Although Queen Elizabeth II was actually born in April, Commonwealth countries celebrate her birthday at different times of the year. In Australia, the tradition began in 1788, when Governor Arthur Phillip decreed a national holiday on the birthday of King George III. Until 1936, this holiday moved around the calendar in accordance with the actual birthday of the reigning monarch, but after the death of King George V, it was settled that for most of Australia, the date would always fall on the second Monday in June. Western Australia, on the other hand, has chosen to celebrate this holiday in late September or early October.
Since schools and businesses are closed for the Queen’s birthday, this long weekend is an ideal time for families to make plans to have fun together. With the arrival of cooler weather, there are typically plans for skiing and various traditional sporting events. Many Melbourne activities are listed far in advance of the actual date, so that families can plan ahead of time for attendance.
Opening Weekend for Snow Season
The Queen’s birthday brings the opening of snow season at N.S.W. and Victoria ski resorts. Although the best snowfalls tend to occur in August, today’s sophisticated snow-making technology means that the slopes hold plenty of fun for families all winter long. To gear up for the long weekend, it’s important to get the car ready with the right sort of ski rack, and head out in the early morning to beat the traffic.
Attend the Traditional Football Match
In Melbourne, there is always a football match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Melbourne Demons at the Melbourne Cricket Club, and it is a great activity for the whole family.
Springtime in Perth
With the long weekend falling in spring in Western Australia, students are glad to get out of school and enjoy some relaxing time with friends and family. Many families take advantage of the stunning scenery and go out camping or to visit beaches or view the impressive wildflower displays. Every sort of supply for a luxurious stay in tent or caravan can be found through online retailers such as eBay.
Enjoy the Fruits of the Vine
The Queen’s birthday weekend is an ideal time to explore the wine region of North East Victoria. To celebrate the holiday, local wineries sponsor festivals and walkabouts. With a good cooler bag along for special finds, couples can end their tasting excursions with a picnic in the crisp countryside.
Sea and Vines Festival
In McLaren Vale, South Australia, the Sea & Vines Festival celebrates this wine region every year on the long weekend in June. People gather in Vale for wine tastings, master culinary classes, picnics, music, and assorted family activities. Kids are welcome, and it’s important to book tickets for this occasion in advance.
Regardless of whether the Queen’s Birthday falls in June or October, Australians have long greeted this national holiday as a welcome opportunity to relax, meet up with friends, enjoy sports or outdoor activities, and recognise their historic connections to the Commonwealth.