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Why flying to Australia is easier than you think

For both first-timers and returners, these handy tips will help make your plans to travel to Australia simple and smooth.


By Amy Bryant

Whether you are travelling for a holiday, visiting friends and family or doing business, your next trip Down Under is sure to be memorable. Booking comfortable and affordable travel arrangements is the first step in organising an incredible trip.

Thankfully, with such a huge range of flight options available between Australia and the USA, there’s certain to be a range of choices to suit your timetable and budget.

Sydney Harbour, Sydney, New South Wales

Flight routes

From North America, you can connect to all of Australia’s capital cities. These include Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Darwin. Non-stop flights from the USA operate from North America’s West Coast to Australia’s East Coast. If you’re travelling from other cities across America there are easy and convenient layover options to get you Down Under in no time.

Direct Flights

From Los Angeles
Duration: Under 15 hours
Los Angeles is the West Coast’s main city for direct flights to Australia, with a wide range of airlines offering frequent flights at competitive prices. American Airlines provides between six and seven flights per week from Los Angeles to Sydney, while Qantas provides five to seven per week from Los Angeles to Brisbane, 10 to Melbourne and seven to nine to Sydney. Virgin Australia provides seven weekly flights from Los Angeles to Brisbane and Sydney, and between three and five to Melbourne. Delta Airlines also provides seven weely flights to Sydney, while United Airlines provides seven weekly flights from Los Angeles to both Melbourne and Sydney.

From San Francisco
Duration: Under 14 hours 
Qantas provides five to six weekly flights from San Francisco direct to Sydney only. United Airlines also provides daily service to Sydney. To get to other Australian cities from San Francisco a connecting flight is required, the most efficient being via Los Angeles or Sydney.

From Dallas
Duration: Under 18 hours
Dallas connects to all major cities across the USA, and you can get a direct flight to Sydney with Qantas who service six to seven weekly flights.

From Houston
Duration: Under 18 hours
United Airlines provides daily service from Houston to Sydney. From Houston, there are many flights that connects to all major cities across USA.

From Vancouver
Duration: Under 16 hours
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you may find that flying from Vancouver, Canada is more convenient. Air Canada operates between seven and 10 direct flights to Sydney and Brisbane, and four direct flights to Melbourne each week. 

Direct flights from
Los Angeles Under 15 Hours
San Francisco Under 14 Hours
Dallas Under 18 Hours
Houston Under 18 Hours
Vancouver Under 16 Hours


One-Stop Flights

Via Auckland
This route is attractive for those travelling to an Australian city other than Sydney. Air New Zealand provides flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston to all Australian major cities via Auckland. From Los Angeles to Auckland the flight time is approximately 12 hours, and Auckland to Sydney is a short hop over the pond (as we like to call the area of ocean dividing Australia and New Zealand) with a duration of approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes. 

Via Hawaii
From Los Angeles you can easily catch a flight with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines to Honolulu with a flight time of approximately 6 hours 10 minutes. Hawaiian Airlines and United now offer direct flights from New York to Honolulu with a longer duration of approximately 11 hours 30 minutes. 

From Honolulu, you’ll start your Australian adventure by jumping on a direct flight to Sydney or Melbourne with a duration of approximately 10.5 hours. Jetstar (a low-cost Australian airline owned by Qantas) offer three to four weekly flights from Honolulu to Melbourne and five to six to Sydney, while Hawaiian Airlines offer three weekly flights to Brisbane and seven to Sydney. Qantas service five weekly flights from Hawaii to Sydney.

Rottnest Island, Western Australia

When to book

Whether you want to travel to Australia during the peak summer season (December to February) or the lower winter season (August to November), it is always best to book well in advance. This will give you a better chance at snapping up a great deal, as airlines often have promotions. Being flexible with your travel dates will allow you to take advantage of the cheap flight deals that pop up, as flights that depart between Monday and Thursday often cost less than those departing on the weekends. An insider’s trick is to sign up for email lists and follow the social media channels of airlines that fly to Australia so you can get exclusive access to special deals and sales.
 

When to visit

The time of the year you come to Australia should depend on what regions you want to visit and the type of activities you want to do. Like America, Australia’s climate varies depending on the area. If you want a tropical experience, cities you should visit include Cairns, Broome, Darwin and incredible attractions like the Daintree Rainforest, Kakadu and the Kimberley. The climate in these northern parts is categorised into a hot and wet season (November to March) and a dry and cooler season (April to October). Other major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Hobart, Byron Bay, Adelaide and Canberra have much more structured seasons divided into spring (September to November), Summer (December to February), Fall (known as Autumn, March to May) and Winter (June to August). Visit our Australia's seasons page for more information.
 

Costs

Getting to Australia doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, nor does it have to be difficult to organise. For expert advice and help with booking everything from your flights to your accommodation and experiences, consider chatting to a travel agent. The knowledgeable and experienced agents can answer all your questions and help you get your travel plans sorted.

Getting to Australia is rather simple, but before you slip your flip-flops on and jet set off Down Under, have a read of our visa and immigration page, as well as our list of useful tips to get you fully prepared for your journey.