• 2016.09.27
  • Public Holidays in Australia
In Australia there are public holidays common to all the states, and public holidays observed on a state basis only.Then there are holidays that fall on different days of the year, such as the Easter holidays, and holidays only for certain areas. When I looked further into the question of public holidays, I found a number in other states that I didn’t know about.

Take the Queen’s Birthday holiday, for example. You would expect that the holiday falls on the day of the British Queen’s birth, however, the Queen’s birthday is 21 April, but the holiday is observed in Australia on the second Monday of June. Having it on a Monday means you get a long weekend, which is typically Australian. In 2012, the state government where I live, Queensland, changed the Queen’s Birthday holiday to the first Monday of October, and Western Australia changed it to the last Monday in September, which makes me wonder whether there were too few public holidays in September and October. I don’t know if explanations like that are true or not, but it really doesn’t look like the holiday has a connection to the Queen’s actual birthday any more (haha!).

One of the public holidays that people in Japan aren’t familiar with is Anzac Day. It was a day for remembrance of the soldiers who fought in World War I, but now it has become a memorial day for all Australian soldiers who have been to war, not just World War I. Boxing Day is a holiday that falls on 26 December, the day after Christmas, and gets its name from the boxes for Christmas presents. One theory says it is for churches to give presents to the poor, another says it gives the people who have to work on Christmas Day the following day off, while another theory says it is the day for opening Christmas present boxes.

Many of the public holidays are for recreational events, such as the Melbourne Cup (a major horse race), a yacht race held in Hobart, Tasmania, and something inconceivable in Japan, a holiday in Victoria for the Grand Final (or the day before) in Melbourne in the Australia Football League (AFL) competition, which is so popular that virtually all Melburnians could be described as AFL fanatics. So, if the team you support makes it to the Grand Final, you wouldn’t be able to concentrate on work or anything else, would you?!

The Royal Queensland Show, affectionately known as Ekka, is held in August in the Brisbane area. It’s a major festival featuring amusement rides, functions, exhibits, etc. Events are also held in various other locations such as the Gold Coast and Cairns, with each city or town having its own separately scheduled public holiday.

Some restaurants and other places in Australia set public holiday surcharges for service, which is because service staff get a higher hourly wage when they work on public holidays. For shops and of course businesses that have a day off or shops that close early on public holidays, for people who work and people who don’t, for as many people as possible, public holidays are happy days.

Australian National Public Holidays – 2016
・New Year’s Day: 1 January
・Australia Day: 26 January
・Good Friday: 25 March (2016)
・Easter Monday: 28 March (2016)
・Anzac Day: 25 April
・Christmas Day: 25 December
・Boxing Day: 26 December

Public holidays occurring on different dates in different states, and state public holidays (Only some are included here.)
・Labour Day
 (Eight Hours Day in Tasmania, May Day in the Northern Territory)
・Queen’s Birthday
・AFL Grand Final Holiday (Victoria only): End of September or first week of October
・Picnic Day (Northern Territory only): First Monday in August
・Western Australia Day (Western Australia only): First Monday in June

Public holidays in certain areas only – 2016 (Only some are included here.)
・Royal Queensland Show Day (Ekka: Brisbane and some surrounding areas only)
・Melbourne Cup Day (Parts of Melbourne and some surrounding areas only)
・Devonport Cup (Devonport, Tasmania only): 6 January
・Royal Hobart Regatta Day (Hobart, Tasmania only): 8 February


  • Chieko Suganuma (maiden name : Nagura)
  • AgeCow( USHI )
  • GenderFemale
  • JobCompany employee

She moved to Australia in 2000. She worked for a Japanese-affiliated travel agency, and then started her current position at a construction company in 2014.On her days off, she enjoys making soy candles that is a hobby of mine and walking on the beach.She hope to share rare lifestyle information from the local area with you.

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