AUSTRALIA FOR LESS MILES!!!!!!!
Delta is the only airline that allows free oneways on awards wholly within the continental US and Canada. That means you can get three one way flight awards for only 25k miles if you can find low-miles-price award space on all segments.
On the way back, you can usually find economy award space on Delta’s European partners like Air France or KLM. Delta doesn’t collect surcharges on those two or Alitalia.
An open jaw trip with business class in a flat bed on Alitalia to Rome and a return in economy on KLM from Amsterdam is only 92.5k SkyMiles + $59.
If you don’t want to go to one of Australia’s three largest cities, Virgin Australia offers convenient connections throughout Australia and New Zealand. I recently booked someone to Port Macquarie, Australia (PQQ) with her Delta miles on Virgin Australia.
I can’t stress enough how excellent Virgin Australia award space–which is searchable and bookable on delta.com–is, even at peak times. Last October, there was still space to Australia in business class over Christmas at the height of the peak Australia summer season! Delta also does not collect fuel surcharges on Virgin Australia segments.
Business class to Australia with Delta miles is overpriced in miles. US Airways charges only 110k miles roundtrip and lets you route through Asia. American only charges 125k miles on partner Qantas, and United charges 140k on its own flights. But since SkyMiles are less valuable than those three types of miles, Virgin Australia business class remains the coolest thing to do with 160k Delta miles.