Victoria school holidays

victoria public holidays and school holidays

Victoria School Holidays 2021 to 2022

Looking to plan for upcoming school holidays or a trip away? We’ve got you covered! Here, you’ll find all Vic school term dates for 2021 and 2022.

These dates don’t include pupil-free days or school development days, so you’ll need to check with individual schools. 

Term2021
Term 1Monday 27 January to Thursday 1 April
Students start 28 January in government schools
Term 2Monday 19 April to Friday 25 June
Term 3Monday 12 July to Friday 17 September
Term 4Monday 4 October to Friday 17 December
Term2022
Term 1Friday 28 January to Friday 8 April
Students start 31 January in government schools
Term 2Tuesday 26 April to Friday 24 June
Term 3Monday 11 July to Friday 16 September
Term 4Monday 3 October to Tuesday 20 December
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Official Information

The Department of Education and Training, Victoria sets school holidays dates and policies. You can visit their website here.

Victoria Student Free Days

Victoria has one Student Free Day per term (4 per year in total).

The first day of Term 1 is a Student Free Day and individual schools will advise of the other SFD’s.

victoria school holidays 2021

Previous Victoria School Holidays and Term Dates

Term2020
Term 1Tuesday 28 January to Tuesday 24 March*
Term 2Tuesday 14 April to Friday 26 June**
Term 3Monday 13 July to Friday 18 September
Term 4Monday 5 October to Friday 18 December

*24 March 2020 Term 1 was cut short by the COVID-19 crisis.
**14 April 2020 was counted as a SFD due to COVID-19.

Victorian Public Holidays

VIC public holidays for 2020 – 2022 are listed here.

Things to do during the Victoria school holidays

Ah, the school holidays! While many parents look forward to the end of the school term or year in Victoria, others can’t wait to get the kids back to class. Do the school holidays fill you with dread or joy? Particularly for families where both parents work full time, having the kids at home can be a challenging time. After all, balancing work commitments and childcare during the Victoria school holidays can be somewhat tricky. Even for stay at home parents, it can be tough keeping children occupied with fun and educational activities that don’t involve excess screen time or the TV.

Fortunately, the Victoria school holidays don’t need to be a difficult time. Instead, think of them as an opportunity to explore, learn new things, bring out your adventurous side, and bond with family. Here, you can discover a range of leisure activities and things to do that will ensure you and your family get the very best out of the Victoria school holidays in 2021.

We’ve separately split out things to do over the four Victorian school holiday periods, so that you can get inspired with seasonal activities and ideas. Read on to get inspired.

Things to do in the summer Victoria school holidays

The summer Vic school holidays provide families with the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and take in the sun. Many families travel to enjoy Victoria’s golden beaches and take outdoor adventures. Kids, alongside their parents, can learn to surf, walk along the cliff tops, soar through the trees and celebrate being together before term one commences.

With warm weather guaranteed, are so many enjoyable things to see and do during the Victoria summer school holidays. You can:

