Best regional flights to book with Qantas Points this winter

Short on points? These domestic redemptions not only offer great value, but you won’t need as many Qantas Points to lock them in either!

Making your travel dreams come true on the Red Roo’s widespread domestic network can be up there with the best ways to use Qantas Points.

From diving with whale sharks in Exmouth to ticking Lord Howe Island off your bucket list, Qantas Points can be used to book destinations so dreamy you won’t want to return.

We’re all for using less points for a bucket list-worthy stay, so here are our top dreamy regional destinations to explore with Qantas Points.

Island life: Fly from Sydney to Lord Howe Island from 8,000 Qantas Points

If you’ve always wanted to fly to one of Australia’s most sought-after destinations, you can fly one-way in economy from Sydney to Lord Howe Island for a very achievable 8,000 Qantas Points (plus carrier charges).

Based on distance, Sydney to Lord Howe Island falls into a Zone One Classic Flight Reward, which is why this route is a prime domestic example of extracting maximum value from points.

And, despite the short distance from Sydney to Lord Howe Island, a one way economy fare doesn’t come cheap (you can expect to pay up to $900).

As a result, those lucky enough to score a discounted reward seat could extract almost 7 cents value per point!

Lorde Howe Island beach

It’s worth noting that there is no business class offering on this service, with redemptions limited to economy availability. Right now, we’re seeing scattered dates in June 2023 available, and beyond:

Sydney to Lorde Howe Island reward availability

And while many of us would happily make our way over to Lord Howe on a one-way fare, we should also mention that return Classic Reward seats on flights back to either Sydney or Brisbane can be hard to score.

There is, however, usually more availability the further ahead you look – we think the extra planning is definitely worth it for this high-value redemption.

Lorde Howe Island beach

Ocean bliss: Fly from Melbourne to Exmouth (Learmonth) from 18,000 points

For those wanting to explore the road less travelled, Qantas also connects East Coast travellers to the Ningaloo, with direct flights from Melbourne to Exmouth.

The Ningaloo Reef promises some of the dreamiest waters and pristine marine life in the country, so it’s a must for a winter getaway.

Drone shot of Ningaloo reef in Exmouth Western Australia

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can secure a Classic Flight Reward from 18,000 points one way (plus carrier charges).

The best availability appears to be a good few months ahead, but there’s still a good number of seats showing in June and July when whale shark season is still in full swing:

Melbourne to Exmouth reward availability

Qantas Link also connects Western Australian travellers to the Ningaloo, with a one way direct economy flight from Perth fetching 18,000 Qantas Points.

whale shark swimming
Friendly whale sharks are undoubtedly Exmouths biggest attraction

Broome Time: Fly Perth to Broome from 12,000 Qantas Points

Whether it’s poolside resort cocktails, balmy evening markets or sunset camel rides on famous Cable Beach, Broome is a popular mid-year holiday destination for those who want to escape the southern chill.

Roebuck Bay beach in Broome
Witness the red dirt meet turquoise waters at Roebuck Bay in Broome

Locking in an economy Classic Flight Reward from Perth will cost just 12,000 Qantas Points (plus carrier charges).

We’re currently seeing almost full availability for the rest of the year, with reward seats bookable across the entire July school holidays.

Perth to Broome reward availability

Our tip is to try to time your stay with a full moon to experience Broome’s ‘Staircase to the Moon’ in all its glory.

Paradise found: Fly from Sydney to Hamilton Island from 12,000 Qantas Points

It doesn’t get dreamier than the Whitsundays, hence why a Hamilton Island trip is on our radar this winter.

Depending on your points balance, you can even lock in a dream trip with a business-class flight.

Whitsundays yachts

Right now, an economy Classic Reward seat can be snatched up for 12,000 Qantas Points one way (plus carrier charges), while a business class seat will cost 27,600 Qantas Points one way (plus carrier charges).

