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Australia Overview

Australia is a vast, affluent, multicultural country that abounds with spectacular fauna and flora. For a taste of urban life, join the 89% of Australians who live on the coast and check out Sydney's fusion of beaches, bars and boutiques. Then there's Melbourne - a creative city with a hip food scene. Brisbane is a town on the up. Adelaide is fun and irreverent, Perth shows off the best of the west coast, and Canberra is very much the political Washington D.C. of Australia. Wherever you turn, you'll find something unique but infused with Australia's signature laid back lifestyle.

A lot of tourists choose to hire a car and tour the country, taking in the Outback along the way. Australia's national parks particularly appeal to those looking to get down and dirty with camper vans and 4WDs. Australia's epic wine country also offers the chance to sample as many local delights as you want. Then there's the wildlife. A place of crocodiles, kangaroos, wallabies and wombats, dingoes and so much more, Australia will release your inner David Attenborough. Flights to Australia from the UK are getting more and more affordable, opening up the country to more and more travellers.

Flight tickets to Australia

Each territory has its own international airport, normally located near to the capitals. Australia flights from the UK can take well over 12 hours, usually broken up with a stopover in an Asian city. Direct flights to Australia don't yet exist. Airlines flying from the UK include British Airways, Qantas, KLM, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airlines, Emirates, Virgin and Air France. Top Australian airports for UK flights include: Kingsford Smith International Airport (8km from Sydney), Cairns Airport (ideal for reaching the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest), Adelaide Airport (winner of Australia's best airport in 2011), Melbourne Airport (also known as Tullamarine), and Perth Airport (11 miles from Perth city).

Flights to Australia from UK airports

The most popular routes involve flights from London to Australia. UK flights depart from London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Manchester and Glasgow to Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Darwin and beyond. All destinations take at least 20 hours to arrive, usually with a stopover in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Dubai or Oman. From March 2018, a new direct service is being launched by Australian airline Qantas, allowing passengers to travel from London Heathrow to Perth in just 17 hours.

Australia - Quick Facts for Travellers

Language: The official language of Australia is English. However, over 200 different languages and dialects are spoken in Australia including 45 Indigenous languages.

Time Zone: Spanning several time zones, Perth on the western coast is 8 hours ahead of the UK and Sydney on the eastern shores is 11 hours ahead.

Currency: The currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD).

Visa: UK tourists will need to obtain an electronic visa from the Australian Department for Immigration but there are no fees.

Tips: In some places it's illegal to travel through aboriginal land without a special permit so take care before going off the beaten track.

Best Time to Visit Australia

Due to being in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia's seasons run opposite to the UK's. The best times to visit really depend on whereabouts you plan to visit. The northern states are at their best in spring (September to October) between the rain falls and before the sticky heat of summer. Some of the southern territories can be particularly cold during winter.

Cheap flights to Australia from the UK on Travel Trolley tend to be cheapest between mid April and late June (late autumn/early winter down under). In between the rush of Christmas and the school holidays, this is a quieter time but it's worth pointing out that the southern territories may be particularly cold, whereas the northern states will still be balmy and warm during these months.

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