  1. Take the family fruit picking: Consider visiting a berry farm. What could be better than snacking on fresh summer fruits picked fresh from a tree or bush?
  2. Treat the kids to wall climbing: Depending on the venue you choose, this exciting activity can be suitable for both young children and big kids.
  3. Enjoy a hike: Victoria is blessed with natural attractions, and there are many hikes that you can take. Choose a day hike, close to Melbourne, or plan an overnight adventure further afield. In Victoria, the summer school holidays can be hot, so plan carefully and make sure you wear a hat and bring plenty of water for everyone.
  4. Go bowling: The entire family can have piles of fun bowling their hearts out. Most centres offer other attractions, too, so you can enjoy some arcade games while at it. Bowling should be an essential part of your schedule this Vic summer school holidays.
  5. Enjoy treetop walks and zip line tours: The summer school holidays are a great time to get the family together for a walk through the trees. Or, if you dare, a zipline tour can be a great way to experience nature with some thrills.
  6. Visit parks and playgrounds: Parks and playgrounds are an easy option for smaller children to enjoy some fun on the swing sets and slides. Best of all, visiting the playground is free!
  7. Enjoy playing in inflatable fun parks: Multiple inflatable fun parks are located in Victoria. These pop-up centres include many attractions, trampolines, mini-golf, slip and slides, water slides, wall climbing, inflatable maze, and more. Some centres offer specific school holiday attractions and activities, so be sure to do your research and plan ahead.
  8. Visit the Melbourne Zoo: Along with being a fun and educational experience, the Melbourne Zoo can offer a great day out for everyone. Make sure you visit early, as the Zoo can be very busy later in the day. The Zoo involves walking outside, so pack some water and ensure you wear a hat.
  9. Experience an animal farm: There are many animal farms around Victoria that are open to visitors during the school holidays. Particularly for younger children, this can be an entertaining and educational experience that will not be forgotten in a hurry.
  10. Hit the beach: The Vic summer school holiday experience wouldn’t be complete without taking some time to relax at the beach. Take the family, an esky and a good book and spend the day on the sand.
  11. Go kayaking: Whether it’s beach kayaking or river kayaking, Victoria offers many options for all skill sets and age levels. Check with individual organisations and instructors for school holiday-specific kayaking events and programs.
  12. Surf away: There’s no better occasion to hit the waves than the summer Victoria school holidays. Victoria boasts many surfing beaches around Torquay and the Great Ocean Road and further afield. Australian beaches can be unpredictable. Always practice water safety and ensure that younger children are supervised at all times.
  13. Try Skateboarding: Bring out your skateboards this summer and have a great time skating in Victoria’s skate parks.
  14. Visit the market: The school holidays wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Queen Victoria market. Arm the kids with a shopping list and get them to prepare a meal with the food they have gathered when they arrive home.
  15. Get outdoors: The summer Victoria school holidays are a great time to go camping, take road trips, and explore Victoria to your heart’s content.

Things to do in the autumn Vic school holidays

The autumn school holidays are a time to get out and about, whilst also spending quality time indoors. Why not take advantage of the mild weather to enjoy the great outdoors in Victoria and enjoy the well-earned break before the hard work of term two sets in.

  1. Admire the autumn foliage: There is no better time than autumn to visit parks and gardens and enjoy nature’s kaleidoscope of colours. With so many of Victoria’s parks and gardens boasting stunning autumn foliage, why not add this activity to your school holiday schedule.
  2. Visit museums and galleries: The city of Melbourne boasts world-class art galleries and museums. Further afield, cities like Bendigo also house quality attractions. The Victoria school holidays can be a busy time to visit indoor attractions, so be sure to plan your visit early and book ahead.
  3. Try out archery: Archery is continuing to grow in popularity across Australia. With many archery centres in operation around Victoria, this could be an exciting new activity for the family to tackle this autumn school holidays.
  4. Take a steam train ride: Bring the whole family along to enjoy one of many steam train rides available throughout Victoria. Some steam train operators put on extra services for the school holidays, so be sure to check the schedule.
  5. Mountain biking: Autumn can be a great time to experience mountain biking across the many trails in Victoria. Why not pack a picnic, and make a day of it?
  6. Try horse riding: Horse riding offers fun for all the family. With mild weather, the autumn Victoria school holidays offer the perfect time to try it out.
  7. Go bushwalking in Victoria: Autumn is the perfect season to go out and enjoy nature. Whether it’s a short walk or a multi-day hike, plan a walk with the family.
  8. Visit parks and playgrounds: Smaller children love visiting parks and playgrounds. To make it a family affair, pack a picnic and spend the day outside as one of your Victoria school holiday activities.
  9. Take a day trip somewhere new: The autumn school holidays are a good time to explore new places. Why not pull out the map and explore a new and exciting place you’ve never been in Victoria.
  10. Try go-karting: Offering fun for children of all ages, go-karting is an adrenaline-filled activity that can be part of your schedule for the Vic school holidays.
  11. Camping and road trips: With mild weather, autumn is a great time to take a camping or road trip. Get the kids to help plan the itinerary and get packing!
  12. Have a picnic: The autumn Victoria school holidays are a great time to have a picnic. Simply pack a basket of goodies and head to a local park for a relaxing time with the family.

Things to do in the winter Victoria school holidays

Let’s face it. Winter school holidays in Victoria can be difficult. A time for parents with young kids to dread. A time where you’ve had enough of staying indoors and keeping the children entertained without too much screen time.

