It’s fairly obvious to all of us here Down Under that Christmas in the movies we watch doesn’t at all look like the Christmas we actually experience — less snow, more flies, less winter wonderland, more air conditioner blasting until past midday when you can tiptoe outside and plunge into the pool without being burnt to a crisp.
So it makes sense that around the festive season, you might get a hankering for a festive movie that captures the Aussie Christmas experience — that is, bashing through the bush in a one-piece and open shoes if you'll allow me to (badly) rework a classic.
Sadly, Aussie Christmas movies are few and far between, and, look, like the Hallmark movies we know and love, they aren’t all ground-breaking cinema. But is that really what you’re searching for in a Christmas movie? Or do we really just want cheesy stories, romance, complex family dynamics and Christmas carols with an Aussie backdrop?
Well, if that is what you want, then we've got you. We’ve rounded up the Aussie Christmas movies for your hot, summery festive season.
1. Christmas on the Farm (2021)
A New York socialite returns to her deceased's mother’s farm in — you guessed it — Australia, to keep up pretences after faking her identity to get published. A glamorous socialite? A small-town farm? It’s basically every Hallmark movie ever, but with Australian accents, and we are here for it.
2. A Sunburnt Christmas (2020)
A family struggling to make ends meet find their lives disrupted when a criminal dressed as Santa Claus shows up on their farm. A zany, gag-laden comedy, but with that classic Christmas heart at its centre.
3. A Moody Christmas (2012)
Okay, this is technically a mini-series rather than a movie, but it still deserves a spot on this list. It follows the Christmas celebrations of the dysfunctional Moody family over the years. This Aussie classic is cheeky Aussie humour at its finest.
4. Da Kath and Kim Code (2005)
Is it ever a “top Aussie” list without Kath & Kim popping up in some shape or form? Christmas preparations for our favourite Aussie duo are disrupted by Brett’s wandering eye, Sharon’s new romance and, naturally, Michael Buble. It’s noice, it's different, it’s unusual.
5. Crackers (1998)
Listen, if you want to indulge in some real Aussie nostalgia, take a trip back to the 90s and watch one of Australia’s first Aussie Xmas films, Crackers. 12-year-old Joey spends a whacky Christmas with his family and his mother’s new boyfriend. Is this your typical Christmas film? Absolutely not. But if you’re willing to lean into the chaos and the 90s of it all, you might get a kick out of it.
6. Christmas Ransom (2022)
If you want an Australian Christmas movie for the kiddies, A Christmas Ransom is a good option. Aussie icons Matt Okine and Miranda Tapsell both star in this hi-jinks-heavy, goofy comedy Christmas film about two robbers being thwarted in their toy store robbery by some kids. Will it win Oscars? No. But is it still a good, fun time? Absolutely.
7. Red Christmas (2016)
Ah, Christmas and horror...a classic combination, right? No? But if you’re a fan of all things bloody and gory, and, equally, all things B-grade horror, Red Christmas will be right up your alley. A widow and her bickering family gather for Christmas, only to be targeted by a killer out for revenge. You’ll either find it so bad it’s good, or so bad it’s, well, bad.
8. Bush Christmas (1983)
A remake of the 1947 film of the same name, Bush Christmas is heavy on the cheese — an Australian outback family struggling and pinning their hopes on a horse named Prince to win a race couldn’t be anything but, after all. But, it also has a 1980s Nicole Kidman in her first feature role.
9. A Savage Christmas (2023)
After years of estrangement, trans woman Davina Savage (Thea Raveneau) returns for Christmas, worried about her reception, only to find that the event has been derailed by family secrets and lies beyond anything she could imagine.
10. Christmess (2023)
While many Christmas movies can be put in the so-bad-it's-good category, Australia's newest Christmas film, Christmess, is just plain ol' good (and might be one of the best Christmas movies of this year!). It follows a once-famous actor who now performs as a mall Santa Claus because of his alcohol addiction. But after he accidentally meets his estranged daughter, he begins seeking help in order to win her over. This bittersweet comedy-drama was shot in Campbelltown, Sydney.
11. Jones Family Christmas (2023)
This Australian Christmas film on Stan is a multi-generational comedy told through the lens of an Aussie family whose Christmas gathering is sadly interrupted by bushfires.
12. Christmas Inheritance (2017)
Australia is still finding its feet in the Christmas movie world, but if you’re really on an Australian-themed Christmas movie kick, why not watch some Aussie stars spread festive cheer internationally? While these three movies are less sunburn and more the traditional snow-drenched US holiday films, they do star a few familiar faces from the Australian small screen.
Take Melbourne-born actress and Neighbour alum Eliza Taylor, who is the star of this Christmas film, where an ambitious heiress is caught in a snowstorm and stranded in a small town, Snow Falls. It’s giving classic Christmas romcom and that’s giving us life.
13. A Christmas Princess (2019)
Another Neighbours alum, Travis Burns is smouldering up our screens in A Christmas Princess, the cheesy romcom of your dreams about a prince falling for a struggling New York chef.
14. Holidate (2020)
This time it’s an ex Home And Away star in the limelight — Aussie actor Luke Bracey is Emma Robert’s love interest in this Christmas romcom, all about two strangers who agree to be each other’s platonic plus-ones.