Father’s Day in Australia: How Is It Different from Other Countries?

Having one day per year dedicated to celebrating the father figures in our lives is not exclusive to Australia. In fact, most countries worldwide set aside a specific day to celebrate, honour and appreciate our dads.

However, you might have noticed that Australia celebrates Father’s Day on a different date to other countries. Thanks to the internet, many of us have been caught out and wished our dads Happy Father’s Day in the wrong month! 

Presenting your dad with a special Father’s Day gift at the wrong time of year can be very embarrassing. If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re probably wondering why Father’s Day isn’t held on the same day internationally.

Australian Father’s Day is held on a different date to the rest of the world – the first Sunday in September each year. Not only do we celebrate it on an entirely different day, but Aussie culture also has its own unique Father’s Day traditions.

Some of the ways we show appreciation to our dads aren’t common in any other country. If you’re planning a Father’s Day gift experience or other special event, getting the right date is critical. Before you make a booking, you’ll want to double-check when Father’s Day is in Australia this year.

Read on to understand our unique tradition and why Australians continue to observe Father’s Day differently from the rest of the world.


In Australia, Father’s Day is observed on the first Sunday of September. On the other hand, most parts of the world celebrate Father’s Day three months earlier, on the third Sunday in June.

This special day is set aside to show appreciation for fathers in our lives. But Fathers Day isn’t just for our biological fathers; it’s for all the male role models in our lives, like stepfathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers, foster fathers, teachers, leaders, and elders.  

When Is Father’s Day In Australia In 2022?

In 2022, Father’s Day will be on the 4th of September in Australia. Make sure to put this in your calendar so you don’t forget! Australians celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September, and the holiday will fall on a different date internationally. 


There are a few explanations as to why Father’s Day in Australia is celebrated in September and not in June. Some suggest the date was moved to September to evenly space it from Mother’s Day and remove ‘holiday fatigue’ from the first half of the year, but others claim it was a marketing strategy.

Nobody really knows the exact answer, but the Aussie date spaces out Father’s Day six months from Mother’s Day in May. When first introduced, Australia used to celebrate Father’s Day in June, but most people saw the holiday as a ‘rip off’ of Mother’s Day. Harsh!

Records tell us that Father’s Day only really took off in Australia around the time the date was moved to September. It’s possible someone decided to evenly space the holidays rather than celebrate Father’s Day just five weeks after Mother’s Day. 

A common myth is that Father’s Day was introduced to Australia after hearing news of the June holiday overseas. Rather than wait until the following year, the celebration was scheduled a few months ahead. However, looking back at newspaper coverage shows this to be clearly false! In fact, the scheduling of Father’s Day was an ongoing debate between 1920 and 1936. 

The reason Australians settled on September as the permanent date of Father’s Day still remains a mystery. 

Another explanation is ‘holiday fatigue’. This term suggests that Aussies needed a break from back to back holidays – whether emotionally or financially, we’re not sure! From the very first day of the year until June, Australians are bombarded with special events and holidays almost weekly. As such, celebrating Father’s Day in September allows people to recuperate and recover from all the expenses.

September is also the start of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. This means that from a marketing perspective, Father’s Day is a perfect opportunity to sell virtually any item that dads enjoy or find interesting. It is no wonder that outdoor tools, sports and camping gear, fishing gear and travel essentials become hot sale items during this month. It all boils down to convenience and timing.


It wasn’t until the 1930s that Father’s Day was widely recognised in Australia, and it didn’t reach present-day levels of popularity until the 1960s. According to newspaper records, the concept of Father’s Day was a bit of a ‘silly American idea’ to Australians in the 1910s, after it was introduced in the United States.

However, reports that Father’s Day was introduced to Australia in 1936 are unfortunately not accurate. The Father’s Day debate had already been playing out for decades, with some forward-thinking commenters pushing to recognise the importance of fatherhood and strengthen family bonds with a special holiday. 

