Djokovic made the Spanish fourth seed look like a junior hitting partner as he won 6-2 6-2 6-1 in just 89 minutes on Thursday night.
Ferrer, who has now played in five major semi-finals but never a final, is renowned as a running machine who always keeps fighting.
Those attributes were never going to be enough as the bigger, stronger Djokovic ran the Spaniard around the court then finished points with style and power to keep his unbeaten grand slam record against Ferrer intact.
Djokovic won more than twice as many points as Ferrer, at one stage during the second set stringing together 12 in a row to underline the one-way nature of the contest.
He rode a confidence wave through the third set, making spectacular winners look regulation, as he gave up just 11 points for the set.
The Serb, who extended his Melbourne Park winning streak to 20, will now await the victor of what is expected to be a much closer and more gruelling semi-final on Friday night between 17-time grand slam winner Roger Federer and US Open champion Andy Murray.
Djokovic's previous three Australian Open finals have all resulted in wins - in 2008 and the past two years - setting him up with a chance on Sunday night to become the first man in the open era to claim three in a row.
If it's Federer he's playing, both finalists will be seeking a slice of history, as the Swiss great will be chasing his fifth Australian Open crown, which would be an open era record.
If Murray wins through, it will set up a rematch of the most recent grand slam final, when the Scot won his maiden major title at last year's US Open, beating Djokovic in a near-five-hour five-setter.