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The annual leave hack you must know before planning 2023 holidays

Reviewed by expert, Chris Ford
5 min read
11 Jan 2023

Got the post-holiday blues? Ever wished your holidays didn’t have to end? Well, keep that margarita in your hand and kick back at the beach because it turns out you could more than double your days off this year. Most full-time workers in Australia are entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave per year, but this holiday period could be extended if public holidays aren’t wasted.

Compare the Market’s recent research revealed that more than a third of Aussies are going away this summer, as domestic and international travel bounces back to pre-COVID levels.

Public holiday planning

To make the most of your annual leave this year, it’s so important to choose your time off carefully and utilise public holidays available in your State or Territory to increase your time off and minimise the number of annual leave days you use.

With 2023 already upon us, it’s crucial for Aussies to get planning now. For example, if you live in Brisbane, you could have 47 days off this year and only use 19 days of your annual leave. Or for those in NSW, you could take 18 days of annual leave for 42 days off.

Savings to be made

The research also highlighted that more and more Aussies are looking to save wherever they can, which is why being prepared is so vital. The best discounts for flights and accommodation packages are usually advertised six to twelve months ahead.

Or, look to holiday closer to home and check out the new campervan relocation services that are now on offer. There are one-way campervans available from as little as $1 per day on certain dates, and they can sometimes even throw in free fuel. A really cost effective holiday!

New South Wales

Residents from New South Wales should scramble to log their leave with 42 days off on offer for 18 days of annual leave.

The best window is Christmas, but the King’s Birthday weekend as well as the Easter break make sense for an extended getaway.

Check out your dates here for 2023.


Victoria fares slightly better than its northern neighbours in 2023, thanks to public holidays for the AFL Grand Final and Melbourne Cup Day.

The Easter break can give 10 days off for just four days of annual leave, but be prepared to hit the roads with the masses around that time of year.

Victorians – your dates for 2023 are here.


Queenslanders really get the rub of the green in 2023 when it comes to public holidays with a number of options for an extended break. The best times to holiday could be to link Anzac and Labour Day for a longer break, or when the Royal Queensland Show is in town.

Check out the public holidays here and get 47 days off and only use 19 days of your annual leave.

 Western Australia

 More than 40 days are on offer for those in the West, thanks to Western Australia Day in early June.

The Christmas and Easter break will give you the greatest value when it comes to logging annual leave days. Get 43 days for 18 annual leave days if you plan carefully for 2023 – check your dates out here.

 South Australia

 It’s much the same story in South Australia as their western neighbours, with Adelaide Cup Day providing a nice long weekend option in the opening months of the year.

Anzac Day or King’s Birthday break will give you a solid nine-day break for just four days of annual leave, if you plan ahead. Check your dates out here.


 The Apple Isle actually boasts the most weekday public holidays this year, and depending on where you live in the State will affect how you can maximise your annual leave.

All the regulars are in the calendar but Tasmania has Eight Hours Day, in place of Labour Day, and a variety of Show Days in the regions. Tassie – plan out your 2023 getaway here.

 Australian Capital Territory

 Canberrans could get 43 days off for 18 days of annual leave in 2023 – but beware – they are largely in the first half of the year.

Canberra Day is in mid-March before Easter in April, Reconciliation Day in late May and the King’s Birthday in mid-June, so get planning now. All your info is here.

 Northern Territory

 There’s a variety of Show Days in Northern Territory, depending on where you live, so check the calendar for your specific area.

Forty-three days off is available for just 18 days of annual leave with Picnic Day in early August looking like the best option here.

COVID cover in a new world

 As another COVID wave hits Australian shores, it’s imperative to have appropriate cover for peace of mind. We have already seen a dramatic rise in Aussies taking out domestic travel insurance for interstate trips since the COVID-19 pandemic, and that trend is the same internationally too.

Not all cover is equal though, and COVID-19 is often specifically called out in the insurance policy. Compare apples with apples, know the inclusions before you go and ensure you’re comfortable with the level of cover.

If you want to maximise your days off with minimal leave it’s best to have all your ducks in a row and have everything booked ahead of schedule. Holidays should be relaxing and exciting. If you plan ahead and are organised, then you shouldn’t have anything to be concerned about.

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avatar of author: Natasha Innes

Written by Natasha Innes

Natasha Innes is a Media and Communications Advisor at Compare The Market. Natasha joins us after working as a journalist at the Courier Mail and Seven News. She graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a dual degree in Business and Journalism majoring in Public Relations.

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