Last week, the Federal Government unveiled a $1.2 billion tourism support package, designed to inject dollars and life back into Australian regions ravaged by international border closures. While the scheme’s facing criticism for being too narrow, there’s still plenty to like about it: 800,000 half-price airline tickets will be available to 13 destinations across the country. Here, we break down the need-to-know and places to go…
Where can I go?
An initial list of 13 destinations has been released, though the government says more locations could be added. Note that only interstate airfares will be discounted (except the route from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island).
The initial destinations are: the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island), the Sunshine Coast, Lasseter and Alice Springs, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula, and Kangaroo Island.
Since the initial announcement, Hobart has been added to the list. There are whispers that Darwin and Adelaide will also be added.
See a full list of discounted routes below.
When will the half-price flights go on sale?
The half-price fares will be available to book from Thursday April 1 until Saturday July 31.
What are the travel dates?
At this stage, the half-price fares will be available for flights between May and September 2021.
How can I book?
Where do you suggest I holiday?
We’ll be profiling the destinations over the next few months, but here’s a few to start you off…
The red centre deserves a spot on every Australian’s bucket list. And if you don’t go now – with international travel paused plus half-price flights on the table – then when? Flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be included in the package.
Melburnians can take advantage of the super-cheap and super-quick flight to Merimbula on NSW’s Sapphire Coast. It’s a dreamy part of the world defined by beautiful beaches, chic little restaurants and stylish stays – see a full guide to the region here.
Like Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef is the kind of place you need to see at least once in your life. Whitehaven Beach, all pearly white sand and glistening turquoise seas, was just voted the best beach in the world on TripAdvisor. Need we say more?
Glamp under the stars where the ocean meets the outback, watch the camels parade along Cable Beach, or drive the famed Gibb River Road route through WA’s Kimberley region. See fashion designer Sarah-Jane Clarke’s guide to the road trip here.
Launceston is a charming little city in its own right, but it’s also the perfect base from which to explore north-east Tasmania: think the Bay of Fires, blooming lavender fields, an impossibly blue lake, and truffle farms. See 15 things to see and do in Tasmania here.
All the discounted flight routes...
SUNSHINE COAST (MAROOCHYDORE)
Flying from: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide
WHITSUNDAYS AND MACKAY REGION
Sydney to Prosperine; Sydney to Hamilton Island
Flying from: Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin
Flying from: Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Avalon
lasseter and alice springs
Adelaide to Alice Springs; Brisbane to Alice Springs; Melbourne to Alice Springs; Perth to Alice Springs; Sydney to Alice Springs
Sydney to Uluru; Brisbane to Uluru; Melbourne to Uluru
Melbourne to Launceston; Sydney to Launceston; Brisbane to Launceston
Melbourne to Devenport
Melbourne to Burnie
Flying from: Darwin, Sydney, Melbourne
Flying from: Gold Coast, Sydney
Flying from Melbourne
Kangaroo Island (SA)
Adelaide to Kingscote