For years, backpackers and Bondi Beach on Christmas Day were synonymous. The beach was transformed into a drunken party scene, as those from colder climes lived out their fantasy of spending Christmas on the beach under a scorching sun. The behaviour and litter began getting out of control, and after riots in 1995, and a rubbish-strewn beach, the local council began strictly controlling the whole performance, with the idea of trying to keep a spirit of goodwill towards the travellers while also tempting local families back to the beach on what is regarded as a family day. Nowadays, alcohol is banned from the beach and surrounding area on Christmas Day, and police enforce the rule with on-the-spot confiscations. However, a party is organized in the Pavilion, with a bar, DJs, food and entertainment running from noon to 10pm. Up to three thousand revellers cram into the Pavilion, while thousands of others – including a greater proportion of the desired family groups – enjoy the alcohol-free beach outside. Buy tickets for the Pavilion bash at Moshtix (1300 438 849, moshtix.com.au) or Ticketek (13 28 49, ticketek.com.au).

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