Imagine planning your business schedule only to bump into a surprise long weekend – the frustration, right? Across Australia, from bustling Sydney streets to the tranquility of Tasmania, public holidays spring up according to national and regional timetables.

They’re not just days off but cultural tapestries; moments steeped in history like ANZAC Day, celebrations like Australia Day, and even local festivals unique as the Melbourne Cup Day.

Knowing these dates is crucial for you and your business to thrive without hiccups. In this read, you’ll unlock a comprehensive lookout on public holidays in Australia, tailored for savvy business owners.

Whether it’s to plan ahead for peak seasons or ensure your staffing is spot on during public holiday closures, this article has got your back.

Dive deep into how these non-working days impact business operations, draw in tourists, or offer a chance for community engagement.

By the end, expect to map out the Australian holiday calendar like a pro, ready to harness the rhythm of Aussie public holidays to your advantage.

8 fixed public holidays celebrated in all of Australia

Public HolidayDate in 2024Applicable to States/TerritoriesType of HolidayRemarks
New Year’s DayJanuary 1NationalPublic 
Australia DayJanuary 26NationalPublicCelebrated nationally.
Good FridayMarch 29National except TAS & WAPublic / Religious (Christian) 
Easter MondayApril 1NationalPublic / Religious (Christian) 
ANZAC DayApril 25NationalPublicCommemorates Australians and New Zealanders
Queen’s BirthdayJune 10Except WAPublicWA celebrates in September or October
Labour DayVaries*ACT, NSW, SA: October 7
WA: March 4
VIC & TAS: March 11
PublicDate varies between states
Christmas DayDecember 25NationalPublic / Religious (Christian) 
Boxing DayDecember 26National except SAPublicKnown as Proclamation Day in SA

These 7 fixed holidays follow the same pattern every year across the whole country. About half of these holidays are related to Christianity – Good Friday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. National holidays include Anzac Day and Australia Day. The final holiday is New Year’s Day which is celebrated internationally.

New Year’s Day

Due to its time zone, Australia is among the countries that celebrate New Year’s Day first. It always falls on the 1st of January and marks the start of a new year according to the Gregorian calendar. Most institutions and businesses don’t operate on this day.

Australians celebrate New Year’s Day by spending time with their families or going on vacations. Of course, fireworks are a given.

As 1st January is a public holiday, trades are restricted in states such as Queensland and New South Wales. Many businesses close on this day, though some may choose to operate anyway.

The good news is that you always get an extra day off in Australia. Even if it falls on a weekend, New Year’s Day is automatically moved to the following Monday.

Australia Day

This national public holiday falls on the 26th of January. All non-essential businesses and institutions are closed on this day. Australia Day celebrates the country’s citizens, growth, and development.

Initially celebrating the convicts’ emancipation, Australia Day has evolved over the years. Today, it marks the nation’s diversity and identity. Most Australians spend this day with their families. The day is often marked by horse racing, regattas, and fireworks.

If it falls on a weekend, it’s automatically shifted to the next Monday. Some Australians thus call it a Long Holiday.

Good Friday

This Easter public holiday always falls on the Friday before Easter Sunday. Good Friday commemorates the day when Jesus Christ was crucified. Most public institutions close on this day while private ones can choose to stay open.

Christians often go to church on this day to honor the death of Jesus Christ and the salvation he brought to mankind.

Easter Monday

Easter Monday follows Easter Sunday every year. This Christian holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Over the years, even non-religious Australians started to celebrate this holiday in some ways.

Businesses and schools don’t operate on this day. However, hospitals and airports still function. Airports tend to be busy on this day since it is the last day of Easter. Many people travel back home on this day. Certain stores stay open, especially the seasonal ones.

Australians across the country celebrate Easter Monday by visiting music festivals. The most popular is the Easterfest in Queensland, a three-day gospel music festival. It takes place in Toowoomba. Another music festival, the Byron Bay Bluesfest, is held in New South Wales.

Some Australians visit the National Folk Festival. Apart from music, this festival also features arts and dancing. It takes place in Canberra, in the Exhibition Park.

Others spend their Eastern Monday at sporting events. Some popular ones include the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, the Stawell Gift, and the Australian Three Peaks Race.

Anzac Day

Anzac is the abbreviation for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Australians commemorate those who perished during the military operations in 1915.

Anzac Day falls on the 25th of April. Australians hold ceremonies at war memorials on this day, which often start at sunrise. Several marching processions of former military servicemen often mark this public holiday.

Most public institutions close on Anzac Day. However, the ceremonies rarely last past 1 PM. Private businesses can choose to resume their operations after this time.

Christmas Day

This Christian holiday is celebrated in plenty of countries, including Australia. Christmas Day marks the day when Jesus Christ was born. It falls on the 25th of December, the day after Christmas Eve.

Keep in mind that Australia is located in the Southern hemisphere. Instead of snowfall, it experiences the heat of summer in December. As most of the country is one giant desert, it also witnesses many bushfires on this day. However, this doesn’t halt the Christmas celebrations in the slightest.

