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Known for its stunning bushlands, diverse wildlife, beautiful beaches, and the largest coral reef system in the world, Australia is a prime vacation destination for travelers seeking outdoor adventure. This paradise destination is trending again with 6.6 million international trips in 2023, nearing pre-COVID-19 levels.

However, traveling to Australia comes with some of the longest flight times in the world, especially if you’re flying from the United States. Even the shortest flight from the US to Australia is just shy of 15 hours. Given the lengthy travel time, savvy travelers may want to opt to break up their trip with a stopover. There are several fantastic stopover points available en route to Australia, each with its own unique attractions and experiences that make your trip even more exciting.

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What Is a Stopover?

With long flight routes from the US to Australia, it can feel like you’re losing valuable vacation time sitting on a plane. Stopovers are a great solution for travelers who have long flight times. A stopover is a planned break in your journey where you spend at least a day in another city or country before continuing to your final destination. Unlike a layover, which is usually a few hours sitting in an airport, a stopover allows passengers the time to leave the airport and explore, if not stay over. Aside from getting to check out a cool destination, stopovers make long flights more manageable by breaking up flights into smaller chunks. Some airlines even offer special stopover programs to encourage these visits. Work with a travel agent to plan a stopover in a location worthy of spending time in.

Best Stopovers From US to Australia

Honolulu, Hawaii

Flight time to SYD: 10 hours

Consider a stopover in Honolulu as a teaser to Australia. Honolulu is a tropical oasis with amazing beaches, volcanic landscapes, and rich cultural experiences. Take a hike, hit the waves, or relax on the beach before jetting off the island.

Hong Kong, China

Flight time to SYD: 9 hours

From skyline to street markets, Hong Kong is a metropolis marvel. A stopover there wouldn’t be complete without a panoramic view from Victoria Peak, seeing the Big Buddha, or trying delicious, diverse street food.

Tokyo, Japan

Flight time to SYD: 10 hours

As a city that never sleeps, Tokyo has no shortage of things to keep you busy on your stopover. It has a unique mix of ultramodern skyscrapers and ancient temples. Walk around to visit cultural landmarks or see the latest fashion and technological trends.

Bangkok, Thailand

Flight time to SYD: 9.5 hours

Bangkok itself is a trending destination. Rich culture, a vibrant cityscape, historical temples, and lively street food markets ensure an exciting stopover. In particular, check out the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Chetuphon temple, or the Chatuchak Weekend Market.

Singapore, Singapore

Flight time to SYD: 8 hours

Singapore is an unforgettable mix of natural beauty and urban sophistication. The Gardens by the Bay and its famous Supertree Grove are an absolute must-see on your stopover. Top off your visit by tasting an array of multicultural cuisines.

Nadi, Fiji

Flight time to SYD: 5 hours

Nadi, Fiji is an idyllic destination known for crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and outdoor activities. Unwind in nature by taking a day cruise, snorkeling around coral reefs, visiting majestic waterfalls, or relaxing on a floating platform boat with food and drinks.

Tahiti, French Polynesia

Flight time to SYD: 10 hours

Another tropical island destination, Tahiti offers plenty of exciting jungle and aquatic activities like guided tours and cruises. However, Tahiti does not have any direct flights to Sydney. If you choose to stop over in Tahiti, you’ll need to layover in either Fiji or New Zealand.

Auckland, New Zealand

Flight time to SYD: 4 hours

Nicknamed the “City of Sails,” Auckland has one of the world’s most beautiful harbors and waterfronts. A stopover wouldn’t be complete without visiting the beaches or volcanic islands just a short ferry ride away, including Rangitoto Island.

Plan Your Escape

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