How Long Is A Flight From California To Australia?

Dreaming of a getaway to Australia from California? A direct flight can take 15+ hours depending on your departure city. Here’s a quick answer: Expect flights from Los Angeles to Sydney to take roughly 13-14 hours gate-to-gate.

In this guide, we’ll break down flight times from major Californian airports to popular Australian destinations like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. You’ll learn the fastest routes, whether stopovers help shorten travel and tips for making the long haul more comfortable.

Direct Flight Times from California to Australia

Los Angeles to Sydney: Approx. 14 hours

When flying from Los Angeles to Sydney, you can expect the flight to take approximately 14 hours. The distance between these two cities is around 7,500 miles, so it’s no wonder that the journey can be quite lengthy.

However, with modern aircraft and advanced technology, airlines are able to provide a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience for passengers during this long-haul flight.

San Francisco to Sydney: Approx. 13 hours

If you’re departing from San Francisco and heading to Sydney, you can look forward to a slightly shorter flight time of approximately 13 hours. This route covers a distance of around 7,400 miles and is serviced by several airlines offering direct flights.

So, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you can reach your destination in a reasonable amount of time.

Los Angeles to Melbourne: Approx. 15 hours

For those flying from Los Angeles to Melbourne, the flight duration is typically around 15 hours. Melbourne is located further south compared to Sydney, so the flight covers a distance of approximately 8,000 miles.

Despite the longer duration, many airlines operate direct flights on this route, ensuring a smooth and convenient journey for travelers.

San Diego to Brisbane: Approx. 14.5 hours

Traveling from San Diego to Brisbane? You can expect the flight to take around 14.5 hours. This route covers a distance of approximately 7,800 miles. Brisbane, located on the east coast of Australia, is a popular destination for tourists and business travelers alike.

With direct flights available, you can reach this vibrant city in no time.

It’s important to note that these flight times are approximate and can vary depending on various factors such as weather conditions, air traffic, and aircraft type. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check with your chosen airline for the most up-to-date information regarding flight schedules and durations.

For more information on flights from California to Australia, you can visit the official websites of airlines such as Qantas, United Airlines, and Delta.

Connecting Flights and Stopovers

When flying from California to Australia, it is common to have connecting flights and stopovers along the way. These stops can help break up the long travel time and provide an opportunity to explore new destinations.

However, it is important to consider the pros and cons of these stopovers before making your travel plans.

Stopovers can break up the long travel time

One of the benefits of having a stopover during your journey from California to Australia is that it can break up the long travel time. Flying non-stop from California to Australia takes approximately 15-17 hours, depending on the specific departure and arrival cities.

By breaking up the journey with a stopover, you can have a chance to stretch your legs, relax, and rejuvenate before continuing your journey.

Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand are common stopover destinations

When it comes to choosing a stopover destination, there are several popular options along the way from California to Australia. Hawaii, Fiji, and New Zealand are commonly chosen as stopover destinations due to their geographical location and the availability of connecting flights.

These destinations offer a chance to experience their unique cultures, beautiful landscapes, and attractions before reaching your final destination in Australia.

But more connections also increase delays/missed flights risk

While stopovers can be a great way to break up the journey, it is important to consider the potential risks that come with more connections. The more connecting flights you have, the higher the risk of delays or missed flights.

Weather conditions, technical issues, or other unforeseen circumstances can disrupt the flight schedule and cause inconvenience. It is advisable to check the flight schedules and allow ample time between connections to minimize the risk of missing your flights.

Optimal if layover is under 4 hours

When planning your stopover, it is recommended to choose a layover duration of under 4 hours. This allows enough time to navigate through the airport, go through security checks if required, and still have a comfortable buffer before your next flight.

However, it is essential to consider the airport’s efficiency, the distance between terminals, and any additional requirements such as visa or immigration procedures when determining the optimal layover duration.

Shortest Routes from California to Australia

Los Angeles to Sydney is fastest at around 14 hours

When it comes to traveling from California to Australia, the shortest route is typically from Los Angeles to Sydney. This flight typically takes around 14 hours, making it the fastest option for travelers.

With its bustling cityscape, iconic landmarks, and stunning beaches, Sydney is a popular destination for both tourists and business travelers alike. So, if you’re looking to minimize your time in the air and get to your destination quickly, this route is a great choice.

San Francisco to Sydney takes roughly 13 hours gate-to-gate

If you’re departing from San Francisco, you can expect your flight to Sydney to take roughly 13 hours from gate-to-gate. With its vibrant culture, diverse neighborhoods, and proximity to famous attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco serves as a gateway to Australia for many travelers.

So, if you’re based in the Bay Area and looking for a relatively short flight to Australia, this route is worth considering.

San Diego to Brisbane is around 14.5 hours minimum

For those flying from San Diego, the shortest route to Australia is typically to Brisbane. This flight usually takes around 14.5 hours, making it a reasonably efficient option for travelers. Known for its warm climate, beautiful coastline, and vibrant arts scene, Brisbane offers a unique Australian experience.

So, if you’re starting your journey from San Diego and have Brisbane on your itinerary, this route will get you there in a minimum amount of time.

Look for nonstop routes on Qantas and United Airlines

When searching for the shortest routes from California to Australia, it’s worth considering nonstop options offered by Qantas and United Airlines. These airlines often operate direct flights between major cities in California and Australia, allowing passengers to avoid layovers and minimize travel time.

By opting for a nonstop route, you can enjoy a more seamless journey and arrive at your destination faster. So, be sure to check for nonstop flights on these reputable airlines when planning your trip.

For more information on flights and routes from California to Australia, you can visit the official websites of Qantas ( and United Airlines (

Tips for Surviving the Long Haul to Australia

Request an aisle seat to move around frequently

When embarking on a long flight to Australia from California, it’s important to consider your seating arrangements. Requesting an aisle seat can greatly enhance your comfort level during the journey. With an aisle seat, you’ll have the freedom to move around and stretch your legs without disturbing other passengers.

This is particularly crucial for long flights, as sitting in one position for an extended period can lead to stiffness and discomfort.

Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol/caffeine

Proper hydration is essential for surviving a long-haul flight. The dry cabin air can dehydrate your body, leaving you feeling fatigued and uncomfortable. It’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the flight to stay hydrated.

Additionally, it’s advisable to avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can contribute to dehydration and disrupt your sleep patterns. Opt for water or herbal teas instead to keep yourself refreshed and energized.

Bring noise-cancelling headphones and entertainment

Noise-cancelling headphones are a lifesaver when it comes to long flights. They help block out ambient noise, allowing you to relax and enjoy your journey in peace. Additionally, be sure to bring entertainment options such as books, movies, or games to keep yourself occupied during the flight.

This will help pass the time and make the journey more enjoyable.

Pack comfortable clothes and inflight sleep aids

Wearing comfortable clothing is crucial for surviving a long flight. Choose loose-fitting, breathable clothes that allow for ease of movement. Additionally, consider packing inflight sleep aids such as neck pillows, eye masks, and earplugs to help you get some rest during the flight.

These items can greatly enhance your comfort and help you arrive in Australia feeling refreshed.

Move around on the plane periodically to avoid blood clots

Long flights can increase the risk of developing blood clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). To minimize this risk, it’s important to move around on the plane periodically. Take short walks up and down the aisles, stretch your legs while seated, and perform simple leg exercises to improve blood circulation.

These simple actions can greatly reduce the chances of developing DVT and ensure a safe and comfortable journey.


Flights from California to popular Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne typically take around 14 or more hours nonstop. The duration can seem daunting but choosing the right airline, route, and in-flight routine can make it more bearable. Next stop, Australia!

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