Australia New Zealand Travel

Going Down Under

This Australia and New Zealand travel information will cover some important tips and facts to keep in mind when travelling to both these countries.

While at first their cultures and customs may seem similar, there are a few big differences between the two - as well as some striking similarities (although the locals may tend not to admit it).

Entering Australia or New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand both have very strict standards about organic materials being brought into the country due to the potential for damage to already fragile ecosystems.

That means you have to be extra careful about bringing food into either country, especially fruits or vegetables. Forgetting you have an apple in your backpack could lead to you being detained by customs.

Landscape and Climate of Australia or New Zealand

Despite the fact that they're physically close the landscape, weather, and climate differences between the two countries are huge. Australia is much bigger than New Zealand and consists largely of desert. In contrast, New Zealand is much more mountainous and temperate. Due to its size, you should allow yourself more time to travel around Australia if you want to do both countries justice.

Dangerous Wildlife in Australia or New Zealand

If there was a contest between Australia and New Zealand for who has the most dangerous animals, Australia would win hands down. They have a vast array of poisonous spiders and snakes venomous enough to kill humans.

New Zealand, on the other hand, has no snakes and only a handful of poisonous spider species. The majority of native wildlife is bird life.

Of course, the implications of this for travellers is that you need to be a lot more careful when camping or trekking through certain parts of Australia than you do in New Zealand. Even kangaroos and dingoes in Australia can potentially be dangerous.

Culture: Aussies vs. Kiwis

There's a playful rivalry between Kiwis and Aussies, which largely revolves around sports - particularly rugby and cricket. At first it may seem like they don't particularly like each other, but it's largely for show.

Underneath there's a close bond between Aussies and Kiwis founded in the ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corp) tradition, which dates back to the First World War when many young New Zealand and Australian men lost their lives side by side in an ill-conceived beach assault (devised by none other that Winston Churchill) at Gallipoli in Turkey.

There is a really good film about Gallipoli titled "Deadline Gallipoli" starring Charles Dance, Sam Worthington, Hugh Dancy, and Joel Jackson.

ANZAC Day is a holiday observed on April 25 every year by both nations.

Native Peoples: Aborigines and Maori

The natives of the two countries are distinctly different in terms of both race and culture, and confusing the two can be seen as highly offensive. The Australian natives are generally referred to as Aborigines or Aboriginals. The natives of New Zealand are the Maori. Race relations tend to be less tense in New Zealand than in Australia. In fact, the Australian Government recently apologized to all Aborigines for the injustices carried out against them since European settlement. That said race relations in New Zealand can sometimes be a bit frosty as well.

See my New Zealand Culture page for access to resources about the culture.

Mitai Village Maori Cultural Experience, War Canoe, Rotorua New Zealand
Mitai Village Maori War Canoe Rotorua New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand Flights

You will find that there are ways of getting discount on flights catering for round trips for Australia New Zealand travel. Always check out the 'round the world' offers as you can do a stop over in one country; you don't necessarily have to go round the world!

If you were travelling from the UK or US for example, and booked a flight to New Zealand with a stop over in Australia. Or even try combinations like; a flight to Christchurch with a stop over in Australia and Auckland so you can cover both NZ islands. This is a great tip as these types of flights are often considered 'round the world' flights when making bookings and can often result in cheap flights for Australia New Zealand travel.

You should also check the prices and offers at different times of day and different days of the week as you can get a considerable discount. Don't just put in the times/days you want to travel, try to look at the prices before and after those dates. Sometimes it even makes a difference which way around the world you go!

For more information that may help plan your Australia and New Zealand holiday see my section on Flights to New Zealand and/or New Zealand Airlines for international travel. Or visit New Zealand Air Travel for more details about domestic flight services for getting around New Zealand quickly.