School leavers week

Schoolies Week.  Photo credit: Copyright Bernie Bradley


Depending on your outlook, ‘Schoolies’ (aka School Leavers Week or simply ‘Leavers’) is either the Eldorado of partying, or something to avoid with a very large barge pole. Here’s why.

You know what it was like when you left school? Well, Australians have turned that day of celebration and goodbyes into a week-long holiday.

It happens at the end of November or the beginning of December, at the end of high school exams.

It’s a rite of passage best symbolised by running down to the beach and diving into the ocean wearing full school uniform. There are Schoolie destinations in most states but Queensland’s Gold Coast – particularly Surfers Paradise – is the favourite destination, attracting tens of thousands of Leavers every year.

If you want to be a part of it you’ll find plenty of websites and forums advertising dates and events.

If you’d rather avoid it (things can get pretty rowdy and there are safety concerns every year) check the dates and locations and go somewhere/do something else.

Incidentally, if you’re past school-leaving age and you want to join in you will instantly be known as a ‘Toolie’ or ‘Droolie’. Anyone younger is a ‘Foolie’ or ‘Pre-Schoolie’.

School's Out

The Schoolie tradition began in 1979 at private schools on the Gold Coast. Then, Schoolies met at the Broadbeach Hotel in a fairly ad hoc way.

Gradually things became more organised, with special events that drew Leavers to the Gold Coast from across Australia.

As not all states finish at exactly the same time, it has been known for Schoolies to turn up long after the party’s over.

You May Also Be Interested In…

Expert knowledge from travellers and locals on the Global Grapevine forum

Ask, Answer or Browse

Search the forum or ask a question

Read the Global Grapevine Blog

Fascinating Reads

Top tips and quick reads about Australia

Plan your trip to Australia

Going To Australia?

Plan your trip here

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get the latest travel tips and info straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Global Grapevine newsletter