Schoolies Week: The High-School Graduation Party With A Difference

Here in the UK, thousands of teenagers who have recently finished their A-Levels or other qualifications celebrate this achievement by jetting off to the Mediterranean to a budget resort where there sun shines all day and the booze runs freely. As this phenomenon has grown over the past five years or so to the point that it how now practically become a rite of passage for young Brits, these holidays have gained a reputation for trouble caused by holidaymakers binge-drinking, having run ins with the local police and generally making a nuisance of themselves. If you’ll be finishing your school education this year, the chances are you are already thinking about which clubbers’ paradise you’ll be heading to this summer. But instead of following the crowd, why not get yourself involved with the Australian tradition of “Schoolies week” in Australia, which dates back to the 1970’s.

But What is Schoolies Week?

The concept of Schoolies week is no different to the idea behind the school leavers’ holidays to the Med that British teenagers indulge in. Since the 70’s, Australian school leavers have visited beach resorts after their end of year exams to signify their transition from children to adults, hopefully returning from their break with some feeling of maturity after experiencing this rite of passage. Schoolies will usually run into the sea once they arrive at the resort, as a symbolic gesture for taking the plunge into adult life. By contrast, there is very little symbolism on British school leavers’ holidays; unless sunbeds thrown in the swimming pool and rubbish discarded in the street by drunken revellers counts as symbolic.

What Should I Know If I Want to go to Schoolie Week?

If you think that you might prefer heading to Schoolie Week after your exams, you might want to learn some of the terminology surrounding the event. “Schoolies” are of course, school leavers, whilst, “Toolies” are older party-goers who can’t yet move on from the party scene. “Foolies” on the other hand are the opposite; these are teenagers who haven’t yet graduated from high-school, but have decided they want to start their celebrations early. The most popular destination for those heading off on holiday for Schoolie Week is the Surfers Paradise district of Gold Coast City, attracting up to 40,000 revellers each year. Surfers Paradise isn’t the only place that teenagers head to however; Perth, Victor Harbor and the epic-sounding Magnetic Island are also popular destinations.

Sounds Great, Can I Come?

Of course you can, but there are a few things you need to think about first. The Australian school year actually ends in December, so if you’re going to finish your exams in June, you may have a little wait on your hands before you can jet off to celebrate. If you’re the patient type however, you will have a great time at Schoolie Week. There have been complaints in recent years of drunken behaviour at the event, but in the 30 years since the tradition began, the Australian authorities have got a lot better at controlling the events and making sure everyone stays safe and drinks responsibly than the often-aggressive Greek police are on your average British school leavers’ holiday.

This guest blog post has been written by Rob from Transfercar. Rob has many years experience writing online content about travel in Australia, including relocation campervans, car services, and tourist travel.