Blog - Australia or New Zealand - #5
Au general activities aboriginal with rock art culture history
NZ - #11 - solo - 5 weeks - off the grid - A real New Zealand adventure
Maori Panorama
Blog - Australia or New Zealand - #5
Au general activities aboriginal with rock art culture history
NZ - #11 - solo - 5 weeks - off the grid - A real New Zealand adventure
Maori Panorama

Australia or New Zealand: Where should you visit?

Would you like to travel Down Under but aren’t sure which country to visit? Both Australia and New Zealand are rich in nature, renowned for their friendly locals and laid-back outdoor lifestyle. However, there are many differentiations between these two countries.

Palm Cove | Australia holiday
Snorkel in Tropical North Queensland
Green leaves and flowers, blue glacier and snow-capped mountains | New Zealand nature
Climb Mount Cook in New Zealand
© TravelEssence

Take it slow and see more

In a short amount of time, you could choose to visit both countries and blast past all the highlights. However, to truly, experience Down Under, we would recommend visiting one country. And get to know the real and authentic Australia or New Zealand, away from the mainstream.

What is your dream holiday?

Deciding on which country depends entirely on what type of holiday you would like and how long you have. Would you like to hike over ice-glaciers? Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef? Or get ‘off the grid’ in a 4WD. Whatever, it is we will ensure you choose the right destination.

Driving through Outback | Australia holiday
Get "off the grid" and discover Australia's Outback


Australia, the oldest culture in the world

Would you like to connect with and learn about a culture that is over 50,000 years old? Indigenous Australians are waiting to welcome you to their land and share their stories. In each corner of the country, with their own traits and traditions, it is a truly unique experience.

Go on a journey together with a local Indigenous guide

Start your Australian holiday with a traditional "Welcome to Country" ceremony, which is conducted by an Aboriginal elder. Admire ancient rock art in timeless landscapes. Experience a wilderness camp on the grounds of the Nyikina people. Hear more about their spirituality and connection to the land.

Cultural Kakadu tour | Australia holiday
Admire ancient rock paintings with a local Indigenous guide

The dynamic Maori culture

To understand New Zealand, its beliefs, culture and identity - it is important that you learn about the Maori culture. Maori are the tangata whenua (people of the land). They have a strong spiritual connection with the land. They believe that our natural surroundings speak to humans and share knowledge. It is important that humans align with nature, not the other way around.

Discover the Maori culture with a local guide

Get a rare and unique insight into the ancient customs, rituals and traditions of New Zealand’s largest Maori tribe, the Ngapuhi. Watch a traditional Maori war dance, the Haka. Be captivated by the Ngāti Pikiao tribe, who will invite you into their hearts and home. The unique cuisine of the Maori is also sure to tantalise your tastebuds.

Haka performance at Waitangi | New Zealand holiday
Watch a traditional Maori dance, the Haka
© TravelEssence

Natural attractions

The diverse landscapes of Australia

Australia is huge and covers 7.692 million km². A country with a blend of everything. With a variety of different climates, seasons and diverse landscapes, there are endless wonders to discover. With colourful and vibrant coastal cities, over 10,000 beaches, small and quirky country towns, rainforest, islands and vast red deserts. Each corner is filled with beauty and its own diversity.

Clear waters | Australia holiday
Be mesmerised by Australia's natural beauty

The jaw-dropping nature of New Zealand

Everyone who has visited New Zealand says it but it’s true. The scenery is jaw-droppingly beautiful. From beaches to snow-capped mountains, glaciers to geothermal mud pools and volcanoes to fjords, New Zealand has some of the world’s best scenery. And with a population of five million people in a country roughly the size of the UK! It’s a world of wonder in one destination and boasts the best night sky you’ll ever see!

Stunning landscape Wanaka region | New Zealand nature
Wanaka, one of New Zealand's hidden gems
Aus Waterlilies in Kakadu Darwin NT

Experience Australia and New Zealand in a uniquely local way

Would you like to learn more about Australia and New Zealand? Feel free to join one of our informative one-hour presentations, hosted by our travel specialists.

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Discover New Zealand’s fascinating birdlife

New Zealand is best known for its volcanic landscapes, snow-capped mountains, ancient forests and friendly locals. However, it is also renowned for its natural spectacles and extraordinary wildlife encounters. Before humans arrived in New Zealand, the country was ruled by birds. Go on a journey and learn more about New Zealand’s unique birds and other wildlife.

Spot a Kiwi | New Zealand wildlife
Spot the elusive Kiwi bird
© TravelEssence

Have close encounters with Australia’s native wildlife

Australia features one million different native species. Mammals, frogs, reptiles and flowering plants of which 80% are unique to Australia. With 379 different species of mammals including kangaroos, koalas, echidna, wallaby, wombat, platypus and dingo. There is no shortage of weird and wonderful creatures to learn about.

Australia also has approximately 828 species of birds. And approximately 300 species of lizards, 140 species of snakes and two species of crocodiles. Off land, the marine environment of Australia is extremely special. With over 4000 species of fish, 1700 species of coral and 50 marine animals, it is a place like no other.

Kangaroo in front of accommodation | Australia wildlife
Watch as kangaroos skip through your backyard


Culinary experiences: From farm to table

Australia’s culinary scene is thriving and continually evolving. With a focus on growing and producing amazing local produce, Australia is sure to take you on an incredible culinary journey. From backyard barbecues, craft beers, locally-made cheese, gastronomical fine dining, bakeries, dynamic coffee culture and award-winning wine. Australia offers quality ingredients, made with love.

