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Northern Territory Picnic Day in Australia

Quick Facts

Picnic Day is a public holiday annually held in Australia’s Northern Territory on the first Monday of August.

Local names

NameLanguage
Northern Territory Picnic DayEnglish
Northern Territory Picnic DayGerman

Northern Territory Picnic Day 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

Northern Territory Picnic Day 2015

Monday, August 3, 2015
List of dates for other years

Picnic Day is observed in Australia’s Northern Territory on the first Monday of August each year. It serves as an extra day of rest for workers as well as part of a long weekend for various events, such as the Harts Range annual races.

Northern Territory Picnic Day Australia

The Harts Range annual races, which also features bull riding, is a popular Picnic Day long weekend event.

©iStockphoto.com/pollardt

What do people do?

Many people observe Picnic Day as part of a long weekend when they can go on short trips or relax at home. Some people use the day to go on a picnic lunch at a park or at other outdoor places. Sporting events, such as baseball and netball games, are also held on the day.

The Harts Range annual races which fall on the Picnic Day long weekend. Held in the Harts Ranges about 215km (about 133.6 miles) northeast of Alice Springs, this sporting event features bull rides, a ute (utility truck) competition, children’s novelty events, whip cracking, lizard races, and a rural ball.

People also visit the town of Adelaide River to participate in a traditional railway picnic on this day. The town of Adelaide River is about 114 km (about 69.6 miles) south of Darwin. The event’s activities and games include tug-o-war, sack and three-legged races, as well as egg and spoon races. Traditional railway food and refreshments are served on the day.

Public life

Picnic Day is a statutory public holiday in the Northern Territory.  Schools are closed and regular post services are closed (except for courier services, where orders must be made before the holiday).  There are bus and ferry route variations in Darwin and other towns during the holiday, so travelers may need to check that their timetables are accurate.

Background

According to one source, Picnic Day was originally declared a public holiday so railway employees could go to Adelaide River to enjoy a picnic. However, another story tells that it stemmed from a race meeting on November 27, 1947, that grew into what is now known as the Harts Range annual races. The meeting, which included riding, a barbecue and a dance, was such a big success that it became an annual event. An application was made to the Northern Territory Administrator for a central Australian holiday to be granted to coincide with the Harts Range Amateur Racing Club’s future meetings. The administrator agreed to it and the holiday was gazetted as “Picnic Day”.

Northern Territory Picnic Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
MonAug 61990Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 51991Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 31992Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 21993Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 11994Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 71995Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 51996Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 41997Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 31998Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 21999Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 72000Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 62001Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 52002Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 42003Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 22004Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 12005Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 72006Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 62007Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 42008Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 32009Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 22010Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 12011Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 62012Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 52013Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 42014Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 32015Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 12016Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 72017Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 62018Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 52019Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory
MonAug 32020Northern Territory Picnic DayLocal holidayNorthern Territory

Related holiday

Other holidays in August 2014 in Australia

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