Mother’s Day has been celebrated in Australia from 1910 onwards and became widely recognised in the 1920s, but it took much longer for Father’s Day to be generally accepted by the public. Until the 1930s, newspaper articles continued to suggest Father’s Day as a ‘new holiday’ or question why it doesn’t yet exist. 

Initially revolving around special church services, Father’s Day began appearing in commercial advertising in the 1930s, indicating the holiday had reached the mainstream. By the 1950s, Father’s Day was recognised in official calendars, and in 1956, the Father’s Day Council of Australia was formed. To this day, they present an annual ‘Father of the Year’ award to an inspirational Dad, with state-level awards also granted. 


In Australia, Father’s Day has become synonymous with gift-giving and family bonding. Although these practices aren’t uncommon in other parts of the world, these traditions have adopted aspects of Australian culture to include local activities or gift ideas found only in Australia. 

Take a look at some of the ways Father’s Day is celebrated in Australia:

Father’s Day Stalls

Father’s Day stalls are holiday stalls that pop up at schools and events before Father’s Day in Australia. Usually run by schools or organisations, these stalls sell affordable gifts for dads that younger kids can pick out and wrap themselves. Typical gifts include all the classics like shaving gear, hankies, socks, keychains and the iconic ‘world’s best dad’ mugs. ,

Day Out With Dad

A lot of Australians like to spend Father’s Day outdoors. For this reason, an outdoor experience with dad or the rest of the family is an ideal Father’s Day activity. Some of our favourite outdoor activities during Father’s Day include hiking and bushwalking, race tracks, sports events, and a day at the beach. For many dads, spending some time out with the family is just as good as any gift – which is why Father’s Day experience gifts are the best of all. 

Father’s Day Charity Activities

Raising money for a cause is a popular Father’s Day activity among Australians. Some of the usual activities include charity runs, performances, auctions, and more. Father’s Day charity runs and other events often support men’s health causes, like prostate cancer research, Men’s Sheds and The Movember Foundation.

Picnics And Barbecues

Food plays an important part in most Father’s Day activities in Australia. For this reason, many Father’s Day traditions and activities usually revolve around food (and don’t forget the ice-cold beer too). Some of the most popular food-centred activities include picnics, barbeques, fetes, festivals and other outdoor events, including sausages sizzles, food trucks and more. These are often run by community groups or schools, but a barbeque at the park or the beach with family is just as popular.  

Father’s Day Church Services

As Father’s Day is held on a Sunday, many churches hold a special event or service for the occasion. In fact, this is how Father’s Day began and the reason it’s always celebrated on a Sunday. While Father’s Day is no longer a religious occasion, Aussies who do attend church can still expect a special service or extra activities on Father’s Day.


For Father’s Day, the items that dads can readily use usually are the most popular ones. Take a look at these perfect gift ideas for Father’s Day in Australia:

Father’s Day Gift Hampers

Hampers are a popular present, especially among those who want to give food as a gift. Hampers can either contain an assortment of items or a variety of similar products that your dad loves. For example, you can give a DIY gift basket of all your dad’s favourite snacks, wine or beer. You can even mix it up with the traditional socks and jocks while creating a unique gift that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Personalised Father’s Day Gifts

What do you get for the dad who has everything? A personalised Father’s Day gift that’s completely unique! An engraved wooden gift is the perfect gift, since the range of uses is pretty much endless, and you can choose your design to match. If your dad loves to read, for example, an engraved bookmark would be the best present. A wooden gift can also be made from a child’s drawing and for Grandad you can get him an engraved photo frame for treasured family photos.