But who says the winter Vic school holidays need to be dreary? Bundle the kids up in warm clothing because there is so much fun to be had outdoors. Here are some ideas:

  1. Visit a museum or a gallery: When it’s raining outside, a museum or gallery can be a great way to get the kids out for the day.
  2. Brave the playground: Sure, it might be cold, but in waterproof clothes, there’s still plenty of fun to be had at an outdoors playground. In Victoria, the best playgrounds are available to you all winter.
  3. Go to an indoor trampolining centre: Get the kids to burn off energy and bounce at an indoor trampoline centre. There are many facilities available to visit in Victoria. Note that these centres are popular during the school holidays, so book ahead if you can.
  4. Go to the library: Think there is no fun to be had in a library? Think again. Many libraries offer organised activities during the Victoria school holidays. Visit your local Council website to see what’s on offer, and don’t forget to book in advance.
  5. Visit an indoor play centre: During winter, Victoria is known for dreary weather and rainy days. An indoor play centre is a great, all-weather option for children to burn some energy during the school holidays.
  6. Learn to ski: The winter Victoria school holidays are a popular time to visit the slopes and to book children in for skiing lessons. With many ski resorts open all around the state, there are many opportunities for a family holiday.
  7. Take an art workshop: Many organisations offer art workshops for kids in winter.
  8. Pull out the Lego: Most Australian families hold a collection of Lego. The winter school holidays present a great opportunity to get building. Alternatively, schedule a visit to a Lego educational centre, or enjoy a Lego session at the library.

Things to do in the spring Victoria school holidays

Spring is the time to break loose from the chills of a winter spent indoors. Characterised by sunny days and cool nights, get ready to have a family fun-filled school holiday this spring.

  1. Enjoy zoos and wildlife parks: Children can learn about animals and animal care in an educational setting, whilst enjoying a day out with the family.
  2. Visit the botanical gardens: With sunny weather and flowers in bloom, there is no better time to schedule a visit to the botanical gardens than this spring.
  3. Experience ArtPlay: Schedule in time to create and explore innovative art experiences.
  4. Play mini-golf: Mini-fold is a fun and safe way to engage the entire family during the spring Victoria school holidays.
  5. Bushwalking, hiking and mountain climbing: Spring is a great time to experience outdoorsy activities for all the family.

Places to visit during the Victoria school holidays

Victoria is blessed with many beautiful towns and natural attractions. Here are some suggested areas of interest to visit during the Victoria school holidays in 2021:

Cape Otway: Located along the Great Ocean Road, Cape Otway is home to a famous lighthouse and national parks. Kids will love seeing the glowworms in Melba Gully, experiencing the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk and kayaking on Lake Elizabeth.

Ballarat: Ballarat is home to the famous Sovereign Hill. In this popular attraction, families can journey back in time to the Gold Rush era. Ballarat also boasts the oldest and largest regional gallery in Australia, the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Kids can enjoy the botanical gardens, observatory, aviation museum and Wildlife Park. They can learn about the Eureka Stockade at the Eureka Centre. Ballarat can be very busy during the Victoria school holidays, so it is important to book organised attractions and activities ahead.

Daylesford: Renowned for its mineral water springs, Daylesford is a destination of choice year-round. Families can picnic near the playground and Sailors Falls or in the gardens and bush by Lake Daylesford and the springs. Kids will enjoy visiting the Wombat Hills Botanic Gardens for its lookout tower and the nearby Maze House, Skate Park, and mini-golf. Daylesford boasts many excellent restaurants and cafes.

Bendigo: Victoria’s fourth-largest city is a playground for kids. With an Alice in Wonderland-type Botanic garden, a play centre, a science and technology centre, art studios, pottery classes, and the deepest goldmine in Australia, there are many things to see and do. With a trampoline park and delicious food, there’s no room for kids to be bored.

Rutherglen: This small town boasts Victorian architecture, a Heritage Walk, an 1872 Common School Museum, and an 1864 rectory. Bike trails, fishing, swimming and golf will keep the family occupied all holiday long. Adults might enjoy visiting a number of wineries in the area, with many specialising in fortified wines.

Mount Buller: Couched as the most accessible ski resort in Australia, Mount Buller is as attractive for family holidays during the Vic summer school holidays as well as in winter. Mount Buller offers skiing, tobogganing and snowshoeing during the winter Victoria school holidays. In summer, families can partake in rock climbing, visiting the sculpture park walk, mountain biking, hiking, horse riding and more.

