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Bank Holidays in Australia 2024

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Bank holidays are significant as they provide a break from the routine and an opportunity for employees to rest and spend time with family. In Australia, these holidays vary by state and territory, in addition to nationwide holidays.

Nationwide Bank Holidays

Holiday Date Day of the Week Type of Holiday
New Year’s Day January 1 Monday Non-working
Australia Day January 26 Friday Non-working
Good Friday March 29 Friday Non-working
Easter Monday April 1 Monday Non-working
Anzac Day April 25 Thursday Non-working
King’s Birthday June 10* Monday Non-working
Melbourne Cup Day November 5* Tuesday Non-working
Christmas Day December 25 Wednesday Non-working
Boxing Day December 26 Thursday Non-working

*King’s Birthday – In most states this is celebrated in June. However, Western Australia and Queensland have decided to move the holiday to a different date to avoid clashes with other state holidays.

*Melbourne Cup Day – While this one is celebrated in the state of Victoria, some other territories observe this as a public holiday. It is important to look up state-specific announcements to know if this is a non-working holiday in your area. 

Learn more about Australia’s Holidays

What is Australia Day? 

  • Australia Day, celebrated on January 26th, commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788. It’s a day to celebrate Australian culture, diversity, and history.

Fun Fact: Australia Day marks the beginning of the European settlement of Australia, but it has also become a day of controversy, with some Indigenous Australians referring to it as “Invasion Day” due to the negative impact colonisation had on their communities.

What is Anzac Day?

  • Anzac Day, observed on April 25th, honors the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli during World War I. It has since evolved to commemorate all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.

Fun Fact: The dawn service, held at dawn to symbolise the landing at Gallipoli, is a significant part of Anzac Day commemorations, with ceremonies held across Australia and New Zealand.

What is Melbourne Cup Day?

  • Melbourne Cup Day, held on the first Tuesday of November, is one of Australia’s most famous horse racing events. It’s often referred to as “the race that stops a nation” due to its popularity.

Fun Fact: The Melbourne Cup race has a long history dating back to 1861 and is known for attracting spectators from around the world. It’s not only about horse racing but also about fashion, with attendees dressing up in their finest attire for the occasion.

  • Who is the Melbourne Cup Favourite as of May 2024?: Circle of Fire is the Cup favourite as of May 15, 2024. This four-year-old stallion became the crowd favourite after it won the Sydney Cup on Day 2 of The Championships at Randwick.

Melbourne Cup Winners Over the Years

 
Year Winning Horse Jockey Trainer Colour Sex Age Starters No. Bar Wgt (kg) SP
2023 Without A Fight Mark Zahra Anthony & Sam Freedman Bay Gelding (Male) 7 23 3 15 56.4 $8
2022 Gold Trip Mark Zahra Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Bay Stallion (Male) 6 22 1 13 57.6 $21
2021 Verry Elleegant James McDonald Chris Waller Bay Mare (Female) 6 23 4 19 57 $18
2020 Twilight Payment Jye McNeil Joseph O’Brien Bay Gelding (Male) 8 23 6 12 55.5 $19
2019 Vow And Declare Craig Williams Danny O’Brien Bay Gelding (Male) 4 24 23 21 52 $20
2018 Cross Counter Kerrin McEvoy Charlie Appleby Bay Gelding (Male) 3 24 23 19 51 $21
2017 Rekindling Corey Brown Joseph O’Brien Bay Stallion (Male) 4 23 22 4 51.5 $22
2016 Almandin Kerrin McEvoy Robert Hickmott Bay Gelding (Male) 7 24 17 17 52 $23
2015 Prince of Penzance Michelle Payne Darren Weir Bay Gelding (Male) 6 24 19 1 53 $24
2014 Protectionist R. Moore Andreas Wohler Bay Stallion (Male) 6 22 5 10 56.5 $25
2013 Fiorente D.Oliver G. Waterhouse Brown Stallion (Male) 6 24 6 5 55 $26
2012 Green Moon B. Prebble R. Hickmott Bay Stallion (Male) 6 24 14 5 53.5 $27

Source: punters.com.au

State-Specific Bank Holidays

Australia has a variety of bank holidays, with seven nationwide holidays and additional state-specific holidays. The total number of holidays varies by state, with the maximum being in states with unique holidays like the Melbourne Cup Day in Victoria and the Adelaide Cup Day in South Australia.

State Holiday Date Day of the Week Type of Holiday

NSW

Bank Holiday August 5 Monday Working
NSW Labour Day October 7 Monday Non-working
VIC Labour Day March 11 Monday Non-working
VIC Friday before AFL Grand Final September 27 Friday Non-working
VIC Melbourne Cup Day November 5 Tuesday Non-working
QLD Labour Day May 6 Monday Non-working
QLD Royal Queensland Show* August 14 Wednesday Non-working
QLD King’s Birthday October 7 Monday Non-working
WA Labour Day March 4 Monday Non-working
WA Western Australia Day June 3 Monday Non-working
WA King’s Birthday* September 23 Monday Non-working
SA Adelaide Cup Day March 11 Monday Non-working
SA Labour Day October 7 Monday Non-working
SA Proclamation Day December 26 Thursday Non-working
TAS Royal Hobart Regatta* February 12 Monday Non-working
TAS Eight Hours Day March 11 Monday Non-working
TAS Easter Tuesday* April 2 Tuesday Working
TAS Recreation Day* November 4 Monday Working
NT May Day May 6 Monday Non-working
NT Picnic Day August 5 Monday Non-working
ACT Canberra Day March 11 Monday Non-working
ACT Reconciliation Day May 27 Monday Non-working
ACT Labour Day October 7 Monday Non-working

*Royal Queensland Show – Brisbane area only

*King’s Birthday – Some regional areas in WA hold the King’s Birthday public holiday on a different date

*Royal Hobart Regatta – Only observed in certain areas of the state

*Easter Tuesday – Generally for Tasmanian Public Service only

*Recreation Day – Areas of the state that don’t observe Royal Hobart Regatta

AU Holidays vs Other Countries

To put Australia’s bank holidays in perspective, here’s a comparison with 10 other major countries:

  1. United States: 10 federal holidays
  2. United Kingdom: 8 public holidays
  3. Canada: 9 national holidays
  4. Germany: 13-16 holidays (varies by state)
  5. France: 11 public holidays
  6. Japan: 16 national holidays
  7. China: 7 public holidays (with additional holiday weeks)
  8. India: 3 national holidays (plus numerous state and religious holidays)
  9. Brazil: 12 national holidays
  10. Russia: 14 public holidays

Australia has a well-distributed set of bank holidays that provide ample breaks throughout the year. When compared internationally, Australia’s number of holidays is fairly average, with countries like Japan and Germany having more, while others like the United Kingdom and Canada have fewer. These holidays not only reflect the country’s cultural and historical events but also ensure a balanced work-life schedule for its citizens.

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In Australia, bank holidays vary by state and territory, in addition to nationwide holidays.