Grooming & Shaving Kits

Another great gift idea for dads is a grooming kit packed with things to keep dad (or grandpa) looking suave! Regardless of what you may think, everyone likes to look, feel and smell good, and fathers are no exception. A pampering kit has grooming, hair care, and skincare items that are perfect for dads. These kits usually contain cologne, shaving products, and mens’ skincare goodies. To take it to the next level, including a high-quality razor or shaving brush can really make a memorable gift. There is a great gift on Amazon for around $60 that is perfect for the occasion, check it out here

Gift Experiences & Sports Events

One great gift for dads on Father’s Day is tickets to their favourite sporting event. Sought-after tickets to a big game for him and a mate are a sure-fire win for dads who are mad about their favourite team. Gift experiences for dad can be a great alternative if your dad would prefer to be in the middle of the action. For instance, you can buy him a day pass for a race car driving experience or a jet boating session. Not all experience gifts are the high stakes kind, though – a craft brewery tour or fine dining voucher can be a thoughtful Father’s Day gift as well. 

Electronics & Gadgets

Although some more old-fashioned dads aren’t too comfortable with the latest technology, plenty of tech-inclined fathers enjoy the excitement of getting the newest gadget. If your dad is keen on gaming, stereo gear, the latest Samsung or his home cinema, spending a little bit more on these types of gifts can be worth it. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box – some of the latest home automation devices and smartwatches make great practical gifts for dad. With their price always coming down and their ease of use going up, drones have never been more accessible as a Father’s Day gift. 

Water Bottle with Digital Water intake tracking – $89.95

Wireless Charging Dock

Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Portable Massage Gun – $84.95

Travel Dads

Sleep mask with wireless headphones – $37.99

Outdoor Dads

Beanie with headlight – $27

Gym Dads

Electronic Protein Mixer – $69.99


Is Father’s Day A Public Holiday In Australia?

Although Father’s Day is a popular holiday in Australia, this annual event isn’t actually a public holiday. Even if it falls on a Sunday, regular Sunday opening hours are observed on Father’s Day. This means that businesses that generally operate on Sundays continue to welcome customers without much interruption, and unfortunately, some dads may be stuck working on Father’s Day.

Which Came First Mother’s Or Father’s Day?

Mother’s Day has been celebrated for much longer than Father’s Day. According to Australian history, Mother’s Day celebrations began around 1910, but the second Sunday in May wasn’t popularly observed as Mother’s Day until the 1920s. 

It took a little while longer for Father’s Day celebrations to gain traction. Celebrations for Father’s day didn’t gain popularity until the 1930s. In the US, Father’s Day wasn’t recognised as a permanent holiday until 1972, while Mother’s Day had been officially recognised by Congress back in 1914. 

Is Father’s Day Celebrated All Over The World?

Yes, Father’s Day is celebrated across many countries all over the world. However, many countries have different traditions when it comes to Father’s Day celebrations, and it is even celebrated on different dates across the world. 

Father’s Day may signify something different in each country, but the essence of honouring the men in our lives remains the same. In some countries, it is even a recognised public holiday or national holiday. 

In some places, Father’s Day is even celebrated under a different name. In some nations, it is referred to as Parent’s Day, Defender of the Fatherland Day, Soldier’s Day or Ascension Day.

Is Father’s Day The Same In Every Country?

No, Father’s Day varies from place to place. In most countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and China, Father’s Day is celebrated in the month of June. 

In some European countries, including Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, Father’s Day is held in November. Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea all celebrate Father’s Day in September.

Does Father’s Day Change Every Year?

In essence, the date of Father’s Day does change every year. This is because it is celebrated a set month and day: the third Sunday of June in the USA, and the first Sunday of September in Australia. 

This may make it a little harder to remember. But as long as you mark down the first Sunday of September for Father’s Day in Australia, you can’t forget. 

Who Celebrates Father’s Day In September?

In Australia, we celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday of September every year, along with other Oceania nations like New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. 

Additionally, Latvia also celebrates Father’s Day in September. However, the country recognises the second Sunday in September as their Father’s Day holiday. 

When Is Father’s Day In Australia 2023?

In 2023, Father’s Day in Australia will be celebrated on Sunday the 3rd of September. 

Pauline Mitchell

My signature keepsake boxes encapsulate a memorable story from the carefully selected products sourced from and within Australia, the exquisitely handcrafted artwork, the sustainable materials used, and the luxurious beauty in every keepsake box itself—all for an intimate and personal gift token that will let you speak from your heart.

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