In Australia, the school year runs from January to December. School holidays in Australia occur four times a year, although the dates vary slightly in each state and territory. These are the times when Australian families usually take their holidays too, so it can be a very busy time at many of our attractions and favourite holiday destinations. If you are planning to travel to Australia during these peak periods it’s wise to book flights, tours and accommodation well in advance. Many free and family events are held in our major cities during school holidays. The following is a list of Australian school holiday dates to help you plan your vacation.
Australian Capital Territory: 12 April to 27 April
New South Wales: 12 April to 27 April
Northern Territory: 5 April to 13 April
Queensland: 5 April to 21 April
South Australia: 12 April to 27 April
Tasmania: 18 April to 4 May
Victoria: 5 April to 21 April
Western Australia: 12 April to 27 April
The April school holidays usually coincide with Easter. It is autumn in Australia at this time and a perfect time to discover Australia’s great outdoors. The days are still mostly warm and sunny, with average temperatures in the 20° - 30° C range across most of the country. It’s a magical time in Canberra as the trees change colour, from green to yellow, orange and red. It’s still warm enough to go camping or bushwalking in our many national parks. The weather is still warm enough for the beach especially in New South Wales and Queensland. April is also sees the start of the whale-shark season in Western Australia.
Australian Capital Territory: 5 July to 20 July
New South Wales: 28 June to 13 July
Northern Territory: 21 June to 20 July
Queensland: 28 June to 13 July
South Australia: 5 July to 20 July
Tasmania: 5 July to 20 July
Victoria: 28 June to 13 July
Western Australia: 5 July to 20 July
The second round of school holidays fall in the winter months of June and July in Australia. Even in winter, temperatures in most states rarely drop below zero, although snow falls in areas such as the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales; Victoria’s High Country and parts of Tasmania. Many Australian families head to the ski slopes. Many also head north to the tropical warmth of Queensland and popular destinations such the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Noosa Heads, the Whitsunday Islands and Cairns. It’s also whale-watching season in Australia, and they can be seen all along the coastline. The cooler weather makes it a perfect time to visit Darwin, Kakadu and Uluru in the Northern Territory. In Victoria the winter surf swells along the Great Ocean Road are at their best. For those who prefer to be indoors, it’s a great time to visit the fun museums and galleries in our capital cities.
Australian Capital Territory: 27 September to 12 October
New South Wales: 20 September to 6 October
Northern Territory: 27 September to 5 October
Queensland: 20 September to 6 October
South Australia: 27 September to 12 October
Tasmania: 27 September to 12 October
Victoria: 20 September to 5 October
Western Australia: 27 September to 12 October
Spring is one of the best seasons to visit Australia. From September through to October it's often still warm enough to hit the beach in the southern states. It is still cool enough to tour Uluru; the humidity and rains have not yet arrived in Cairns and the Top End; and the wildflowers are in full bloom in Western Australia. Wildlife is most active at this time of year as Australia’s native animals give birth and raise their young. It’s an excellent time for walking or driving vacations, especially in the Australian Outback. Spring is also a great season to surf, sail and kayak in Australia.
Australian Capital Territory: 18 December to 29 January 2015
New South Wales: 20 December to 26 January 2015
Northern Territory: 11 December to 22 January 2015
Queensland: 12 December to 26 January 2015
South Australia: 13 December to 26 January 2015
Tasmania: 19 December to 2 February 2015
Victoria: 20 December to 27 January 2015
Western Australia: 19 December to 1 February 2015
The end of year school break is the longest in Australia and a very busy time as it also includes Christmas and New Year. Summer is when Australians head to the beach and seaside towns all along our vast coastline. It can be extremely hot and wet in the Northern Territory, Tropical North Queensland and places such as Broome and the Kimberley in Western Australia. Summer holidays are also the time for cricket, grand slam tennis, music festivals and outdoor events. Our many national parks provide a cool retreat from the summer heat. ‘Schoolies Week’ is a three week graduation festival celebrated by Year 12 school leavers from all around Australia and starts from around mid-November. The Gold Coast is home to the nation’s largest schoolies celebration, however Byron Bay, the Sunshine Coast, Airlie Beach and Lorne in Victoria are also popular, and can be very crowded at this time.