Cheap flights and holidays to take over Anzac Day and Easter from Australia

Easter is coming up fast and it might not have escaped your notice that this year it falls close to Anzac Day. The Easter public holidays are Friday April 19 and Monday 22. Anzac Day falls on the following Thursday. Taking the public holidays into account, you could take just three days off work – the Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday following Easter – and have a 10-day break. That's enough time for a decent getaway, or even a quick jaunt offshore.

It also dovetails with school holidays, Monday April 15 to Monday April 29 in NSW, April 6-22 in Victoria. You might think that's a good reason to stay home, but it shouldn't keep you couch-bound. While airfares and hotel prices usually rise during the Easter school holidays, that's not such a big factor as in the mid-year break, when the city folk of Melbourne and Sydney in particular are likely to be looking for some winter sun, and possibly an overseas break. At Easter you don't have to look too hard to find decent airfares.

If you're feeling adventurous head for Momondo (momondo.com.au) or Kayak (kayak.com.au), hit "explore" and see what comes up. Go to the map view for quick and easy searching.

If you're looking to travel within Australia inside that Easter or school holiday window, north Queensland and the Top End are looking good, and the summer heat has gone from the Red Centre. An adult return flight from Melbourne and Sydney to Ayers Rock/Uluru during this period starts at just under $400. Alternatively, you could stitch together a cracker of a self-drive trip from Uluru to take in Kings Canyon, Alice Springs, Katherine Gorge and Kakadu, with a flight home from Darwin.

Melbourne to Adelaide return is under $300, and you could easily pick up a hire car and fit in a trip to the Flinders Ranges in that time, with a couple of days exploring the rugged scenery around Wilpena Pound.

Tasmania is also looking great, with return fares from Melbourne to Launceston starting at about $200, from Sydney about $100 more. It's chilly but autumn is a glorious time to be driving in Tasmania. The farmers' markets are overflowing with produce, the peaks might be dusted with snow, prices are down, wood fires are lighting up the guesthouses and the summer crowds have gone. A flight into Launceston followed by a few days of walking around Cradle Mountain followed by a leisurely drive down the east coast with a stop at Freycinet National Park and a flight home from Hobart could be just the shot.

Offshore, April is a reasonable month to take a Bali break. The wet season is tapering off, and airfares are hovering around $600 for non-stop return flights from either Melbourne or Sydney to Denpasar. The Kuta-Legian-Seminyak strip is especially popular with families during the school holidays so you might look elsewhere if you want calm and quiet.

This is also a great time to head for New Zealand, with a return flight from Sydney to Christchurch starting at under $400 for a one-week stay that would fit within the 10-day Easter-Anzac Day period flying with Jetstar. Within that timeframe you could drive over the Southern Alps and along the west coast to Queenstown, mixing in the glaciers with some adventure activities, a walk, a tour of the Central Otago wineries and a cruise on Milford Sound, or better still an overnighter on Doubtful Sound. For a two-week break, return flights from Melbourne to Christchurch start at about $500. You might want to consider a package deal with accommodation and vehicle included.

From Sydney to Fiji, return fares start at about $600 during this period, and about $170 more departing from Melbourne. Here too, a package deal would be a money saver.

See also: The 15 rolled-gold money-saving tips for any holiday

See also: How I accidentally discovered the secret to avoiding jetlag

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