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Where is the "dividing line" between the places from which most people would get to Australia by traveling east and where most would travel west?

And are there any places where the actual part of Australia you were going to would make a difference? (i.e. from such a place, if you want western Australia you would travel east but if you want eastern Australia you would travel west)

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From Newfoundland, minimizing the great circle distance does indeed lead to completely different courses:

But I have no idea whether airlines actually do it like that (or if there are direct flights from that region to Australia at all); I doubt it.

Basically, the part of the world where this matter most is the part that's exactly opposite from Australia. And that happens to be smack in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.

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I would say from Europe, Africa, and Asia you always want to go East and from the Americas you want to go west. Where in Australia you want to go doesn't really matter.

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I wouldn't say so. Perth is so far away from the east coast cities that the closest city to it is Jakarta in Indonesia. There are certainly other places from where it is easier to fly to Perth than to Sydney or Melbourne, but I don't know enough off the top of my head to write a whole answer. – hippietrail Nov 29 '11 at 14:50
Anywhere in Australia is closer going East from Europe, the extra distance between Perth and Sydney is still much smaller than going over the Atlantic and Pacific. – Peter Hahndorf Nov 29 '11 at 17:01

Doesn't matter. Well it does, but really it's so far you'll be tired regardless ;)

For example, from LON (London) to SYD (Sydney) there are flights through DXB (Dubai), BKK (Bangkok), SYD (Sydney), HKG (Hong Kong) and more (ie, heading east). However, there are ALSO flights heading west via LAX (Los Angeles), SFO (San Francisco), YVR (Vancouver), SCL (Santiago) and EZE (Buenos Aires) (the last two connecting in AKL (Auckland)).

So it's often dependent on the airline, the price, and what suits you best. As an added benefit, it means you have LOTS of airlines to compete with each other, so lots to search for a cheaper price ;)

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Possibly cheating as an answer, but it looks like from Manila in the Philippines you'd fly west to Perth and east to Sydney / Melbourne / Brisbane / etc!

(Manila is at 14° 35' N, 121º 00 E. Perth is west of it at 31°57'S, 115°52'E. Sydney is well east at 33°53'S, 151°10'E)

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