If you’re looking for good places to go for schoolies 2023, this is the guide you need! There are schoolies destinations across Australia, and for schoolies looking for their first overseas experience “sans parents”, official providers are now offering a safer schoolies experience for school leavers wanting to celebrate schoolies in Fiji, Bali, and Vanuatu. Read on for the best places to go for schoolies 2023.
Queensland schoolies destinations
Queensland is where the tradition of schoolies began. It’s still the most popular destination for school leavers both local and from interstate.
Gold Coast Schoolies
The Gold Coast Schoolies is the original schoolies destination, and renowned for being the BIGGEST schoolies destination in Australia. Every November-December around 20,000 school leavers descend Surfers Paradise. The beach party vibe attracts schoolies from all over Australia, and there is a large presence of Red Frogs to keep them safe.
Schoolies aged under 18 are welcome at the Gold Coast, which hosts a number of all-ages events. Schoolies week 1 (18-25 November 2023, and 16-23 November 2024) is the best week to attend for Qld schoolies, many of whom will be under 18. Week 2 (25 Nov – 3 Dec 2023, and 23 Nov – 1 Dec 2024) is more popular with interstate schoolies, who are more likely to be over 18.
The Gold Coast has been hosting schoolies for almost 50 years, so they’ve really got it all figured out!
Sunshine Coast Schoolies
The Sunshine Coast is an alternative schoolies destination for Brisbane schoolies. It draws a much smaller crowd that the Gold Coast schoolies and offers the perfect destination for groups of friends to gather and have fun in the sun. Sunshine Coast Schoolies hotspots include Coolum, Mooloolaba, Noosa, and Alexandra Headland. The Sunshine Coast vibe is more relaxed, but there are still lots of schoolies-specific events planned.
As a relatively new schoolies destination with a smaller crowd, most events are tailored for over-18s only.
Airlie Beach Schoolies
One of the newest destinations on the schoolies scene is Airlie Beach. Airlie Beach hosts a week-long Schoolies Festival with planned activities for school leavers. Being so close to The Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is a tropical schoolies destination for which you don’t need a passport.
Schoolies aged under 18 are welcome at the all-ages Airlie Beach Schoolies Festival.
Schoolies in Queensland – more destinations
There are many destinations in Queensland becoming popular with schoolies. Not all of them will have an official program of schoolies activities, or a Red Frogs presence, but may be closer than the Gold Coast to where you live.
Magnetic Island has recently come to the schoolies party, offering an island destination just 20 minutes from Townsville.
Schoolies in other states
It all started on the Gold Coast, but for party loving schoolies Qld isn’t the only option. Check out these other schoolies destinations across Australia.
New South Wales – Byron Bay
Byron Bay schoolies 2023 is from 25 November to 2 December (2024 dates are 23 November to 30 November). As the most popular destination for New South Wales schoolies, there is plenty of accommodation available, and security and support provided.
Byron Bay schoolies is not as big as the Gold Coast schoolies, but here school leavers can surf, kayak, or hike the hinterland when they are not busy partying.
Accommodation options range from camp sites to apartments to whole party houses, so school leavers are sure to find something that suits their vibe.
Schoolies in Victoria runs for three weeks, from the end of November until mid-December.
Rye is the most popular destination for schoolies in Victoria. The Red Frogs are in attendance and regularly cook up free midnight BBQs by the beach. There’s plenty for school leavers to do here, including water sports, horse riding, and swimming with dolphins.
Phillip Island welcomes schoolies with DJs, live music, beach parties, pool parties and planned social events. To get an official Phillip Island schoolies wristband, participants must stay at The Island Accommodation, though other accommodation is available.
Lorne is considered a quieter destination for schoolies. There’s still a great party atmosphere at night, and activities on offer, but on the whole the Lorne schoolies vibe is more “chill”.
South Australia – Victor Harbor
Victor Harbor is a quiet coastal town steeped in history. For the majority of the year it draws young families and adults looking to indulge in its tranquillity and local wineries, but for one weekend in November it is flooded with school leavers from across South Australia.
2023 Schoolies are the 25th cohort to celebrate the end of their school years at Victor Harbor, with the Schoolies Festival running from 17-19 November. The event is well organised with security, accommodation, and themed parties nightly until 2am.
Victor Harbor Schoolies is suitable for all ages, with the area becoming an alcohol “dry zone” for the entire event.
Western Australia – Dunsborough Leavers
Leavers is the official schoolies celebration in Western Australia, hosted at Dunsborough. In 2023 the WA dates for schoolies are 19-24 November, and in 2024 Leavers will run from 17-22 November.
Schoolies celebrate the end of Year 12 at the Leavers Entertainment Zone, where there are DJs, carnival rides, food trucks, and planned events. The Zone is alcohol and drug free, with Red Frogs, St Johns Ambulance and other authorities on site to keep participants safe. Free transport is provided to and from the event each day, and there are plenty of official accommodation options to choose from.
Schoolies international destinations
International schoolies destinations are increasingly popular as school leavers gain their first taste of independent travel. Sharing this experience with friends is life changing. If your child is keen to head overseas for schoolies, booking through an official provider will provide a safer schoolies experience.
Schoolies under 18 CAN attend schoolies in Bali, but it is worth noting that the legal drinking age in Bali is 21 years old. This drinking law is rumoured to be seldom enforced, but schoolies should exercise caution and common sense when consuming alcohol. Drug laws in Bali are very strict and violations carry harsh punishments, regardless of age.
That said, many schoolies enjoy the party vibe of schoolies in Bali, where the most popular destination is Kuta.
Sure Thing Schoolies is an official schoolies party host. They run an all-ages boat party and looks after Bali schoolies during their stay.
Schoolies in Fiji have got it made, with an entire island dedicated to their celebration. Depending on who you book through, the Fiji schoolies package can include flights and 7-nights all-inclusive accommodation on an island where the only occupants are schoolies, staff, and the entertainment providers. Schoolies islands are Treasure Island, Plantation Island, and Mana Island.
The Fiji drinking age is 18, and the legal drinking age in Fiji is enforced.
Vanuatu is rated as the number one overseas destination for Australian schoolies. Booking through an officials schoolies provider will get you the wristband and access to all the exclusive schoolies parties and events. Schoolies aged 16 and above can attend schoolies in Vanuatu, where the legal drinking age is 18.
Good places to go for schoolies 2023
We’ve given you lots of ideas for places to celebrate the end of your school years. Wherever you choose, the safest way to do schoolies is through an official organiser and with Red Frog schoolies support.