Although it’s only a week long for most students, the mid-semester break is the perfect time to take a breather from study, clear your mind, and have some fun. And what better way to fill your mid-semester break than with a trip to explore a new part of Australia? With many of Australia’s beautiful cities – and even some international spots – only a short flight away, it’s easy to embark on a short, cheap vacation and still arrive back in time for class. Now that it’s time to start planning your mid-semester break trip, here are some of the best places to visit during your week off.
Our nation’s capital is beautiful in early spring. It’s only a short flight away from Melbourne or Brisbane, and if you live in Sydney you can even get there on a road trip. If you’re lucky enough to be in Canberra in spring, make sure to head to Floriade, which runs from 15 September to 14 October. It’s Canberra’s iconic flower festival, where millions of flowers are planted across the city. There’s also live music and performances, markets, and great food and wine. In the evenings, you can visit NightFest to check out local bands and comedians, or see a movie at the Sunset Cinema in the Australian National Botanic Gardens. While you’re there, visit some of Canberra’s historic buildings and Australia’s Parliament House.
Australia has seven state and territory capitals that are all worth visiting during the mid-semester break. Celebrate spring in Perth at the Kings Park Festival (1-30 September), where you can wander through 25,000 Western Australian wildflowers. If you’re in Adelaide at the beginning of September, check out the Royal Adelaide Festival (31 August – 9 September) for some carnival fun. Mid-September in Melbourne is when the Fringe Festival (13-30 September) starts, showcasing the amazing arts scene Victoria has to offer. If you’re in Sydney, stop by the Underground Film Festival (13-16 September) for quirky and independent films. Down in Tasmania, swing by the Salamanca or Farm Gate Market for some fresh spring produce. See Brisbane’s amazing art scene at Brisbane Festival, which runs throughout September, or relax in Darwin by seeing award-winning films at the city’s International Film Festival (13-23 September).
The Gold Coast
Queensland’s Gold Coast is a great place to jump into the warmer spring weather. The Gold Coast is a one-hour drive from Brisbane and a 90-minute flight from Sydney. It’s home to some of Australia’s best theme parks, like Sea World, Dreamworld, and Warner Bros. Movie World. The Gold Coast also offers spectacular nature trips for those who want to get out in the wild. You can walk above the trees on Tamborine Mountain or zipline down to the bottom at TreeTop Challenge.
You can escape to the snow even as winter is ending and spring is beginning. The ski season finishes up in late September, so you can easily hit the slopes during your mid-semester break. Victoria and New South Wales still get snow towards the end of the season, and you can usually find good deals on accommodation and ski passes. Victoria’s Mount Hotham and Falls Creek ski resorts are under five hours away from Melbourne, while Mount Buller is only three hours away. If you’re looking to go skiing in New South Wales, Thredbo, Perisher, Charlotte Pass, and Selwyn snow resorts are all roughly five-and-a-half hours away from Sydney, and only two-and-a-half hours away from Canberra.
Bali is the go-to vacation place for many Australians. It’s a four-hour flight from Perth and a six-hour flight from the eastern states. Bali is great for students who want to travel overseas but are limited by their budget, as flights and accommodation are usually very cheap. Bali has amazing markets, beaches, and nightlife, and there are also adventure trips for brave travellers – you can go whitewater rafting or visit a monkey sanctuary!