15 May Visiting Australia vs New Zealand
If you’re looking at Australia v New Zealand and wondering which country is better, the answer is they are both beautiful in their own way.
Australia and New Zealand may be neighbours, but they also have lots of differences. Australia is a huge land mass, and unless you plan on spending several months backpacking this enormous country, chances are you’ll have to choose a particular state or region to explore. New Zealand is made up of islands and is much smaller, therefore it’s easier to see more of the country on your holidays to New Zealand. There are also other factors you can take into consideration:
Since both Australia and New Zealand are in the Southern Hemisphere, their winters and summers are at exact opposite times of year to those in the Northern Hemisphere.
Because Australia is such a vast country, the climate varies depending on where you are going. The outback and the centre of Australia is very dry, arid and hot. The Northern part of Australia has a year-round tropical climate, with warm, dry winters and hot, wet summers. The South of Australia usually has cool winters with snow in the mountains and hot, dry summers.
Whilst Australia as a continental climate, New Zealand has a maritime climate affected by the weather conditions at sea. Temperatures are usually mild, rainfall is moderate and there is an abundance of sunshine. In summer temperatures hover around the mid-twenties, sometimes reaching 30 degrees Celsius. In winter, the North Island is generally warmer with temperatures around 10-15 Celsius, whilst temperatures in the South Island are between 5 and 10 Celsius.
Much of Australia is outback with red, dusty desert. Whilst the interior of the country is generally barren and very inhospitable, it is also very fascinating, boasting famous sights such as Uluru, Kings Canyon and Kata Tjuta. You can visit outback towns such as Alice Springs or the opal mining town of Coober Pedy, where everyone lives underground. The country has some mountain areas too, including the Blue Mountains in the south-eastern part of Australia. Most of the population lives by the coast, where there are beautiful sandy beaches and cosmopolitan cities.
New Zealand is spread across two islands- North Island and South Island. Whilst Australia is known for the outback, New Zealand is known for its natural beauty with rolling hills, magestic fjords, stunning glaciers, snow-capped mountains and sandy beaches. There are active volcanoes and there is also lots of geothermal activity here, which is evident when you visit the hot springs in Rotorua.
Australian holidays might involve snorkelling or diving the Great Barrier Reef, taking in the beach culture and exploring the outback. It’s all about the water-based activities in Australia- surfing, shark cage diving, swimming with sea lions and diving with crocs.
Queenstown in New Zealand is known as the Adrenaline Capital of the World and there are plenty of activities to get your heart racing, such as zorbing, bungy jumping, jet boating, white water rafting and sky diving. Australia has lots of these adrenaline activities too, but it’s what New Zealand is known for. New Zealand is also great if you like your winter sports.
When it comes to wildlife, the two countries are very different. Australia has lots of critters and deadly creatures such as poisonous snakes and crocodiles, whilst New Zealand doesn’t have any. Before humans arrived in New Zealand and introduced mammals, the country was a land of birds. Due to the absence of predators, many of the birds evolved flightlessness, and the most famous of these is the kiwi. Australia’s native wildlife mainly consists of marsupials such as kangaroos, koalas and wombats.