FARES to Australasia usually increase in September, but Austravel (071-734 7755) has put together a return fare of only pounds 599 to seven destinations: Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in Australia, plus Auckland in New Zealand. The fare includes outbound travel from Heathrow on Cathay Pacific or Malaysia Airlines, and allows a stopover at Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur. For pounds 749, you can travel out on Air New Zealand with a stopover in Los Angeles or the Pacific.

The reason the fares are so low is that the return leg fills otherwise empty seats on the first charter flights of the season. For either fare, the return trip is direct to Gatwick or Manchester on a Britannia charter, and must be taken in November.