Festivals and Holidays

Queensland releases its official list of public holidays, which may or may not be subject to change every year. On these holidays, businesses in Queensland are required to remain closed. However, there may be exemptions with regard to some trade services. Refer to justice.qld.gov.au/fair-and-safe-work/industrial-relations to learn more about the exempt and non-exempt shops and trade services.


Public holidays

New Years eve/Day (1st Jan)

Australia Day (26th January): Australia Day is one of the most significant yearly community celebrations in Queensland. It is a day for all Australians to celebrate the nation’s diversity, history and way of life. The day is celebrated differently by different local councils. A number of events and activities mark the day. For instance, the Whitsundays Regional Council or Townsville City Council may organize day-long events encompassing music, dance and other festivities. On Australia Day, the ‘Australian of the Year’, ‘Young Australian of the Year’, and ‘Senior Australian of the Year’ awards are also handed out.


Good Friday 

Easter Saturday

Easter Monday  

Anzac Day (25th April): Marking the anniversary of Australia’s first military action during WWII, Anzac Day is an important national occasion. It is typically marked by commemorative services in honour of servicemen who laid down their lives for the country.

Labour Day (2nd May)

Queen’s Birthday (13th June): A special day as Australia is a constitutional monarchy

Christmas Day (25th December)

Boxing Day (26th December): Popularly considered a ‘shopping holiday’, on this day, shops offer excellent discounts and great deals.

Non-religious festivals: In and around the Whistsundays, a number of festivals are held the year round. These include art, culture and performance. Of these, one of the biggest is the 5-day Culture Fest held in Townsville. It celebrates the art, passion and spirit of dancers, singers and artists. Every year in August, Townsville’s picturesque beachfront becomes a hub of activity, with performances, craft stalls and food stalls where visitors sample food from all over the world.

Quite a few visitors to the Whistsundays and nearby destinations plan their trip in accordance with the festivals held at different times of the year. The occurrence of these festivals can be weekly, once a year or once every few years. They can also be one-day festivals, weekend festivals, or extend to a week or more. Most are however held over the weekend so that the locals can attend them more conveniently.

Check out our events page to learn all about the fantastic and popular festivals attended by domestic and international travellers with great gusto.

Religious festivals: As Australia has become a melting pot of cultures, you will also find people from other communities, who are Australian citizens, celebrating their festivals. Queensland is a multi-cultural state, comprising people belonging to different religions, including Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim and Jew. For instance, the Indian community celebrates the important festival of lights, known as Diwali in Oct or Nov (the festival falls on different dates each year). But the most important and widely celebrated religious festival in these regions is Christmas.