Traveling to Australia from U.S.

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Curated By

Suzanne Bryant

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  • Australia

  • Food & Wine

  • City Travel

  • Entertainment

  • Relaxation

  • Local Culture

Traveling to Australia from U.S.
Curator’s statement

A fabulous Australian trip begins the moment you step onto the plane. Choosing the right airline, flight schedule and itinerary are key to a successful journey. 

The Fora Difference

Book with Suzanne to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

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Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Shangri-La Sydney

A sleek skyscraper stay with unmatched views of Sydney Harbor Bridge and the iconic Opera House.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Lizard Island

Elegant property located along the Great Barrier Reef with high-end rooms and suites.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Playford Adelaide - MGallery

A harmonious blend of timeless elegance and modern luxury, defining the epitome of boutique sophistication in the heart of Adelaide.

Fora Perks
  • hotel / resort credit

  • Breakfast daily

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible

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Unlock perks by contacting Suzanne to book your trip.

There are several airlines to choose from when traveling to Australia from the U.S. Flights vary in price depending on the carrier, how far in advance you book your travel and flight schedules. The best airlines that offer flights to Australia from the US include Quantas, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand as well as United, American, Delta and Hawaiian Airlines. Direct long-haul flights to Australia from the U.S. vary between 17.5 hours flying direct from Dallas-Fort Worth to Sydney International Airport, or 14.5 hours flying direct from Los Angeles to Sydney, start to finish. For those traveling to Australia from the U.S. interested in breaking up the long-haul trip can benefit from Hawaiian Airline’s flights to Sydney with stops in Honolulu. Hawaiian Airlines has up to 22-hour layovers, enough time to have a fabulous meal as well as fully relax, before you embark on the last 10-hour segment of your flight to Sydney.

When traveling to Australia from the U.S., it is important to decide on what experiences you would most enjoy, cities that peak your interests and excursions that will delight you. I found that booking my flight with Hawaiian airlines saved a significant amount of money that I then used to splurge on extra excursions throughout my trip. When curating an Australian travel itinerary, remember that you will be crossing the international date line during flight and will lose a day.

My favorite places to visit in Australia are Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Cairns. I got the best amount of sightseeing time in three days while visiting Sydney, and my preferred hotel was the Shangri-La Sydney. It offers amazing views of the Sydney Opera House from their Altitude restaurant with floor to ceiling windows. Other top excursions I thoroughly enjoyed over my three days in Sydney included a small group Sunset Photography cruise that provided beautiful, picturesque views of Sydney Harbour. Because I am a wine fan and outdoors enthusiast, I try to incorporate excursions to local wineries and outdoor experiences in the cities I visit. There was a fabulous Eco Tour that brought me and a small group of 10 travelers to the Blue Mountains National Park about sixty miles outside Sydney where we got to experience holding koalas, feeding kangaroos at Featherdale Wildlife Park, and time exploring the Australian native rainforest where we saw beautiful waterfalls.

Traveling to Australia from the U.S. for me always includes a stop in one of my all-time favorite small cities, Adelaide. My hotel of choice is The Playford Adelaide – Mgallery, a charming boutique hotel. With only a 60 minute drive outside Adelaide, you will find yourself in the Barossa Valley, best known for producing world class vintages such as shiraz, grenache, cabernet sauvignon, riesling and semillon. The Barossa Valley has over 170 phenomenal wineries including Penfolds, Jacob’s Creek, Wolf Blass, St Hugo and Henschke.

My next stop when traveling to Australia from the U.S. is a short stay in Melbourne where you must experience the four-hour drive on the Great Ocean Road. It offers breathtaking views of the majestic turquoise ocean waters. Additional must dos while visiting Melbourne include a stop at the open aired Queen Victoria Market (closed on Mondays and Wednesdays). And while you may not book your accommodations at the luxury hotel Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, it should be a top stop on your itinerary as it offers the best city views.

Need to Know

Lastly when traveling to Australian from the US, I always end my trip in Cairns. I have found that the great barrier reef and its crystal-clear waters heal the soul. There are great hotels to choose from near Cairns. I find myself staying at either the Crystalbrook Riley or venturing out to the Lizard Island Resort. No matter where you stay, I highly recommend spending several days exploring the great barrier reef. It never disappoints!

his trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Australia. In need of further inspiration? Check out Chantel Lanier’s trip report, The Best Time to Travel to Australia.

Suzanne Bryant wearing a hat

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Suzanne Bryant

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