Phillip Island: Boasting many child-friendly activities, Phillip Island is a popular destination for Victorians all year round. Kids will enjoy watching penguins return to dry land at night with Penguin Parade. They can visit the Churchill Island Heritage Farm and the Koala Conservation Centre. In summer, many families enjoy spending time at Cowes Beach.

Mornington Peninsula: Just one hour’s drive from Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula is a popular region to visit, whether for a day trip or longer. It boasts hot springs, the Point Nepean National Park, Arthurs Seat gondola, Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens. Children will enjoy visiting the Moonlit Sanctuary wildlife conservation park and Enchanted Adventure Gardens. With so many attractions on offer, it’s not hard to see why the Mornington Peninsula is worth visiting during the school holidays.

Marysville: Yarra Valley’s Marysville is an ideal spot for outdoor, nature-loving folks. Play golf, visit a trout farm, get adventurous with 4WD tours and mountain biking, bushwalking, and roam through the sculpture gardens and wineries. During the winter Victoria school holidays, many families choose to stay at Marysville whilst skiing at Lake Mountain.

Bright: Along the picturesque Great Alpine Road, the alpine village of Bright is popular with tourists. The town is nestled between several ski resorts, including Mount Hotham, Mount Buffalo, and Falls Creek. This makes it a popular town to visit during the Vic winter school holidays. The town has picnic spots, lookouts, and bushwalk trails to explore. In autumn, the foliage is stunning with its fiery shades. Bright is located a 3.5 hour drive northeast of Melbourne.

Wilsons Promontory: At Wilsons Promontory National Park, visitors can enjoy camping, bushwalking, surfing, and fishing. Contemporary coastal and river cabins are available as well as plain, old-fashioned camping.

Lorne: Along the Great Ocean Road lies the famous beachside town of Lorne. Kids can swim in the patrolled beach, fish on the pier and explore rock pools and the nearby Otway National Park. It’s often possible to spot migrating whales during the Autumn and Spring Victoria school holidays. Families can wander down the main shopping strip and enjoy the Festival of Performing Arts in late August.

Things to do at home

While the Victoria school holidays are a great time to get out and about, who says you can’t have fun at home? You do not have to journey far for an adventure. Why not enjoy spending quality time with your children doing the following:

Backyard Camping: Set up camp and spend the night outdoors in your backyard. It’s a whole new world at the back of your house.

Play dress-ups: Smaller children love dressing up, and you do not need to fritter money away on fancy costumes. Allowing the kids to go wild in dad and mum’s clothes is fun for the children and enough to create lasting memories of an afternoon. Grab the camera while you are laughing your heart out at your child’s antics.

Visit the local library: Going to your local library is an excellent all-weather activity that is suitable during the school holidays. Best of all, it is air-conditioned and free.

Get cooking: Make fun meals and create memorable times cooking and baking and cleaning up the mess.

Explore the world of DIY: Let your kids harness their creativity and imagination by building items from scratch.

Create art: Children of all ages enjoy art. Whether it’s painting, drawing or creating something, art offers a great way to keep kids engaged during the Victoria school holidays.

Learn a new skill: Coding, acting and playing musical instruments are all skills your children will benefit having.

How to prepare for the new school term or year

The Victoria school holidays are a time to relax, so it can be difficult to start to get organised for the new school term or year. Whether your family spent the Victoria school holidays relaxing, working, or learning new skills, the transition back to a regular school week routine can be challenging.

It is usual for children to experience a range of feelings. They might feel excitement, nervousness, and possibly disappointment that the school holidays are over. Being a little anxious and excited about resuming school in Victoria is quite natural. Children may express worries about having a new teacher, being in a different classroom, making new friends, and meeting the demands of academic rigor and new social settings. These are all common challenges children face as they contemplate the start of term.

In this section, you’ll find advice and tips on how to plan ahead for the 2021 Victoria school year.

What to do before a new Victoria school term

The last few weeks of the school holidays can be a great time for children and parents to make some adjustments to daily schedules and personal habits. Your mental preparation, getting organised early with school supplies, and helping your child adjust gradually to school routine are all strategies that can help you and your family prepare adequately for the Victoria school term ahead.

