I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand - spending about a week in Sydney and a few days in Auckland. I'm looking at flights, and the cheapest option seems to be Qantas all the way (and legs on AA within the US). My original thought was fly to Australia, then hop over to New Zealand, and then fly back home form there. However, Qantas doesn't fly from AKL to the states direct, and neither do their codeshare partners, and I can't seem to get any online travel agencies to book me on Air New Zealand for the return leg, negating an extra stop. So, it seems I'm stuck with something like this: STL-LAX-SYD SYD-AKL AKL-??? (somewhere in AU)-LAX-STL On the way home, it seems silly to fly west, only to change planes and fly back east, but if I have to, I'm going to make the most of it and spend a night in whichever city I'd have to connect in. Looks like my choices are Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne since Qantas flies to LAX from all of those. Well, by that time, SYD will have been crossed off my bucket list leaving BNE and MEL. So, between those two cities, which one is the best to spend one day/night in? Thanks!