Top 5 Places to Stopover en route to Australia or NZ in 2023

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Stopovers en route to Australia: Are you planning to fly from Europe to Australia or New Zealand? This advice will help you no matter where you’re starting from, be it London, Amsterdam or Frankfurt. Which are the best Stopover cities in Asia for 2-flight trips to Australia or New Zealand? How can you make the best out of a couple of days on your big journey to Sydney, Melbourne or Auckland? Read on for my top tips, having taken this exact trip 5 times already!

Breaking up is easy to do

With that massive flight time, if you don’t want to do the trip all at once, a journey to Australia or New Zealand gives you the chance to break up the travel time with a stopover that makes the most of some amazing destinations. Here are 5 places you should consider.

1. Singapore Stopover

Singapore is one of the top must-visit destinations in Asia. It makes total sense to stop there and take in this fascinating city if you’re flying from London to Australia.

chenisyuan, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Singapore is known for its modernity, status as a global financial hub and its sparkling cleanliness (rumours about not eating gum are true!). You will be in awe at the skyscrapers, sensational hotels, well-planned out green spaces and food. The shopping and entertainment are second to none.

The other reason Singapore is famous is for its sensational hotels: everyone has heard of the Marina Bay Sands, Raffles and the Mandarin Oriental because of their rooms, service and location (and maybe the prices too!). You should seriously consider visiting the Marina Bay Platform for sensational views of the city at dusk. Visitors love Singapore Zoo, Orchard Road (my personal favourite) and the area around Clarke Way. A great place to break up your trip.

2. Bangkok Stopover

Bangkok’s a famous destination for everyone from backpackers to luxury-junkies who want to mix culture, location and food into one amazing experience. That means it is perfect for a stopover on the way to Australia. Hotels in Bangkok can be great value, I was surprised at the recent prices for the Banyan Tree!

© Vyacheslav Argenberg / http://www.vascoplanet.com/, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The city is packed full of palaces, temples and floating markets that are full of colour and fascination. You should add the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to your itinerary.

The markets are not to be missed, especially the Flower Market and most people just love to see the floating markets. It’s a good idea to explore the city from the water, and we have heard good things about this Chao Phraya dinner cruise. If you want to see the sights without a fun meal, you can also enjoy the Chao Phraya Express. When you’re in Bangkok, enjoy the delicious Thai food. It might be my favourite cuisine in the world.

3. Dubai Stopover

A popular stopover location due to Dubai’s status as a hub between Europe, Asia and Australasia, the city sits between the deep blue sea and golden desert sands. Dubai is definitely a popular stopover location for travellers en route to Australia.

Robert Bock, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dubai is known for its beaches, shopping, and luxurious hotels and restaurants – and that’s why it’s a great destination any time of year. Plus, there’s loads to do!

If you want to get an elevated view of the cityscape and the islands, hotels like Atlantis The Palm and Burj Khalifa will reward you with stunning views. If you want to shop, you’re sorted with both international malls and souks that offer hand-made items, leather, gold and fabulous fabrics. Some visitors love to get under the skin of the traditional nomads of this area with an evening meal at a Bedouin camp.

4. Hong Kong Stopover

Known for its colonial history, Hong Kong is the city I have used most for stopovers en route to Australia. It is modern, mult-cultural, full of life and sits right on the waterfront, making for some amazing vistas, particularly at dusk from Victoria Peak/Tai Ping Shan (get a ticket). Or sail across the harbour on one of the many local ferries, for just a few cents.

Street scene of Hong Kong, photographed by Patrick Hughes

Hong Kong comes alive at night with the Symphony of Lights. Check out the night markets at Jade St and Temple St where you can get anything you want to buy. I learned that I am NOT a good enough haggler!

There’s a lot to do here, from the Zoo to the botanical gardens. Perfect for a couple of days on your way to Australia!

5. Kuala Lumpur Stopover

If you are flying with Malaysia Airlines, then Kuala Lumpur (or just KL) is the perfect place for stopovers en route to Australia or New Zealand. KL is one of my favourite cities in SE Asia and I think it’s seriously underrated. The most iconic building in town is the Petronas Towers. It was the tallest building in the world until 2004 (see my picture below). You can take the elevator to the Sky Bridge for some startling views of the entire city. (Get your tickets here).

Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur photographed by Patrick Hughes 2012

There is a LOT to do in KL – check out some of the great experiences in Kuala Lumpur for some helpful ideas.

You may enjoy the Islamic Arts Museum, a stroll through Chinatown and Little India (check out the street food for sure)! It’s worth looking outside of the city centre too, especially for wildlife and views (the Zoo is great fun and Lake Gardens has a Bird Park.

I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.

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