The below business Classic Reward seat example is for 27 June, however, economy availability is surprisingly good all winter, with rewards showing through most of June, as well as all of July and August:

Sydney to Hamilton Island reward availability
Sydney to Hamilton Island reward availability

Coastal beauty: Fly from Melbourne to Fraser Coast (Hervey Bay) from 12,000 Qantas Points

Arguably one of the jewels in Queensland’s crown, Hervey Bay offers an abundance of wilderness experiences, with the iconic Fraser Island just a hop, skip and jump away.

Fraser Coast 4WD adventure

There is widespread availability on this route throughout winter (including the July school holidays), with an economy Classic Reward from Melbourne to Fraser Coast (via Brisbane) fetching 12,000 Qantas Points (plus carrier charges). 

As an example, currently, there are both economy and business award seats left on 20 July, which falls in the school holidays:

Melbourne to Fraser Coast reward availability

A seat at the pointy end will cost 27,600 Qantas Points (plus carrier charges), which could be a great way to trial business class if you’re new to the points game.

Salty sips: Fly Adelaide to Byron Bay from 12,000 Qantas Points

With pristine surf beaches and some of the country’s best accommodation, shopping and eateries, Byron Bay has its name for a reason.

byron bay lighthouse

This route currently has excellent availability showing for the rest of the year, with a mid-year escape just about guaranteed if you’re wanting to book with points.

You’ll need 12,000 Qantas Points for a one way economy flight (plus carrier charges), while a business seat will require 27,600 points (plus carrier charges) – worth it to holiday in style!

Whether you prefer to burn some extra points or save them for another trip, Byron is the perfect place to unwind in style.

Tropical therapy: Jet from Brisbane to Cairns from 12,000 Qantas Points

Craving some tropical therapy? Qantas Frequent Flyer members can lock in a trip from Brisbane to Cairns with a one-way economy Classic Reward from 12,000 Qantas Points one way (plus carrier charges).

cairns waterfront

Unlike the previous example, there’s usually plenty of availability across the board here, offering more flexibility to travel when you prefer.

There’s usually slightly less availability in the business class cabin, with a one way business Classic Flight Reward fetching 27,600 Qantas points (plus carrier charges).

The screenshot below shows full Classic Reward availability throughout June (next month):

Brisbane to Cairns reward availability

Red Centre rest: Fly Adelaide to Alice Springs from 12,000 Qantas Points

There’s little to match the long-burning desert sunsets and vast landscapes of Australia’s Red Centre.

This is a getaway that will have you forgetting its winter – the perfect use of Qantas Points in our opinion!

Uluru sunset
Uluru one of Australias most significant landmarks is an easy day trip away from Alice Springs

This route tends to show excellent award availability, with most days available to book with points from now to the end of the year.

You’ll need 12,000 Qantas Points one way for an economy redemption, or 27,600 points for a business class seat (plus carrier charges).

Winter is the best time to be in Alice Springs, with warm sunny days perfect for exploring the nearby MacDonnell Ranges and cold nights to spend huddled by a fire.

Step out into sunshine: Fly Canberra to Darwin from 18,000 Qantas Points

Travelling via Adelaide, this domestic route offers an excellent way for Canberra locals to escape the bitter ACT winter.

IMG 7425
Kakadu National Park is a great day trip from Darwin

There’s a little less availability showing here if you’re wanting to escape in the thick of winter, with more seats opening up between August and September.

A one way economy reward costs 18,000 Qantas Points, while a seat in business class requires 41,500 points (plus carrier charges).

There’s almost full availability in September, when Darwin’s dry season is still hanging on. The below screenshot shows both economy and business class seats available on 14 September:

canberra to darwin reward availability

Summing Up: Australia is your oyster

Classic Flight Rewards are a great way to maximise the value of Qantas Points, as flights on the Red Roo’s domestic network don’t attract high carrier charges.

Locking in a domestic Qantas Classic Reward not only gives you the opportunity to explore some iconic regional destinations, but also allows you to save the rest of your points stash for your next dream trip.

As always, you’ll likely need to be flexible with dates in order to find availability, but most domestic flights are a lot easier to book with points than international redemptions.

As such, there are good opportunities to redeem points on most of the routes mentioned – Hamilton Island this winter anyone?

Which dreamy destination will you lock in?

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