Public holiday hack

Public Holidays Hack: How to Turn 20 Days Annual Leave into 43 Days Off in 2023

The full 2023 public holiday schedule for Australia has officially been confirmed, with all states and territories to receive a series of days off. While it may seem a little premature to start planning time off, some crafty workers are already thinking out how to maximise their annual leave. We all know how good taking annual leave feels- you’re basically getting paid to relax, go on holiday, sleep, or whatever it is you like to do with your time off. Given that this dreamy reality is probably the most-welcomed part of full-time working life, working out how to make your public holidays longer is the next step in nailing adulting. But some people are definitely better at it than others.

new years fireworks in sydney

How to Maximise Annual Leave in 2023

Heading into 2023, we all want to make it a step up from the year just passed, and one way to do this is by maximising annual leave to get the most out of the year. The way to do this is by using annual leave combined with public holidays to get longer breaks, which means more time to completely zone out or finally go on that holiday. The good news is making the most of your holiday time in 2023 is actually well worth the effort.

As Finder pointed out last year, thanks to the way the public holidays are set up, you can actually turn 20 days of annual leave into 52 days worth of holidays (in NSW). Considering 20 days is the legal minimum amount of annual leave for full-time employees in Australia, for Monday–Friday (non-rostered) workers, this is a pretty sweet gig.

January: Trade in Four for Nine

Make the most of the Australia Day public holiday to get an extra-long weekend off in January. Take off four days from January 23 to the 27, which will mean you’ll get a 9-day break, starting from January 23. Here’s how to do it:

  • Saturday 21 January (Weekend)
  • Sunday 22 January (Weekend)
  • Monday 23 January (Annual Leave)
  • Tuesday 24 January (Annual Leave)
  • Wednesday 25 January(Annual Leave)
  • Thursday 26 January (Public holiday: Australia Day)
  • Friday 27 January (Annual Leave)
  • Saturday 28 January (Weekend)
  • Sunday 29 January (Weekend)

Easter/ ANZAC Long Weekend: Trade in 13 for 24

Better still, between April and May, you can make the most of the Easter break by turning 13 days of annual leave into 24 full days off in a row, provided you are in New South Wales. While international travel still feels a little way away, that isn’t to say you can prepare for a bit of a trip. Here is how to do it:

  • Friday 7 April (Public holiday: Good Friday)
  • Saturday 8 April (Public holiday: Easter Saturday)
  • Sunday 9 April (Public holiday: Easter Sunday)
  • Monday 10 April (Public holiday: Easter Monday)
  • Tuesday 11 April (Annual Leave)
  • Wednesday 12 April (Annual Leave)
  • Thursday 13 April (Annual Leave)
  • Friday 14 April (Annual Leave)
  • Saturday 15 April (Weekend)
  • Sunday 16 April (Weekend)
  • Monday 17 April (Annual Leave)
  • Tuesday 18 April (Annual Leave)
  • Wednesday 19 April (Annual Leave)
  • Thursday 20 April (Annual Leave)
  • Friday 21 April (Annual Leave)
  • Saturday 22 April (Weekend)
  • Sunday 23 April (Weekend)
  • Monday 24 April (Annual Leave)
  • Tuesday 25 April (Public holiday: Anzac Day)
  • Wednesday 26 April (Annual Leave)
  • Thursday 27 April (Annual Leave)
  • Friday 28 April (Annual Leave)
  • Saturday 29 April (Weekend)
  • Sunday 30 May (Weekend)

Christmas 2022: Trade in Three for Ten

The Christmas break is the best time of year, full of plenty of drinks, beach days and eating, so why not make it longer? Take three days of annual leave from December 27 to the 29, which will give you a 10-day break from Dec 24th to January 2nd.

Public Holiday Dates By State in Australia

Importantly, each state has its own rules when it comes to public holidays. While some are universal, like ANZAC Day, others vary from state to state. Here is a run down of each individual state and territories upcoming public holidays for 2023.

