Australia is an incredibly diverse country with a variety of landscapes and cities to explore, making it a great destination for travelers. However, being an isolated island, on the other side of the world from most people, it can be a bit of a journey to get there and can also be pretty pricey. So what is the best way to get to Australia?
Flying to Australia
The Australian state capitals have many international connections, making Australia easily accessible by plane. One exception is Hobart International Airport in Tasmania, which only has international links to New Zealand. However, direct flights from Asia will hopefully be possible soon.
Sydney and Melbourne are often the cheapest cities to fly into. Local airlines such as Jetstar and Virgin Australia offer the most affordable domestic connections. So, it can sometimes be much cheaper to book an international leg into one of these cities and then a domestic flight to your final destination.
From North America, Jetstar often has very cheap flights from Honolulu. So if you can find a cheap flight to Hawaii and don't mind an extra connection, this can be a fantastic, budget-friendly option. Keep in mind though, Jetstar is a budget, no-frills airline, so you won't have many of the comforts that larger airlines offer. From the mainland USA, the cheapest cities to fly from are generally LAX, San Francisco, Austin, and New York. You can even find non-stop flights to Melbourne and Sydney from these airports. While an 18-hour flight might sound daunting, planes have a funny way of distorting time while you’re on them, particularly on long-haul flights. At a certain point, there really doesn’t feel like much difference between a 10-hour flight and an 18-hour flight so in our experience, you might as well just get it all over and done with in one go and save yourself the hassle of a layover! From Canada, Vancouver is usually the most economical option. However, you can also get flights from other major cities.
The cheapest routes from Europe are often from the UK, Paris, or Madrid for most airlines. However, Scoot offers shockingly affordable options that depart from Berlin, London, and Athens. Food, entertainment, and baggage come at an extra cost though, so make sure you factor this in when comparing flights. More often than not, considering how cheap Ryan Air flights are, you are better off flying to whichever city has the cheapest flight to Australia at the time than just booking a flight from the city closest to you.
If you're coming from Southeast Asia, there are often great flight deals into Perth and Darwin. But if you don't plan on staying in one of these cities, then booking a flight straight to your destination will often be your best option as domestic flights across the country can be pretty pricey. From Perth to Melbourne for example, expect to pay at least $300 AUD (or $210 USD). Bali to Sydney or Melbourne is typically the cheapest route to get between Southeast Asia and Australia. Considering how inexpensive Air Asia flights are between Southeast Asian countries, sometimes the cheapest route is to fly to Bali first and then continue on to Australia. Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are other good travel hubs to check for flights to Australia if you don’t mind adding an extra leg to your journey to save a bit of cash.
Flights from the Pacific islands and New Zealand often have the best-priced connections to the east coast cities. If you can time it right, Jetstar and Fiji Airways frequently offer significant discounts from these countries.
Travel tip: Australia Customs have stringent rules to protect vulnerable flora and fauna native to this part of the world. There are harsh penalties for not declaring items that may pose a risk. Remember, it's always better to declare anything, even the things you aren't sure of, to avoid a hefty fine.
Driving to Australia
Putting this one in here just in case you were curious… But Australia is an isolated island, surrounded by water and so it has no land connections to other countries making it impossible to travel to Australia by bus, train, or car.
Sailing to Australia
Many cruises have Australia as a port of call. Most often, these cruises also include New Zealand and some Pacific islands. A select few cruise liners also make the journey to Australia from Asia, Europe, and North America, but these are often long and expensive!
No matter where you are coming from, unless you’ve got time and money on your side, the best way to get to Australia is by flying. There are specific routes from each continent that can save you both on travel time and ticket costs. It’s often cheapest to add a domestic leg before your flight to one of these cities and then continue on to Australia. Then, once you arrive, you’ll have more money in your budget to spend on some of the incredible experiences that Australia has to offer!