How to make the most of your Public Holidays in 2017

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Have you ever wanted to be that amazing human who’s perpetually on holidays, always has a short break on their mind, and is continually counting down to travel?

We all know someone like this and while we unsubscribe politely from their holiday photos on Instagram while we’re stuck in traffic commuting to work, we have wondered – how do they do it?

They’re powered by motivational travel quotes like:

Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out. Take another shot.

– Ziad K Abdelnour

In the end though, all it really comes down to is planning ahead for your passion.

With that in mind and some inspiration, we’ve made it easy for you to make the most of your annual leave and public holidays in 2017 and pulled together a year’s worth of holiday ideas in Queensland for you.

It’s time to whip out that calendar and Facebook message your mates for a catch up to talk travel.

2017 Queensland Calendar – Public Holidays Edition

How to make the most of the 2017 Public Holidays In Queensland

*Information and suggestions in the calendar and post are to be used as inspiration and a guide only as we acknowledge that everyone’s situation is different. It is based on the standard four weeks of annual leave and the standard working week in Australia. It also focuses on main public holidays for the Australian East Coast, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Our main inspiration for this post come from this Skyscanner post from earlier this year.

January – Surround yourself with sea

Hill Inlet in The Whitsundays

Public Holidays: 2 January – New Year’s Day (additional day) and 26 January – Australia Day

Days to take annual leave: Take off Friday 27 January to enjoy a four-day break from Thursday 26 January – Sunday 29 January.

Where to go: The Whitsunday Islands

Find an island off the coast of our island home to set up the year that you want to have.

To see the Whitsunday Islands in a way the locals see it, hire a charter yacht and sail yourself and your friends to have more quality time in the beautiful places that other travellers rarely see like Nara Inlet on Hook Island.

For a more flop-and-drop experience, sip cocktails and stay poolside at Hamilton Island, Daydream or Hayman Islands. Do not leave The Whitsundays without a scenic flight over Whitehaven Beach and Heart Reef.

Must-see event: 6-17 January 2017 | Jeep Magic Millions Carnival, Sales and Raceday on the Gold Coast.

February – Treat yo’ self / partner / friends

Gold Coast Skyline - Surfers Paradise Stretch

Days to note: 14 February – Valentine’s Day

Where to go: Gold Coast

In this month of love, there is a stretch of the Gold Coast that can deliver the lovin’ vibe you’re after. Each precinct from Coolangatta in the south to Main Beach in the north has brilliant food, drink and beach options for you to fall in love with, proven with this guide.

  • Coupled up: Start the morning early with a Hot Air Balloon trip over the Gold Coast Hinterland followed by a champagne breakfast at a local winery. Sneak in a nap, then head back out for lunch and beach time. Reserve a table at the Fish House in Burleigh for dinner with a view.
  • Riding solo: Treat yo’ self to a spa day or retreat week for total relaxation or a bit of a detox from the world because everyone needs a bit of self-love every now and then.
  • Friend-cation: Pick a theme for a weekend away and get going, a few ideas we have prepared earlier – wine time, thrill-seekers and day-trippers.

If all else fails, head to the Gold Coast beaches to soak up the last rays on those summer beach days.

Must-see event: 17-19 February 2017 | Agnes Blues, Roots & Rock Festival in Gladstone.

March – This is city livin’

Frenchmans Lookout on North Stradbroke Island

Public Holidays: 13 March – Labour Day (VIC)

Days to take annual leave: Take off Friday, Monday (if you’re not in Victoria) and Tuesday to make a five-day short break from Friday 10 March – Tuesday 14 March.

Where to go: Brisbane City + North Stradbroke Island

Live like a local in Brisbane City for a few days. Dine with river views, enjoy evening drinks as the sun goes down at an expanding range of rooftop bars and spend your days exploring the distinct inner-city precincts like West End and Paddington.

Now it’s time to explore Brisbane’s best-kept secret, North Stradbroke Island. Catch a ferry from Cleveland on the south side of Brisbane and you can be chilling on the picturesque island within an hour.

Stay overnight in a holiday house or camp by the beach by night. By day, tick off the North Gorge Walk, a day at South Gorge Beach or Cylinder Beach and a swim in Brown Lake – a freshwater lake tinted a tea colour by the eucalyptus trees that line the edge.

Must-see event: 4-11 March 2017 | Noosa Festival of Surfing on the Sunshine Coast.

April – Road trip!

Rainbow Beach on the Sunshine Coast

Public Holidays: 14 April – Good Friday, 17 April – Easter Monday and 25 April – Anzac Day.

Days to take annual leave: Take off four days between Tuesday 18 and Friday 21 April to make a 12-day break from Friday 14 April – Tuesday 25 April.

Where to go: Pacific Coast Way

This road trip is Queensland’s answer to Route 66. The Pacific Coast Way covers 1700km from Brisbane to Cairns with a pick-your-own-adventure style to it because you decide which coastal towns, big things or natural landmarks you pull into along the way.

We can point you in the right direction with this itinerary or this itinerary.

Must-see event: 7-9 April 2016 | Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival in Outback Queensland

May – Hiking in nature in your active wear

Mackay Highlands Great Walk

Public Holidays: 1 May – Labour Day (QLD)

Days to take annual leave: Monday 1 May – Friday 5 May to make a week-long break. Take off Tuesday to Friday.

