Australia vs New Zealand: Which is Better
Which Destination Are You - Australia or New Zealand?
Down under, a sibling-like rivalry runs strong between Australia and New Zealand. These countries share a similar colonial heritage, jockey fiercely with each other on the cricket pitch and rugby field, and conduct battle and banter over who should lay claim to being the meat pie capital of the world.
Colloquially, Singaporeans often mention the two destinations in the same breath when it comes to a South Pacific vacation, but then go on to differentiate them by referring to one as the country where a cousin or an aunt migrated to, and the other as the more ulu one.
So, which country should you really visit? Find out which destination you are with this nifty guide.
If you like... sipping artisanal coffee and shopping at indie boutiques in Tiong Bahru
Bustling independent coffee shops scattered across the cities in Australia
If you're most likely to be enjoying brunch with your best pals in Dempsey or Tiong Bahru on the weekend, chances are that you'd feel right at home with Australia's array of city comforts and its cosmopolitan appeal.
The beating heart of Australia's thriving coffee culture can be found in cities like Melbourne and Sydney, touted as world caffeine capitals, where there is always an independent coffee shop just round the corner that serves up a consistently good milk-based coffee. Cafes such as Seven Seeds in Melbourne and Coffee Alchemy in Sydney are renowned institutions, where you can opt for a classic flat white or an exacting brew extracted from single-origin beans.
Always a consistent cuppa, the flat white is a unique invention by Aussies or Kiwis, depending on who you ask. Slightly stronger than a latte, it's a blend of steamed milk and espresso.
Curious foodies will also be sated by the explosive dining scene here, where one should place on their hit list game-changing eateries such as Billy Kwong in Sydney for its distinctive melding of Cantonese flavours with ultra-fresh, native Australian ingredients, and Lune Croissanterie in Melbourne for its range of perfectly sculpted, twice-baked croissants. Bring an empty stomach and an ample appetite.
If you like... sweating it out at a bouldering gym or hiking in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Kayaking in New Zealand
Attention, adrenaline junkies. If you're always looking to climb out of a sporting rut on our tiny island, it's time you hightail it to the vast landscapes of New Zealand. Nicknamed the adrenaline capital of the world, a variety of thrill-seeking activities awaits the intrepid adventurer in Queenstown, New Zealand, where fortune favours the bold.
Between bungee-jumping, hiking on ice, and many other outdoor activities, you'll be truly spoilt for choice. Nevis Bungy in Queensland, for example, features the highest jump in the southern hemisphere at 134 metres and is not for the faint of heart. Nearby, you can join an exhilarating whitewater rafting adventure along the Kawarau River, where you'll glide past vast rock cliffs and dramatic landscapes that are home to the filming of the Lord of the Ring movies. Make sure you don't pass up the chance to witness the magnificence of Fox Glacier, where you hike along a rocky terrain before reaching a roaring waterfall to catch a glimpse of ice collapsing.
The jagged icy cliffs of Fox Glacier
If you're thinking of going on a guided adventure tour to take the hassle out of your planning, do your research and compare prices in order to scoop the best deal. Read reviews from other travellers on sites like TripAdvisor to figure out if the tour provider best caters to your needs. In the meantime, don't forget that it doesn't cost a penny to hike the national parks or stroll along the Rotorua Lakefront.
If you like... soaking up the sun at Tanjong Beach with a cocktail in hand
Turquoise waters at Bondi Beach in Sydney
Why swim in the grey, murky waters of Sentosa Island when you can enjoy the abundance of surf and sand combos in Australia? While New Zealand has its fair share of scenic beaches too, Australia leads the way with an incomparable 30,000 miles of picturesque coastline and a warmer, more beach-friendly climate.
Sunset and surf on Torquay Beach
Home to Australia's original surfing scene, Torquay Beach in Victoria is the birth place of iconic surf brands such as Rip Curl - which hosts the world's longest-running surf contests at nearby Bell's Beach. It also marks the official start of the Great Ocean Road and is located 95km south west of Melbourne, making it a must-visit on your journey to see the towering 12 Apostles. For an unforgettable vacation, try diving into the impressive swells by taking on surfing lessons.
For a beach that's only a hop and a skip away from the city, it's impossible not to bring up Bondi Beach in Sydney - Australia's most iconic beach. Despite being perpetually overrun by tourists, it's still more than worth it to brave the crowd for the silky sands, the rough-and-tumble waves, and a spectacular coastal walk that winds its way past small, quaint coves. Tip: Remember to apply sunscreen liberally!
If you like... taking a weekend road trip across the Causeway
A dream drive in New Zealand
Skip the long snaking queues along the Causeway and trade traffic congestion for New Zealand's empty, winding roads against its cinematic landscape. The most popular route is to get into Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island, as a gateway to the plethora of incredible destinations that are scattered throughout the rest of the island. Depending on how long your vacation is, you can rent a car and set off in any direction with a New Zealand road trip itinerary that best suits you.
Paradise on Earth at the iconic fjord Milford Sound, New Zealand
At Milford Sound, the poster-boy that steals the limelight from the South Island's other destinations, the pristine beauty here has inspired millions of visitors to make the out-of-the-way journey to this remote corner of the Earth. The highway to Milford Sound from Lake Te Anau, the largest lake in the South Island, is a highly enjoyable drive with many scenic stopovers, and it's best to set aside a full day for it. Elsewhere on the island, the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is home to skyscraping mountain peaks and glacier-carved valleys and provides a comfortable base for all your alpine adventures.
With so much to see and do on the island, be wary of underestimating how much driving is required. First-time road-trippers to New Zealand tend to make the mistake of planning an airtight schedule in a bid to see as many sights as possible. (It might be a case of how, when it comes to keeping the kiasu spirit alive, you can never take the Singaporean out of a Singaporean.) Check out the dos and don'ts of a New Zealand road trip and make sure to schedule in plenty of time to stop and admire the startling sights.
And no matter the destination, make sure you have an enjoyable and stress-free vacation by getting adequate coverage with a good Travel Insurance plan. After all the extensive planning, you wouldn't want unforeseen circumstances such as baggage delays or any excess resulting from accidental loss or damage to your rental vehicle to upset your vacation. With Income's Travel Insurance plans, you'll be able to have peace of mind and fully enjoy your holiday!