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New Qantas Broken Hill flights: Amazing points value


The legendary outback town is a great way to spend your Qantas Points – here's what they're worth.

The Flying Kangaroo is heading to the Silver City.

Qantas will begin twice-weekly flights to Broken Hill from 8 April 2022. It's a Dash 8 service, so there's no Business class seating, luxury fiends.

QF2017 will depart Sydney at 11am on Fridays and Mondays, landing in Broken Hill at 1pm after a 2h30m flight. (Broken Hill is in NSW but uses its own time zone aligned with South Australia.)

The return QF2016 service departs Broken Hill at 1:20pm and lands in Sydney at 4:05pm, lasting 2h15m.

That Friday-Monday timing makes a Broken Hill long weekend break easy to arrange.

"Broken Hill is a unique Australian town and as the national carrier, we are thrilled to be adding it to our route map today," said QantasLink CEO John Gissing.

"QantasLink customers and Frequent Flyers will be able to earn and use Qantas Points on the new flights to enjoy premium service, including complimentary food and drinks, checked baggage and access to Qantas lounges in Sydney."

Rex service at Broken Hill

Previously, Broken Hill has essentially been a Rex-only destination, with services to Sydney, Adelaide, Dubbo, Mildura and Griffith.

Qantas has expanded into many smaller regional airports in the last 2 years, hoping to pick up domestic traffic while international flights were curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rex has retaliated by expanding its range of capital city routes, sensing an opportunity following the collapse of Tiger and Virgin's receivership and rebirth.

How many Qantas points do I need for Sydney-Broken Hill?

Broken Hill is definitely worth a visit, to check out the historical mining sites, nearby Silvertown (legendary as the filming location for Mad Max), the Regional Art Gallery and Mutawintji National Park.

It's also extremely good value as a way of spending your Qantas Points.

Broken Hill view

A return flight to Broken Hill requires 16,000 Qantas points for a Classic Reward flight, plus $56 in charges. The cheapest regular return airfare for Sydney-Broken Hill return is $538 ($269 each way), according to Qantas.

That means you're getting an effective value of $30.13 for every 1,000 Qantas Points you spend. That's well above my benchmark target of $20.

To celebrate the route launch, Qantas is offering a sale fare of $189 each way. If you score that price, the effective value is $20.13 per 1,000 Qantas Points. That's still okay and just above benchmark, but not quite as impressive.

The Ghan, interior

The other way you can spend your Qantas Points to get to Broken Hill is by using them to book a trip on the Great Southern or Indian Pacific luxury rail services. But that's a much more expensive prospect, with the cheapest available option (Adelaide-Brisbane) requiring 180,000 Qantas Points.

With an advance purchase price of $2,115, that works out to just $11.75 per 1,000 Qantas Points, a bit too low for me. So I'll be sticking to flying for now.

Want to keep your frequent flyer points balance growing? Check out the latest credit card sign-up deals.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more.

Pictures: Angus Kidman

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