Who here is getting excited to see this strange beast of a year wrap on up?
The holidays are just a few short sleeps away, and while that is mostly a great thing it also means some odd public holiday hours are coming our way. To help with the planning, I thought I’d put together a list (as exhaustive as I can achieve granted how unpredictable things are in 2020) of what is open and what is not over the Christmas holidays and New Year’s break.
Here we go:
What’s happening Australia-wide:
Coles (including Coles Liquor stores) and Woolworths stores are closed Christmas Day.
Coles stores are generally open Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. (Certain stores like Little Knox Victoria, however, are closed Boxing Day and New Year’s Day so please double check).
Woolies stores are mostly open Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. Find more details on your specific Woolies store’s hours here.
Aldi stores are mostly closed on Christmas Day, with many stores open for the remainder of the Christmas period. Check specific times for your local store here.
Australia Post Offices are generally closed on all public holidays.
Some cinemas are open over the holiday period. This varies greatly from venue to venue and of course, from state to state, based on restrictions.
Events Cinemas has shared that they are open nationally Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Most venues are closed Christmas Day but Events Cinemas George Street is open from 3pm, showing advanced screenings of Wonder Woman: 1984, The Croods 2 and Nomadland, along with Shock Wave 2, Superintelligence, Dreamland, The Rescue and The Witches. Original, V-Max and 4DX screens will be operating.
As News.com.au reports, most Hoyts cinemas are set to be open on Christmas Day – but it’s worth double-checking before heading in.
New South Wales:
A Transport for NSW spokesperson told Lifehacker that:
“If you’re catching public transport, allow plenty of extra travel time, plan ahead and check for service capacity using the Trip Planner at transportnsw.info, the Opal Travel app, or a third party transport app.
“Timetables for special events, including Boxing Day sales, will appear in Trip Planner closer to the date.”
Victorian Transport has announced on December 17th that they will be running free public transport on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to “ensure Victorian’s are able to celebrate safely and reconnect with family and friends”.
“On Christmas Day, Metropolitan and regional public transport will run to a regular public holiday timetable and will be free from 3am until 3am on Boxing Day,” they shared in a statement.
“Trains, trams and buses will run to a Sunday timetable with Night Network services running through the night. Passengers using a myki are not required to touch on and off and will not be charged if they do. Passengers on V/Line services still need to book their travel on reserved services and will be issued a ticket free of charge.”
There are planned track closures coming for Queensland, however, with Cross River Rail revealing in a statement:
“South East Queensland commuters are being urged to plan their Christmas holiday travel well in advance, with track closures required to allow for important Cross River Rail works.
“Cross River Rail Delivery Authority CEO Graeme Newton said scheduled track closures would take place from Christmas Day (December 25) until December 29, predominately through the inner city, southern lines and on the Ferny Grove line.”
Canberra has released a special public holiday timetable for the Christmas period.
Adelaide Metro has shared public transport services will be reduced for the holiday season. Details here.
An altered timetable kicks off from December 24 and runs through to January 1, 2021. You can find the details here.
TransPerth has shared an update on their altered schedules for the Christmas period here.
Most shopping centres are closed Christmas Day with holiday hours in place over the rest of the holiday period. Check out Westfields hours here.
In terms of stores specifically, I’ve been told that BIG W is open over the holiday period except for Christmas Day. (This excludes BIG W Kingaroy in Queensland.) I’d suggest checking local hours before making a visit.
Food and booze:
This will vary greatly from venue to venue. But I’ll do my best to assist where I can. So far, what I know is that:
Jimmy Brings will be open for alcohol and snacks delivery across Boxing Day and NYE between 11 am and midnight. (Depending on location). The drink delivery service also has $2 delivery available all summer long with the code word SUMMER. Felt this was important considering many of us may be at home for New Year’s this year.
If you want to plan your alcohol in advance, however, consider this guide we put together.
BWS and Dan Murphy’s:
News.com.au also reports that most BWS stores are closed on Christmas Day, however, drive-through stores in South Australia and Victoria will be open. Stores are mostly open over the rest of the holiday period.
Dan Murphy’s are mostly closed for Christmas Day, but open for the remainder of the period.
Dining options are widely available on Christmas Day – you just might find it tricky to land a booking.
Venues like The Gantry, Shangri-La Hotel, Swissotel Sydney and Pier One are offering Christmas dining options. For availability and pricing, please check directly with the venues. City of Sydney does have a list of other open venues if you’re hoping to grab a bite. (Please consider the most recent restrictions when looking into dining options – some venues may not be taking bookings any longer.)
City of Melbourne has curated a list of restaurants that are open on the holiday date. These include: The Windsor, A Christmas Day feast with Arbory Afloat and Four Pillars Gin, Chin Chin is open for lunch, Taxi Kitchen is open for lunch. More available here.
According to Visit Canberra, Agostinis, Daana, Marble & Grain, Wild Thyme Restaurant plan to be open on Christmas Day.
Wrestpoint is hosting Christmas dining options.
Please note, bookings are super popular over Christmas so check in with each venue as soon as possible if you’d like a seat. Additionally, with 2020 being the year it is, I can’t guarantee these venues will absolutely be open on Christmas Day – this information is correct up at the time of publishing.
Your local waste collection services may be impacted due to Christmas and other public holiday dates – many services will not run on Christmas Day. Please check if there are any changes for your suburb over the break.
Tassie Govt has specified that:
“All kerbside waste, recycling and FOGO collections are as normal except for Christmas Day. If Friday is your usual collection day for any of these services, please put your bins out for collection on Saturday 26 December.
“McRobies Gully Waste Management Centre closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Open 10am – 4pm Monday 28 December. Normal opening hours all other days.”
Banks will be closed on Christmas Day, and payment will not be processed on this date. However, beyond that, there are varying hours for different branches and specific banks. Here are some holiday guides for ANZ, CommBank, Westpac, and Reserve Bank of Australia as a start.
I’ll do my best to update this baby as more information rolls out over the holiday period, but here’s hoping this is a useful starting point for you all!
This article has been updated since its original publish date.