Where to go: Mackay Highlands Great Walk

Use your active wear for its intended purpose and pump those leg muscles on a bushwalk through one of our national parks.

When you’re ready to take things to the next level, lace up those hiking boots and pack your gear for a three-day Great Walk adventure through the Mackay Highlands, specifically Eungella National Park, Broken River and Pioneer Valley.

Must-see event: 18-21 May 2017 | Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival on the Gold Coast.

June – Road trip! EPIC edition

Frenchmans Track Cape York

Public Holiday: 12 June – Queen’s Birthday (NSW & VIC)

Days to take annual leave: Thursday 8 June, Friday 9 June, Tuesday 13 June and Wednesday 14 June to make seven days.

Where to go: Cape York, Tropical North Queensland

Now the word ‘epic’ gets bandied around a lot but this road trip to Cape York is worth the title a hundred times over.

Drive the road less travelled, experience that BIG sky feeling people tell stories about, and end up at the top end of Australia – a feat not many Australians have ticked off their bucket lists.

You can self-drive with plenty of prep or join a guided 4WD tour to experience The Tip.

Must-see event: 31 March – 16 April 2017 | Bleach* Festival on the Gold Coast.

July – Say heeeelllllllllllllllllllllllooooooo to the whales

Whale Watching in Hervey Bay

Where to go: Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast

If humpback whales could give advice on a short break in Queensland, they would know just the place – Hervey Bay. The whales choose these safe, calm waters to show their new calves how to play and important survival techniques.

This provides a wow whale watching experience and if you’re wanting to get a closer underwater look, some boats offer a chance to snorkel with our majestic marine friends.

Must-see event: 28 July – 5 August 2017 | Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville

August – Do the Daintree #DoIt

Emmagen Creek in the Daintree National Park

Public Holidays: 16 August – Exhibition Holiday (BNE)

Days to take annual leave: Take 17 and 18 August off to enjoy five days of leave (for Brisbane residents) from Wednesday 16 August – Sunday 20 August.

Where to go: Daintree Rainforest, Tropical North Queensland

Retreat to the Daintree Rainforest and you’ll quickly understand why it forms part of the World Heritage Wet Tropics Area.

Walking through the rainforest you’ll feel a sense of its ancient age and you’ll see a diversity of plant-life and wildlife that will overload your senses. Refresh with a swim in Mossman Gorge, snorkel on remote reefs off Cape Tribulation and stay in a treehouse to fully appreciate this epic rainforest.

Must-see event: 10-17 August 2017 | Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing in The Whitsundays.

September – The Outback’s Amazing Race

Birdsville Hotel during the Birdsville Races

Where to go: Birdsville, Outback Queensland

Tick off two bucket-list items in one go by timing a visit to Outback Queensland with the iconic Birdsville Races on 1 September 2017.

Drink a XXXX at the Birdsville Hotel and don’t leave without seeing the Big Red sand dune. Prep for the journey with this itinerary.

Must-see event: 5-10 September 2017 | 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships Cairns in Tropical North Queensland.

October – Challenge: How many Great Barrier Reef Islands can you do in 9 Days?

Snorkelling with Manta Rays on Lady Elliot Island

Public Holiday: 2 October – Queen’s Birthday (QLD) and Labour Day (NSW)

Days to take annual leave: Take off Tuesday 3 October to Friday 6 October (for QLD & NSW residents) to make nine days of leave from Saturday 30 September – Sunday 9 October.

Where to go: Islands of the Southern Great Barrier Reef

The thing about the Great Barrier Reef is that it’s 2,300km long and each precinct along the coast and every island on the reef has its own story to tell.

Starting with the Southern Great Barrier Reef Islands, you can split your time between the manta ray and turtle mecca of Lady Elliot Island from Bundaberg then dive into the world-class dive sites that are within minutes of Heron Island off Gladstone.

Throw in a couple of day tours to Lady Musgrave or Great Keppel Islands and you up the number of islands you can visit in one trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

Must-see event: 19-22 October 2017 | Wanderlust on the Sunshine Coast.

November – Slow down Sunshine

Serenity Falls Sunshine Caost

Where to go: Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Take the chance to slow down before the silly season strikes with a short break in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

Spend your mornings on walking tracks – like the trail to the Kondalilla National Park swimming hole – to build an appetite for lunch in Montville, then make a run to the coast for afternoon beach time. Repeat daily until you are stress-free.

Must-see event: 1-5 November 2017 | Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival on the Sunshine Coast.

December – Get off the grid

Camping on Queensland's Islands

Public Holidays: 25 December – Christmas Day and 26 December – Boxing Day

Days to take annual leave: Whatever leave you have left over!

Where to go: Any island you can camp on

Sometimes, by the time the end of the year comes around all you want to do is get off the grid. Lucky for you, camping is a thing and Queensland has islands.

Get your camp on at Moreton, Fraser, Pelorus, Dunk, Keswick or South Molle Islands and celebrate the year that was and get ready for 2018.

Must-see event: 8-16 December 2017 | Queensland Ballet – The Nutcracker in Brisbane.

Do you have any tips for maximising your time for travel? Share below in the comments.