Travel to Australia

Flying to Australia

A large number of international airlines offer flights to Australia, including British Airways (BA) ( and Singapore Airlines (SQ) ( The national airline is Qantas (QF) ( The cheapest time of year to fly is generally in the window between the end of Easter and the beginning of July, which coincides with the onset of winter in Australia. Bear in mind that if travelling from Europe or the UK, it will be mandatory for the plane to stop somewhere en route – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Dubai are all commonly used.

Budget airlines such as Tiger Airways (TR) ( offer flights to Australia from South East Asia.

Air notes:

Singapore Airlines’ sister airline Silk Air is now running flights to Darwin. There have been proposals for a third airport for Melbourne, to complement the city’s existing international and domestic airports.

Flight times:

From London to Brisbane is 23 hours 30 minutes, to Melbourne is 22 hours 30 minutes, to Perth is 20 hours and to Sydney is 22 hours.

From Los Angeles to Sydney is 14 hours 30 minutes. From New York to Sydney is 22 hours 30 minutes.

Air passes:

South Pacific Air Pass: allows travel to 35 destinations in 10 countries including Australia, New Zealand and several Pacific nations using Star Alliance airlines ( You can buy between three and 10 coupons, with fares varying according to mileage.

Visit Australia and New Zealand Pass: allows travel to over 60 destinations in Australia and New Zealand on Qantas, LAN and affiliated airlines. Fares vary according to the number of zones covered (between one and five zones). Available through any oneworld airline (

Departure tax:


Airport guides

Airport Code: ADL. Location: Adelaide Airport is situated 6km (4 miles) west of Adelaide city centre. Money: There are several bureaux de change and ATMs in the terminal building. Read more

Airport Code: BNE. Location: Brisbane Airport is located 13km (8 miles) northeast of Brisbane. Money: The International Terminal has bureaux de change and ATMs on levels 2, 3 and 4. The Domestic... Read more

Airport Code: MEL. Location: Melbourne Airport is located 25km (15 miles) northwest of Melbourne. Money: Banking and currency facilities are available from the ANZ bank branches in the departures and... Read more

Airport Code: PER. Location: Perth Airport is located 12km (7.5 miles) northeast of Perth. Money: There are several bureaux de change kiosks at the airport; some of which also offer travel... Read more

Airport Code: SYD. Location: Sydney Airport is located 9km (6 miles) south of central Sydney. Money: Full banking services are available from ANZ Bank in Terminal 1. Currency exchange facilities are... Read more

Airport Code: CNS. Location: Cairns Airport is situated 7km (4 miles) north of Cairns city centre, in northern Queensland. Money: ATMs are located in the arrivals area of the international terminal and the check-in, departure and... Read more

Other airports in Australia

Canberra Airport

Airport Code: CBR. Location: The city centre is 8km (5 miles) from the airport. Website: Public transport description: Transport into the city is available by bus, taxi or hire car (journey time - 15 minutes).

Alice Springs Airport

Airport Code: ASP. Location: The airport is 15km (9 miles) from the city centre (journey time - 25 minutes). Website: Public transport description: To/from the airport: Airport buses and taxis operate services to the city.

Ayers Rock Airport

Airport Code: AYQ. Location: The airport is 7km (4 miles) from the Uluru (Ayers Rock) resort. Website: Public transport description: N/A

Katherine Airport

Airport Code: KTR. Location: The airport is 11km (7 miles) from Katherine. Website: Public transport description: N/A

Hobart International Airport

Airport Code: HBA. Location: The airport lies 16km (10 miles) east of Hobart. Website: Public transport description: Shuttle buses operate to the city centre. A taxi into the city takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Travel by rail

Getting to Australia by boat

Cruise liners dock at Sydney (, Melbourne (, Hobart (, Perth (Port of Fremantle) (, Adelaide (, Brisbane ( and Darwin (

It is often possible to arrange passage to Australia from the UK or other parts of Europe on cargo freighters, travelling via the Suez Canal. A journey of this type takes between 30 and 40 days. There are fairly low limits on the number of passengers that can be accommodated on a freighter – usually somewhere around 12 or 15. Meals are often taken with the ship officers, and passengers should (unsurprisingly) expect fewer leisure facilities than would be found on a standard cruise vessel. A good company to contact for further information on travelling by freighter is Strand Voyages in London (

For those travellers already in Asia and looking to arrive by sea, spaces occasionally become available on freighters travelling from Singapore, Indonesia or Malaysia. These sailings are, however, infrequent and notoriously difficult to confirm in advance.

By water note:

The season that draws the most cruise ships is the November to February period, which ties in with the Australian summer.

Cruise ships:

A good number of established international cruise lines offer cruises that incorporate Australia. These voyages tend to be pricy and would usually involve sailing from a destination such as Hawaii or Singapore, if not even further afield. There are also various shorter pleasure cruises on offer which begin and end in Australia, popular with those who like the idea of seeing the country from the water without committing to weeks on board.