Cheaper flights have made much of Australasia accessible for travellers. Here are some great travel destinations to which you can nab return flights for under $1,000 (exact prices vary depending on your carrier of choice and the time of year).
Queenstown, New Zealand, is a quick, cheap flight away from most Australian cities. It’s a great place for adventure sports: skiing and snowboarding in the winter, bungee jumping and paragliding in the summer. If death-defiance isn’t your thing, the spectacular scenery is reason enough to go. There are some breathtaking drives and walks you can take, and you can see the beautiful Lake Wakatipu.
Vanuatu provides the classic tropical island getaway. You can see all the colours of the ocean by snorkeling or scuba diving, and you can explore the natural terrain. Alternatively, you can take a more laid-back approach to your holiday, enjoying the white sand beaches, the crystal blue water, the fabulous food and a favourable exchange rate.
Jakarta provides travellers with the best of both worlds. The vibrant captial city is great for museums, parks and other family-friendly cultural activities. Its nightlife is likewise vibrant — it’s among the best nightlife destinations in all of Asia. And once you’re sick of the crowds and you’ve been all partied out, Jakarta is also close to an array of relaxing island getaways.
Vietnam’s capital boasts a compelling cultural life with French, Chinese and local influences. You can visit a range of museums and temples and eat delicacies like wonderful noodle dishes and French-inspired pastries. Once in Hanoi, you can arrange a day trip to the spectacular Ha Long Bay, which has thousands of limestone islands covered with rain forests and surrounded by brilliant emerald water.
The availability of cheap flights to Borneo varies depending on your departure city. From Perth to Balikpapan, for around $700 return, you’ll be able to get to this island of ancient rain forests. National parks, lakes, smaller islands, beaches and monkeys are among the top things to see here. Borneo is a rugged holiday destination and a must for nature lovers who don’t mind a bit of humidity.
6. Hong Kong
A shopper’s paradise, Hong Kong is home to amazing malls, high-end outlets and markets. If a product is legal and exists, you’ll be able to find it in Hong Kong. You can also try some tasty local cuisine like dim sum. Bustling Hong Kong is one of the world’s most densely populated cities, but it’s also possible to find some relaxing day trips. You can ride out to sea on a Chinese-style teak junk, visit Hong Kong’s largest mountain, Tai Mo Shan, or see Pinewood Battery, a World War II ruin in Lung Fu Shan Country Park.
7. Margaret River
There’s also a great range of travel destinations within Australia. One favourite is Margaret River. You can fly to Perth and then either drive a hire car or get a bus three hours south. Margaret River boasts incredible surf beaches and forest areas. It’s also a place of decadence, with some of the best wineries in the world, many of which offer delightful meals. Local businesses also produce chocolate and other sweets, preserves, cheese and many more delicious items.