5 Australia Day weekend getaway ideas
These are the perfect Aussie escapes for a long weekend.
Updated . What changed?
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
Heads up holidaymakers, Australia Day falls on a Tuesday this year, so you're looking at a pretty sweet four-day weekend ahead of you. All you need to do is lock in one day of annual leave for the Monday.
This calls for a getaway.
To help you out, we've come up with a guide to some of the best long weekend destinations in Australia that you can head to this year.
Our top 5 picks for an Australia Day long weekend getaway
Image: Visit Canberra
1. Best for a patriotic Australia Day: Canberra
Where else would you go to celebrate Australia Day than our nation's capital?
Canberra comes alive on Australia Day, with all your standard celebrations and more. This includes the flag raising and citizenship ceremonies as well as an Australia Day in the Park festival and fireworks over Lake Burley Griffin at night.
- What to do: Cycle around Lake Burley Griffin, climb Mount Ainslie, visit the National Museum of Australia or the National Gallery.
- Day trips from Canberra: Batemans Bay, Merimbula and the Sapphire Coast. Search for your car hire here.
- Where to stay: Novotel Canberra.
2. Best for a city break: Melbourne
For a long weekend, Melbourne is always a good idea.
Hip cafes, boutique shops and a walkable city centre make Melbourne the ideal destination for a short getaway. From taking a stroll through the local markets to soaking up the rays by the beach, you won't be short on things to do.
- What to do: See the Victoria Street Markets, sunbake or kitesurf on St Kilda Beach, have a picnic in Kings Domain, shop Brunswick Street, relax in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
- Day trips from Melbourne: Visit Phillip Island, drive the Great Ocean Road, relax at Daylesford and take the kids to Werribee Open Range Zoo.
- Where to stay: The Langham.
3. Best to go bush: Tasmania
Escape the summer heat in our nation's southernmost state. Typically, January offers a welcome escape from those blistering Australian heatwaves.
Tasmania is one of those places that you can cover in anything from a few days to a few weeks. If you've got yourself four days off, why not rent a car and road trip your way around this picturesque island?
Be sure to stay in Hobart on Australia Day though, as the local Kingston Beach hosts a great event, which includes an iconic inflatable thong race – something that other Australian cities have stopped doing.
- What to do: Hike Cradle Mountain, visit the Museum of Modern Art, spend time at the Salamanca Markets, check out Freycinet National Park, visit the historic Port Arthur, take a trip to Burnie Island or Coles Bay.
- Day trips around Tasmania: Full-day guided Bruny Island tour, day tour of Mt Field, Mt Wellington, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and Richmond and Wineglass Bay and Freycinet full-day tour.
- Where to stay: Grand Chancellor Hotel.
4. Best to enjoy the summer sun: Hamilton Island
An idyllic island escape for an idyllic four-day long weekend.
Family-friendly activities fill the island from December to January, so if you're taking the brood for a holiday, you'll not be short on activities.
That's not to say that couples or sunseekers can't enjoy Hamilton Island on their own. With plenty of activities and private bungalows at your fingertips, you're sure to find exactly what you need to unwind on Hamilton Island.
- What to do: Snorkelling, diving, sailing, golfing and other watersports.
- Day trips from Hamilton Island: Whitehaven Beach, Airlie Beach and Conway National Park.
- Where to stay: Palm Bungalows.
5. Best for the Australia Day fireworks: Sydney
Love Sydney's New Year's Eve fireworks? Wait until you see its Australia Day celebrations.
Sydney goes off with a bang on Australia Day, with a fantastic 15-minute pyrotechnics display. Traditionally over Darling Harbour, the city of Sydney now celebrates the day at Circular Quay. See our Australia Day Sydney guide for all the best vantage points.
During the day, there are more celebrations than you can poke a stick at, including a concert at the Sydney Opera House and a ferrython race through Sydney Harbour. With four days to work with, you can sightsee the city and then some, making it an ideal destination for a long weekend – especially if you've never made the trip before.
- What to do: Walking tour of the Sydney Opera House, check out the Sydney Harbour Bridge, try surfing at Bondi Beach, catch the view from Sydney Tower, meet the animals at Taronga Zoo, grab food and drinks at Barangaroo.
- Where to stay: Hyatt Regency Sydney.
Our top travel deals around Australia
More guides on Finder
Best Retro Game Consoles in Australia
Whether you’re looking back on the games of your youth or picking up retro game collecting as a hobby, here’s the best retro games consoles in Australia.
Best sleep masks in Australia
We've found the best sleep masks you can buy right now including light blocking, memory foam, cooling, silk and gel options.
Escape rooms in Sydney
Lock in an escape room experience in Sydney with our guide detailing what you need to know.
Best computers in Australia
These are the 6 best computers you can buy right now in Australia.
Best ultrabooks in Australia
These are the best ultrabooks currently on the market here in Australia.
Best iPads in Australia
These are the six best iPads you can buy right now in Australia.
Best moisturiser for dry skin in Australia
These are the 7 best dry-skin moisturisers for face, body and hands that you can buy in Australia right now.
Best setting powders in Australia
These are the eight best setting powders in Australia right now.
5 ideas and things to do on Boxing Day in Canberra
In Canberra on 26 December? We’ve got your itinerary sorted.
Things to do on Boxing Day in Perth
Here are the top experiences you can book on Boxing Day to make the most of your day off. Plus, discover the restaurants, cafes and bars open, too.
Ask an Expert