October long weekend: Who gets public holiday, what’s open

It’s a huge weekend right across Australia, with two major sporting codes holding their grand final showdowns, and the traditional public holidays that go along with them.

Here’s which states and territories will get a long weekend, and how you can plan accordingly:


The home of AFL, Victoria, gets their day off early with their traditional AFL Grand Final public holiday.

Tens-of-thousands of sports fans have already flocked to Melbourne’s sporting precinct to see and support the Brisbane and Collingwood players before they head to Saturday’s big dance at the MCG.


With both the AFL and NRL grand finals done and dusted by Monday, some lucky punters will be able to stay home and nurse their sore heads in New South Wales, the ACT, Queensland, and South Australia.

The public holidays aren’t sports-related, though; NSW, ACT, and SA have their Labour Day holidays on October 2, while Queensland will observe the King’s Birthday.

Charles III doesn’t actually have his 75th birthday until November 14, but holidays for monarchs have never fallen on the actual dates of their births.

Most states celebrate in June, which aligns with the UK’s date, as it’s summertime there and the weather is better for having a day off.

WA had their King’s Birthday only last Monday, held on that date so it aligns with school holidays. And Queenslanders have celebrated the then-Queen’s Birthday on the first Monday in October every year since 2016, when the date was changed so it didn’t clash with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration.

That means Monday is just a normal day for those in WA, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory.


A long weekend means some jurisdictions will bring in double demerits for driving offences.

Queensland, NSW and the ACT will enforce double demerit penalties for road offences from 12am Friday, September 29, until 11.59pm on Monday, October 2.

Businesses are also likely to be affected with different opening times, public holiday surcharges, or just not opening at all.

It’s best to check with the individual business what their public holiday policy will be.

And don’t forget, if you live in a daylight saving state, your clocks jump forward one hour early Sunday morning.

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