How to make the most of your annual leave in 2024

Published
18 Dec 2023

The year has kicked off, and we're already daydreaming about those chill moments by the pool/beach/lake or river. But don't get those summer blues just yet – we've got some annual leave hacks up our sleeves, ready to morph your dreamy getaways into actual plans. 

First up let’s look at the big ones, the (almost) national holidays. This year there are some good breaks to be had if you’re quick getting your leave in. 

  •  Australia Day (all) - Friday 26: Take off 22 – 25 January for a nine-day holiday
  • Easter long weekend - Friday 29 – Monday 1: Take off 2 – 5 April for a ten-day holiday
  • ANZAC Day (all) - Thursday 25: Take off 26 April for a four-day holiday
  • King's Birthday (all except QLD and WA) - Monday 10: Take off 11 – 14 June for a nine-day weekend

But what about the smaller getaways where you can travel closer to home? Check out this guide for state based public holidays for your long weekend break. 


NEW SOUTH WALES: Monday 7 October (Labour Day) Take off 8 – 11 October for a nine-day holiday

Use your Labour Day long weekend to escape the hustle and bustle and slow down for a few days. Cruise down to the south of Sydney, where its renowned for its sweeping coastlines, epic surf, and endless wildlife encounters, and embrace getting back to nature (Werri Beach Holiday Park or Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort). Or head to Oberon for a tranquil country holiday in the Blue Mountains, where you can explore the native bushland or the Jenolan Caves, and enjoy the serenity (Jenolan Holiday Park).

Credit: Visit NSW - Flagstaff Hill, Wollongong


NORTHERN TERRITORY: Monday 5 August (Picnic Day) Take off 2 August for a four-day weekend

August is without a doubt the best time to visit the Top End, so make the most of your Picnic Day long weekend with a visit to Darwin. The Mindil Beach Sunset Market is not to be missed, with over 200 unique stalls ranging from food with local and international cuisine, to arts and crafts (Discovery Parks – Darwin). If you’re looking to go a little further afield, head to Katherine, where you’ll experience some of the most breathtaking scenery the Territory has to offer (Riverview Tourist Village).

Credit: Mindil Beach Sunset Market 


QUEENSLAND: Monday 6 May (Labour Day) Take off 3 May for a four-day weekend

With the humidity dropping and the temperatures becoming mild, May is a great time to explore Queensland. Spend your Labour Day long weekend relaxing on the stunning beaches of the Gold Coast, or keep the adrenaline pumping by checking out the theme parks (Nobby Beach Holiday Village or Ashmore Palms Holiday Village). Or head inland to the beautiful green rolling hills and lush forests of Yarraman, where you can enjoy getting back to nature with scenic drives, and walks through the National Parks and State Forests (Yarraman Caravan Park).

Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland - Tallebudgera Creek


SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Monday 11 March (Adelaide Cup) Take off Friday 8 for a four-day weekend

A long weekend is never wasted when it’s spent by the water! Head to the beach this Adelaide Cup Day long weekend, with a visit to the stunning Yorke Peninsula. Port Broughton has amazing fishing and crabbing, or stroll along the beautiful jetty and relax while watching the sun go down (Port Broughton Tourist Park). If the river is more your style, grab your lifejackets and head to Murray Bridge, located on the banks of the Murray River. Steeped in history, you can spend your time leisurely exploring the town, or make it action packed with water sports on the river (Avoca Dell Caravan Park).  


TASMANIA: Monday 4 November (Recreation Day excluding Hobart) Take off 5 – 8 November for a nine-day weekend

Celebrate your Recreation Day long weekend by getting out and enjoying some recreational time outdoors! Trek your way around the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park – with short walks to suit even the unfittest of us to multi day hikes, this stunning World Heritage Area will delight all who set foot in it (Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain). Or base yourself in Hadspen, a stones throw from the Tamar Valley which is renowned as one of Tassie’s prettiest regions. A food lovers delight, you can find some of the best producers of artisanal cheeses, ciders, truffles and more, as well as the highly awarded Tamar Valley wine region (Discovery Parks – Hadspen). 


