5 Australia Day weekend getaway ideas

These are the perfect Aussie escapes for a long weekend.

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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

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.

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Melbourne.Australia.Day

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.

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Tasmania.AustraliaDay

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.

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HamiltonIsland.AustraliaDay

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.

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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.

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