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Is Australia or New Zealand Better for Vacation – The Comparison

Is Australia or New Zealand Better for Vacation – The Comparison

Australia is the land of Kangaroos and Koalas and New Zealand is the land of Kiwis, right? That’s only the beginning, though.

Both countries have a variety of attractions making them both appealing as vacation destinations.


Australia or New Zealand which is better for vacation

Choosing between Australia and New Zealand for a vacation is a personal choice, but being informed about them may make it easier. Both countries have beautiful scenery and interesting wildlife, but the cost of living is lower in New Zealand. Choosing which country to visit comes down to personal preferences in the end.



Australia has a population of about 25 million, while New Zealand’s is just over 5 million.

Don’t kid yourself that this means New Zealand has much more open space than Australia, because you need to see this in relation to the size of the two countries:

Australia is 27 times the size of New Zealand, but only has 5 times the population, which means that Australia has plenty of open space to get yourself lost in.

The thing is that most of Australia is not easily habitable, so the population is mostly clustered along the South and East coast.

If you’re looking for wide-open spaces away from everyone and that are amenable to visitors, perhaps New Zealand will offer you more variety.

However, if you are a city-slicker and look for a variety of cities to visit, that offer people, lights, and variety, then Australia may just be calling.



Because New Zealand is further south than Australia, it has a generally cooler climate. In summer, the temperatures can reach a high of about 70°F (21°C) and the average low in winter is about 53°F (12°C).

The summer temperatures in Australia can reach up to 95°F (35°C), while the lowest temperatures can go down to about 42°F (9°C).

This means you can literally go from the ski slopes in Southern Australia during winter, to the hottest beaches (literally and figuratively) in summer.



In both New Zealand and Australia, there is an abundance of interesting and different wildlife. Because of the vast desert areas, you are most likely to encounter wildlife in the more fertile parts of the country.

There are still great opportunities to catch sight of Koalas, Potoroos, Wombats, Ding, Wallaby, Platypus, Echidna, and Cassowary, as well as the ubiquitous Kangaroo.

In New Zealand, the wildlife is scattered through the country and there are excellent opportunities to spot bats, sloat.

Tuatara, Maui dolphin, Sea lions, Takahe, Hedgehog, Yellow-eyed penguin, and the easily recognizable Kiwi.

The wildlife parks in the major cities in Australia mean that you can get up close and personal with the wildlife.


Cost of living

The exchange rates in comparison to the Australian dollar are less favorable than the New Zealand dollar.

Australian dollar:

  • 1usd to 1,38 AUD
  • 1gbp to 1.86 AUD

New Zealand dollar:

  • 1usd to 1,45 nzd
  • 1gbp to 1,95 nzd

So, you are likely to get more bang for your buck in New Zealand, where the average prices you may spend as a tourist is generally lower than in Australia.


Example Item Australia New Zealand
1 l milk 45% more
Movie ticket 14% more
Internet 25% more
Eggs 5% more
Bread 22% more
Water 14% more
Restaurant prices 9% more
Consumer price index 5% more
Taxi 6% more
Mobile calls 45% more
Petrol 35% more


Cultural life

Part of the experience of visiting a country is to immerse oneself in the culture, or at least to dip your toes in the water.

There is a strong culture of performance in New Zealand, particularly in Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin, where small theatre companies perform regularly.

The best theatres in New Zealand are the Crystal Palace Theatre (Auckland), De Luxe Theatre (Opotiki), and Embassy Theatre (Wellington).

What is notable is the way the Maori culture is integral to society, even in daily life, seen in the customs, food, and language.

Visiting New Zealand will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the sense of the multicultural society.

In Australia, theatre is alive and well. There are well-known theatres in the major cities, including the Palais (Melbourne), which is the largest seated theatre in the country, and the Royal Theatre (Hobart).

Then, of course, no visit to Australia can be complete without visiting the iconic Sydney Opera House.

The identity in Australia is primarily Western but is influenced by the culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.



The scenery in both Australia and New Zealand is striking.

The image that comes to mind when you think of New Zealand, is green open spaces, mountains, and soaring heights.

In reality, there is a diversity of natural environments. The snow-capped mountains dip to glacier valleys, where lakes and rain forests nestle, and the high country slopes to the beaches. Then, of course, there are the volcanoes.

One-third of New Zealand is designated as a conservation area, which guarantees the beauty of the countryside at just about every turn. Particularly beautiful spots include Milford Sound, Abel Tasman National Park.

The open spaces mean there is a lack of light pollution, so New Zealand offers wonderful stargazing.

One of the images that come to mind when you think of Australia may be that of the red desert, with bouncing kangaroos.

In fact, nearly 20% of Australia is classified as desert, which has a particular kind of beauty. You can’t miss visiting the desert to see Uluru, where the great red rock rises out of the dist.

Along the Southern and East coasts of Australia, the land is greener and richer.

It is here you will find the famous surfing beaches, like Bonza Bay and Coogee, and the long white stretches of white sand of the Queensland Coast.


Frequently Asked Questions About Australia and New Zealand


Which country is cheaper to visit, Australia or New Zealand?

The cost of living in New Zealand is lower, so it may be cheaper to visit than Australia. The actual cost of your holiday will depend on what you choose to do, where you stay and how much you eat out.


Is Australia a better surfing destination than New Zealand?

Not only does Australia have a hotter climate and warmer seas, but it also has beaches that are famous for their surfing conditions.


Whether it’s Kangaroos and Koalas, or Kiwis and volcanoes, both Australia and New Zealand offer themselves as attractive vacation spots. Choosing which one is better is about choosing what you look for in a vacation destination.