Travel to Australia

Flying to Australia

Qantas ( is Australia's flag carrier airline and operates routes between Australia and the UK, USA, China, Japan, Thailand, South Africa, Philippines, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Chile, Singapore and Canada.

A large number of international airlines offer flights to Australia, including British Airways ( and Singapore Airlines (

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 there is only a non-stop flight from London to Perth. For travelling to other destinations in Australia from Europe, your plane needs to stop somewhere en route – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Dubai are all commonly used.

Budget airlines such as Tigerair ( offer flights to Australia from South East Asia.

Major airports are: Sydney Airport, Brisbane Airport, Cairns Airport, Adelaide Airport, Melbourne Airport and Perth Airport.

Flight times:

To Brisbane: from London - 22 to 24 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 13 hours; New York - 22 hours 30 minutes (including stopover).

To Melbourne: from London - 22 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); Los Angeles - 14 hours 30 minutes; New York - 23 hours (including stopover).

To Perth: from London - 19 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); New York - 25 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 22 hours (including stopover).

To Sydney: from London - 22 hours (including stopover); New York - 24 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 15 hours (non-stop).

Air passes:

Visit Australia and New Zealand Pass: allows travel to more than 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 four 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 8km (5 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's 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 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.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.