Budget

Luxury for Less

by Brook Wilkinson

SEPTEMBER: AUSTRALIA

Lesson to Travel By: Avoid school holidays to score deals and avoid overcrowding.

The Deal: Sydney is gorgeous in September—and it's not yet high season.

The Luxury Essentials: Australia's spring break falls at the very end of September—so the beaches are pretty empty before then. And by midmonth, it's warm enough to swim in the ocean. There's much more to the country than you can see in a single trip, but a good primer starts in Sydney (view slideshow), where rooms at the Four Seasons (view slideshow) start at just $237. Then it's off to Uluru, the great red rock in the center of the country. At the Ayers Rock Resort, accommodations range from a campground to a five-star hotel; the latter starts at $250 per person. Then spend your last days at the Cape Tribulation Resort & Spa, conveniently set between the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef (view slideshow), where rooms go for $290, $60 less than in the winter high season.

Artful Advice: The country is in bloom in the spring: September 1 is Wattle Day, named after the national flower, and there are flower festivals in Canberra (pictured), Perth, and elsewhere.

A Fair Fare: For $1,800, buy a Qantas Aussie AirPass, which includes roundtrip travel from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Honolulu, plus three flights within Australia—those will allow you to get to all those other places, like Uluru and Cairns. At the height of the season, that ticket would cost $2,600.

Four Seasons Sydney
Tel: 61 2 9238 0000
Doubles from $237

Ayers Rock Resort
Tel: 61 2 8296 8010
Doubles from $73

Cape Tribulation Resort & Spa
Tel: 61 7 4098 0033
Doubles from $290

NEXT: A luxury trip to float your boat

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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