They’re often referred to in one breath, but Australia and New Zealand could hardly be more different. Australia is 2,500 miles across, with the great monolith Uluru rising like a ghost ship over the continent’s flat Red Centre. New Zealand is 990 miles long and 280 miles wide, comprised of head-to-toe islands backboned by volcanic peaks and the snowy Southern Alps.
Australia has koalas, wombats, the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania, ancient rock art, and the vast Kimberley wilderness. New Zealand has kiwis, glowworms, glaciers, and the stunning fjords of Milford Sound. Polynesian ancestors of the Maori landed in New Zealand about 800 years ago. Aboriginal people arrived in Australia more than 40,000 years ago, descendants of the earliest migrants out of Africa and possibly the oldest surviving culture on the planet.
Now. The greatest commonality between the nation-continent of Australia and island-nation of New Zealand? They are unlike any other place on earth and you have to explore them, off the beaten path.