How Do Australians Celebrate Easter?

How Do Australians Celebrate Easter? Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Easter is a beloved holiday around Australia for people of all ages, nationalities, and religions. Whether you're living in Australia or you're just visiting, the Easter Long Weekend is a fun and festive time Down Under. Here are some fun facts about Easter in Australia including how the public holidays work and how Aussies like to celebrate!

people laughing together underneath palm trees in australia

How Does Australia Celebrate Easter?

Easter in Australia means lots of heartwarming family gatherings, rich Cadbury chocolate, and outdoor adventures. But the holiday weekend can be celebrated in different ways all over the country, and there is no one specific way to spend Easter in Australia. However, the Easter Long Weekend consists of 4 public holidays, meaning everyone will either have those days off or be entitled to public holiday rates!

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Easter Public Holidays in Australia

The Easter Public Holidays in Australia start on Friday the 29th of March and end on Monday the 1st of April. So it's a 4 day weekend! Here are the exact dates for the public holidays during the 2024 Easter Long Weekend in Australia: 

  • Good Friday, 29 March 2024
  • Holy Saturday, 30 March 2024
  • Easter Sunday, 31 March 2024
  • Easter Monday, 01 April 2024

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How do public holidays work in Australia?

Public holidays are designated by the government and allow most workers in Australia to have the day off. Full-time and part-time employees can take public holidays off and still be paid their standard wage for that day. This generally includes tradespeople, teachers, support workers, office workers, and other types of non-essential full-time or part-time jobs.

Essential workers and casual employees may have to work on public holidays. Casual workers are not entitled to public holiday pay if they have the day off as well. This generally includes hospitality, tourism, and retail staff, as well as police, fire, and healthcare workers.

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Public Holiday Rates In Australia

Essential and casual workers who work on a public holiday in Australia are entitled to higher rates for the day. Award rates vary based on industry and employment agreements, but holiday pay is usually 2.5x your standard wage. Australians call this "double time and a half", and this public holiday rate applies to most retail, hospitality, and healthcare jobs. 

So if you usually make $30 an hour, you should make around $75 an hour if you work on a public holiday! Though many Australians will have 4 days off on Easter Long Weekend, don't feel too down if you have to work. Easter Long Weekend offers the chance to make lots of money if you're a casual worker in Australia!

woman making coffees in a cafe in sydney australia

How Do Australians Spend Easter?

Many Australians will spend their Easter Long Weekend celebrating with family, taking part in religious traditions, or escaping to the wilderness. There is no one way to celebrate Easter in Australia, and it's a very diverse, laid-back country where everyone is happy to do their own thing. But here are some common ways to celebrate Easter in Australia!

Religious Celebrations

Australians who identify as Christians may spend their Easter Weekend celebrating the traditional elements of the holiday. Easter, like Christmas, is a Christian holiday that has spread into modern culture and is often celebrated by people who are not Christian or religious. But the holiday does stem from Christianity, with Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday all being tied to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

According to Census data from 2021, around 54% of Australians are religious. Out of those people, around 44% are Christian, making Christianity the most popular religion in Australia. So many Australians may spend their Easter weekend attending church, or breaking their 40-day Lent period which involves prayer and fasting. Everyone celebrates religion in their own way, but Australia is a very open and accepting country when it comes to religion and many Christians celebrate Easter in the traditional, religious way.

girl walking in front of a cathedral in sydney australia

Family Time

Though not all Australians are religious, most Australians do prioritise family time during Easter Weekend. Many families don't plan anything extravagant for Easter, they just want to gather at home and enjoy a peaceful weekend with loved ones. If there are any kids in the family, the Easter Bunny may leave some gift baskets overnight for the young ones to open in the morning. Some families like to do Easter egg hunts or paint eggs as well. But other than these classic Easter traditions, most Australians just look forward to the long weekend as a chance to relax and connect with family!

family swimming in a pool in the whitsundays in australia

Easter Food In Australia

To accompany that wholesome family time, Australians love to indulge in some sweet treats during the Easter holidays. Cadbury in particular is a beloved brand in Australia, and their wide variety of chocolate eggs, bunnies, and bars usually make an appearance at Easter. Everyone from young kids to old adults will probably be unwrapping some festive, colourful chocolates during the Easter Long Weekend!

Another classic Australian treat that comes around during Easter is hot cross buns. These fluffy, spiced bread rolls are a staple during Easter in Australia, whether you make them at home or buy them from the local bakery. 

Australians usually have a big Sunday roast on Easter as well. Roast lamb or ham are popular choices for a main course on Easter Sunday, and accompaniments may include potatoes, vegetables, salad, gravy, and bread rolls.

And of course, barista-made coffee will probably start off the holiday in the morning and maybe some champagne or beers will finish off the holiday in the evening. But every family is different and Easter Weekend in Australia is 4 days long, so there are plenty of opportunities for a range of different food during Easter!

food spread with salad and meat in australia

Camping and outdoor adventures

Australians love spending time outdoors. And with such a diverse landscape and beautiful weather, why wouldn't they? Any long weekend or public holiday sends Australians flocking to the natural beauty outside the cities and towns. Camping trips, road trips, sailing trips, surf trips, and weekend getaways are extremely popular during Easter Long Weekend because there are 4 days of freedom for Australians to get out and explore!

Easter also takes place in Autumn in Australia, which usually makes for lovely cool weather around the country. Because Easter is such a popular time to embrace the outdoors in Australia, it's also a super busy time to travel! If you are planning any trips at this time of year, just make sure you book accommodations, transport, and tours well in advance to avoid anything being sold out.

group of australians camping on k'gari (Fraser Island)

Are you visiting Australia during the Easter Long Weekend? Here are some of the best things to do along the East Coast, as well as some travel tips to help you plan your adventures!

East Coast Tours acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.

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