VICTORIA: Tuesday 5 November (Melbourne Cup) Take off 4 November and 6 – 8 November for a nine-day weekend

Take Monday off work, and make your Melbourne Cup Day long weekend an extra long weekend! Head along the Great Ocean Road, taking in the stunning scenery, to Apollo Bay. Surrounded by tranquil beaches, rolling green hills and the Great Otway National Park, you’ll be spoilt for choice of relaxing or exploring (Apollo Bay Holiday Park). If you’re after a history fix, visit the historic Eureka Stockade Precinct in Ballarat, where you can take in the city’s heritage, as well as being close to other local attractions such as Sovereign Hill (Eureka Stockade Holiday Park).

Credit: Full Suitcase


WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Monday 3 June (Western Australia Day) Take off 31 May for a four-day weekend

Make the most of your Western Australia Day long weekend, and head to the Margaret River Wine Region, one of Australia’s largest wine regions, which is also renowned as a world-class big-wave surfing destination, as well as attracting many top-rated chefs – it really does offer something for everyone (Margaret River Tourist Park or Riverview Tourist Park)! If you’re wanting to stay closer to Perth, Bunbury offers everything you could want - trendy bars and restaurants, boutique shopping and alluring cafes - and of course, the stunning beaches and resident bottlenose dolphins (Bunbury Glad Caravan Park).

Credit: Margaret River Wine - Credaro Wines

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR HOLIDAYS IN 2024

JANUARY

  • Monday 1 - New Year’s Day  (all): Take off 2 – 5 January for a nine-day holiday
  • Friday 26  – Australia Day (all): Take off 22 – 25 January for a nine-day holiday

FEBRUARY

  • Monday 12 - Royal Hobart Regatta Day – (TAS location dependant, Hobart region): Take off 13 -16 February for a nine-day holiday

MARCH

  • Monday 4 – Labour Day (WA): Take off 1 March for a four-day weekend
  • Monday 11 – Labour Day (VIC), Canberra Day (ACT), Adelaide Cup Day (SA), 8 Hour Day (TAS): Take off Friday 8 for a four-day weekend
  • Friday 29 - Monday 1 April - Easter long weekend: Take off 2 – 5 April for a ten-day holiday

APRIL

  • Thursday 25 – ANZAC Day (all): Take off 26 April for a four-day holiday

MAY

  • Monday 6 - May Day (NT): Take off 3 May for a four-day weekend
  • Monday 6 – Labour Day (QLD): Take off 3 May for a four-day weekend
  • Monday 27 – Reconciliation Day (ACT): Take off 24 May for a four-day weekend

JUNE

  • Monday 3 – Western Australia Day (WA): Take off 31 May for a four-day weekend
  • Monday 10 – King's Birthday (all except QLD and WA): Take off 11 – 14 June for a nine-day weekend

AUGUST

  • Monday 5 – Picnic Day (NT): Take off 2 August for a four-day weekend
  • Wednesday 14 – Royal Queensland Show (Brisbane area only, QLD): Take off 15 – 16 August for a five-day weekend

SEPTEMBER

  • Friday 27 – Friday before Grand Final Day (TBC,  VIC only): Take off 30 September for a four-day weekend
  • Monday 23 – Kings Birthday (WA): Take off 20 September for a four-day weekend

OCTOBER

  • Monday 7 – Labour Day (NSW, ACT and SA), King's Birthday (QLD): Take off 8 – 11 October for a nine-day holiday

NOVEMBER 

  • Monday 4 - Recreation Day (TAS location dependant): Take off 5 – 8 November for a nine-day weekend
  • Tuesday 5 – Melbourne Cup Day (VIC): Take off 4 November and 6 – 8 November for a nine-day weekend

DECEMBER

  • Wednesday 25 – Christmas Day (all)
  • Thursday 26 – Boxing Day (except NT and TAS)
  • Friday 27 – Christmas Day additional holiday
  • Tuesday 31 - New Year's Eve