Travelling to Australia - Getting here and flight tips 

It's called down-under for a reason. Flying here from Europe, South Africa, North America and even most parts of Asia takes time. So it's good to be prepared.

Depending on your country of origin and preferred stopovers, there are numerous airlines to choose from. Most Australian capital cities, but particularly, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane,  provide multiple flying options.

Handy hints when coming to Australia:

  • Research and buy your ticket as early as possible before departing.
  • Most major international airlines offer discounts and seasonal promotions. So it's good to be on the lookout well in advance of your departure date.
  • Plus, registering for email alerts and special offers from your preferred airlines can provide you with plenty of notice, enabling the savvy traveller to snap up the best deal.

Being a long-haul destination means it will be a long trip. For example, to Sydney, from:

  • Shanghai - 10 hours
  • Paris - 21 hours
  • London - 22 hours
  • Mumbai - 11 hours
  • Los Angeles -14 hours
  • Cape Town - 14 hours
  • New York - 20 hours
  • Tokyo - 10 hours
  • Dubai - 15 hours

Once on the ground, Australia has an extensive network of domestic and regional airlines, including, Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Tiger Air, Rex, Brindabella, and others.

5 in-flight survival tips to help with your flight

Hydrate - it's tempting to order more when drinks are free. Just make sure to include lots of water. Either buy a few bottles in advance or top up regularly during the flight. Your body and brain will thank you in the hours and days after touching down.

Stretch/move - regular stretches and exercises can help to alleviate any potential aches, pains or risk of clots. While a good many can be performed in your seat, going for a walk and stretching those leg muscles is much preferable.

Settling in - assuming the airline provides a pillow and blanket, you can make things more comfortable with loose fitting clothing, earplugs, eye mask, neck pillow and shoes you can easily remove.

Aisle vs window seat - this is a personal thing, but except for a few minutes at take-off and landing, there's not a lot to see from 10,000 metres in the sky, especially when a good portion of the flight is conducted in total darkness. So for easier access to bathrooms or to just wander and stretch those muscles, an aisle seat can be great.

Noise cancelling headphones - here's your chance to see an entire TV series or the whole Harry Potter franchise in one sitting. So to block out any distracting sounds from fellow passengers and totally immerse yourself in the entertainment, a pair of noise cancelling headphones should be on the top of your pre-departure duty free wish list.

Moving to Australia - on arrival

Most points of entry from overseas would be via major mainland capital cities.

State or
Capital city of each state  
Distance from Airport to city (km)
New South Wales 
Western Australia
Australian Capital Territory
(Capital City of Australia)
Northern Territory

When moving to Australia, touching down can be either a very exciting or very daunting experience. You've got loads to do and likely have loads on your mind.

Once past the usual customs, visa and quarantine checks - of which Australia is very stringent - and assuming no ongoing domestic connections, a new world of opportunity and challenge awaits. Here is a list of some things to consider:

  • Sort transport to your lodgings (all airports have shuttle transfers, taxis plus various public transport options)
  • Book and/or check in to your accommodation
  • Contact family and friends 'back home' and tell them you've arrived
  • Explore your new surroundings and sample the local produce
  • Purchase a pre-paid mobile phone and/or Internet access
  • Learn the lingo and customs
  • Register at your local consulate
  • Buy sunscreen and apply. The sun in Australia is very strong.
  • Swim between the flags at patrolled beaches (you can, even in winter, at least pretty much north of the Tropic of Capricorn, but watch out for deadly box jellyfish warnings)

Everyone's circumstances and expectations differ. But moving to Australia, with some prior planning and savvy in-flight practices might just be the most liberating and life-affirming decision you ever make.


This article covers general information about Getting to Australia - Some vital tips , and doesn't take your individual circumstances into account. Please use it as a guide only.