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2021 school holidays – it’s time to start dreaming big

Looking for a summary of the 2021 school holidays in Australia? You’re in the right place. No matter if you’re in NSW, VIC, QLD or any other Aussie state or territory, we’ve mapped out the holiday dates so you can get planning adventures for 2021.

There’s no doubting that 2020 threw us all some curveballs. So we’re putting the year behind us and looking to 2021. Researching and planning awesome family getaways to make up for lost time. There’s no better way to launch a fresh start than getting away from it all and planning a vacation for the new year.

So spread out your calendars, travel guides, Instagram inspo and mood boards – we’ve got some dreaming to do for the 2021 school holidays!

London with kids
It might just be time to head overseas again when 2021 school holidays roll around. Credit: Shutterstock

Mark the following dates in your diaries. Then check out these month-by-month suggestions for your 2021 school holidays:

Summer school holidays 2020-21

It is hard to predict where travel is going in the next few months. So, perhaps play it safe and keep things local this summer, exploring the best your state has to offer.

NSWSaturday 19 December to Tuesday 26 January 2021
VictoriaSaturday 19 December to Wednesday 27 January 2021
ACTFriday 18 December to Sunday 31 January 2021
TasmaniaFriday 18 December to Tuesday 2 February 2021
South AustraliaSaturday 12 December to Sunday 31 January 2021
Western AustraliaFriday 18 December to Sunday 31 January 2021
Northern TerritoryFriday 18 December to Sunday 31 January 2021
QueenslandSaturday 12 December to Tuesday 26 January 2021
You can confirm the specifics at the Australian Government’s School Holidays page.

With a whopping 6 weeks to play with, and the fun and frivolity of the festive season to fuel you, aim for longer trips along the coast.

In NSW the 2021 school holidays are a great time to hit the surf in Byron Bay. If you’re thinking about Queensland fun, think Noosa or Fraser Island over the summer break. The Tassie temperatures are certainly alluring at this time of year. Go for a dip in Cataract Gorge or delve into the MONA air con to make the most of your school holidays in 2021.

Read more: the top 10 sizzling summer destinations in Australia

Byron Bay with kids school holidays
Soak up the boutiques and beach vibes at Byron. Credit: Shutterstock

Autumn school holidays 2021

NSWSaturday 3 April to Sunday 18 April
VictoriaFriday 2 April to Sunday 18 April
ACTFriday 2 April to Sunday 18 April
TasmaniaSaturday 10 April to Monday 26 April
South AustraliaSaturday 10 April to Monday 26 April
Western AustraliaFriday 2 April to Sunday 18 April
Northern TerritoryMonday 12 April to Friday 16 April
QueenslandFriday 2 April to Sunday 18 April

If you’re sticking down under during Autumn, consider regional NSW for your 2021 school holidays. Or venture to regional Victoria and Queensland for an outback adventure or farm stay. If you’re travelling with teens, this is a great time to tackle a multi-day hike or test drive a new city.

Read more: top school holiday regions in NSW

April is also ideal in the Kimberley, where you can explore the Bungle Bungles and Lake Kunanurra. Or head to Broome, where, if you time it right, you might just get to see the staircase to the moon.

The unusual sight of the Bungle Bungles is one for the bucket list. Credit: Shutterstock

If you’re keen to head overseas around Easter, Japan beckons with the pink of cherry blossoms. And South-east Asia enjoys the last of its dry season, with mild temperatures in Cambodia and Laos.

