When's the best time to go to Australia?
Australia's climate varies considerably from the tropical regions of its northern borders to the temperate climes of the southeast and southwest. Weather varies significantly from state to state. Since Australia is in the southern hemisphere, summer runs from December to February, while winter is June to August.
Northern Australia is closer to the equator, so temperatures soar in summer, and the weather gets very humid. Australia’s Red Centre enjoys a hot, dry summer and a cold dry winter, but the country's coastal areas have wetter winters and cooler summers. Sydney gets pretty humid in summer, while southern Melbourne is slightly cooler. Generally, December to February sees hot and dry days, while mild winters are the norm.
When's the cheapest time to fly to Australia?
Flights are cheaper from mid-April until late June, which is a good time to be in the north of the country. Prices peak in the run up to Christmas, but flying over Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve can mean you'll get a very good deal. Offers pop up all year round, but the start of the year is generally a good time to start looking.
How long is the flight to Australia?
A direct flight from London Heathrow to Perth – which is only available with Qantas – takes just under 17 hours. But most flights to Australia take much longer. If you’re flying to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane on the east coast, you’ll have at least one stopover on the way – usually in cities like Dubai, Qatar or Singapore. Some airlines simply refuel the plane and carry on, while others share the route with another airline, meaning you’ll have to change planes. With a stopover, a flight from the UK to Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne will take at least 22 hours. But some flights have two stopovers – while this is often cheaper, it’ll mean a longer journey.
Which Australian airports can I fly to from the UK?
Sydney and Melbourne, on Australia's east coast are two of the most popular airports for trips Down Under. Slightly further north, Cairns or Brisbane are other options on the coast. Or you could fly straight to the Outback with a flight to Alice Springs. But the gateway to Western Australia, Perth, is actually the most accessible city and cheapest point of entry if you're flying from the UK.
Which airlines offer flights to Australia?
You've got plenty of airlines to choose from, ranging from premium carriers to budget-friendly options. Airlines like Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Emirates normally include a stopover in the Middle East or Asia. If your chosen flight does have a layover in a city like Singapore or Dubai, why not consider turning your trip into a multi-centre holiday and extend your layover by a day or two? It can make your flights cheaper, help with jet lag, and you'll be able to explore somewhere new.
What to expect in Australia
The barren Red Centre may be one of Australia's most famous landscapes, but this giant country has a shed-load of greenery. You can hike through luscious rainforests and watch the stunning sunset in the Blue Mountains, just a couple of hours away from Sydney. From the red rock of Uluru to the multi-coloured corals of the Whitsundays, Australia has so much to see. Going on a road trip is one of the best ways to live the Aussie outdoor lifestyle. Hire a car or campervan and drive from the coastal cities and beaches right into to the Outback – and back again.
Australian cities are a great combo of foodie pleasures and world-class beaches – so it's no wonder they’re world leaders in terms of lifestyle. Stop for coffee in Melbourne's independent cafes and Instagram your favourite street art in the city's alleyways, or explore the Sydney Opera House before surfing at Bondi beach. Or, on the west coast, you could head to Perth’s bars in the early evening to sip cold scooners alongside work-hard-play-hard locals.
Billabongs, gibbers, willy willys and min-mins. The features of the Australian wilderness are strange and unexpected – but again then this continent-sized country has been around for 50 million years. The wildlife is just as outlandish, with kangaroos, koalas echidnas and platypus. In the ocean, meanwhile, you'll find tropical fish, bright corals and shy sea anemones. Don't be shy about going for a dip or a surf – all the major beaches have lifeguards and are closely monitored for currents.