It’s back to school in Australia tomorrow and Mum wonders if anyone else is left asking who, or what, hijacked the great Australian school holiday?

The return to school marks the end of the long summer holidays down under. Children broke up from school in NSW on 17th December; they’ve been off for six weeks.

Who or what hijacked our school holidays?

During the last weeks of term we dreamt of days spent at the beach, playing in the sand, mixed with some fruitful (and educational, of course!) days staying out of the sun or rain at some of Sydney’s museums and galleries we haven’t had chance to visit yet.  We expected the holidays to drag at some point and Mum was prepared to get inventive with activities and diversions.

Christmas and New Year make the weeks whizz

Instead we’re left wondering where the last six weeks went and we think Christmas and New Year are partly to blame.

Whilst it’s exciting having the end of the school year and Christmas all at once it does mean that the school holidays and the end of the academic year are eclipsed by Christmas activities. In reality the first two weeks of the school holidays are spent organising and celebrating Christmas and New Year. We only really switched into holiday mode during the first week in January.

Australia Day claims a few days

Then, the Australia Day public holiday on 26th January claims another few days of the school holidays. The public holiday means that life comes to a standstill again, sure it’s a great time to spend with family and friends but because things get busy and expensive the days around Australia Day are often spent locally, which means that school holiday trips and activities are on-hold.

International visitors

Something else that makes this time of year extra exciting is that families who have relocated to Australia typically receive international visitors, especially those from the Northern Hemisphere keen to escape their winter. We have had the Grandparents with us for three weeks which means it’s a wonderful and busy time, making the weeks fly by even faster.

Back to school we go…

As we wash school informs and pack school bags again we wonder what new residents to Australia think about the timing of the long school holidays.

Do you like the fact that school summer holidays, Christmas, New Year and Australia Day all come together or do you prefer the European academic year, with long holidays in the middle of the calendar year? We’re not sure yet but as term one gets started we’re already counting the days until the Easter break!

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