How best to book an Antipodean adventure for next year?
Wednesday 23 April 2014
Q. I hope to travel to Australia, with a side trip to New Zealand, early in 2015. Will it be cheaper to book all flights from a travel agent in the UK or fly to Australia and book flights to NZ from there? Alan Kelly, Poole
A. Book everything from here – or risk spending hundreds of pounds more than necessary.
Fares between the UK and Australia are extremely competitive and "add-ons" across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand can be had at a modest premium. The exact fares will naturally depend on where you want to go and when you are travelling. But for a straightforward London-Sydney-Auckland-Sydney-London itinerary, leaving in mid-January for a month, you can expect to pay a fare of around £1,200 – compared with £1,050 just to Sydney and back.
The cheapest Sydney-Auckland fare is currently around £250 return, but nearer the time prices are likely to rise significantly. Sydney and Auckland benefit from the strongest competition; trans-Tasman flights between alternative locations are likely to be a lot more expensive.
For the widest range of options within a single airline grouping, consider Qantas/Emirates. They fly to a wide range of cities from their hub in Dubai besides Sydney and also offer trans-Tasman connections to New Zealand. You could fly from Gatwick or Heathrow with a change of planes in Dubai to reach Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane or Melbourne – then take a short hop, perhaps on the Qantas no-frills offshoot, Jetstar, across the Tasman to Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington.
"Open jaw" options, where, for example, you fly into Auckland then travel by surface to Christchurch, are also available.
A good travel agent will construct the best itinerary for you – and also suggest alternative strategies. They may, for example, highlight the merits of continuing eastwards around the world from NZ rather than returning via Australia, considerably expanding the range of possible stopovers.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world
The best time to book flights – region by region
The Atlas of Beauty: Photographer travels around the world to capture cultural diversity through stunning portraits of women
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The 10 Best hiking boots
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...