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Getting to Australia

Despite Australia being in the same time zone as a fifth of the world’s population and being ideally located for trade with Asia, for most people around the world we seem a very long way away.

Indeed, Sydney is 15996km (9940 miles) from New York, Perth is 14467km (8990 miles) from London and Melbourne is 10363km (6439 miles) from Johannesburg. So these are not short flights when you’re planning to move to Australia.

Getting to Australia by Air

The usual way of getting to Australia is by air. Our national carrier is Qantas, but there are plenty of other airlines that fly to most capital cities. To plan your trip – and what parts of Australia you might want to see before you decide where to settle – check out the Tourism Australia website. The site actually has a “Flying to Australia” search engine which tells you which carriers fly from various countries. Don’t underestimate the size of Australia if you’re travelling between cities. You can be in the air for five or six hours crossing the country. Allow travel time.

Getting to Australia by Sea

Getting to Australia without flying is both unusual and difficult, but it is technically possible. Historically, as recently as the 70s, sea travel was the way most immigrants arrived. These days there aren’t passenger ships taking great numbers of migrants across the seas.

If you absolutely cannot abide the prospect of flying it is possible to go by cargo ship. It takes about a month to get to Sydney or Melbourne and you can leave from Tilbury in the UK, Hamburg in Germany, Dunkirk in France or Rotterdam in the Netherlands – taking in either the Suez or the Panama Canal.

The facilities are passable – but they aren’t cruise ships; these are working freightliners and merchant ships. It’ll also cost in the thousands (be it US dollars, Euros, Pounds Stirling, Rand, etc). For more information and some good links check online.

Visit our Life in Australia section for more articles about living in Australia.

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