Public Holidays NSW 2023

New South Wales public holidays are relatively straightforward. The major ones are there, however, the state misses out on some of the bigger sporting event holidays that Victoria cops.

Date Public Holiday
Sunday 1 January New Year’s Day
Monday 2 January Additional public holiday for New Year’s Day
Thursday 26 January Australia Day
Friday 7 April Good Friday
Saturday 8 April Easter Saturday
Sunday 9 April Easter Sunday
Monday 10 April Easter Monday
Tuesday 25 April Anzac Day
Monday 12 June King’s Birthday
Monday 2 October Labour Day
Monday 25 December Christmas Day
Tuesday 26 December Boxing Day

Public Holidays VIC 2023

As mentioned, Victorians love their sport and the 2023 public holiday calendar reflects this. From events like the AFL Grand Final to the Melbourne Cup, the state has a few special days off.

Date Public Holiday
Sunday 1 January New Year’s Day
Monday 2 January Additional public holiday for New Year’s Day
Thursday 26 January Australia Day
Monday 13 March Labour Day
Friday 7 April Good Friday
Saturday 8 April Easter Saturday
Sunday 9 April Easter Sunday
Monday 10 April Easter Monday
Tuesday 25 April Anzac Day
Monday 12 June King’s Birthday
September (TBA) Friday before AFL Grand Final (subject to AFL schedule)
Tuesday 7 November Melbourne Cup
Monday 25 December Christmas Day
Tuesday 26 December Boxing Day

Public Holidays QLD 2023

In Queensland, the Queen’s Birthday holiday gets moved and the state adds an extra day off for the official state fair. Here is what you need to know about Queensland public holidays in 2023.

Date Public Holiday
Sunday 1 January New Year’s Day
Monday 2 January Additional public holiday for New Year’s Day
Thursday 26 January Australia Day
Friday 7 April Good Friday
Saturday 8 April Easter Saturday
Sunday 9 April Easter Sunday
Monday 10 April Easter Monday
Tuesday 25 April Anzac Day
Monday 1 May Labour Day
Wednesday 16 August Royal Queensland Show (Brisbane area only)
Monday 2 October King’a Birthday
Sunday 24 December Christmas Eve (from 6 pm to 12 midnight)
Monday 25 December Christmas Day
Tuesday 26 December Boxing Day

Public Holidays WA 2023

On the far west of the country, there are a fair few extra days off, including Western Australia Day on June 5. Here is a full schedule of public holidays in WA for 2023.

Date Public Holiday
Sunday 1 January New Year’s Day
Monday 2 January Additional public holiday for New Year’s Day
Thursday 26 January Australia Day
Monday 6 March Labour Day
Friday 7 April Good Friday
Monday 10 April Easter Monday
Tuesday 25 April Anzac Day
Monday 5 June Western Australia Day
Monday 26 September King’s Birthday (Some regional areas in WA hold the Queen’s Birthday public holiday on a different date)
Monday 25 December Christmas Day
Tuesday 26 December Boxing Day

Public Holidays SA 2023

The 2023 South Australia public holiday schedule introduces state-specific days off including Adelaide Cup Day while also marking the period late on Christmas Eve as an official time of rest.

Date Public Holiday
Sunday 1 January New Year’s Day
Monday 2 January Additional public holiday for New Year’s Day
Thursday 26 January Australia Day
Monday 13 March Adelaide Cup Day (subject to proclamation)
Friday 7 April Good Friday
Saturday 8 April Easter Saturday
Monday 10 April Easter Monday
Tuesday 25 April Anzac Day
Monday 12 June King’s Birthday
Monday 2 October Labour Day
Sunday 24 December Christmas Eve (from 7 pm to 12 midnight)
Monday 25 December Christmas Day
Tuesday 26 December Boxing Day
Tuesday 27 December Additional public holiday for Christmas Day
Sunday 31 December New Year’s Eve (from 7 pm to 12 midnight)

Public Holidays ACT 2023

The home of our politicians, Canberra plays host to a number of territory-specific days off, including Canberra Day on March 13. Here is a full schedule of ACT public holidays.