Most businesses and institutions don’t operate on this important holiday. Some exceptions are airports and hospitals.

The holiday is often marked by festive decorations and Christmas carols. Devout Christians often go to church, especially to attend the Midnight Mass.

Boxing Day

Boxing Day falls on the 26th of December, the day after Christmas Day. Many Australians visit the beaches with their friends and families on this day. Most institutions are closed, except for stores and tourist centers.

Australian Boxing Day is often marked by unique events. These include Boxing Day Sales, Boxing Day Test Match, and Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

2 public holidays in Australia with varied dates

These public holidays fall on different days in different regions. Australia observes 2 such holidays: Labor Day and Queen’s Day.

Labor Day

All states and territories celebrate Labor Day. However, it falls on a different day depending on the region. This day honors workers and employees.

Though it is not a national public holiday, most workers get a day off. Australians spend this holiday relaxing and visiting their families.

Queen’s Day

This public holiday celebrates the Queen’s birthday. Most states celebrate it in June. The two exceptions are Queensland and Western Australia. These states observe Queen’s Day on a different day announced by their territory governments. Since Queen Elizabeth II passed away recently, it will change to King’s Day. The change will likely occur after his coronation.

FAQ On Public Holidays In Australia

How many public holidays are there in Australia?

Well, buckle up! Across the eight states and territories, Aussies relish about 20 public holidays yearly.

But, mind you, it’s not uniform; this number can wobble a bit since some regions throw in their own unique days for local celebrations or historical observances.

What is the most widely celebrated public holiday?

Imagine a day when the Aussie spirit blooms nation-wide – that’s Australia Day. It’s the superstar of public holidays down under, marked on January 26th every year.

Beaches, backyard barbies, and fireworks rule the day as the country reflects on its rich history and diverse culture.

Are public holidays the same in all Australian states?

In the Land of Oz, diversity is key. Sure, you’ve got your surefire days like New Year’s Day and Christmas. But don’t get too comfy.

States can mix it up. Labour Day can land on totally different dates, and some holidays are local – think Melbourne Cup Day for Victorians only.

Can employees be required to work on public holidays?

Let’s talk brass tacks. Employees can be asked to clock in on public holidays, but it’s not a simple ‘yes’.

There’s room for negotiation and, if you must know, often a sweeter pay rate – that’s holiday pay. Always peek at the Fair Work Ombudsman guidelines before making plans.

Do public holiday dates change each year?

Well, mostly, they’re pretty steadfast, like ANZAC Day always saluting on April 25th.

But behold! Some holidays like Easter swing around; they’re based on lunar cycles. Easter eggs hunt dates? They’re going to hop around your calendar year to year.

How do public holidays affect business operations?

Okay, reality check – public holidays mean shutters down for most shops and businesses. You’ve got to strategize.

Maybe capitalize on increased foot traffic for some, or it might be time for a well-deserved team break. Plus, navigating staffing is key — nobody wants a public holiday pay blunder.

What educational institutions close during public holidays?

When public holidays knock, schools, universities, and other educational nooks close the books and doors.

It’s quiet time, and that’s across the board – no matter if it’s public or private. But hey, check school holidays while you’re at it; universities tend to follow their own academic calendars.

How do public holidays in Australia impact tourism?

Think of public holidays as a magnet for both local and international wanderers. Aussies often seize the day for a short jaunt or a random adventure.

For those flying in, it’s a cultural goldmine, with events and traditions served up that are as uniquely Australian as vegemite on toast.

Are there penalty rates for working on public holidays?

Let’s talk turkey. If you clock in on a public holiday? Chances are you’re pocketing more than usual.

Penalty rates kick in, lining workers’ wallets to compensate for missing out on the festive cheer. Specifics can vary, so always check the Fair Work statutes to know the deal.

What happens if a public holiday falls on a weekend?

Australia keeps it fair dinkum. If a holiday lands on a weekend, don’t fret. The “public holiday” status hops over to the following Monday (or sometimes Tuesday).

That way, everyone gets a crack at the barbecue and relaxation, without missing out on the holiday entitlements.


Wrapping up this journey through public holidays in Australia— it’s like opening a door to the nation’s soul. You’ve now got the keys to navigate the vibrant tapestry of holidays that are packed like confetti across the Australian calendar. From the reflective ANZAC Day to the festive explosion of New Year’s Eve, these days carry the heartbeat of Australia’s cultural and historical narrative.

For your venture, mastering this knowledge means you’re steering the ship with confidence through the annual waves of national celebrations and observances. Plan, strategize, maybe even innovate; roll with the rhythms of local festivals and national pride.

  • Own the insights; they’re a gold mine:
    • Leverage the tourist influx during Australia Day.
    • Mind your payroll during those public holiday closures.

It’s clear as day—embracing these pulsing Aussie public holidays is not just about days off; it’s business brilliance painted in the colours of national spirit.

If you liked this article about public holidays in Australia, you should check out this one on how many working days are in a year.

You should also check out these other articles of ours about public holidays in France, UK bank holidays, US Federal holidays, Canadian holidays, New Zealand holidays, and also public holidays in Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.


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