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Leisure and Entertainment

Australia - Leisure and Entertainment


Australians are well known for knowing how to enjoy themselves! Parties and informal gatherings are popular amongst friends and neighbours. Each Australian State has their own public holidays, some are the same across the country, and others have slightly different dates. Each state also celebrates individual festivals annually, and of course there are many one off events and impromptu parties on a regular basis.

Bank Holidays and Public Holidays

There are many bank holiday dates that remain the same throughout the country although some do differ from state to state. The bank holidays that are the same each year include New Year’s Day (January 1st) if however the New Year falls at a weekend, then the public holiday will be on the first Monday after the weekend as it is in the UK. Australia Day also falls in January, and is celebrated on the 26th each year. Anzac Day is celebrated on the 25th of April every year, although this sometimes, albeit rarely clashes with Easter Monday, then Anzac day is then celebrated a day later on the 26th. All states celebrate the Queens birthday on the second Monday in June apart from Western Australia which celebrates it on the first Monday in October. All states celebrate Christmas Day and Boxing Day on the 25th and 26th December respectively, unless those dates fall at a weekend then the following Monday and Tuesday become the Bank Holidays as they do in the UK. South Australia is slightly different as they choose to celebrate Proclamation Day instead of Boxing Day on the same date.

Individual State Public Holidays are as follows:

Western Australia Labour Day falls on the first Monday of March each year. Easter is usually celebrated in April although the exact dates fluctuate each year. Western Australia has Bank Holidays on both Good Friday and Easter Monday. Western Australia also celebrates Foundation day on the first Monday of June each year.

Northern Territory The Northern Territory celebrates three holidays at Easter, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday. The dates for the Easter holidays fluctuate each year. May day is celebrated on the first Monday in May and the Northern Territory also has a public holiday known a Picnic Day which is celebrated on the first Monday in August.

South Australia South Australia has a public holiday every year for the Adelaide Cup, although the dates vary annually. They also celebrate Easter by having 3 holidays, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday. The dates for Easter also vary annually. Labour Day in South Australia is celebrated on the first Monday in October.

Queensland Queensland has 3 public holidays for Easter, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday, of which these dates vary every year. Labour Day in Queensland is celebrated on the first Monday in May and the Royal Queensland Show is held on the third Wednesday in August annually.

New South Wales There are 3 public holidays associated with Easter in New South Wales. They are Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday, although the dates fluctuate for the Easter holidays each year. There is also an August bank Holiday on the first Monday of the month and Labour Day in New South Wales is celebrated on the first Monday in October every year.

Victoria Labour Day in Victoria is celebrated on the second Monday in March annually. The days for the Easter bank holidays vary each year, but in Victoria they have 3 public holidays associated with it. They are Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday. The first Tuesday in November is also a holiday as this is Melbourne Cup day.

Tasmania The Royal Hobart Regatta is held on the second Monday in February every year. Tasmania also has an extra bank holiday known as ’Eight Hours Day’ which is held on the second Monday in March annually. Easter in Tasmania has two bank holidays, Good Friday and Easter Monday although the exact dates change year to year. Northern Tasmania has an added holiday on the first Monday in November which is known as recreation day.

Australia Capital Territory Australia Capital Territory celebrates Canberra day on the second Monday in March annually. Easter has two bank holidays, Good Friday and Easter Monday held on various dates each year and the Australia Capital Territory Labour Day bank holiday is on the first Monday in October every year.

Annual Festivals and Entertainment The Festival of Sydney is one of the biggest events of the year, not only because there is so much going on, but also because it takes up almost the full month of January. The large cities particularly the state capitals all have a hectic nightlife, and although the smaller seaside towns still have plenty to keep you entertained, they do tend more towards a laid back style of activity, fishing, surfing and quieter restaurants and bars.

Melbourne is a great place to be for those who love motor racing, as the Melbourne Grand Prix is held there every March. Sporting events are an extremely popular pastime with Australians, particularly rugby and football matches that tend to see a turn out from the whole family.

Art festivals, Comedy festivals and even writing festivals are all popular yearly events in and around the larger towns and cities in Australia. There is also a lot of leisure activities featured around water. Australia is the largest island on the plan and as such has thousands of miles of coastline to enjoy. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world and it can be easily reached by boat for those who want to enjoy scuba diving. Water skiing, windsurfing and yachting are popular ways to spend your time in and on the water.

When spending time in enclosed spaces such as bars and restaurants it is wise to note the rules on smoking each state has. Smoking is banned in each state in enclosed public places. Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria all have rules as to what constitutes an enclosed space. This means that if a certain percentage of the walls or ceilings are open, such as windows and skylights, then the room is no longer classed as enclosed. South Australia and Tasmania also have a ban on smoking in a car while children under the age of 18 are present.


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