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What Are the Australian Government Travel Subsidies and Where Can I Go?

*Note: This information is correct as of the time of publication.

Are you eager for a holiday but need to stay on top of your student budget? Then you’re in luck! The Australian Federal Government has announced its plan to halve the price of nearly 800,000 airline tickets. The move comes as part of its $1.2 billion package aimed at strengthening the tourism and aviation sectors, which have suffered in the wake of COVID-19.

If you’re wondering how to reap the benefits of these awesome deals, we’ve got all the answers. From where you can travel to which airlines you’ll be travelling with, here’s everything you need to know about the Australian Government travel subsidies.

Where can I go?

The discounts will be applied to flights to and from 13 Australian regions that rely heavily on international visitors to bolster their economies. The government may add more locations and routes to the travel subsidy program later on in the year, depending on the level of demand.

The regions are:

  • Gold Coast
  • Cairns
  • The Whitsundays and Mackay region
  • The Sunshine Coast
  • The Lasseter region (including Uluru)
  • Alice Springs
  • Launceston
  • Devonport
  • Burnie
  • Broome
  • Avalon
  • Merimbula
  • Kangaroo Island

There are several routes available to and from each destination, including between these regions and major cities (such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane). You can find the full list of flight routes here.

Which airlines are participating?

The subsidy package is available for any airline that has been regularly flying these routes for the last two years. While that leaves the door open for regional airlines to participate, the main commercial airlines that will be involved are Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar.

When can I purchase tickets and when can I travel?

Discounted tickets will be going on sale online on 1 April and will remain on sale until the end of July 2021. That said, it’s important to note that the available dates for travel fall between 1 May and end of September 2021.

Travel highlights 

When you visit the participating regions, you’ll have no shortage of fun things to do and beautiful sights to see.

In the Gold Coast, for instance, you’ll enjoy spectacular natural landscapes, theme parks and a laidback atmosphere. From the gorgeous shores of Main Beach to the scenic views from Burleigh Head National Park, the outdoor wonders in Gold Coast are second to none. There’s also plenty of adrenaline-pumping fun to be had around the city. Head to Warner Bros. Movie World to ride the rollercoasters or cool off at the Wet’n’Wild water park.

On the other side of the nation, in Western Australia, you’ll find Broome, a charming resort town in the Kimberley region. From whale watching to camel rides to stunning sunsets, you’ll never be bored in Broome. If you’re keen to see even more of the town’s surrounding areas, consider a road trip from Broome to Perth. The route features the Pinnacles, Coral Bay and Kalbarri National Park – everything you could ever want from an Aussie road trip!

Thinking of heading north to the Lasseter region? You won’t want to miss one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks: Uluru. This breathtaking ancient monolith is one of the most renowned tourist attractions in the country. It’s also one of the most well-known places to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia.

Finally, if you’re planning a trip to South Australia, consider checking out the beautiful Kangaroo Island through the travel subsidy program. A short drive and ferry ride from the South Australian capital of Adelaide, this charming island boasts native bushland, incredible wildlife, pristine beaches and delicious local wines. Be sure to check out the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, Flinders Chase National Park and Vivonne Bay for an unforgettable experience!