How to maximise your annual leave in 2023

It’s never too late to start planning that well-deserved holiday for the new year, especially when there are so many opportunities to maximise your 2023 annual leave. P&O makes it easy to organise last-minute holiday plans and extended trips away with a whole suite of cruise options and incredible destinations here in Australia and in the stunning South Pacific. Getting the most out of your 2023 holiday means identifying the best days to take off in 2023 to maximise your annual leave.

2023 offers numerous calendar "sweet spots" to help you make the most of your holidays without burning your annual leave balance. Thanks to the various national holidays and the 2023 Australian public holiday schedule, you can triple your days off during your 2023 holidays with a few calendar hacks. 

Learn how to strategically use only 15 days of annual leave, plus a few public holidays, to bring your holiday balance to 41 days! Discover how to enjoy the new year with a much-needed break with P&O Cruises in 2023.

What are the public holidays in 2023?

There are a total of seven national public holidays in Australia during 2023:

  • New Year’s Day – Sunday, 1 January 2023

  • Australia Day – Thursday, 26 January 2023

  • Good Friday – Friday, 7 April 2023

  • Easter Monday – Monday, 10 April 2023

  • Anzac Day – Tuesday, 25 April 2023

  • Christmas Day – Monday, 25 December 2023

  • Boxing Day – Tuesday, 26 December 2023


There are also different state-based public holidays to sweeten the deal, so keep an eye on your calendar for those bonus breaks!

Nine-Day January Holiday

Get nine days off by booking four annual leave days between 23-25 January and 27 January.


  • Saturday 21 January: Weekend

  • Sunday 22 January: Weekend

  • Monday 23 January: Annual leave

  • Tuesday 24 January: Annual leave

  • Wednesday 25 January: Annual leave

  • Thursday 26 January: Australia Day public holiday

  • Friday 27 January: Annual leave

  • Saturday 28 January: Weekend

  • Sunday 29 January: Weekend

Ten-Day Easter Break

Simply book four annual leave days between 3-6 April to score a 10-day Easter break.


  • Saturday 1 April: Weekend

  • Sunday 2 April: Weekend

  • Monday 3 April: Annual leave

  • Tuesday 4 April: Annual leave

  • Wednesday 5 April: Annual leave

  • Thursday 6 April: Annual leave

  • Friday April 7: Good Friday public holiday

  • Saturday April 8: Weekend

  • Sunday April 9: Easter Sunday (weekend)

  • Monday April 10: Easter Sunday public holiday


Top Tip: Spend your Easter Break aboard our Pacific Island Hopper cruise, departing Sydney (3-12 April 2023), and explore New Caledonia.


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Nine-Days of ANZAC Leave

Booking four annual leave days over 24 April and 26-28 April will reap nine days off over the ANZAC weekend.


  • Saturday 22 April: Weekend

  • Sunday 23 April: Weekend

  • Monday 24 April: Annual leave

  • Tuesday 25 April: ANZAC Day

  • Wednesday 26 April: Annual leave

  • Thursday 27 April: Annual leave

  • Friday 28 April: Annual leave

  • Saturday 29 April: Weekend

  • Sunday 30 April: Weekend


Top Tip: Hop aboard our Comedy Cruise, departing Brisbane (22-25 April) for a Anzac Day getaway you won’t forget. 

Nine-Day June Long Weekend (WA, QLD not included)

Booking four annual leave days over 13-16 June will result in nine days off.


  • Saturday 10 June: Weekend

  • Sunday 11 June:  Weekend

  • Monday 12 June: King’s Birthday public holiday

  • Tuesday 13 June: Annual leave

  • Wednesday 14 June: Annual leave

  • Thursday 15 June: Annual leave

  • Friday 16 June: Annual leave

  • Saturday 17 June: Weekend

  • Sunday 18 June:  Weekend


Top Tip: Indulge in a few more days off and explore the Great Barrier Reef with our Barrier Reef Discovery cruise departing Sydney (12-22 June), and fall in love with one of the seven wonders of the world.

Ten-Day Christmas New Years Break 2024

Over the Christmas and New Year period, booking three annual leave days between 27-29 December will result in a 10-day break.


  • Saturday 23 December: Weekend

  • Sunday 24 December: Weekend

  • Monday 25 December: Christmas Day public holiday

  • Tuesday 26 December: Boxing Day public holiday

  • Wednesday 27 December: Annual leave

  • Thursday 28 December: Annual leave

  • Friday 29 December: Annual leave

  • Saturday 30 December: Weekend

  • Sunday 31 December: Weekend (New Year’s Eve)

  • Monday 1 January 2024: New Year’s Day public holiday

Top Tip: It’s the perfect opportunity to hop aboard one of our Christmas cruises or New Years cruises, departing Sydney, Brisbane, or Melbourne.

What will you do with all of this time off? Book a cruise, of course!

Experience it all aboard a P&O cruise

Triple the value for your time & money

For only 15 days of annual leave, you can score 41 days off in 2023, tripling your holiday time! Discover a vast range of cruises, from family holidays to a group cruise with all your friends or short break couples retreat for a spark of passion. With P&O, there is a holiday cruise to suit everyone, with many incredible cruise packages available throughout the year, alongside plenty of last-minute cruise deals if you’re not the best at planning ahead. Our cruise deals range from exciting experiences on tropical islands to peaceful three-day weekends and themed short breaks.

With P&O Cruises, you’ll know exactly what’s included in your holiday, which means no unpleasant shocks on your onboard account, and because Australian currency is our currency,  you can avoid those annoying exchange rates.

Once everything is booked on your end, there’s nothing else for you to worry about except living your best life aboard a P&O cruise with a poolside margarita knowing everything is accounted for and under control. And if you’re already thinking about booking for 2024 cruise, check out our guide on how to maximise your annual leave in 2024.


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