Home » Health & Parenting » Family Health » High School Aged

15 Alternatives to Schoolies

If the party scene isn’t for you, or you’d rather spend your money on something else, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate the end of your formal school years. Take a look at the 15 alternatives to schoolies listed below.

Book an Air BnB with friends

Bunya Mountains - Bunya Mountains Accommodation

If you’ve ever wanted to book out a beach house or a forest retreat, now is the time! You and your friends can relax, listen to music, play board games, or explore to your hearts’ content, without the noise and crowds. Be sure to check the rules around partying and noise of your chosen accommodation.

If you don’t want to go too far from Brisbane, there’s serenity a-plenty to be found in the Bunya Mountains.

Go cruising

Carnival cruises Australia

A cruise has your alternatives to schoolies holiday sorted in one venue. Ocean views, food included, and entertainment a-plenty! They can also be much cheaper than accommodation at a typical schoolies destination. You don’t even need a passport, with Australian cruises to the Whitsundays, Sydney, and Tasmania an option.

Cruise lines may have specific rules and restrictions around schoolies cruises. Some don’t allow schoolies groups, and some offer cruises just for schoolies.

Get back to nature

Pitching a tent with friends, enjoying songs and stories around a campfire, swimming in creeks and exploring rainforests – reconnecting with nature is a perfect way to de-stress after exams.

Find some of the best camping locations here.

Go backpacking

Backpacking is a great way to explore Australia at a slower pace. You don’t have to hitchike – just pack a few bags and a tent in your car, pick a direction, and see what adventure awaits. Most backpackers choose to explore the east coast of Australia, doing seasonal work on farms or in hospitality to help fund their journey. You can explore stunning hiking trails and make new friends along the way.

If you value the experience of others, there are organisations that can help you plan your itinerary, such as introtravel.com

Cruise the Great Ocean Road

A road trip anywhere is a fantastic experience, and The Great Ocean Road is iconic. Create your own itinerary or download one (there are lots on the internet). 

If you are travelling in your own vehicle, have it inspected by a trustworthy mechanic before you set off, and make sure you buy roadside assistance membership. Roadside assistance memberships are reciprocal, so if you are a member of the RACQ, for example, you are covered for the same level of assistance with the RACV, RACA etc., giving you peace of mind that help is on the way if you break down.

Visit the outback

An outback road sign is tempting as an alternatives to schoolies

The outback is vast, and there is so much to explore! You can catch a small regional plane or hire a 4WD to an outback town and experience life in Coober Pedy, a dinosaur dig in Winton, or tick a visit to Uluru off your bucket list.

For tips on visiting outback Australia, check out traveloutbackaustralia.com

Cattle mustering

Be a Jackeroo or a Jillaroo on a real life cattle muster. You’ll get to sleep in a swag under the stars, eat around a campfire, and spend all day in the saddle driving cattle. It’s a real taste of farm life! Your adventure can be as short as a few days, or you can sign up for a period of work on an authentic cattle station. Can you survive without the internet? Check out the adventures on offer here.

Land your dream job

While your peers are busy partying, you could be busy landing your dream job fresh from school. Recruitment really slows down over Christmas, so if you have financial goals in mind, there’s no time to waste! Jump in now while there’s less competition from other school leavers!

Be a volunteer

Time spent volunteering looks great on your resume! You can volunteer to work with people, animals, wildlife conservation organisations, or in environment maintenance. Contact your favourite not-for-profit or charitable organisation and ask how you can be involved. Volunteering is one of the most fulfilling alternatives to schoolies you can do.

Volunteering Queensland has heaps of advice and opportunites for people looking to volunteer in Queensland.

Change lives overseas

There’s nothing more humbling and fulfilling than helping to improve the lives of others, whether that’s in building a classroom in Fiji or working for a charitable organisation in drought-stricken countries.

Find out how you can change lives overseas at International Volunteer HQ.

Start your gap year early

Have you planned to take a year out to travel the world? Get a head-start on everyone else by setting off on your adventure early. The money you save by not going to schoolies can be put to valuable use on flights and accommodation for your next adventure.

Tip: Register as a pet sitter for free accommodation. See how our editor travelled the world for a year, visiting Asia, Europe, South America, and USA on a tiny budget!

Achieve a goal

Have you ever wanted to learn to play an instrument, ride a horse, fly a kite, or even do a somersault? There’s a bit of time on your hands now, so set yourself a challenge and achieve a goal. Get friends and family behind you by getting them to sponsor your favourite charity to mark your success.

Be a tourist in your own city

Have you really seen all there is to see in your own city? It’s amazing how many people move away from their home town as adults without ever experiencing what was on their doorstep. If Brisbane is your home city, check out these ideas to be a tourist in your own town.

Find your thrills elsewhere

If a regular schoolies environment is not quite exciting enough for you, try something more adventurous. How about bungee jumping in New Zealand, cave diving in New South Wales, skydiving into the Grand Canyon. Ok, we’re not sure that last one is really a thing, but you get the idea!

Revamp your room 

School years are over, hello adulthood! Start the next phase of your life with a grown-up room revamp. Teach yourself valuable skills along the way as you repaint your walls and ceiling, build flatpack furniture, or scour garage sales for furniture to restore. Take ownership of your future by declaring your school days over and the next phase begun!

So many alternatives to schoolies!

There are so many adventurous, thrilling, hubling, fulfilling, or simply peaceful alterantives to schoolies. Add your ideas in the comments below.

Read our other Schoolies articles:

Photo of author

Joanne Crane

Joanne loves speaking directly to people of all ages through the medium of writing, sharing tips and knowledge for families and kids to help everyone get the most out of life. Her focus is on the development of resilience, confidence and independence in children, and on helping families engage and create lasting memories. Self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth are vital skills that Joanne believes children need to learn early to help them grow as adults.

Leave a comment