Nathan, who is from New Zealand, can’t count how many times people have asked him if New Zealand and Australia are the same country, if there is a bridge between the two (yes, people have asked if you can drive between the two countries), and even if they’re joined together. The list goes on, but one thing is clear – many people don’t realize just how different Australia and New Zealand are from each other. The only thing they have in common is that they’re far away from the rest of the world, and that the people are very easy-going, laid back and friendly. So when you’ve gone all the way down for holidays in Australia, you should definitely consider visiting New Zealand as well.
Things To Do In Australia vs New Zealand
Australia is world famous for its beaches, surfing, outback and cosmopolitan cities like Sydney – there are so many things to see and do here that you will find it incredibly hard to get bored.
Here are some things that Australia offers…
Great Barrier Reef & Beach Life
A large part of Australia has a tropical climate and some of the most beautiful beaches and clear waters in the world. The lifestyle on by the coast is all about beach-life, and the warm clear waters are perfect for surfing & diving. You also have the Great Barrier Reef, a huge coral reef unlike any other in the world, where you can dive and snorkel among exotic fish, corals, sharks and more. You won’t find anything like this in the cold waters of New Zealand.
Making a generalization, Australia is a desert country, while New Zealand is a garden – completely different, but equally fascinating. Australia’s outback is an adventure like no other, with termite mounds tall as houses, cooling gorges, canyons, national parks, and of course the impressive Ayers Rock and Alice Springs. The sunsets you’ll experience in the red deserts of Australia are breathtaking, and looking out over a huge wide open space of “nothing ness” with a horizon stretching way out in the distance, is a big contrast from the usual “ocean sunsets”.
Play With Dangerous Animals
When it comes to wild life, Australia and New Zealand are as different as they can be – Australia has more dangerous animals than you could count, while New Zealand doesn’t have any dangerous animals at all. In Australia you can dive with sharks, go on crocodile safaris and visit numerous places showcasing the creepy spiders and snakes you can find in the bush. On the flip side, it also has cute koala bears and other cuddly animals.
Despite its small size, on holidays to New Zealand you will find stunning diverse nature with everything from active volcanoes to steep fiords. It is completely opposite from Australia when it comes to wildlife as well, where many birds naturally evolved into wingless birds because of the absence of predators.
Here are some things that New Zealand offers….Hot Springs, Volcanoes & Geysers
Bathe in the healing waters of natural hot springs, watch geysers exploding several meters in the air in Rotorua, or dig your own hot water jacuzzi in the sand at Hot Water Beach in Coromandel. There are many ways to enjoy the hot springs in New Zealand, but whatever you choose you’re up for a fun, unique experience. While Australia has some hot springs, they’re not famous for them, perhaps because it’s too hot there to enjoy them anyway! The country also has many dormant and active volcanoes and a volcanic island (White Island), with a beautiful green crater lake. Ngaruhoe is the volcano featured as Mt. Doom in the Lord Of The Ring Movies.
Glaciers And The Southern Alps
While Australia does have some skiing, it simply can’t compare to the Southern Alps in New Zealand. Many people are surprised that skiing is even possible in these countries, but the truth is that New Zealand has some amazing glaciers and over a dozen ski fields for you to enjoy. With much colder water temperatures, New Zealand is not always the best place for water activities, but there are two that truly stand out in all their glory; the incredible fiords in the South Island, and the opportunity to go whale watching.
There are many other differences between these two countries, but these are the first that come to mind – what differences do you think of when comparing Australia and New Zealand?
(photo credits: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 )