Gold Coast is home to some iconic rituals and events that have been celebrated for several decades. One such historic event is the Gold Cost schoolies festival. Celebrated annually by the 12th year school graduates from all over Australia, this event culminates at the very popular and beautiful Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. In 2009, the Schoolies festival will be celebrated from 21st November to 13th December 2009.
Typically the Schoolies is a coming of age celebration of the Year 12 students who are now on the threshold of adulthood and ready to enjoy this freedom. Held over a period of 3 weeks, every week sees students from different states of Australia, like New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland – reach the Surfers Paradise to have fun, surf and make new friends.
While many of several thousands of school graduates like to head down to Gold Coast, other popular schoolies destinations include Byron Bay, the Sunshine Coast, the Airlie Beach, the Tropical North QLD and the Magnetic Island.
Since Gold Coast is the central location for school leavers, it is also one of the most looked forward to holiday and experience for these kids. During the first week of the Schoolies festival, leavers run down Surfers Paradise beach and into the ocean with a plunge symbolising the plunge to freedom!
If you plan to visit the GC area during the schoolies festival weeks to experience this coming of age ritual, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the following schoolies terminology:
- Schoolies/Leavers – students graduating 12th that year
- Foolies – younger kids who are often local children interested to personally experience the festival. They are aged between 10 to 18 years. Foolies also means kids who play the fool.
- Toolies – Adults, tourists and local residents, who may clash with schoolies. Toolies is derived from the Australian slang word ‘tool’ that refers to someone who is unpopular or unwanted.