Australian Public Holidays

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Australian public holidays may be different by state. There are more of them in some states and fewer in others. And they do not spread out evenly during the year.

Generally there are public holidays galore in the first half of the year and then there's a big drought till the last quarter of the year.

Some are national holidays others are just in some states or only in a city (like the Melbourne Cup Day or Canberra Day). And their names or celebration dates vary by the state.

Even more, dates can change every year and have to be designated by each government.

Australian Public Holidays - National Days

Australia Day

On the 26th of January we celebrate the day when the first fleet arrived in the Sydney Harbour back in 1788 and established the European settlement.

This is a big Day with many outdoor events and concerts. Many new migrants get their Australian citizenship on this day. Celebrations end with spectacular fireworks.

Anzac Day

On the 25th of April each year, Australians commemorate the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli during the First World War.

In many cities people honour all the heroes with a Dawn service. Then war veterans and their families march down the streets of the city. Some travel to Gallipoli to pay their respects at the very spot where their grandfathers fought.

view of kata tjuta from uluru park

2015 marks a milestone - 100 years since the Gallipoli campaign. Cunard's Queen Elizabeth docked in Sydney on its voyage to Anzac Cove in Turkey. It arrives there on the eve of Anzac, 24 April.

Cunard ship carried troops to the front line during World War I. It will now carry a poppy wall as a symbol of service and sacrifice on the battlefields.


Easter public holidays are Good Friday to Easter Monday in March or April.

End of year holidays

sydney harbour bridge fireworks

Christmas on the 25th of December is followed by Boxing Day" on the 26th of December and New Year's Day on January 1.

And while December is a summer month, the preparations for the Australian Christmas are very much like anywhere else: shopping, cooking good food and enjoying a good family day.

South Australians celebrate Proclamation Day on December 26, to remember the proclamation of their state as a British province in 1836.

Other Australian Public Holidays

All states except Western Australia celebrate Queen's Birthday in June. In Western Australia this public holiday is at the end of September or beginning of October.

Most states celebrate Labour Day. In Tasmania this event is known as the "Eight Hour Day", in Northern Territories it's "May Day".

Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania celebrate it in March, Queensland and Northern Territories in May. For New South Wales, Australian Capital Territories and South Australia it's in October.

Melbourne Cup Day, on the first Tuesday of November, is a public holiday in Melbourne only. But the  horse raceon that day stops the entire nation.

Adelaide Cup Day is a public holiday in South Australia. Like in Melbourne, it is a day to enjoy, bet on horses and make some fashion statements on the race course or at the pub.

Memorable Days to Enjoy

sydney circular quay

Australians love to party and celebrate. And to flock to the beaches or to the stunning harbour in Sydney. The occasions are plenty even if these are not public holidays. Mother's Day in May and Father's Day in September are happy Sundays to get the whole family together and enjoy a day out.

Then there are picnic days or recreation days. Just to enjoy, recharge your batteries and feel good again.

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Holidaying around Australia

Vivid Sydney

About the Harbour Bridge

Swim at Bondi

Easter celebrations

Yummy Christmas

Santas on Darling Harbour

New Year's eve

Surf  Newcastle beaches

Enjoy the rockpools

Go to Cradle Mountain

Relax at Wineglass Bay