Disclaimer: This information is general in nature only. While Budget Direct has endeavoured to ensure the information we’ve relied on is accurate and current, we do not guarantee it. Budget Direct accepts no liability for this information.
The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics offers a better picture of where Australians travelled in 2019. Due to the pandemic, the ABS’s trend estimates were suspended in February of 2020 and therefore do not accurately depict which destinations were most visited by Australians this year.
In 2019, 11.3 million Australian residents returned from short-term trips overseas.  While the top ten countries Australians love to travel to hasn’t changed in the last few years, the order certainly has.
From this list, we’ve put together the top 5 holiday destinations for Australians.
1. New Zealand
New Zealand had 1.4 million visitors from 2018-2019.
Flight time from Sydney: 3 hrs 35 mins
Currently, local time in Auckland is two hours ahead of Sydney.
Its beautiful backdrops, close proximity and low costs makes New Zealand the top holiday destination for Australians in 2019.
There are plenty of things to do in New Zealand. Thrill seekers can enjoy extreme sports such as bungee jumping or rafting; movie buffs can see the sets for the beloved Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, and foodies can visit award-winning wineries and farmers’ markets.
With so much to keep everyone entertained, there is little wonder that New Zealand is the number one tourist destination for Australians.
Indonesia had 1.3 million visitors from 2018-2019.
Flight time from Sydney: 7hrs 20 mins
Currently, local time in Jakarta is 4 hours behind Sydney.
Indonesia is what’s known as an archipelago with five major islands and 30 smaller ones. Out of all the islands, Bali continues to be one of the most popular destinations for Australians to travel to.
While flying to Indonesia may cost more than a flight to New Zealand, stepping into an island paradise is the thing that keeps many Australians coming back for more. The collection of stunning beaches, beautiful waterfalls and dreamy rice paddies will make Indonesia the perfect contrast to the daily nine to five.
3. United States of America (USA)
The USA had 1 million visitors from 2018-2019.
Flight time from Sydney: 17 hrs 53 mins
Currently, local time in New York is 16 hours behind Sydney.
With a vast array of places to visit we can understand why Australians choose to spend their holidays in the US year upon year. From the east coast to the west coast, the US has something for everyone.
Gaze at the natural wonder that is the Grand Canyon and marvel at the sights in New York City and Los Angeles. Visit the deserts of Arizona and the beaches of Florida or spend a few days experiencing the magic of Disney World.
The scenic road trips, diverse locations and awe-inspiring attractions are just some of the reasons why the USA has remained as one of the top holiday destinations for Australians in 2019.
4. United Kingdom (UK)
The UK had 668,000 visitors from 2018-2019.
Flight time from Sydney: 21 hrs 37 mins
Currently, local time in London is 11 hours behind Sydney.
The United Kingdom is still one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations. The UK is made up of four countries; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Out of all the cities to visit, London continues to be one of the most popular travel destinations for Australians.
The extensive history, unique culture and scenic routes make the UK a must-see location. Whether you take a bus, train, plane or drive yourself a visit to the UK should include trips to Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, and the Lake District.
China had 611,000 visitors from 2018-2019.
Flight time from Sydney: 11 hrs 35 mins
Currently, local time in Shanghai is 3 hours behind Sydney.
This year China has advanced to the fifth most travelled destination for Australians in 2019 with Beijing, the capital of China is the most popular tourist destination in China every year.
While you’re there you can visit the Great Wall in Beijing, see the Terracotta Army in Xi’an or take a trip to Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou.
A mix of the traditional Chinese countryside and the bustling cities will help you truly experience all of the best parts of China.
If you’re looking to take the kids on holiday with you then try looking for family holiday destinations that have something for everyone.
 Michael Gebicki, 2020, Most popular countries for Australian tourists in 2019 named in ABS stats