With blue skies almost a daily fixture, Australian school children are counting down the minutes until they’re liberated from the classroom for the September school holidays.
It might seem like a stressful time to organise activities, childcare and vacations but we’ve provided a guide in to how best enjoy the spring vacation – the last long break until Christmas.
When are the school holidays?
The school holidays differ across Australia’s states.
For Victorian students, the school holidays start on September 22 and finish on October 7.
This is the same in WA and Queensland.
However, for children in NSW, SA and the ACT, the holidays start a week later on September 29 and finish on October 14. It’s also the same in Tasmania.
Northern Territory students start their holidays on September 29 but finish on October 15.
What weather we can expect these school holidays
Mostly warm weather is expected for much of the nation during the school holiday period.
However, Southeast Queensland residents are expected receive some light showers, no more than 3mm throughout the two weeks, with temperatures between 11 to the mid-20s.
Thunderstorms are forecast for Friday, October 10 and the following day to close out the break.
AFL Grand Final Day – Saturday, September 29 – in Melbourne will be cloudy with some rain, as will the Sunday, with showers in the morning. The first week will see temperatures reach as high as 23 degrees with the second week of the school holidays much warmer, reaching 26.
Sydney residents will also be soaked on Grand Final weekend with Saturday, Sunday and Monday seeing showers.
The rain will ease throughout the week, but will return for the weekend of October 6-7.
Temperatures will also sit around the low to high 20s.
Aussie families heading to the Gold Coast
Many Queenslanders, and some keen for an interstate trip to the beach, hit the Gold Coast for their school holidays.
The sun and the surf will draw people in but for anyone with kids it’s also Surfers Paradise Kids Week from September 29 until October 5.
Events include virtual reality experiences, sporting activities along the shore and daily live shows from 1pm. It’s all free too, and hosted along The Esplanade.
For anyone wanting a break from the kids activities, Saturday October 6 at Burleigh is the Crafted Festival – celebrating local and interstate brewers of cider and beer.
It also includes a full day of live music.
Hot spots in New South Wales
Data shows that most visitors to New South Wales during the school holidays head for the nation’s largest city.
Most domestic overnight visitors to the state over the September break in 2015, 2016 and 2017 have travelled to Sydney, according to Destination NSW.
Second in the top five list of destinations was the North Coast of the state, home to beach meccas such as Byron Bay, followed by the state’s world famous wine region: the Hunter Valley.
Others checked out the sand and surf on the state’s south coast while the fifth-most popular destination for domestic visitors was Central NSW, home to towns such as Dubbo, home to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Public Holidays during the break
The first Monday of October is a public holiday in a number of Australian states.
In the ACT and NSW, the Monday is observed as Labour Day while Queensland celebrates the Queen’s Birthday.
This is despite the fact the ACT, NSW, Victoria and SA all celebrate the Queen’s Birthday on the second Monday of June.
Queensland moved the date of the Queen’s Birthday to October in 2016 so it coincides with the grand finals for both the AFL and the NRL.
As for Victoria, it decided to introduce a public holiday for the annual AFL Grand Final parade in 2015.
This holiday isn’t celebrated in any of Australia’s other states and takes place on the Friday before the code’s annual decider.
Things to do at home
If you don’t plan on leaving town then there are still plenty of activities to enjoy.
The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, has its Kids Couture exhibition running through the school holidays. Children can design their own clothes and bring them to life with tools, fabrics and paper. It’s recommended for kids aged 3-12.
For any Melbourne kids looking to stay active – The District Docklands is calling on all “junior ninjas” to attempt its obstacle course.
Kids can climb, jump and crawl their way through the structure, which is open from September 26 until October 7. It’s also free.
Are you an Autobot? Or a Decepticon? Brisbane’s Capalaba Shopping Centre will host a Transformers Immersive Zone for any kids who are secretly robots in disguise.
Test out the Deception NERF challenge arena along with puzzles and games. Also get a photo with your favourite Autobot. It runs September 24 until October 6.