IN PICTURES: Santa arrives at the Plaza

CHRISTMAS FUN: Santa and the magician entertain children at Sunshine Plaza for the arrival of Santa.
CHRISTMAS FUN: Santa and the magician entertain children at Sunshine Plaza for the arrival of Santa. John McCutcheon

CHRISTMAS officially arrived on the Coast last night, as Santa and his helpers descended on the Sunshine Plaza to hand out goodies for all the good children.

Jazzy carols rang out across the Riverwalk Stage as kids got their faces painted and families waited more than an hour for their turn inside the giant inflatable snow globe.

Of the hundreds of kids there, none were more excited to see Santa than Matilda and Havek Stimmler, who had already written their letters to the jolly fat man to kindly request dolls and remote-controlled motorbikes.

"We love Santa, we even put our letters in nice colours for him,” Matilda said.

The Zischke family was similarly keen, with six-year-old Zahn saying he was most looking forward to unwrapping his presents on Christmas morning.

His mum Stacey Zischke said the family made a tradition of coming to Santa's arrival at the Plaza every year.

"It's the first of the season, so even though we live closer to Kawana, we like to come up here and see the first Santa event,” she said.

As the sunlight faded, kids packed in tightly to get up close to the action on the stage, where Santa would appear for a magic show.

Watching on from the back, the Egersdorfer family were all grins - this was their first Christmas in Australia, having moved from South Africa in March this year.

"It's also our first Christmas for our youngest, and it's pretty much the first one our oldest really understands,” said mum-of-two Janine Egersdorfer.

Requests for all sorts of presents were made, from hot wheel cars to books and DVDs, but for eight-year-old Tom Baker, who sat quietly off to the side, a simple teddy bear and a family reunion would make him happy on Christmas Day.

"Christmas is a time for families to get together,” he said.

"This year is just me and my mum and dad, the rest of my family is back in England.”

Professional Santa photography will begin outside Myer from December 18 and gold coin donation gift wrapping will start up from December 1.

See the full gallery of pictures below.

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