The warm weather may just be arriving for some of us, but make no mistake – the Christmas season will be here before you know it. With December around the corner, now is the time to make your plans for the holiday season – whether you’re having a quiet one at home or planning a big Christmas road trip to see family and friends.

If you’re part of the latter group, then we’ve got some recommendations on how to make the most out of your time on the road. To get in the Christmas spirit, why not incorporate a few of Australia’s best Christmas markets into your itinerary? Not only are these fun and festive events, they’ll make your Christmas shopping experience a lot more pleasant than another trip to a busy shopping centre.

These markets are the bee’s knees and the cat’s pyjamas rolled into one big Santa sack. They’re best enjoyed on a Christmas road trip, with Mariah Carey’s Christmas album blaring and some tinsel wrapped around the antenna. Come on; you can’t deny it’s the best Chrissy album around.

NSW Christmas Market: Carriageworks Christmas Market

Although one of the younger markets on the Yuletide scene, Carriageworks Twilight Christmas Market is by no means any less festive. The primary focus is on seasonal produce, and seeing as its held just two days before the big C-Day, it’s the perfect opportunity to stock up on seasonal fare as well as last-minute gifts! Expect all the fresh trimmings available, including turkey, ham and seafood galore, plus delectable cherries, an epic range of cheese and of course, plum puddings. All the good stuff from NSW’s best producers. Bonus: You can also pick up a Christmas tree here!

When: 23 December 2017, 4pm-9pm

Where: Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh, Sydney

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NT Christmas Market: Alice Springs Christmas Carnival

Alice Springs may be one of the hottest places in the country, but the city hosts one of the most festive Christmas markets around. Christmas Carnival brings a tonne of festive fun to the Red Centre with buskers, magicians, and performers keeping the whole family entertained. Don’t miss the lighting of the giant Christmas tree, which is followed by an impressive fireworks display.

Meanwhile, an abundance of market stalls of local and global delights are available including arts and crafts, books, fresh produce, and plants for gifting or personal indulgences.

When: 1 December, 2017

Where: Todd Mall, Todd Street & Council Lawns, Alice Springs

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Queensland Christmas Market:  Christmas Markets GC

Goldie isn’t just about surf, sand, and theme parks – it’s also the perfect place to celebrate a sunny silly season.

Christmas Markets GC features festive joy aplenty. Stalls, games and performances bring cheer to young and old, all topped off with an enchanting display of Christmas lights. Word on the street is that Santa Claus himself will be making an appearance. And for those hoping for a little festive luck this year – make sure to enter in the Giant Christmas Raffle!

When: December 15, 16 & 17 2017

Where: Broadwater Parklands, Gold Coast.

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South Australia Christmas Market: Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt

Set in the German town of Hahndorf, this gorgeous European-style Christmas market features over 50 stalls including Deutsche Delectables and Weinerbago. It doesn’t get more Bavarian than that.

The Christmas spirit here is large, as is the line-up of entertainment, so be prepared to give the vocal chords a run with a rendition of Stille Nacht. Before you know it, you’ll be wishing everyone a Frohe Weihnachten! (That’s “Merry Christmas!” for those of you who aren’t fluent in German).

When: 15-17 December, 2017

Where: Corner Main Street & Auricht Road, Hahndorf

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Tasmania Christmas Markets: Niche Christmas Market – Nichemas

If the name isn’t enticing enough, the gorgeous surroundings of Launceston, coupled with the wide selection of artisan-made goods, will surely do the trick. Perfect for those hard-to-buy family and friends, Nichemas is undoubtedly one of Tassie’s more unique and successful annual events.

Plus, 20 percent of earnings go to St Giles Services for children with developmental delays and disability in Tasmania.

When: 2 December, 2017

Where: Albert hall, 47 Tamar Street, Launceston City, Launceston

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Victoria Christmas Market:  Piccadilly Christmas Market

Piccadilly Market is all about the handcrafted gifts. With stall numbers increasing each year (this year it’s 100), the growingly popular coastal market beholds an array of homewares, jewellery, art, toys, and gourmet food. Bring the little ones, as they’ll be occupied in the kids’ entertainment area while you tick off the gift list one by one.

When: 3 December, 2017

Where: Deakin Waterfront University, 1 Gheringhap Street Geelong

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WA Christmas Markets: Bazaar Christmas Market 

Taking over Fremantle Arts Centre for three days of Christmas shopping, the annual Bazaar Christmas Market is set to be a hit, yet again. Over 50 local artisans will be showcasing their range of unique jewellery, fashion, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and more.

When: 1-3 December 2017

Where: Fremantle Arts Centre, 1 Finnerty Street, Fremantle

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