See & do

Unique Gold Coast Christmas photo opportunities!

Credit: Laylla Create & Design

Natalie O’Driscoll | November 9, 2021

Credit: Laylla Create & Design

We’ve all got fond memories of hanging out with Santa at our local shopping centre, and the photos on the fridge to prove it.

But what happens if you’re after something a little more outside the gift box in 2021? Sleigh with us as we unwrap some of the more unique Santa and Christmas photo opportunities happening around the Gold Coast this silly season.


Sandy Claus

Christmas on the beach, anyone? Given the abundance of coastline in our fair city, it would be silly to not take the opportunity to have the Aussiest Christmas pics of all. Why not get the family together, break out the festive boardies and get up close and personal with your own surfboard Santa on the beach, thanks to Gold Coast photographer Laylla Create & Design, walk-in session on December 11, have your photo taken on your own phone or personal device.


The Paw-fest Christmas photo

Gold Coasters love their pets. So it’s no surprise that there is a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to getting Santa photos taken with your beloved furry.

Westfield Pet Santa photos run until Christmas Eve, and can be found at Coomera and Helensvale. Online bookings are required. While RSPCA may not be hosting their in-person Santa Paws pics this year, you can still get festive pics of your four-legged family members – while also supporting this stellar organisation – with their online Christmas Cracker initiative.

Stockland at Burleigh Heads and Pacific Fair Shopping Centre are hosting their annual pet and Santa photos from early to 24 December (bookings essential) while Pet Barn and City Farmers stores will have the perfect Christmas paw-trait opportunity until 20 December. Contact your local store for details, and don’t forget those costumes!


Bring Santa to you with bells on

Kill two birds with one stone by hosting your Christmas party and getting your Santa pics done in one festive swoop. Whether you want to hire a Christmas setting and props and have dad (or the boss!) play your own jolly Father Christmas, or are keen for the full shebang including Santa and an elf photographer, The Real Santa has a setup that will work within your times, location and budget. They even have an Aussie Summer Santa for those authentic ‘Strayan vibes.


Sandy Claus

Credit: Laylla Create & Design

Credit: Laylla Create & Design

The Paw-fest Christmas

Credit: Westfield Pet Santa

The Real Santa

Credit: @therealsanta


Rock around the markets

Christmas markets on the Gold Coast are not just the perfect spot to buy gifts for everyone on your list. They’ll even offer you the chance to get your photo take with Santa!

Get your Christmas shopping done, support local makers, enjoy a whole bunch of festivities and get your Santa pics taken at this year’s Gold Coast Christmas Markets, being held at Broadwater Parklands from 17 to 19 December. With over 100 stalls selling everything you need for a very special Christmas, plus kids’ rides, gourmet Christmas foods, roving characters, and glittering lights it’s your one stop Christmas shop, for sure.

The famous Surfers Paradise Christmas Twilight Market held on 11 December may not have an official Santa pic setup, but if you’re lucky you might just be able to catch him roving around.


A very retro Christmas

Give yourself a little gift this Christmas with Unwrap YOURSELF for Christmas retro shoots. Go back in time and feel like a million bucks with a special vintage makeover and photoshoot with Miss Chrissy from the Lindy Charm School and Amanda from Peppermint Photography. Frame that perfect pic to remind yourself of how fabulous you are, or make up a calendar for loved ones – the choice is yours. The session is a gift in itself, including all hair and makeup, styling, posing, refreshments and fun. To get glam this Christmas, email


Joy to the sharks

This year, Southport Sharks is hosting Christmas Family Night on Sunday 19 December in the Frenzy’s Buffet. So not only can you stuff yourself silly like it’s Christmas Day, you’ll be able to have the full experience with Santa and his mate Mr Sharky making an appearance with carols, face painting, a live show and pressies for all the kids, too. Don’t mind if we do.


Christmas Markets

Credit: Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets

Retro Christmas

Credit: Amanda Hamilton

A Momento Christmas

Credit: Colleen Neumann Photography


Dreaming of a White Christmas

Movie World’s White Christmas has a whole pile of festive family-friendly events to catch including elf club, Christmas parade, movies and decorating. But any full Christmas experience simply must have a meet-and-greet and photo shoot with Santa. You can even get up close and personal with Mrs Claus herself at her Christmas feast, and grab a rare snap with Santa’s better half.


We wish you a memento Christmas

Take a special professional family photo that will sit on the shelf for generations, with bespoke photography, styling and Santa pics by Gold Coast’s Colleen Neumann Photography. Roaring fire? Santa in a sleigh? Cute kids? Ugly sweaters? No problem. Pooches welcome and props included.


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