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Getting to Australia can feel like an overwhelming task of organisation. We know there’s a lot to organise for your big holiday here. Let us help you: no matter where in the world you’re coming from, call or email us and we’ll guide you to find the best flight option.

Map flying from North America to New Zealand

Flying to Australia

The best way to travel to Australia is obviously by air (unless you want to spend a lot of time on a boat). Most major airlines offer direct flights to Australia. It’s easy to get here on a non-stop flight from America, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. Or you can get a connecting flight from these countries to Australia from anywhere in the world.

Traveler’s Tip: All of your flights within Australia should be booked on the same ticket as your international flight; it will increase your luggage allowance throughout your entire journey. Usually, you’ll get two free checked bags when you book in this manner, so you can pack everything you need for your holiday Down Under without it costing the earth.

Even if you only plan on checking one bag, the ability to check an additional bag comes in handy when you come across a flight in Australia that limits carry-on luggage to 7K (15.4 pounds). Rather than pay $50 to check your overweight carry-on, you can simply check it for free because you booked your international ticket with your Australian Domestic flights.

Map showing flight routes into New Zealand from Australia.

General Flight Times

Australia is a three and a half hour flight from the North Island of New Zealand, a non-stop overnight flight from the United States, and around 10 hours flight from most places on the Pacific Rim, like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.  Many flights from the West Coast of the USA leave in the evening, taking about 15 hours, which means you could hopefully (!) sleep some of the way - once you’ve had your meal, a glass of something and perhaps a movie. Make sure to compare all the options and book nice and early to lock in a good-value fare. Talk to us to ensure you get a great deal on your flights to Australia.

Map showing the flight paths from the UK and Europe into Australia

Stopovers when Flying from Europe

If flying from Europe, flight times are around 24 hours (two flights of around 11-12 hours). Most travel experts recommend a 24-hour stop over in Asia (think Hong Kong, Bangkok, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo.) This can be a great way of breaking the trip, with fast trains/transport connecting the airport to hotels in the inner city. You can get a good rest, and spend a few hours exploring an exciting Asian stopover before completing your journey Down Under. 

Let us Book your Flights to Australia

First Light Travel has partnered with Qantas / Air New Zealand and can offer great flight prices when booked as part of your Australian vacation package. This only applies to those of you travelling to Australia from North America and a few other select destinations. 

As the Australian travel experts, we can give you the best advice and save you money - try our free Itinerary Planning Service for yourself!

Understanding the International Date Line

Australia is one of the first places on earth to see the sun - the inspiration for the First Light Travel name. When you travel from North America, you travel across the International Date Line which means you journey forward in time to get here. So when you leave San Francisco on Friday night you land in Sydney on Sunday morning. Of course, you may feel like you’ve lost a day but you’ll gain that back on your return journey. If you’re travelling from Europe you’ll have to move forward in time when you arrive, but you’ll get that time back when you return home.

“Each time you fly from North America to Australia, and without anyone asking how you feel about it, a day is taken away from you when you cross the international date line. I left Los Angeles on January 3 and arrived in Sydney fourteen hours later on January 5. For me there was no January 4. None at all. Where it went exactly I couldn’t tell you. All I know is that for one twenty-four-hour period in the history of earth, it appears I had no being.

I find it a little uncanny, to say the least. I mean to say, if you were browsing through your ticket folder and you saw a notice that said, “Passengers are advised that on some crossings twenty-four-hour loss of existence may occur” (which is, of course, how they would phrase it, as if it happened from time to time), you would probably get up and make inquiries, grab a sleeve, and say, “Excuse me.” There is, it must be said, a certain metaphysical comfort in knowing that you can cease to have material form and it doesn’t hurt at all, and, to be fair, they do give you back the day on the return journey when you cross the date line in the opposite direction and thereby manage somehow to arrive in Los Angeles before you left Sydney, which in its way, of course, is an even neater trick.”

The experience of travelling across the International Date Line in “In a Sunburned Country”, Bill Bryson

More articles to help you plan your trip to Australia

Getting to Australia
What is the Best Time to Visit Australia
How Long Should I Visit Australia For
Australian Passport and Visa Requirements
Smooth as possible on arrival to Australia
Travel Insurance for Australia
Driving in Australia
Safety in Australia's Great Outdoors
What to Pack for an Australian Holiday
Australian Accommodation Guide
Australia's Need to Know Facts
What do things cost in Australia

Since 2001 we’ve been helping visitors plan their dream Australian holiday. We aim to make visiting our beautiful land effortless. Let our expert holiday planners put together an itinerary for you, no obligation FREE of charge, or get some friendly advice on what small group tour would suit - Just follow the link and answer a few brief questions