Date Public Holiday
Sunday 1 January New Year’s Day
Monday 3 January Additional public holiday for New Year’s Day
Thursday 26 January Australia Day
Monday 13 March Canberra Day
Friday 7 April Good Friday
Saturday 8 April Easter Saturday
Sunday 9 April Easter Sunday
Monday 10 April Easter Monday
Tuesday 25 April Anzac Day
Monday 29 May Reconciliation Day
Monday 12 June King’s Birthday
Monday 2 October Labour Day
Monday 25 December Christmas Day
Tuesday 26 December Boxing Day

Public Holidays TAS 2023

Down south, Tasmania celebrates 13 official public holidays in 2023. Here is everything you need to know to get the most out of your time off.

Date Public Holiday
Monday 2 January Additional public holiday for New Year’s Day
Wednesday 11 January Devonport Cup
Thursday 26 January Australia Day
Monday 13 February Royal Hobart Regatta (only observed in certain areas of the state)
Monday 13 March Eight Hours Day
Friday 7 April Good Friday
Monday 10 April Easter Monday
Tuesday 11 April Easter Tuesday – generally Public Service only
Tuesday 25 April Anzac Day
Monday 12 June King’s Birthday
Monday 6 November Recreation Day (all parts of the state which do not observe Royal Hobart Regatta)
Monday 25 December Christmas Day
Tuesday 26 December Boxing Day

Public Holidays NT 2023

Finally, in the Northern Territory, public holidays come thick and fast in Autumn before slowing down until the run home to Christmas. Here is what you need to know.

Date Public Holiday
Sunday 1 January New Year’s Day
Monday 2 January Additional public holiday for New Year’s Day
Thursday 26 January Australia Day
Friday 7 April Good Friday
Saturday 8 April Easter Saturday
Monday 10 April Easter Monday
Tuesday 25 April Anzac Day
Monday 1 May May Day
Monday 23 June King’s Birthday
Monday 7 August Picnic Day
Sunday 24 December Christmas Eve (from 7 pm to 12 midnight)
Monday 25 December Christmas Day
Tuesday 26 December Boxing Day
Monday 26 December Boxing Day
Sunday 31 December New Year’s Eve (from 7 pm to 12 midnight)

lounge chairs on the beach
Why Annual Leave is Important

Annual leave is invaluable for mental and physical health, which will help employees be more productive and benefit the workplace as a whole- win-win! Most full-time employees in Australia get around four weeks of paid annual leave, and it has several benefits on both an individual level and an organisational level.

On an individual level, taking annual leave has several mental health benefits, such as reducing stress, elevating mood, and allowing rest, which boosts immunity. By taking time off to relax or go on a holiday, employees get to take a step back and enjoy life’s many pleasures they have earned through all their hard work.

With a team of happy, healthy employees, taking annual leave, therefore, has many benefits on an organisational level. A happier staff equals happier teams, which boosts overall morale and productivity. Annual leave arrangements also increase job satisfaction which improves employee retention and allows for fewer unexplained absences, such as the classic ‘sick day’, which in its unplanned nature, can negatively affect the flow of a workplace.

how to maximise annual leave in 2022

General FAQs

When should I take leave over Easter Long Weekend?

To maximise your time off, take four days of leave preceding the long weekend from April 3 to 6. This way, you can turn four days of annual leave into nine days off.

When should I take leave in December?

In December, take leave from the 27th to the 29 to give yourself a big Christmas holiday.

When is the best time to take leave in Australia?

The best time to take leave in Australia is over the Easter/ ANZAC long weekend.

CONTRIBUTOR

Aimee O'Keefe

Aimee O’Keefe is a Sydney-based freelance writer with a background in content marketing, lifestyle, architecture and travel coverage. She completed a Bachelor's degree in Media and Communications at the University of Sydney and has worked with Universal Magazines, various leading digital marketing agencies and The Local Project.