The best annual leave dates to take in order to get the longest holiday possible.


Each year I feel like I’m squeezing, stretching and spreading out my hard-earned annual leave; it’s starting to feel like an endless task as my bucket list creeps longer. Getting the most out of an allotted 20 days annual leave is a fine art. But it can be done with a little planning and determination, especially if you start now.

People ask me ‘How are you travelling so often?’ sadly it’s not because I have a tonne of money or extended leave. It’s because I’ve become a master at mini-getaways and weekend escapes on the back of public holidays and I’m here to tell you, this coming year is the year to make the most of it. So, let’s start right now:

The upcoming Christmas, Boxing and New Years Day’s are all national holidays, mix that with all sorts of forced leave and school holiday leave and it allows for some seriously big opportunities. But for those who are sticking to the calendar here’s the deal for 2018/19: All you need to do is take four days annual leave for an 11 day break from 22 December – 1 January. Not bad right?

Australia Day also being a national public holiday means the rule applies for all, seeing as the 26 January falls on Saturday, this means the day is observed on 28 Monday so by taking 25 Friday off you’ve got yourself a 4 day break. Hello extended weekend!

maximise annual leave
"Getting the most out of an allotted 20 days annual leave is a fine art. But it can be done with a little planning and determination." Image supplied.

What you really need to be thinking about is April next year. It just so happens that Easter falls the week before Anzac Day. Easter in each state and territory runs from 19 – 22 April and Anzac remains the 25 April. So, by taking a mere three days annual leave you invariably receive 10 days leave in one fell swoop. Or leave the week before and take seven days annual leave for 16 days holiday from 13 -28 April. Did someone say Bali?

This leads us to Christmas and New Years of 2019/20 where you can take five days annual leave for 12 days holiday leave from 21 December to 1 January. Yep, you read correctly.

Are these not working for you? No problem, read on below for each state and territories public holidays for 2019. Disclaimer; having read up on each state’s public holiday allowance I am seriously considering moving interstate.


It appears we all need to move to Australia’s Capital and/or Victoria immediately, all you need to do is take 21 days as annual leave for a whopping 59 days holiday leave in total (assuming you’re taking advantage of the above and below.)


  • Canberra Day, 11 March
  • Reconciliation Day, 27 May
  • Queen’s Birthday, 10 June
  • Labour Day, 7 October


  • Labour Day, 11 March
  • Queen’s Birthday, 10 June
  • The race that stops the nation also happens to be a game changer for Victorians. Melbourne Cup lands on 5 November so with this you have two options: Use the Monday and you have yourself a 4 day break! Or use the Monday and jet off on the Friday and say hello to five days off!

In Western Australian, South Australia and the Northern Territory you can take a measly 20 days annual leave for an incredible 55 days off in return.


Western Australia seems to have it perfectly sorted out. All that sun and solace has them thinking straight. Not only do they have an extra public holiday, but they’ve spaced them out so beautifully. There’s something to look forward to every few months. Remind me why I don’t live here!

  • Labour Day, 4 March
  • Western Australia Day, 3 June
  • Queen’s Birthday, 30 September


  • May Day, 6 May
  • Queen’s Birthday, 10 June
  • Picnic Day, 5 August


  • March Public Holiday, 11 March
  • Queen’s Birthday, 10 June
  • Labour Day, 7 October

In New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania we must have drawn the short straw but it’s still a pretty good deal, take as little as 19 days annual leave for a delightful 51 actual days of holiday leave.


  • Queen’s Birthday, 10 June
  • Labour Day, 7 October


  • The Labour Day, 6 May
  • Queen’s Birthday, 7 October


  • 8 Hours Day, 11 March
  • The Queen’s Birthday, 10 June

I realise that by putting this out in the open that there may be a surge of leave applications being submitted (we’re giving you all an even chance by publishing this article on Saturday.) And I’m secretly hoping my colleagues don’t read this so I can be first in to get my April leave approved. LOL. Jokes, I submitted it weeks ago ;)