NT / Northern Territory public holiday dates 2020 – 2022
The table below sets out NT public holiday dates for 2020, 2021 and 2022:
|New Year’s Day||Wednesday|
|Australia Day Holiday||Monday|
|New Year’s Eve*||Thursday|
* Part day holiday from 7pm to midnight
Northern Territory / NT regional holidays 2020 – 2022
To work out which Regional Holiday applies to your location, consult this map.
|Borroloola Show Day||Friday|
|Alice Springs Show Day||Friday|
|Tennant Creek Show Day||Friday|
|Katherine Show Day||Friday|
|Darwin Show Day||Friday|
NT Government website
Northern Territory public and bank holidays are prescribed by the Public Holidays Act 2016.
NT public holidays are administered by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment (OCPE).
What to know about NT public holiday dates
There are thirteen Northern Territory public holidays observed each year. This includes a range of eleven official national public holidays, along with two that are unique to the Northern Territory.
Public holidays that are unique to the NT
- May Day
- Picnic Day
NT Picnic Day public holiday
Picnic Day is a public holiday that is unique to the Northern Territory. Picnic Day events were first held in the Northern Territory in the late 1800s.
The famous Harts Range Races, located near Alice Springs, are held each Picnic Day long weekend.
Picnic Day is held on the first Monday of August each year. Picnic Day public holiday dates are as follows:
- Monday, 3rd August, 2020
- Monday, 2nd August, 2021
- Monday, 1st August, 2022
NT May Day public holiday
May Day is a public holiday, also unique to the Northern Territory. In other states and territories May Day is known as Labour Day.
May Day celebrates the achievements of the Labour Movement in obtaining improved economic and social conditions for the workforce in the 19th century; namely a maximum eight hour working day.
Every May Day a march is held in Darwin CBD. It has recently evolved into an opportunity to protest work issues, at both territory and federal levels. A family picnic is also held on the Esplanade at Bicentennial Park.
May Day is held on the first Monday of May each year. May Day public holiday dates are as follows:
- Monday, 4th May, 2020
- Monday, 3rd May, 2021
- Monday, 2nd May, 2022
May Day also conveniently marks the beginning of the Northern Territory dry season, running from May to October.
Northern Territory regional public holiday dates
A number of NT regional public holiday dates are observed each year. These are for local show holidays in certain areas.
The regional holidays are:
- Borroloola Show Day
- Alice Springs Show Day
- Tennant Creek Show Day
- Katherine Show Day
- Darwin Show Day
The separate regions include Borroloola, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin. You can check which regional public holiday applies to your geographical area by heading to the map of show day regions on the nt.gov.au website.
The timing of Northern Territory public holidays
Picnic Day and May Day do not fall within NT school holidays. However, these holidays are observed on a Monday. This means they conveniently provide for long weekends in the middle of school terms.
Where national holidays fall on a weekend, many have an additional day provided for on the following Monday.
Visiting the NT during a public holiday
It’s important to carefully plan your visit to the Northern Territory during a public holiday.
Where peak visitor seasons and public holidays come together, visitors may experience disproportionately expensive accommodation due to very limited supply. Restaurant and pubs are also extremely busy. Booking well in advance is advised.
The Northern Territory dry season (May to October) is especially popular, and many public holidays are observed during this period. Many visitors choose to avoid the wet season of November to April.
NT school holiday and term dates
If you’re looking for school holidays and school term dates for the Northern Territory, you can view them here.