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Flights to Australia overview
Going searches for the best fares and sends members deals bookable 1-12 months in advance. Going members save approximately 39% compared to normal flight prices to Australia.
Cheapest Going deal
Average price roundtrip
Average Going deal price roundtrip
Best month to fly
Going found the most deals with travel dates in November.
Worst month to fly
Going found the least deals with travel dates in July.
Top tips for finding a cheap flight to Australia
Book in the Goldilocks Window
Our favorite time to book flights is within what we call the Goldilocks Window, the time period not too far away from your departure date but not too close. This just-right window is when we’ve seen the best deals. It’s about 1-3 months before a domestic flight and 2-8 months before an international flight. One simple way to think about it is to book international flights in the opposite season of when you hope to travel.
So, if you want to visit Australia during January, which is summer and high season there, start looking for flights from the US in July. While airfare prices fluctuate, during the month of departure, they consistently rise. We see jumps happen, especially at the 21-, 14-, and 7-day marks before departure dates. If you can, book before then to avoid overpaying for flights.
Use the Greek Islands Trick
One of our favorite tricks we’ve developed over the years is what we call the Greek Islands Trick. This is where you get as close as you can to your final destination, then find a cheap internal flight or alternate mode of transit for your final leg. It works well for the Greek Islands but can be used just about anywhere.
If you’re hoping to visit Cairns, for example, look for flights to Sydney or Melbourne instead. From there, you can book a domestic flight, which is often cheaper than booking to Cairns from the US.
Search alternative departure airports
There are only a few flights from the US to Australia, so those cities often have some of the best deals. If you live within driving distance of LA, San Francisco, or Dallas, even if it’s not your closest airport, it could be worth the trip. If you live in Austin, for example, check for flights out of Dallas. But even if you live farther away from one of these cities, it could be worth checking domestic flight prices.
If the flight from Chicago to Australia is way out of your price range, look for flights out of one of the cities with direct flights (e.g. San Francsico or LA to Australia). If that flight is significantly cheaper, it could be worth booking a $250 domestic flight to get to the international gateway. There are more logistics, but you could save hundreds of dollars.
Fly when it’s cheaper
If you have flexible travel dates, look for flights during shoulder season. That’s the period between high and low season, when ideally you can take advantage of some of the high season’s good weather without the crowds. That’s from March-May and September-November in most of Australia. Thanksgiving is a hidden cheap week because most US travelers fly domestically.
Off-season is even a better time to save on flights and hotels. If you’re visiting Australia for reasons other than the beach, there’s no reason not to travel during the off-season, from June to August.
If you do plan to travel during Australia’s summer, and the US winter, there are still ways to save. Try to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, which are usually the cheapest days to fly. Fridays and Sundays are, unsurprisingly, the most expensive.
Set alerts for specific trips
We know that tracking flights takes a lot of work. And it can be so frustrating if you miss a fare drop! Luckily, there are tools to make sure that doesn’t happen. Set a fare alert for your Australia dates, and simply wait for an email telling you prices have dropped into your price range or by a significant amount. If you’re flexible on dates or departure airports, set alerts for each. Or, sign up for Going, and we’ll monitor all flights from your home airport and let you know when we find the best deals. We recommend doing this before the Goldilocks Window we talked about earlier. That way you’ll get those deals as they come up.
Australia is very far from the US and, therefore, not the easiest place to reach. If you live near San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu, or Dallas, you’re in luck and can get there more easily. If you live elsewhere in the US, you’ll have to make a connection, likely in one of those cities or in Vancouver or a number of cities in Asia.
Frequently asked questions about flying to Australia
When is high season in Australia?
Australia is large and has different climates in different areas, which impact tourism. The high season in most of Australia runs from December–February, which is summer in Australia but winter in the US. However, on the northern coast, where the Great Barrier Reef is, June-August is the busiest because these months are warm and dry.
When is the best time to visit Australia?
The best time to visit Australia depends on where you’re going. December-February are the best times to visit beaches in the south, like in Sydney. The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is from June to August, before the wet season. And if you’re hoping to embark on a rugged trip through the Outback—the vast, mostly unpopulated arid region—visit from May to August before it gets too hot.
But if you just want to see museums and see other city sights, or to visit wineries and restaurants, you can go any time of year. In fact, visiting for those reasons in the off-season, from June to August in most of the country, including major cities and wine regions, is an excellent way to save on airfare and hotels. Shoulder season, from March to May and September to November, is also a great time to visit. The weather will still be nice, but you won’t have as many crowds or as high of prices as in peak season.
How many airports are there in Australia?
There are hundreds of airports in Australia, but most tourists will fly into only a few. Sydney Airport (SYD) is the largest, followed by Melbourne Airport (MEL). Most visitors will likely fly into one of those two airports. Brisbane Airport (BNE) in Queensland, Perth Airport (PER), and Adelaide Airport (ADL) are other popular options. From the US, you can only fly directly to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
Which city in Australia is the easiest to get to?
Sydney and Melbourne are equally easy to get to. There are direct flights to both airports from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Dallas. If you live in LA or San Francisco, Brisbane is also easy to get to. Both cities offer a nonstop flight. US travelers flying from elsewhere will likely have a layover in one of these cities or in Vancouver, Manila, Singapore, Dubai, or elsewhere in Asia.
Which city in Australia is the shortest flight from the US?
Sydney has the shortest direct flight from the US. To reach Sydney from Honolulu, the quickest US option, takes 10 hours. From other cities, it ranges from 14-17. Melbourne is about an hour longer from each city.
Which city in Australia has the most direct flights from the US?
Sydney and Melbourne each have four direct flight options from the US from LA, San Francisco, Dallas, and Honolulu.
What are the rules for traveling with pets to Australia?
Australia has very strict rules for bringing pets into the country. If you plan to travel from the US with your pet, start the process early. Your dog or cat will need to submit blood samples at least 180 days before your departure date. Then, you’ll have to apply for an import permit, a process that includes vaccine verification and a health certificate from a USDA-accredited veterinarian. Your pet must arrive with a microchip that can be scanned and linked to its import permit. See the full rules on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.
How long is the flight to Australia?
The flight to Australia depends on where in the US you’re coming from. From Honolulu, the closest option it’s about 10 hours. From Los Angeles and San Francisco, it ranges from 14-16 hours depending on whether you’re flying into Brisbane (the quickest), Sydney, or Melbourne (the longest). From Dallas, the nonstop flight is about 17.5 hours.
From any other city in the US, you’ll have to make a connection in one of the above cities, Vancouver, or in Asia. There are flights with options for layovers in Singapore, Dubai, Seoul, Auckland, and other cities. The flight time really depends on your layover but can range from 22 hours up to 45.
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* Prices are per person and include all taxes & fees in USD. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing, however, prices are not guaranteed, as airline pricing can change by the minute. Average Going fares are based on average prices of deals found by Going.