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Australia

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Australia: Kangaroo Crossing sign (Photo: iStockphoto/oversnap)

Australia's seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere, so June through August is actually winter Down Under. Climate varies by region, but winter temperatures are generally pleasant. The country offers something for everyone, from cultural city nights in Sydney and Melbourne to endless plains in the Outback and expansive waters for surfing on the coasts. Nature lovers, history buffs, and foodies will all find something to delight them in Australia.

I compared airfares to Australia and found savings of up to $449 during the off season.

Route Off-Peak Rate Peak Rate
Los Angeles to Sydney $877 $1,326
Dallas/Fort Worth to Melbourne $1,090 $1,548
Fort Lauderdale to Sydney $1,315 $1,667

Off-peak nightly rates are based on travel from July 13 to 20; peak travel nightly rates are based on travel from January 11 to 18. All fares were found using Expedia and include all taxes and fees.

Down Under Answers has summer trips to Australia (and New Zealand) on sale. The six-night Sydney and Cairns package includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, three nights' accommodations in Sydney, three nights' accommodation in Cairns, and fuel surcharges. Departures are available starting at $1,299 for travel through June 8 and again July 24 through September 21.

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The Australia Tourism Board lists several specials offering free nights when you book by June 30. The Australia's Natural Flavors package from Swain Tours includes 11 nights, plus one free night in Melbourne, a three-day car rental, meals, and various tours from $3,535 for travel through August 31.

The Western Australia Tourism Board also lists specials and promotions, such as at the Chestnut Brook Cottage in Balingup, which is offering three-day midweek stays for AUD $480 (about $433 U.S., see xe.com for current conversion rates) through August 31. And the Melbourne Tourism Board lists a Yarra Valley Wine Experience special that includes tastings at four wineries, lunch, and sparkling wine and snacks at Domaine Chandon from AUD $98 (about $87 U.S.) for travel through August 5.

Your Turn

Where are you heading for summer vacation? Which of these off-peak destinations sound the most appealing? Leave a message in the comments section below.

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