Travel Thoughts: How Different Are Australia and New Zealand?

When considering where to go for your next travel experience, you are likely to look for somewhere different. Most of us want our traveling to be varied, taking us to a variety of different countries so we can learn about the hundreds of different cultures that are found throughout the world.

As a result of this, many people who have visited one of New Zealand or Australia don’t particularly feel the need to visit the other. The countries are inextricably linked in our minds. Both are British colonies; the accents are indistinguishable from one another to the untrained ear; their flags are virtually identical; and both offer a mix of large cosmopolitan cities and rural ruggedness. Given all of these facts, it’s easy to see why those who have visited one might not feel a pressing need to try the other.

If you are of this mind, then it’s worth reading on to see just how different these countries are– and why they are both, individually, worth a trip.

Consider the type of holiday that you want – New Zealand and Australia may sound like they offer the same kind of holidays, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.  As a general rule, you can split the two countries as follows:

  • New Zealand is best for extreme sports and adventurers
  • Australia is best for those who like urban environments, cityscapes, and beaches

The above is a general guide, of course. It’s as easy to find exciting, interesting things to do in Auckland as it is to find the same stimulating things to do in Sydney, while trekking to Uluru is just as much of a physical challenge as visiting the New Zealand glaciers. However, the general rule can usually be applied.


Consider the climate – Although New Zealand and Australia aren’t that far from one another, they have very different climates. Due to its size, Australia has pretty much every kind of climate there is; you will find extreme heat in the ACT as well as cooler weather further to the north of the country. However, Australia is generally warmer and drier than New Zealand, especially in tourist hotspots like Sydney and Melbourne.

In contrast, New Zealand is primarily considered to be a maritime climate nation, closer in terms of weather to the UK than Australia. Nowhere in New Zealand is more than 80 miles from the sea, so expect stronger winds, more rainfall, and cooler temperatures than you may expect in Australia.

The variety available – New Zealand is far smaller than Australia, so there is less variation in terms of culture and climate than there is with Australia. Australia has very different regions that offer very contrasting experiences, so if you want plenty of variety in one holiday, it may be the better choice.

In conclusion – While Australia and New Zealand may have a number of factors in common, they still offer very unique experiences to any traveler. So, even if you have visited one of the two, it’s still worth visiting the other– you won’t be disappointed that you did.

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