ACT public holidays

australian capital territory australian public holidays and school holidays

ACT public holidays 2021 – 2023

This page provides a list of national and regional public holidays that are celebrated in the ACT for 2021 and beyond.

Holiday2021
New Year’s DayFriday 1 January
Australia Day HolidayTuesday 26 January
Canberra DayMonday 8 March
Good FridayFriday 2 April
Easter SaturdaySaturday 3 April
Easter SundaySunday 4 April
Easter MondayMonday 5 April
Anzac Day^Sunday 25 April &
Monday 26 April
Reconciliation DayMonday 31 May
Queen’s BirthdayMonday 14 June
Labour DayMonday 4 October
Christmas Day^^Saturday 25 December &
Monday 27 December
Boxing Day^^^Sunday 26 December &
Tuesday 28 December

^ANZAC Day – when April 25 falls on a weekend, the following Monday is observed as the public holiday.
^^Christmas Day – when December 25 falls on a weekend, there is an additional public holiday observed on the next non-weekend/non-holiday date.
^^^Boxing Day – when December 26 falls on a weekend, there is an additional public holiday observed on the next non-weekend/non-holiday date.

Holiday2022
New Year’s Day~Saturday 1 January &
Monday 3 January~
Australia Day HolidayWednesday 26 January
Canberra DayMonday 14 March
Good FridayFriday 15 April
Easter SaturdaySaturday 16 April
Easter SundaySunday 17 April
Easter MondayMonday 18 April
Anzac Day^Monday 25 April
Reconciliation DayMonday 30 May
Queen’s BirthdayMonday 13 June
Labour DayMonday 3 October
Christmas Day^^Sunday 25 December &
Tuesday 27 December
Boxing Day^^^Monday 26 December

~As New Years Day falls on a Saturday in 2022, the following Monday is observed as an additional public holiday.

Holiday2023
New Year’s Day~Sunday 1 January &
Monday 2 January
Australia Day HolidayThursday 26 January
Canberra DayMonday 13 March
Good FridayFriday 7 April
Easter SaturdaySaturday 8 April
Easter SundaySunday 9 April
Easter MondayMonday 10 April
Anzac Day^Tuesday 25 April
Reconciliation DayMonday 29 May
Queen’s BirthdayMonday 12 June
Labour DayMonday 2 October
Christmas Day^^Monday 25 December
Boxing Day^^^Tuesday 26 December

~As New Years Day falls on a Sunday in 2023, the following Monday is observed as an additional public holiday.

act public holidays

Source information for ACT public holiday dates

Australian Capital Territory / ACT public and bank holidays are prescribed by the Holidays Act 1958.

ACT public holidays are administered by the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate.

What to know about ACT public holiday dates

There are thirteen public holidays observed in the ACT each year. This includes eleven official national public holidays along with two that are unique to the ACT.

The Holidays Act 1958 provides for bank holidays in the ACT. A bank holiday occurs on the first Monday in August. Bank holidays do not apply to everyone.

The following public holidays are unique to the ACT

  • Canberra Day
  • Reconciliation Day

The Australian Capital Territory also celebrates Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day. However, neither of these public holidays are unique to the ACT alone.

ACT Canberra Day public holiday

Canberra Day is a public holiday that is only observed in the ACT. Like many other jurisdictional public holidays, it allows for a long weekend as it falls on the second Monday in March.

Canberra Day celebrates the official naming of Canberra, by Lady Denman, wife of Governor-General Lord Denman. In 2007, the holiday was brought forward by one week in order to closely match the actual naming date of 12 March 1913.

The following three Canberra Day public holidays are as follows:

  • Monday, 9th March, 2020
  • Monday, 8th March, 2021
  • Monday, 14th March, 2022

ACT Reconciliation Day public holiday

ACT Reconciliation Day marks the start of National Reconciliation Week. This public holiday is held on the 27th of May, if it is a Monday. Otherwise, it is held on the first Monday after this date. The aim of this unique ACT public holiday is to celebrate indigenous culture and history as well as foster discussions for further reconciliation efforts.

Reconciliation Day is a relatively new holiday. It was first observed on 28th May 2018.

The following three Reconciliation Day public holidays are as follows:

  • Monday, 1st June, 2020
  • Monday, 31st May, 2021
  • Monday, 30th May, 2022

Different types of public holidays in ACT

There are just two types of public holidays in the Australian Capital Territory – national and territory holidays. Not surprisingly, given its size, the ACT does not celebrate regional holidays.

National public holidays: These are ACT public holidays which are also recognised throughout all Australian states and territories. Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Australia Day are all examples of national public holidays.

Territory-wide ACT public holidays: These are holidays that are specific to the ACT / Canberra. For example, Reconciliation Day and Canberra Day are public holidays unique to the Australian Capital Territory.

The timing of ACT public holidays

Snow can fall anytime from Easter onward, near the ACT in the Victorian Alps, but the official opening of the ski season is typically the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

With Reconciliation Day and Queen’s Birthday falling just one to two weeks apart, local Canberrans are afforded two long weekends to head to the ski fields in quick succession. Conveniently, both long weekends fall in the middle of the ACT school term, creating mini-breaks for family getaways.

Visiting ACT during a public holiday

The Australian Capital Territory welcomes visitors year-round, and it’s equally charming in Summer along with winter.

However, Spring, between September to November is a particularly popular time to visit Canberra. Labour Day in early October presents the best long weekend opportunity to explore the sights and sounds of Canberra, including a visit to the numerous museums and war memorials.

With the ACT being so small, a public holiday can be an opportune time to visit. After all, many ACT locals travel to New South Wales or Victoria during public holidays.

Are businesses in the ACT open on public holidays?

ACT businesses are not subject to restricted trading hours on public holidays. This includes Tuesday, January 26 (Australia Day in 2021). Where Australia Day falls on January 26, normal unrestricted Sunday trading shall apply.

Some ACT services may operate an amended schedule for public holidays. Check with individual businesses and services for more information.

ACT school holiday and term dates

If you’re looking for school holidays and school term dates for the ACT, you can view them here.

Why are Mother’s Day and Father’s Day not listed as a public holiday in the ACT?

Both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are Observances rather than public holidays for Canberrans. Unfortunately, the ACT does not receive a legislated holiday or day off in lieu.