Further afield, the Irish celebrate St Patrick’s Day. And the European spring heralds tulip fever and King’s Day national holiday in the Netherlands.

school holidays
Like something out of a fairytale, Japan’s shrines and castles turn magic in cherry blossom season. Credit: Shutterstock

Winter school holidays 2021

NSWSaturday 26 June to Sunday 11 July
VictoriaSaturday 26 June to Sunday 11 July
ACTSaturday 26 June to Sunday 11 July
TasmaniaSaturday 3 July to Sunday 18 July
South AustraliaSaturday 3 July to Sunday 18 July
Western AustraliaSaturday 3 July to Sunday 18 July
Northern TerritoryMonday 28 June to Friday 16 July
QueenslandSaturday 26 June to Sunday 11 July
Great Barrier Reef school holidays
Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to snorkel with turtles on the Barrier Reef. Credit: Shutterstock

Anyone who resides in the southern half of the Aussie map will be despairing as they don beanies and rug up for winter. For some schools, the winter 2021 school holidays are a luxurious three weeks long. Chase the sun to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays. The dry season also brings many a visitor to the Top End’s national parks.

If you’re in NSW or Victoria you’ll know that these are the 2021 school holidays to head to the snow. But if international travel is back on the agenda, consider crossing the ditch to ski New Zealand.

Read more: Top tips for skiing with kids and teens or Where to ski in Australia and New Zealand

Fiji and the pacific islands are perfect places to escape to the sun over winter. This is peak season for Aussie families, so book early to get the best airfares and hotel deals.

Read more: Why Fiji is the best place for families

If you’re planning a staycation over the winter holidays here are some ideas to help you keep the kids entertained at home

Fiji family hotels
Fiji is known for warm hospitality and great kids activities. Picture: Radisson Blu Fiji

Spring school holidays 2021

NSWSaturday 18 September to Sunday 3 October
VictoriaSaturday 18 September to Sunday 3 October
ACTSaturday 18 September to Monday 4 October
TasmaniaSaturday 25 September to Sunday 10 October
South AustraliaSaturday 25 September to Sunday 10 October
Western AustraliaSaturday 25 September to Sunday 10 October
Northern TerritoryMonday 27 September to Friday 8 October
QueenslandSaturday 18 September to Monday 4 October
The Great Wall of China.
Make sure the Great Wall of China and Forbidden City get on your itinerary. Credit: Alison Godfrey

Enjoy fewer crowds and cooler weather in China and Taiwan. Then tap into the festival season in Nepal, which celebrates Dashain, Diwali and Tihar in October. Alternatively, make the most of Europe’s shoulder season in the quaint English Cotswolds, and enjoy Oktoberfest in Germany. Australia blushes with the springtime colour as Canberra hosts the Floriade Festival and Western Australia’s wildflower fields bloom. Keep your eyes peeled for whales on the south coast of NSW.

Fields of tulips with Ferris wheel in background at Canberra Floriade school holidays
There is plenty for families at Floriade Credit: Fon Hodes/Shutterstock

Summer school holidays 2021-22

NSWSaturday 18 December to Thursday 27 January 2022
VictoriaSaturday 18 December to Monday 31 January 2022
ACTSaturday 18 December to Sunday 30 January 2022
TasmaniaFriday 17 December
South AustraliaSaturday 11 December to Sunday 30 January 2022
Western AustraliaFriday 17 December to Sunday 30 January 2022
Northern TerritoryMonday 20 December to Friday 28 January 2022
QueenslandSaturday 11 December to Sunday 23 January 2022

We’re crossing our fingers that by the summer 2021 school holidays, air travel and borders will have opened up completely and we can come and go as we please. So we’re thinking bucket list trips.

It is prime Northern Lights viewing season in Scandinavia, Christmas mayhem in Austria and ski madness in Switzerland. Skip Sri Lankan monsoon season by surfing and snorkelling in January instead, or luxe it up in the Maldives. Or how about a trip to Canada? It’s a great place to teach the kids to ski, spot killer whales off Vancouver Island or check out Niagara Falls.

If you’re looking for inspiration, have a read of these:

Why you should avoid ‘vanilla holidays’

24 famous landmarks to tick off your bucket list

11 travelling families on Instagram

Where are the Disneylands?

Experiencing the magic of the Northern Lights is a once-in-lifetime experience Credit: Shutterstock


School holidays on a shoe-string

Top Aussie destinations for large group holidays

How to find a good coffee while travelling

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