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How to make the most of your Public Holidays in 2018

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Have you ever wanted to be that amazing human who’s perpetually on holidays, always has a short break on the horizon 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 – with roughly twenty days of annual leave each year, how do they actually do perpetual holidays?

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, all it really comes down to is planning ahead.

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 2018 and pulled together a year’s worth of holiday ideas for you.

It’s time to whip out that calendar, fire up your group chat to talk travel and turn 18 days of annual leave into 46 days of holiday memories.

2018 Public Holidays (aka 2018 Holiday Plan)

Public Holidays 2018 - Queensland Holiday Guide

*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 comes from this Skyscanner post.

January – Waterfalls to Great Barrier Reef islands

Pumpkin Island - Public Holidays 2018

Photo by @_markfitz

Public Holidays: 1 January – New Year’s Day | 26 January – Australia Day.

Days to take annual leave: Take off Tuesday 2 to Friday 5 January and Monday 29 January to extend the public holidays.

Where to go: Gold Coast Hinterland and Pumpkin Island

After a hectic NYE, get ready for 2018 in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Head to Springbrook National Park for a physical challenge and waterfall watching, then wash off the hard work with some DIY salt therapy at Burleigh Heads.

Treat yourself and 30ish mates and rent your own island for some true blue Australia Day celebrations on Pumpkin Island in the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

March – City time to island time (within 90 minutes)

Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island - Public Holidays 2018

Public Holidays: 12 March – Labour Day (VIC) | 30-31 March – Easter.

Days to take annual leave: Take off Friday 9 March (if you’re based in Victoria).

Where to go: Brisbane and Moreton Island

Live like a local in Brisbane for a day. 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, Moreton Island. Catch a ferry from Pinkenba and you can be chilling on the picturesque island within an hour and a half.

Stay at Tangalooma Island Resort, one of the many holiday houses or camp by the beach by night. By day, snorkel the Tangalooma Wrecks, snap the lighthouse, swim in the Champagne Pools or sand board the dunes.

April – Roooooaaaaaad triiiiiiiiiip! 🚙

Inskip Point along the Pacific Touring Route - Public Holidays 2018

Photo by Tim Clarke

Public Holidays: 1-2 April – Easter | 25 April – Anzac Day.

Days to take annual leave: Take off four days between Tuesday 3 and Friday 6 April around Easter and take Thursday 26 and Friday 27 April off after ANZAC day.

Where to go: Pacific Coast Way and Fraser Island

This road trip is Queensland’s answer to Route 66 and perfect for Easter exploring. 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.

When it comes to ANZAC day, head to Fraser Island and set-up camp around this World Heritage sand island. With access to Lake Mackenzie and the chance to coast down Eli Creek (with or without the inflatable), you won’t be disappointed.

May – Hidden National Park haven

Public Holidays: 7 May – Labour Day (QLD)

Days to take annual leave: Friday 4 May to make it a long weekend break.

Where to go: Carnarvon Gorge, Capricorn

Plan some mother nature time and get amongst the Indigenous rock art, moss gardens and waterfalls at Carnarvon Gorge.

Keep an eye out for a platypus as dusk or sunrise while you’re out on a day hike or take your active-wear and hiking boots on a real challenge on the Carnarvon Great Walk.

June – Head to the tip, baby!

Cape York - Public Holidays 2018Public Holiday: 11 June – Queen’s Birthday (NSW & VIC)

Days to take annual leave: Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 June to make five days (when you include Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June).

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, see that BIG sky 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. June is the start of the dry season which is the best time to explore the area.

August – I’m on a boat

Public Holidays: 6 August – Bank holiday (NSW) | 15 August – Exhibition Holiday (Brisbane)

Days to take annual leave: Take 7 and 8 August off (NSW) and 13 and 14 August for Brisbanites to enjoy a five-day trip.

Where to go: The Whitsundays

From Airlie Beach, set sail around the 74 islands of the Whitsundays. Kick back with a skipper and crew or DIY with a bareboating experience.

Drop in to see what the hype is all about the world’s best beach a.k.a Whitehaven in between snorkelling the reefs and watching the sunset with a cocktail in hand.

September – Palms, reef and world heritage

Mission Beach - Public Holidays 2018

Where to go: Mission Beach, Tropical North Queensland

If your dream tropical holiday starts with palm-fringed beaches and prehistoric birds, kick-off your Queen’s birthday celebrations early in Mission Beach.

Spot a cassowary in the wild before doing a day trip to Dunk or Bedarra Island and start to explore the Wet Tropics.

October – Do the Daintree #DoIt

Mossman Gorge - Public Holidays 2018

Photo by @gypsea_lust_

Public Holiday: 1 October – Queen’s Birthday (QLD) and Labour Day (NSW)

Days to take annual leave: Take off Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 October (for QLD & NSW residents) to make five days of leave from Saturday 29 September.

Where to go: The Daintree, 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.

December – Get off the grid and into the Wilderness

Rainbow Beach - Public Holidays 2018

Photo by @laurenepbath

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

Days to take annual leave: Thursday 27 and Friday 28 December to make a six-day break.

Where to go: Cooloola Wilderness Trail, Sunshine Coast

Spend the Christmas to New Year’s break beachside at Rainbow Beach. Get your 4WD tyres sandy and take on the Great Beach Drive or work off the excess and do it the hard way on two legs across the Cooloola Wilderness Trail.

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