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Overseas trips you can make over a long weekend (that you probably didn’t know you could)
We're not as remote as you might think we are.
Long weekends like Australia Day, Easter and the King's birthday are the perfect excuse to get away on a spontaneous trip. While exploring your own backyard on your days off is always a good idea, you might be surprised to know you can actually travel internationally for a decent 3- or even 4-day holiday from most capital cities in Australia.
And no, we're not just suggesting you pay our Kiwi friends a visit for the weekend… although there is that option.
To bring you the best destinations to jet set to, we sought out flights with a travel time of 4 hours or less because you shouldn't spend all your time flying when you should be maxing out your holiday hours.
Top overseas trips for the long weekend
We’re going to get this one over and done with early. Located southeast of Australia, New Zealand makes for the perfect long-weekend break due to its proximity to Australia as well as the frequency of direct flights between major cities.
Flights from eastern Australia are between 3-4 hours to major New Zealand cities such as Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington. The shortest direct flight is between Sydney and Queenstown at 3 hours.
The French Polynesian territory of New Caledonia might seem a world away culturally, but it’s only a short flight from Australia’s eastern cities. Renowned for its beaches, marine life and island culture, you can get to it for under 3 hours from Sydney and Brisbane.
Australia’s love affair with Bali isn’t without reason. From its powder-soft beaches to its affordable budget flights, it’s best flown for a short trip from Perth or Darwin. If you’ve got a few more days to spare, you can get up to Bali from Sydney or Brisbane in a little over 6 hours.
If you’ve seen and done Bali or are looking for a more authentic Indonesian experience, try East Timor’s capital Dili. Located on the north coast of the country, Dili features pristine views of the bay and Atauro Island. Darwin is the only Australian capital that offers short, direct flights to it, with a travel time of 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Featuring over 300 islands and a tropical landscape of sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and rugged mountains, Fiji is a relaxing outpost not far from Australia’s east coast. Ideal for young families, honeymooning couples and pure relaxation, it’ll take you less than 4 hours to fly from Sydney or Brisbane, making it ideal for a 3- or 4-day holiday.
Much like Fiji, Vanuatu is a South Pacific Island with a lot to offer families, couples and adventure seekers. Snorkel through coral oceans, unwind in plush cabanas and uncover historical WWI relics over a short trip. You can get here in just over 3 hours from Sydney or under 3 hours from Brisbane.
Brisbane is topping the list here for the best destination to start an international holiday that won’t waste your time to get to. On top of Fiji and Vanuatu, Brisbanites also have the option to travel to the Solomon Islands for a paradise-filled adventure that's less than 4 hours away. Dreamy, laid-back, historical and landscape rich, spend your days stretching out on the beach, swimming in lagoons or wandering volcanic rims. The choice is yours.
Papua New Guinea’s largest city is accessed easiest from Brisbane and is a grittier more city-based experience. With a flight time of just over 3 hours, over the course of your 3-day holiday, you can drink up views of the bay, scour marketplaces, chow down on local eats, visit museums and play it like a local.
International flights you can take under 4 hours from Australia’s capital cities
Find out where you can go. Note, unfortunately, there are no direct, international flights from Adelaide.
|From||To||Flight time (direct)|
|Darwin||Dili, Timor-Leste||1 hour 20 minutes|
|Darwin||Bali||2 hours 40 minutes|
|Brisbane||Port Vila, Vanuatu||2 hours 50 minutes|
|Brisbane||Noumea||2 hours 10 minutes|
|Sydney||Noumea||2 hours 50 minutes|
|Brisbane||Auckland||3 hours 15 minutes|
|Melbourne||Queenstown||3 hours 5 minutes|
|Sydney||Port Vila, Vanuatu||3 hours 30 minutes|
|Brisbane||Port Moresby||3 hours 10 minutes|
|Brisbane||Honiara, Solomon Islands||3 hours 20 minutes|
|Brisbane||Christchurch||3 hours 30 minutes|
|Brisbane||Wellington||3 hours 35 minutes|
|Melbourne||Christchurch||3 hours 15 minutes|
|Brisbane||Queenstown||3 hours 30 minutes|
|Melbourne||Wellington||3 hours 35 minutes|
|Brisbane||Fiji||3 hours 40 minutes|
|Hobart||Auckland||3 hours 30 minutes (no direct flights)|
|Melbourne||Auckland||3 hours 30 minutes|
|Perth||Bali||3 hours 45 minutes|
|Sydney||Fiji||3 hours 55 minutes|
|Sydney||Wellington||3 hours, 15 minutes|
|Sydney||Christchurch||3 hours, 5 minutes|
If you can stretch your holiday even further and push that flight time just a smidgen, it’s possible to make it even further north than Bali. From Darwin, you can get up to Singapore in just 4 hours and 45 minutes, and from Sydney, you can now fly direct to Tonga in 4 hours and 35 minutes.
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