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Easter travel wrap: When to fly, when NOT to fly & what's hot

Reuniting with family over the Easter period? Or just want to take advantage of an extra long (and rare) "double" Easter and Autumn holiday period - starting from Good Friday on 29 March through to the end of the school holidays on 28 April? Whatever your case, Easter travel often means one thing: bigger bills.

Reuniting with family over the Easter period? Or just want to take advantage of an extra long (and rare) “double” Easter and Autumn holiday period – starting from Good Friday on 29 March through to the end of the school holidays on 28 April? Whatever your case, Easter travel often means one thing: bigger bills.

However, as in most holiday seasons, if you’re looking for bargain airfares, there are some days to aim for and others to avoid this Easter period.

Using Skyscanner for a single one-way ticket without checked baggage, financial comparison site Compare the Market found that flights out of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to the rest of Australia’s major cities are cheapest this year between 18-22 March and 4-12 April. 

But there are still some cheap fares to be found outside of these dates, like: 

  • Sydney to Melbourne on March 26 for $46
  • Brisbane to Melbourne on April 3 for $89
  • Melbourne to Hobart on April 13 for $62
Airfare
(Easter travel period)
Easter travel can blow a hole in a family’s budget.

If you’re looking for the best dates to avoid, CTM’s research found that the days leading up to the Easter long weekend (25-28 March) were the most expensive – and on top of that, the most hectic days at Aussie hubs as travellers scramble to visit family or just head on holidays.

During this Easter travel period, flight prices can rise to $280 for a seat from Brisbane to Adelaide, $254 from Sydney to Darwin and up to $338 from Melbourne to Cairns.

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MEL
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While holidaying during peak periods comes with its challenges, Easter travel needn’t all be bad news for the family budget.

“The cost of flights, accommodation and activities are a sizeable amount to give up in one go during this cost of living crisis, which may be adding to stress for families who are in serious need of a holiday,” Compare the Market travel expert Catriona Rowntree said.

“While Easter is a time for indulgence, the last thing you want is financial strife to ruin the whole experience.

“Remember, your kids don’t care about that fancy hotel – all they really want is to spend quality time with you and that could be anywhere.

“If you do some research you can avoid sky-high airfares and even snag some early-bird discounts on activities. Those are savings you could put towards your next holiday.”

Easter travel hotspots

Gold Coast
Easter travel to the Gold Coast is luring many Aussies.

When it comes to the destinations Australians are flocking to this Easter period, Gold Coast tops the list, according to data released by Booking.com. Given its popularity, it’s little wonder Gold Coast Airport has some big things in store over the coming years. 

Following the Queensland hotspot on the list, are Australia’s biggest cities Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. 

Internationally, Australians are mostly heading to Japan and Southeast Asia this Easter, with Tokyo the number one destination followed by Singapore. 

But Bali continues to boom among Aussie travellers, with four Balinese destinations making the top 10: Seminyak (third), Ubud (fourth), Canggu (fifth) and Legian (tenth).

Tourists in Tokyo. Destinations
Tokyo is a hotspot for Easter travel in 2024.

Top 20 domestic destinations

  1. Gold Coast
  2. Sydney
  3. Melbourne
  4. Adelaide (+4)
  5. Perth
  6. Brisbane
  7. Cairns
  8. Canberra
  9. Byron Bay
  10. Hobart (+1)
  11. Coffs Harbour
  12. Newcastle
  13. Port Macquarie (+3)
  14. Airlie Beach
  15. Noosa Heads (+1)
  16. Nelson Bay
  17. Forster (+1)
  18. Lakes Entrance
  19. Mooloolaba (+10)
  20. Port Douglas

Top 10 international destinations 

  1. Tokyo (+5)
  2. Singapore (+3)
  3. Seminyak
  4. Ubud
  5. Canggu (+3)
  6. Bangkok (+4)
  7. Ho Chi Minh City (+22)
  8. Hong Kong (+14)
  9. Osaka (+51)
  10. Legian (+2)  

Bali-bound? Tourists visiting the Indonesian province will now be able to speed through Ngurah Rai International Airport (aka Denpasar) after the province officially introduced automated gates in the international arrival and departure terminals.