However, if your child shows great unease or is overly worried about resuming school, it is best to talk to your child and find the root cause.

Below are some tips that may help make your children’s transition into the 2021 school term easier for your family:

Ease into a new school term routine

Here’s a tip: It’s much easier to get your children back into the right routines before the Victorian school term starts. A good sleep routine is one of the first adjustments you can make to ensure a smooth transition back to school. If possible, try to adjust to a new schedule of sleeping earlier and getting up early several weeks before the end of the Victoria school holidays.

Most Victoria school holiday periods last for two weeks. The exception to this is the Victorian school summer break, which lasts from around five to six weeks over the festive season. In the weeks or days before your child gets ready to go back to school, it’s a good idea to have your child go to bed early and get up at the same time that he or she would have to get up on school days. Some parents find it helpful to progressively revert to a school week bedtime schedule gradually until the desired bedtime is achieved. Progressively working up to a new bedtime helps the child adjust to a new routine.

Whatever your approach, don’t wait until the day your child goes back to school in Victoria to get them on schedule. Remember, your child needs the time to adjust to the new school term routine. If children don’t get sufficient sleep, they will be tired, irritable, and inattentive in class. A child who gets adequate sleep will be better able to cope with and adjust to the demands of the 2021 Victoria school year.

Get into the ‘back to school’ mindset

The school holidays in Victoria are for relaxing, and a time to take a break from schoolwork. However, before the new school term begins, take time to go through your child’s schoolwork. Gradually refresh memories and remind children of what they were taught in the last term or school year. This will help prepare them mentally to get back to school.

Create a daily schedule or planner

To ensure a smooth transition into the new school year or term, get organised with a daily schedule or planner. If you have to prepare your children’s lunch while getting them ready for school every morning, make sure you are well-rested and mentally prepared for the demands of the Victoria school term.

You can also look to create daily schedules that engage children in preparation for the new Victoria school term, keeping in mind the individual school’s lunch break and recess times.

Plan lunch box food

When it comes to school lunches, it pays to get organised early. If you prepare your children’s meals yourself, ensure that you have prepared a table of nutritious and well-balanced meals that are suitable for snacking and placing in a lunch box. Aim for easy to prepare food which is packed full of nutritional value. Trying to think up what to feed your kids for lunch in the morning while getting them ready for school is draining.

In Victorian schools, some parents choose to reward children with a lunch or snack from the canteen. If this is something you wish to do, you can look to incorporate it into your child’s food plan.

Get workspaces organised

The work area in your home should be quiet and free from distractions. The week before the school term resumes in Victoria, ensure that your child’s room and work area is clean, organised and free of any clutter. This will ensure they are well prepared for the new term’s assignments and projects.

Purchase new school uniforms

Children grow so fast. In the last few weeks or days of the school holidays, particularly after the summer break, you may find that your children’s uniforms do not fit anymore. Skirts may have gotten shorter, and trousers may have gotten tighter.

It can be a good idea to have your children try out their uniforms the week before school starts. It’s important to check that school shoes fit, too. Replace those items that need to be replaced, and do not forget to visit the salon before school resumes.

Buy schoolbooks and stationery

Before the new Victoria school year commences, most students will need to buy new schoolbooks and stationery. From time to time, it may also be necessary to purchase stationery before a new Victoria school term commences.

Check stationery stocks and look to purchase the required, notebooks, textbooks, workbooks, calculators and pencils before school resumes. Don’t create stress by waiting till the morning of the first day at school to discover that you have to purchase new books and pencils.

To get your children motivated for the 2021 Victorian school year, get them involved in the preparation process. Children find shopping for back to school supplies exciting. Shop together and allow your children pick out some back to school supplies they like. You can also involve your children in choosing and packing school lunches and snacks.

Final thoughts

The week immediately before the first day of school is especially busy, even for parents. The most crucial back to school tip is to be enthusiastic and optimistic about the new school year. If you are encouraging and positive about the coming Victoria school term, your child will be excited as well.

A parent’s enthusiastic attitude can also help reassure a nervous child and put him/her at ease. Encouraging your child and boosting up morale will help support them to do well both academically and socially in the 2021 school year, whilst enjoying time to relax during the Victoria school holidays.

Other State and Territory School Holidays

School holidays are different across each state and territory - you can check them all here.