There is something wonderful about the allure of Australia and New Zealand that draws millions of visitors each year to these islands. They possess everything, from a formidable range of natural terrain that includes deserts and fjords to bustling metropolitan cities, which are among the most-visited in the world. The South Pacific neighbors possess some of the most beautiful natural destinations in the world, and it is now easier than ever to travel between the two.
It is recommended to spend more time exploring one country, but if you are short on time, there are ways you can plan your itinerary split between the two countries. Here are the top destinations to visit in Australia and New Zealand.
• 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Located off the 240-kilometer stretch of the Great Ocean Road is 12 Apostles – a collection of not twelve, but many more limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park. Rising abruptly and tempestuously from the sea, the tower the landscape with sheer dominion, as the waves crash against the stacks. They are best viewed during sunrise and sunset, and the location is easily accessible from Melbourne, taking approximately 4-5 hours to reach.
• Milford Sound, New Zealand
Located on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the fjords of Milford Sound deep within the Fiordland National Park offer some of the most visually stunning natural sceneries not only in the country but the whole planet.
Dramatic mountain peaks, formidable cliff formations, ink-dark waters and verdant rainforests adorn this landscape that was once referred to by the famous Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. Locally referred to as Piopiotahi, Milford Sound’s otherworldly landscapes are an absolute treat to relish.
• Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Located on New Zealand’s North Island about two hours from the capital city of Auckland, Waitomo is home to a simply formidable show of nature.
The cave system – comprised of Tumutumu Cave, Ruarkuri Cave and Lucky Strike – here is home to an exclusively endemic species of glowworm that light up the caves in a postcard picture manner. It is nothing short of magic to experience the bioluminescent organisms shine in all their might above your head as you head deep into the radiant blue-green abyss on your personalized boat tour.
• Uluru, Australia
One of Australia’s most formidable and recognizable natural wonders, Ayers Rock the world’s largest monolith – a spectacle to behold at.
The iconic and massive sandstone rock formation provides some of the most fantastic vistas you will experience in your life as the 883-meter-high natural occurrence packs the landscape with mighty authority. Sacred to the aborigines and traditionally known as Uluru, it is also a World Heritage Site that has been open to the public for less than 100 hundred years.
• Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
Australia’s northeast coast possesses arguably one of the greatest marine attractions on the planet. As one of the seven wonders of the natural world, this rich marine ecosystem is the world’s largest coral reef, composed of over 3,000 individual reefs and coral cay systems.
There are also about a thousand picturesque islands that dot the area, out of which one can visit a handful since most of them are uninhabited. It is an exceptional spot to snorkel, scuba dive, surf, or enjoy other marine adventure activities. One can also take a multi-day cruise to digest the spectacular seascapes that adorn the area.
• Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
The Franz Josef ice formation along with its glacial counterpart, the Fox glacier, are two of the most accessible glaciers in the world – making it the third-most visited tourist spot in New Zealand. It offers some of the country’s most stunning landscapes full of snowcapped mountains, dramatic cliff views, crystal clear lakes and diverse flora and fauna to encounter. One can comfortably stay during the visit at the town of the same name – Franz Josef – some 30 odd kilometers away from the spot.
Combining Australia and New Zealand in one itinerary lets you experience contrasting landscapes and cultures within the space of a few weeks. Spending just a few days exploring both countries is certainly not recommended, but if that’s the case then exploring the lively cities is certainly a great option.
While New Zealand offers relatively quaint cities in comparison, Australia goes one step ahead with its world-renowned leisure and entertainment destinations such as Gold Coast, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.
They are formidable stopping places to explore everything from art, culture, music, sports, and even gambling, if that floats your boat. If not, one can always access the best online casinos that include information from everything including licensing, sportsbooks reviews and a wide variety of games to choose from.
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What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to the heart of the South Pacific!