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Australia vs New Zealand Holiday

Monday, 1st October 2018

Pam Forrest

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From striking landscapes to wildlife encounters, active adventures to leisurely wine trails, both Australia and New Zealand offer a wealth of experiences and mouth-watering scenery for visitors to immerse themselves in. Forever engaged in a friendly rivalry from sport to pavlova, we decided to see how these two Antipodean nations compare as travel destinations.

Iconic Natural Wonders

From the epic peaks of Milford to the sweeping glaciers of the West Coast, the verdant forests of the Coromandel to the rolling sand dunes of Northland – New Zealand’s landscapes combine soft features with rugged beauty in a land the size of the UK, making it all very accessible.

By contrast, Australia is big and bold with expansive red deserts, ancient geological features, endless beaches, and some of the world’s finest coral reef offshore. This is a country of epic proportions that has to be seen to be believed.


Centuries-old rock art and dreamtime imagery tell the story of one of the world’s oldest cultures – the aborigines of Australia – a people who survived some of the harshest environments on the planet.

Equally fascinating, Maori of New Zealand were warrior tribes whose influence can be found throughout eastern Polynesia and form an integral part of modern New Zealand.


Australia’s wildlife collection is quite simply fascinating, offering both charm in the form its iconic marsupials and thrills from powerful reptiles, snakes and spiders. Off-shore encounters are equally unforgettable, with cetaceans, sharks and a myriad of tropical fish enchanting visitors.

Less than a 1,000 miles to the east, New Zealand’s fauna is considerably more sedate, but no less engaging – from the nocturnal kiwi that symbolises the nation to the comical native parrots, the smallest dolphin on the planet to the largest toothed whale.

Classic Experiences

There is no shortage of ‘must-do’ experiences within either of these Antipodean destinations from bridge walks in Sydney or Auckland to hot air ballooning at sunrise over the Yarra Valley or the Canterbury Plains.

However, if you’re looking for a glacier hike, New Zealand is the hands down winner, whilst for anyone wanting to take a camel trek along the beach, choose Australia.


Australia blazed the way in developing our taste for new world wines, and New Zealand followed. From the dry heat of the Barossa Valley to the Mediterranean climate of Margaret River and the Hunter Valley, the mild, sunny conditions of Marlborough to the dry, temperate climate of Hawke’s Bay, both nations produce some of the finest wines in the world.

Active Adventure

New Zealand may boast the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ in Queenstown, but Cairns in Australia’s Queensland runs close behind. Both countries offer a huge range of activities from snorkelling to skiing and just about everything in between. Climate and opportunity may vary, but active adventure is an inherent part of life for both nations. If it can be done, it will be done.

Feeling inspired?

Individually, Australia and New Zealand are spectacular places to visit, but if you have the time, combining these two amazing countries together makes for a once in a lifetime holiday.

For help and advice on planning your perfect Antipodean escape to either Australia or New Zealand or combining both, send an enquiry or speak to one of our accredited Aussie and Kiwi Specialists today. To find out more about each country see our destination guides.

Australia Holidays  |  New Zealand Holidays