Skip Navigation

Indonesia to Australia without a plane

Travel Forums Asia Indonesia to Australia without a plane

1. Posted by TomTom (Budding Member 22 posts) 10y

Hey everyone
I'm from Wales, UK, and will be studying in Australia later this year. I have a bet going with a friend that I will get to Byron Bay without using a plane. Technically, it's pretty simple, apart from when I get to Indonesia, how will I get from there to Australia without a plane? I'm searchin everywhere for boat journeys but can't find any info.
Is it possible? For not much money?
Please help if you have the answer!
Must win the bet...


2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5597 posts) 10y

There is no regular service, but you can try to make your way to Timor and try to find a sailing yacht in for example Kupang. Best season for this is May-October because of the dry season and no possiblity of hurricanes in general.
Good luck!

3. Posted by Budai (Respected Member 506 posts) 10y

I suppose you could buy passage on a ship/yacht thats heading for Aus. Just avoid the monsoon season, though.... I think that is the only feasible non-flying option...

4. Posted by Nicip (Full Member 112 posts) 10y

lol iv done some pretty funny bets before but thats a bit of a mad one!!

5. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5597 posts) 10y

By the way, read a book written by Peter Moore (australian guy) who did this trip and wanted to do this overland (and water) as well...but failed. Book is called something like 'The wrong way home' I guess. He was too late because of the start of the rainy and hurricane season.

6. Posted by Nicip (Full Member 112 posts) 10y

to be a bit more helpful heres a website i found theres some contact info at the bottom

7. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 10y

A few friends did this a couple of years ago. It's old now, but they've got an account of how they made it at

Ignoring provate yaughts and things, the mistake most people make is to go to Indonesia and try and cross from there, thinking becaue it's short it will be easiest. It isn't.

If your aim is to get there and win the bet, you are MUCH better off heading to Mumbai, Aden, Shanghai, Busan, Singapore, Yokohama, Osaka or Hong Kong (or a few others) and then getting passage on a freight ship. And often, Perth is a better port to aim for than an East coast one as theer are more ships which go more frequently. Some do it adhoc but bookable, some you can turn up and talk to the harbour master, some are essentially scheduled. Not always cheap, but reliable and you know you will make it (unlike gambling by turning up at a port and hoping to get lucky. Sometimes easy, sometimes doesn't come off at all).

And if you want something a bit different and aren't so interested in seeing Russia and China etc, you can do it easily enough from Europe. Rotterdam and Hamburg are the two easiest, but Gothenberg, Antwerp, Le Havre and Lisbon also decent, and probably any number of British and other ports are feasible as well. And from Europe takes roughly 3months

If you want to do it a bit more differently, you can get a boat across the Atlantic, cross Nth America by land and then get one of the many freighters off the West coast of the USA (or Vancouver) to Brisbane or Sydney...

Try people like (run by another friend, and occassional poster here on TP, Jack)

Good luck, and if you have any more queries, just ask
Rich, also from Wales, the TP non Flying idiot!!!

8. Posted by TomTom (Budding Member 22 posts) 10y

Nice one, read through that site, sounds like freighter's the best option. Had no idea they need to be booked so far in advance though! Wish me luck...