I'm new here and have tried looking through previous threads but I'm still a bit lost and thought I'd ask the experts!!
I plan on going to Oz on a WHV this year and would like to do some travelling in SE Asia on my way in to Oz.
I would be starting my journey in May and was thinking of flying London to Bangkok then travelling down into Malaysia, somehow on to Indonesia and then get a flight to Australia.
I want to travel down the east coast in Australia so I'd be looking to go to Cairns first. (Could maybe fly into Brisbane?)
I am just trying to work out what the cheapest way to do it is. I've heard that it might be best to fly into Australia from SIngapore or Kuala Lumpur as they seem to be big travel hubs.
Is it best to book all flights in advance? Or is it cheaper to get a flight to Australia once I'm in Asia?
Could anyone recommend a route through SE Asia into Oz that makes sense financially and ideally one way rather than having to travel back and forth?
First things first: Cairns in 1,700 kilometres from Brisbane, so I wouldn't exactly consider Brisbane a convenient "entry point" for Cairns!
For more ideas on entry ports to Oz, check out the website of the airline JetStar. They can fly you from Denpasar in Bali to Cairns via Darwin. The flights aren't cheap (starting around AU$400) but then again nothing in Australia is. This could help you avoid backtracking over 1,000 miles from Brisbane!
Getting from Bangkok to Denpasar through SE Asia is easy as anything - a rough route might look like Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur-Singapore-Bali-Australia. Of course you can fit in countless detours to this (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysian Borneo, other parts of Indonesia etc.).
It is almost impossible to advise on when is best to book tickets. As a rule of thumb I like to book about 10 weeks in advance. But it's very hard to predict which way prices will go (although if you book very near to your departure date the price will inevitably climb and if you book too far in advance you may not get the best fare). As an example, I booked a December flight from Santiago (Chile) to Madrid in June (expecting that there would be loads of Christmas demand) for £650. Two weeks before I was due to fly home I found the same route for £400 - needless to say I cancelled the first ticket and bought the other, saving myself £250! If you know your date of entry into Oz I would be tempted to say don't leave that one too late. However, for flights within SE Asia - say with AirAsia - you can make bookings quite late. On my trip through SE Asia in 2006-07 we often booked AirAsia tickets the day before we flew. Prices then were ridiculous low (KL to Borneo £25) and I don't know what they're doing now.
Give me a shout via PM if you'd be interested in the link to my travel blog, which details the itinerary we followed between Bangkok and Australia.
Best of luck with the planning!
Thanks for your help!!
Yes I know Brisbane is a long way from Cairns. Just saying that I don't really mind going there if flights are much cheaper/direct. I have no real reason to go anywhere so happy to go wherever is convenient. I wasn't saying that I would fly to Brisbane to get to Cairns.
I'll PM you as that would be so useful!
I'm thinking of doing roughly the same thing.... London to Bangkok end of April.... Go from north to south down to possibly kuala lumpar etc .... Would like to check out Laos etc..... Then to oz... Possibly flying into Melbourne then bussing it up the coast to Sydney for Xmas & nye then up to cairns... Then onto New Zealand and Fiji! I went and spoke to sta today and they were helpful.... Got loads of brochures etc. I will be booking my flight to Bangkok and oz in the next couple of weeks, the rest I will wing once there.
Im also flying into Aus around May time from Bali and will be heading to Cairns at some point. best Ive found is Air Asia from Bali to Melbourne for about $205 and melb to Cairns for $120 with Jetstar. I also saw tickets with an outfit called Scoot whose hub is in Singapore and were doing deals to Sydney for $150
Jenner89 - sounds similar to my plan. Yes ive spoken to STA a lot too. Think i'll be booking flights and insurance with them as they seem to be cheapest for under 26.
Thanks Dodger i'll look at Air Asia and Jetstar some more.
It's just annoying as I really want to work my way south down the east coast of Oz. But seems there isn't a good one way route through asia where I can then fly straight to Cairns that isn't way more expensive than other Oz airports!!!
Thinking of maybe not doing Bali and doing some other places instead so I can end up in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur as they seem to be the big travel hubs.
Any more thoughts?
Well I think I'm going to book my flight separately as I go.... A flight from London to Bangkok the end of April is around £350, then a flight from there to Melbourne is around £200 I think so seems cheaper that way? I did want to work my way down too but may just work my way up over a couple of weeks then go back down so I'm in Sydney for Xmas & new year? I may do Kuala Lumpur too... May do a month in Thailand, month in Laos, month in Cambodia / Malaysia then head to oz as you can have 30 day visa in each I think! Sta do the hop on hop off packages so may check them out too