hours of my home in Brisbane. I was on assignment, gathering stories about how the region is faring one year after the summer bushfires that ravaged much of Australia. It had been a few years since I’d been on the road in country areas just before Christmas and I was delighted to see that the tradition of decorated farmgates was still alive and well, spreading the festive spirit. 

Cycling Santa on the Newell Highway.

For several years, I drove from Melbourne to Brisbane – around 1700km – for Christmas, often on the inland routes. It’s a long and sometimes tedious haul but the roadside Santas and other inventive decorations provided plenty of compensation. 

Happy Christmas from the hay bale reindeer, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland.

Spotting roadside Santas and other Christmas-themed decorations became one of my obsessions to while away the drive, and provide me with excuses to stop and stretch my legs. Then, whenever I’ve been travelling in December, I’ve looked out for them everywhere and I’ve not been disappointed. 

I’ve seen Santa Claus in a boat – after floods – and in a plane in New South Wales, and Santa families in a farm truck in tropical north Queensland. 

No reindeer required! This Santa was on the Newell Highway, NSW.

Fishing Santa, Newell Highway, NSW (after a lot of rain).

Christmas on the truck, Herberton, north Queensland.

What I love about these Santas is that they are crazy and creative, cobbled together by bags of stuffing or grass, old clothes, and odd assortments of accessories.

Waving Santa, on the Oxley Highway, near Wauchope, NSW.

Waving Santa, on the Oxley Highway, near Wauchope, NSW.

Of course, it’s not always Santa. There are bears, dogs and – one of my latest sightings – kangaroos! 

Roos wearing Christmas t-shirts, near Warwick, Queensland.

Christmas teddies, Mission Beach, north Queensland.

Christmas teddies, Mission Beach, north Queensland.

Christmas hounds, Summerland Way, NSW.

Christmas hounds, Summerland Way, NSW.

Sometimes, there are friends to greet the curious passer-by. These goats were very vocal and friendly when I stopped last week to photograph their gorgeous farmgate, adorned with big red Christmas bows and tinsel. Above the gate, pinned to the palm trees, was a Santa sack and a bright Christmas tree. 

Farmgate, Scenic Rim, Queensland.

Santa and his friends pop up all over the place, so if you’re driving anywhere just before Christmas – any year – look out for them. 

Santa and friends on the farmhouse verandah, Summerland Way, NSW.

Santa and friends on the farmhouse verandah, Summerland Way, NSW.

Small Santa, climbing up the verandah post, Summerland Way, NSW.

Small Santa, climbing up the verandah post, Summerland Way, NSW.

Smiling haybale Santa, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland.

Smiling haybale Santa, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland.

My photo collection of these creative works has become quite extensive – and I haven’t stopped looking! Some of these images I’ve posted before on this blog, others are new. But at the end of a year that needs all the reasons to smile it can get, I hope these images have given you reason to. 

Merry Christmas to you all! 

 

16 Responses to “Merry Christmas from Australia”

    • A Glass Half Full

      Ha ha! I think being in a Santa suit in our Australian summer is not a job for the faint-hearted. Very hot! But yes, of course, some people do dress up. But we also have “hot weather Santas” – in shorts and t-shirts and also surfing!

      Reply

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