What is Australian cuisine?

You may be asking, what is Australian food? Since the country is a blend of many cultures and backgrounds, this is also represented in the cuisine. A modern mix of many cuisines from throughout the world. Australians are typically renowned for barbecues, tropical fruits, meat pies, lamingtons and seafood. From the typical ‘surf and turf’ and fish and chips - Aussie style.

Dinner with stunning views | Australia holiday
Savour honey soy garlic prawns by the ocean

Let New Zealand take you on a culinary journey

New Zealand burst into the culinary scene with a fusion of local produce, innovation and flair. A multicultural country that blends flavours from all over the world. New Zealand has some of the best oysters in the world - Bluff oysters, and don’t forget to indulge in fresh whitebait fritters.

Barbeque, Kiwi-style

Kiwi’s love to invite friends and family over for a barbecue. Don’t be surprised if you receive an invite too! Experience a traditional Maori Hangi, a process of cooking in a steamed pit with heated stones. Try a local favourite, fish and chips with a side of tomato sauce or a mince and cheese pie.

Traditional Hangi | New Zealand holiday
Preparing a traditional Maori hangi

Wine Regions

The stunning wine regions of Australia

The wine industry is flourishing in Australia with an array of wine regions to visit. The Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley, Yarra Valley and more. Whether you are a wine connoisseur or a wine lover, Australia has a wine scene waiting to be discovered. Typically known for producing Shiraz, Australia has many other grape varieties to sample.

Sample the best flavours of Australia

If you would like to learn more about Australia’s wine regions or creative food scene, we would love to share our knowledge. And if you are a foodie, we can create an itinerary based on experiencing the absolute best of Australia’s food and wine.

Australia is the fifth largest exporter of wine in the world
© TravelEssence
Australia has over 60 wine regions to explore

Visit New Zealand’s world-renowned wine regions

New Zealand may be a young country, however, it has come of age as a producer of internationally acclaimed wines. With an ideal climate for wine growing, there are six major grape growing regions which are all surrounded by alluring landscapes. The top 5 wine regions are Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, Central Otago, Gisborne and Canterbury.

A real culinary experience

New Zealand’s largest wine region is Marlborough. Home to the world-famous Sauvignon blanc, an exquisite wine that boasts a pungent, crisp and zesty flavour. The area is also well known for producing Pinot Noir. During your stay, dine at a winery restaurant and indulge in a leisurely lunch, pairing the wine with local produce.

A man and woman in a restaurant with a server showing them a bottle of wine
Sample New Zealand's most excellent wine
A bike with a basket of wine and food leaning against a brown wall in a winery
Sleep between the vines


Things to do in Australia

With a galore of outdoor opportunities, Australia is a phenomenal destination for a holiday. Like a real Aussie, experience the riveting action-packed activities in the heart of nature. And soak up the scenery along the way!

A great Australian adventure

Camp at rare and remote places. Swim at deserted beaches. Cycle through the countryside. Journey through the ancient past of the Daintree Rainforest. Swim with the biggest fish in the world! Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Learn to surf with locals. Fly over the glistening Whitehaven Beach - voted as one of the top ten beaches in the world.

Conquer Australia

Try damper - a traditional Australian bread. Sail away to secluded beaches, tropical islands and colourful coral reef. Uncover the world’s largest living structure, The Great Barrier Reef. Visit a camel farm. Admire a colony of rare and wild Australian sea lions at Kangaroo Island. Take a cruise for a close encounter with whales. And more.

Fish in water | Australia wildlife
Swim with the biggest fish in the world
© TravelEssence

Get active in New Zealand

Uncover the untamed wilderness of New Zealand. Discover the local spine-tingling activities and “off the grid” experiences. Find the real hidden gems. An outdoor adventure like a true Kiwi. Rip-roaring, electrifying and suspenseful. Are you really an adrenaline junkie? We’ll put you to the test!

Embark on an adventure, Kiwi-style

Go kayaking underground in Waitomo. Marvel at the country’s only active marine volcano. Go horse riding in Peel Forest. Have a picnic at Whangarei Falls. Island-hop around the Hauraki Gulf. Reach the summit of the Pinnacles.

Pure New Zealand

Fly. Canoe through uncivilised waterways. Catch a fish. Glide. Conquer a mountain. Swim with seals. Launch yourself. Go canyoning. Dart across rapid rivers. Kayak through the fjords. Camp in the middle of nature. And more.

Three people in yellow kayaks in crystal clear water near a golden sand beach
Discover Abel Tasman by kayak

A combination of both countries

Would you like to combine both countries in one holiday?

A holiday to both Australia and New Zealand is also possible. And if you have more than 4 weeks, even better! The longer you have, the more time you’ll have to explore each country at a relaxed pace. Depending on your wishes, we can advise on which regions to visit and create your ideal holiday to Australia and New Zealand.

Would you like to know more about the differences between Australia and New Zealand? We would be more than happy to answer all of your questions.

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Ready for the holiday of a lifetime?

Discover a world beyond ordinary

At TravelEssence, we specialise in crafting custom-made holidays that take you off the beaten path and create memories to last a lifetime. We believe in connecting with the heart and soul of a place, introducing you to the locals who call it home. Engage in conversations with fascinating individuals who will share their stories, traditions, and way of life, leaving an indelible mark on your journey.