Are you one of the many Australians who hoards their annual leave days? This year, why don't you cash them out and go somewhere you haven't been before?
There's always a public holiday on the horizon to break away from our 9-5 routine to go exploring without the worry of urgent work calls interrupting holiday bliss.
If you’ve got zero holiday plans coming up, consider this your prompt to add a few annual leave days to get a long weekend escape from Brisbane on your calendar.
Long weekends in Queensland to plan ahead for:
Ekka Show Holiday: Wednesday 11 August 2021 (take annual leave the Monday and Tuesday before or Thursday and Friday after)
- Queens Birthday public holiday: Monday 4 October 2021
- Ekka public holiday (rescheduled) Friday 29 October 2021
- Australia Day public holiday: Wednesday 26 January 2022 (take annual leave the Monday and Tuesday before or Thursday and Friday after)
- Easter long weekend: Friday 15 April - Monday 18 April 2022
- Anzac Day public holiday: Monday 25 April 2022
- Combine Easter and Anzac Day into a mini break: Friday 15 April - Monday 25 April 2022 (take four days annual leave to create an 11 day mini break)
- Labour Day public holiday: Monday 2 May 2022
- Ekka Show Holiday: Wednesday 10 August 2022 (take annual leave the Monday and Tuesday before or Thursday and Friday after)
- Queens Birthday public holiday: Monday 3 October 2022
1. Holiday in Hobart
Just shy of three hours of air travel separates our River City with the Apple Isle – and good news for those collecting frequent flyer points, most Australian carriers fly to the Harbour City aka Hobart.
Wearing the title of Australia’s second oldest city (after Sydney), Hobart is the place of architecture-lover’s dreams.
Days (and imaginations) can easily be lost wandering the streets of Battery Point, picturing life when Tasmania was not much more than a penal colony.
Just when you think Hobart is historical, it surprises with some of the most modern architecture in Australia.
Take MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, for instance, whose building is just as much a work of art as the exhibitions inside.
This is saying something when owner, David Walsh, describes the museum as “a subversive adult Disneyland”.
We acknowledge four days in Hobart is undeniably tight to explore a city which has the lion’s share of the 31 whiskey distilleries in Tasmania. However, we have a sneaky suspicion that once you take a bite out of the Apple Isle, you’ll come back for seconds.
2. Find a slice of paradise in Palm Cove
According to the internet, “everything works again when you turn it on and off at the wall, including yourself” – and Palm Cove in Tropical North Queensland is just the place to test this theory.
You’ll find this slice of paradise 30 minutes north of Cairns, a two-and-a-half-hour flight north of Brisbane.
Palm Cove are the specialists in the ‘flop and drop’ style of holiday, a place where the moment you arrive, you’re instantly cocooned by Palm Cove’s embrace.
It’s so relaxing that you might as well throw away your car keys – you won’t need wheels here anyway – that is, unless you want to go exploring the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest or both at Cape Tribulation.
Provided you check into one of the many plantation-style resorts along The Esplanade, you’ll have cafes, restaurants and bars all at your hotel’s doorstep, along with Clifton Beach – a former medallist in the Oscars equivalent of Queensland beach competitions, Queensland’s cleanest beach.
If self-care has fallen off your radar lately, we’d suggest filling your tank with a spa treatment before treating your stomach to a degustation at the highly awarded Nu Nu Restaurant.
3. Take off overseas to Christchurch
Not all neighbours take three and a half hours to visit, but the ones over the pond in Christchurch do.
Landing into Christchurch, you’ll be worlds away from our River City - with its postcard worthy scenery of the Pacific Ocean, Southern Alps and ancient volcanic mountains, all within driving distance of one another.
Big nature isn’t reserved for geological landforms – pay a visit to Kaikoura where you can spot incredible southern hemisphere marine life including sperm whales, orcas and humpbacks by boat, plane or helicopter.
Make it a true holiday with a spa experience you won’t be soon to forget at Hanmer Springs Natural Hot Pools, soaking in their mineral rich thermal pools while gazing out to giant redwood trees and mountains luring above.
If having your life flash before your eyes is more your idea of a good time, swap your soak for a skydive, jet boat ride or bungee jump to get the heart rate up, New Zealand adventure style.
4. See the Red Centre
It might be Australia’s most famous landform, but there is somewhat of a disconnect when of the 25.3 million people who live in Australia, only 300,000 people visit Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park each year.
Make 2020 the year to fly direct into Uluru and check into Voyagers Ayres Rock Resort who will take care of the rest.
Their day trips take the planning-pain out of getting around this remote landscape, with tours to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), Field of Light and of course, Uluru itself.
The beauty of this part of the world is undoubtedly the sunrise and sunset as the sky transforms into a pastel ombre and hangs in the distance for a lot longer than the ones we’re used to at home.
Make the most of your time on the ground catching these famous monoliths at various times of the day, taking them in in various ways.
The landforms do a daily transformation act as the sun travels across their face, new creases, folds and indents in the rockface reveal themselves to the naked eye.
With temperatures in the Red Centre varying significantly from day to night, it doesn’t hurt to follow this guide for how to pack.
5. Wine-away the time near Adelaide
If the only thing you know about Adelaide is that it’s the ‘City of Churches’, it’s time for another visit. This city is bursting with culture, viticulture that is, with over 200 cellar doors a cork’s pop from its centre.
What makes it so good for a long weekend break is the fact nothing is ever too far away in Adelaide and for most parts, there’s just 30 minutes’ drive between you and your first tasting.
Spend your long weekend going from vineyard to vineyard, where you’ll find your classic Aussie reds like shiraz and grenache growing alongside experimental blends.
Named as one of the nine great wine capitals of the world (alongside Bordeaux and Napa Valley we might add), this big-wine region is broken into smaller ones – the big three being – McLaren Vale, Barossa and Adelaide Hills.
When you’re short on time, the Barossa is the epicentre, with some of Australia’s oldest and most successful vintners growing here - Jacob’s Creek, Seppeltfield and Henschke to name a few.
To help you maximise the 76,000 hectares of wine country in South Australia, follow our guide to the top 10 wineries to visit in South Australia.
Get long-weekend ready:
If you’re not feeling entirely holiday ready, don’t let under-preparedness put you off. There’s a range of retailers inside Brisbane Airport who can put the finishing touches on your packing to get you on your merry way.
PLAN YOUR TRAVEL
With reduced passengers in our terminals and the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on trading, airport retailers are continuously adjusting their opening hours and staff levels. Please check individual listings here for the most up to date information on what's open at each terminal and their trading hours.