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Recreation Day in Australia

Recreation Day is annually celebrated in northern Tasmania, in Australia, on the first Monday of November. Cities and towns in the region such as Launceston observe this holiday.

Is Recreation Day a Public Holiday?

Recreation Day is a public holiday in Tasmania, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

The northern parts of Tasmania, including the city of Launceston, observe Recreation Day.


What Do People Do?

Many people in northern Tasmania spend Recreation Day to catch up with family and friends and relax. Some people use the day to catch up on home maintenance or household chores. Others may spend time watching movies or enjoying outdoor activities as the weather heads towards the warmer months during the southern hemisphere’s summer.

Many people play or watch sport on this day. Those who observe or take part in sporting events on this day tend to enjoy popular Australian sports, especially cricket and Australian rules football, commonly known as “Aussie rules” or “the footy”. Some libraries are open for university students, who may use the day to study and prepare for any upcoming exams.

Public Life

Recreation Day is a public holiday in northern Tasmania so many people in this area have a day off work. Many schools and businesses are closed in towns and cities such as Launceston. Some libraries, such as the University of Tasmania’s Launceston campus library, are open. People who intend on travelling via public transport on the day will need to check with their local transport authorities as transport schedules may vary from area to area on this day.


Recreation Day does not have a great deal of historic, cultural or religious significance. Prior to 1989 it was simply known as the First Monday of November holiday. The Bank Holidays Act 1919 was amended in 1989 to delete all reference to the first Monday of November as a holiday. At that time it was proposed to make the day (known as Recreation Day) a holiday under the general powers of proclamation in section eight of that Act.

In 1991 the state government decided that Recreation Day would be observed on November 11. This was to coincide with the final day of the Australian Pacing Championship due to be held in Launceston at that time. The government’s decision was proclaimed in the government gazette on September 18, 1991. Today, Recreation Day continues to be observed in northern Tasmania on the first Monday of November. Other parts of Tasmania do not observe this holiday. Instead they observe the Royal Hobart Regatta, which falls on the second Monday of February.

Recreation Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010MonNov 1Recreation DayState HolidayTasmania*
2011MonNov 7Recreation DayState HolidayTasmania*
2012MonNov 5Recreation DayState HolidayTasmania*
2013MonNov 4Recreation DayState HolidayTasmania*
2014MonNov 3Recreation DayState HolidayTasmania*
2015MonNov 2Recreation DayState HolidayTasmania*
2016MonNov 7Recreation DayState HolidayTasmania*
2017MonNov 6Recreation DayState HolidayTasmania*
2018MonNov 5Recreation DayState HolidayTasmania*
2019MonNov 4Recreation DayState HolidayTasmania*
2020MonNov 2Recreation DayState HolidayTasmania*
* Holiday is observed in Northern Tasmania.

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