A Getaway to Australia Can Be Worth the Long Flight


Sydney at night.

Intrepid Travel

Travelers from the United States seem to have an increasing interest in visiting Australia: Sales of Australia trips from the United States on Expedia.com have grown almost 35 percent in the last two years. From January through September, the tour operator Intrepid Travel has hosted 310 American travelers in Australia, up from 182 for the same period last year.

Despite the long flight, said Ignacio Maza, the executive vice president of Signature Travel Network, a consortium of travel consultants, American travelers should consider it. “There are vibrant cities like Sydney, beautiful beaches, natural wonders found nowhere else and world-class wine and food,” he said. Best of all, an Australian getaway can be had at an attractive price.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, Intrepid Travel is offering a 14-day Australia’s East Coast Encompassed, Sydney to Cairns group tour. The itinerary includes stays in Sydney, Byron Bay and the Great Barrier Reef; a boat trip around the Whitsundays Islands; and a day trip to Fraser Island. Prices start at $3,890 a person, inclusive of upscale accommodations, transfers, all tours and 19 meals. Book by calling 800-970-7299.

Travelers with less time to spend should consider the eight-night Contrasts of Australia group tour from Trafalgar, also offered from now through 2018; stays and tours in Melbourne, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney and Cairns are part of the itinerary. Prices start at $2,655 a person, inclusive of accommodations, transfers, most tours and 14 meals. Book by calling 866-513-1995.

For those who prefer private travel, Expedia.com has several hundred Australia packages for travel from November through March and inclusive of airfare and hotels, for $1,683 a person. One example is a trip from Dec. 1 to 6, which includes a round-trip flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Sydney Airport on China Eastern Airlines and a stay at Three Storey Terrace, an upscale apartment near the Sydney Opera House. Book through Expedia.com.

Signature Travel is affiliated with 14 hotels in Australia, and travelers who book their trip through a Signature agent receive discounted rates and free extra amenities at all of them. At the upscale Grand Hyatt Melbourne, for example, rates through the country’s summer season begin at $210, and a stay includes breakfast, $30 dining credit and a space available room upgrade. Rates at Sofitel Brisbane Central begin at $135, and a stay includes breakfast and $30 dining credit. Book through Hilton Smith, an agent at the travel agency TravelStore, who is an Australia specialist, at Hilton.s@travelstore.com.

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