The Queen's Birthday is a public holiday that celebrates the monarch of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II. Different countries celebrate the public holiday at a different time (that doesn't coincide with the Queen's actual day of birth) because it is traditionally celebrated in May or June when good weather can be expected in the northern hemisphere.
In Australia (with the exception of Western Australia and Queensland) the Queen's Birthday is celebrated on the second Monday in June. In 2014, this public holiday will take place on June 9th. Since the holiday always takes place on a Monday, the Queen's Birthday provides a long weekend every year and a good excuse to plan a getaway.
Check out these great ideas for each state:
Australian Capital Territory
The Queen's actual birthday is in April, but is celebrated in June as not to conflict with Easter or with Anzac Day. Celebrations are held across the country, including in the Australian Capital Territory. Although many communities celebrate the holiday with fireworks, the sale of fireworks in the Australian Capital Territory was banned in 2009. Here people enjoy the day off work by spending time with family and friends.
New South Wales
Celebrating the birthday of the monarch goes as far back as 1788 when the king's birthday was celebrated. Since the death of King George V, this holiday has always been celebrated on the second Monday in June. In New South Wales, similar to traditions across Australia, people enjoy the three-day weekend by planning barbecues or meals with family and friends. Many people also flock to the beaches around Sydney and along the coast to enjoy a day on the beach.
The Northern Territory is one of the only remaining places where certain types of fireworks are still sold to the public. As a result, the tradition of fireworks to celebrate the Queen's Birthday has continued. Locals often take the opportunity to travel and book holiday rentals in advance. This is a popular weekend to travel, so book early to avoid disappointment. Spontaneous travellers might be able to take advantage of last-minute deals too.
The Queen's Birthday is also celebrated in Tasmania. Locals have traditional ways of celebrating, including bonfires on the beach, picnics with friends, and family get-togethers. The long weekend is also a great excuse to plan a trip, with many people venturing to different beaches for some peace and quiet. Choose a Tasmanian holiday rental with all the amenities you need, from beachfront access to a barbecue for planning a family feast.
In Victoria, the Queen's Birthday is celebrated annually with a football match. Each year two clubs from the Australian Football League - usually the Collingwood Magpies and the Melbourne Demons - play a match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Beyond this one organized event, people celebrate in normal ways, by meeting with mates and family to enjoy the long weekend. Many people also travel, either choosing to enjoy the nightlife of Melbourne or the beauty of the local beaches.