For the past fifteen years, Ron Hunter has put on a Santa hat and beard, grabbed his red Kayak and paddled out onto Lake Cathie to wave at the people who cross the bridge in their vehicles.
"I started off just doing it for the kids because one of the mothers said they loved seeing me and the dog on the kayak," he said. "Now, the tradies love it as well and I get really nice comments from the community."
At the age of 80, Mr Hunter is back on the lake to spread Christmas cheer and impart joy into the hearts and minds of adults and children.
Mr Hunter's tradition has grown in popularity over the years, with his spirited waves always greeted by a honk from the motorists as they travel to work and school every morning.
Other people yell out to him, while emergency services give a quick blast of their lights and sirens over the Christmas period.
Mr Hunter said he gets as much pleasure from it as the people who spot him from the bridge.
"I suppose it's rewarding to bring someone a bit of happiness," he said. "The comments I get, usually on the first day that I'm out here on the lake, would be from people saying how they laughed all the way into work.
"That's why I do it and why I keep it up."
While Mr Hunter said he has no plans of hanging up the Santa hat anytime soon, he admitted that the early morning paddle around the lake has been a bit more tiring this time around.
"I just turned 80 this year, and it gets a bit harder to get up early in the morning and do this, but I thought I have to keep going," he said.
"I know it's a much-loved tradition, so I will be going for as long as I can."
Mr Hunter, who locals fondly call Lake Cathie Santa, is always accompanied by his little helper, Ruby, the Jack Russell.
Ruby enjoys barking and chasing the paddle as he tries to kayak out on the water. Mr Hunter's previous dog Spike passed away in 2017 at the age of 17.
"Ruby loves coming along and staying in the kayak with me," he said. "We got her at eight-months-old and she's just crazy about the water, she loves chasing the waves."
Mr Hunter is out and about on the water from about 6am. Drivers travelling along Ocean Drive can catch a glimpse of him paddling around the lake in his red kayak and Santa hat each morning until Christmas.
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