Yesterday’s Australian Travel Bubble date was the announcement that launched a thousand flights, and a million travel searches.
From 19 April New Zealanders can return from holiday in Australia without having to check in for a two-week stay in MIQ.
Kiwis have only two weeks to relocate their passports before quarantine-free travel resumes across the Ditch.
Airlines Air NZ and Qantas have wasted no time in laying on extra flights and even new routes. Bachcare New Zealand has said that their properties are already filling up for next summer with bookings from Australia.
But where are the best deals? Where are the overlooked and underbooked ways to finally bust your Transtasman bubble.
Here are the best Australian travel deals, a year in the making:
Flights and airfare deals
Air New Zealand will be laying on extra quarantine-free flights from New Zealand’s four international airports.
Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney will be the first with almost daily quarantine-free flights to Kiwi travel hubs. The Perth to Auckland route is still waiting on approval, however it’s on line to be launched with 19 April.
However new ‘winter sun’ routes will be opening up for May and late June, with Auckland getting 3 flights a week to both the Sunshine Coast and Cairns by 28 and 29 June.
Wellington will be getting a Gold Coast link from the end of April.
Queenstown will be in line to get three, weekly, quarantine-free flights from Brisbane for 5 May. Just in time for the ski lifts to open for 12 June.
Hobart, however, remains the biggest question. With the 2 weekly flights out of Auckland yet to get a launch date. The Tasmanian Premiere was certain the International airport would be welcoming Kiwis in time for Anzac weekend.
On the other side of the Ditch, Qantas and budget branch Jetstar were gearing up to bring 52,000 seats on 122 weekly flights to New Zealand.
The Australian carriers will also be launching new Auckland to Cairns and Gold Coast routes, to bring Kiwis to the beach over winter.
At the moment Transtasman fares remain high, and there’s huge demand. Air New Zealand has given no indication of lead-in fares, with quarantine-free economy fares from Sydney to Auckland priced between $349 and $400, one way.
But the biggest savings can be found onwards and inland.
Kiwis to take advantage of regional travel incentives
The ‘Half off Flights, Full on Holidays’ programme was launched this month, offering half price fares to regional airports.
The Australian federal government is subsidising domestic fares from 1 April, and Kiwis can cash in on this deal too. The 50 per cent rates are being offered across the domestic network of Australia’s major airlines and regional carriers.
Jetstar and Virgin Australia are offering half-price fares, booked before 31 July.
Qantas is also offering 50 per cent off domestic fares, and also an ‘Everywhere Else’ domestic sale to regions outside the Federal flight scheme until midnight tomorrow, Sydney time [11.59pm AEST 8 April].
While Tasmania direct might still be a way off, you can currently add a hop from Melbourne to Hobart for $50 one-way. Likewise a layover in Sydney could save you $200-$250 off a direct flight from Auckland to Adelaide.
This could be your chance to see Uluru, for under $100. After you’ve forked out for a transtasman airfare, of course.
Hotels and packages: On the ground round-up
25 per cent off Aussie hotels
Rydges Resorts is offering a quarter off bookings of four nights or more, and 20 per cent off two-night stays. This deal is available Australia-wide.
Similarly the quirky QT is also offering saving of up to 25 per cent off stays of over two nights, until 30 December.
IHG and Hilton are also booking in for a quarter-off stays across Australia, when made before 30 April.
10 per cent off city breaks and activities
Mastercard and Tourism Australia are offering 10 per cent off city activities and stays booked through their ‘Holiday Here’ website.
Deals include savings off top attractions – such as the Sea life Centre – or bucket-list activities such as a sunrise hot air balloon ride through Sydney’s Hunter valley for $287pp or a helicopter flight over the Opera House for $200pp.
Flexible 5-star stays
Luxury brand Travel Associates is offering flexible holiday packages from $259pp, at five-star hotels including two nights at the Four Seasons Sydney waterfront or a 3-night stay in Launceston and tour of Cradle Mountain for under $499pp.
For more details and additional regional links with Pelican Air, Rex and link airways see:
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