All visitors must secure a visa to enter the country. Luckily, U.S. and Canadian citizens can easily obtain an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority), essentially an Internet visa that doesn't require a stamp in your passport and is approved in about 30 seconds. Get yours at ETA.immi.gov.au.
Once you've obtained it, fly Down Under using the "Flying Kangaroo," Qantas (800-227-4500). Australia's national airline, one of the oldest continually running (and safest!) commercial operations in the world, offers 47 flights per week between the United States and Australia, including daily direct service from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City.
The Sydney and Melbourne airports boast new first-class lounges, each with a spa, library, and concierge service at your chair. Qantas's latest venture is the new, two-level flagship Airbus A380, with service between Los Angeles and Melbourne starting October 20 and a Los Angeles?Sydney flight starting October 24. The luxurious first-class suite offers an entirely flat bed-chair, complimentary designer pajamas, and an optional eight-course tasting menu. Business-class seats have flat beds, luxe beauty products, and access to an onboard business lounge.
Get the most from your travel dollars by obtaining the Aussie AirPass, which delivers three additional domestic flights with your international ticket at no extra cost. Once in Australia, choose from more than 25 cities (including our southern choices: Perth, Hobart, Melbourne, and Sydney). Cities are grouped into four different zones (with your purchase price determined by the farthest travel zone selected): Wine and Culture; Beautiful Beaches; Opera House, the Rock, and Koalas; and Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock (Uluru), and Sydney.
Click here to win a trip for two to Sydney or Melbourne on the new Quantas A380!
Sydney: City of Art
Melbourne: Food Lover's Paradise
Perth: The Great Escape
Hobart: Romantic Getaway