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Getting There in Australia

By Air

The national airline is Qantas ( About 25 international airlines fly to Australia. Approximately half of all international travellers arrive first in Australia in Sydney, the largest city. After Sydney, significant numbers of travellers also arrive in Australia in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. There are also direct international services into Adelaide, Cairns, Darwin, the Gold Coast and Christmas Island though these are largely restricted to flights from New Zealand or Southeast Asia.

To Sydney, it is a 3-hour flight from New Zealand, a 7-11 hour flight from countries in Asia, a 14 hour flight from the west of the United States of America and Canada, a 14 hour flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, a 13-16 hours flight from South America, and up to a 24+ hour flight from western Europe. On account of long journey times from some destinations, some travellers from Europe opt to have a stop-over, commonly in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.

If you have to change to a domestic flight in a gateway city, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth all have distinct domestic terminals, requiring some time and complexity to transit, check the guides. Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns and the Gold Coast have all gates in the one terminal building or within easy walking distance of each other.

Main Airports

Sydney Airport (Kingsford Smith): The airport is 8 km (5 miles) south of the city. Airport Link trains connect the airport to Sydney Central Station (journey time: 13 minutes). Coaches meet all incoming international and domestic flights, departing every 20 to 30 minutes. There are many courtesy guest shuttles; enquire at hotel when booking is made. The international terminal is separate from the domestic terminal. There are also buses and taxis.

Adelaide Airport: The airport is 6 km (4 miles) west of the city (journey time: 30 minutes). Coaches meet all international and domestic flights. Buses and taxis are available.

Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine): The airport is 2 5km (16 miles) northwest of the city (journey time: 25 minutes). Skybus shuttle buses (24 hours) or taxis are available to the city centre.

Brisbane Airport: The airport is 13 km (8 miles) northeast of the city (journey time: 35 minutes). Airtrain service connects the airport to Roma Street (journey time: 22 minutes). Coach services are available to the city, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and major hotels. Taxis are also available.

Perth Airport: The airport is 12 km (7 miles) from the city (journey time: 25 minutes). An airport shuttle and public bus service run into the city.

All airports have a duty-free shop, bank/bureau de change, restaurant/bar, tourist information kiosk, car rental and taxi stand; these will almost always be available on arrival and departure of international flights.

By Water

November to February is the cruising season, and there are usually about 10 ships that arrive in Australia from other countries during this time. You can cruise to Australia, and then fly home.

Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean, all offer cruises to Australia across the Pacific.





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