Interested In Booking A Cheap Business Or First Class Ticket To Australia & New Zealand?
If you are seeking the perfect vacation filled with adventure, chic cities, great beaches, cultural surprises, and stellar food, then look no further than Australia and New Zealand. These countries have unique and diverse terrains, coastlines, and urban settings that will have you jetting from place to place to experience it all before you travel home. International travelers flock to both of these countries for stunning natural parks, epic beaches, and striking mountains. In Australia, you can tour the famous outback, dive the Great Barrier Reef, or surf the waves in Cairns. New Zealand is even farther “down under” where you can tour the fjords, whale watch at the Bay of Islands, or ski for your entire holiday in Queenstown. There are endless attractions and world class restaurants that will delight you as you revel in each destination. So, pack your sense of wonder, and book your flight because there is no bad time to visit these extraordinary countries.
Travel Guide for Australia & New Zealand
Australia is known for its major cities where, as soon as your flight lands, your travel adventure begins. Sydney, New South Wales has museums to tour, culture, a lovely harbour, sophisticated restaurants, major events, and amazing shopping. Melbourne, Victoria is a bit more bohemian and laid-back with great bars and live music. Cairns, Queensland has picturesque beaches, world-class surfing, and lots of activities on the water. Not to be outdone, a trip to New Zealand will have you planning your return as soon as you arrive. Auckland is the business hub of the country with harbor views, memory making day trips, and excellent restaurants, not to mention impressive urban beaches. Queenstown is charming and gorgeous, and an epicenter for outdoor experiences and tours of all kinds.
Facts About Australia & New Zealand
- Population of New Zealand: 4.5 million | Population of Australia: 23 million
- New Zealand is best known for Lord of the Rings, national parks, great beaches, beautiful mountains, Maori culture, lovely islands, wine, and lamb.
- Australia is best known for The Outback, scuba diving, Sydney Opera House, glamping, beaches, surfing, fashion, great food, world class restaurants, wine exports, and barbeque.
- New Zealand Power: 230V / 50Hz | Australian Power: 220 -240v/ 50Hz
- New Zealand Currency: NZ Dollar ($NZD) | Australian Currency: Australian Dollar (AU$)
- Travel tip: When dining out in these countries, gratuity is often included, but in high-end restaurants an extra tip is encouraged. Often, you will need to pay your bill at the bar or host stand as you will not be typically presented with a bill at the table.
Languages in Australia & New Zealand
English is the primary language spoken in both Australia and New Zealand. However, it is a good idea to have a little handle on the slang before your flight lands and you visit the attractions. In New Zealand, “sweet as” and “choice” mean something is pretty cool. If someone says, “Yeah, nah, mate,” that means, “Sorry, my friend.” “Ta” or “cheers” is a simple thank you. In Australia, of course “barbie” means barbeque. “Good arvo” is a greeting meaning good afternoon. Also, don’t be offended if adjectives to describe something include the word “bloody” because it means “very.” Interested in learning more? Book air travel to Sydney, Melbourne, Queenstown, and Auckland, to immerse yourself in the local culture.
Top Attractions in Australia & New Zealand
Given the size and endless entertainment and adventure options in New Zealand and Australia, it is tough to narrow down an itinerary that can be accomplished in just one trip. However, there are a few iconic experiences that should not be ignored by travel enthusiasts. Typically, most visitors begin their holiday in Melbourne or Sydney, and then make their way to more remote destinations before boarding a flight to New Zealand. Once you have landed in Auckland, which is the “City of Sails,” you will want to stay in a hotel in the CBD near the harbor to be in the midst of all the action. After you have had your fill of cute neighborhoods, designer boutiques, and beaches just minutes from the city, plan some day trips or rent a car and head North or South. Majestic cliffs, geothermal attractions, beautiful mountains, Maori culture, friendly locals, and lots of international travelers will make this leg of your holiday remarkable.
- Waiheke Island – Travel on the 30-minute ferry ride from Auckland’s CBD to gorgeous Waiheke Island. On this little slice of paradise, you can tour wine fields, dine at delicious local restaurants, or lie on the beach and watch the sailboats cruise the pristine waters.
- Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa – Tour these galleries in Wellington where you can learn more about Maori culture and the history of this fascinating country.
- Fjordland National Park – Plan a day trip from Queenstown to tour the Fjordland National Park, which is one of the most wondrous attractions on the island.
- Hobbiton – Lovers of the Lord of the Rings won’t want to miss a visit to Hobbiton on the South Island, which is the movie set where the trilogy was filmed.
- Sydney Opera House – When you picture Sydney, of course you think of its iconic Opera House. Daily tours with knowledgeable guides will help you learn all about this national treasure.
- Hunter Region – Visit the Hunter Region of Australia where you can taste fine wines at the many vineyards, or take a hot air balloon ride for a bird’s eye view of the stunning scenery.
- Great Barrier Reef – Divers from all over the world visit Australia for the Great Barrier Reef, which is an amazingly pristine underwater ecosystem like nowhere else in the world.
Best Times to Visit Australia & New Zealand
Seasons in New Zealand and Australia are the opposite of the Northern hemisphere, so anticipate summer December – February, autumn March – May, winter June – August, and spring September – November. The best flight deals and cheap tour packages pop up during the off-peak winter season. Weather can vary vastly according to your destination, so do a little research before you pack for your visit to Australia and New Zealand.
Weather in Australia & New Zealand
- Weather in both of these countries varies greatly depending on the time of year and areas that you plan to visit.
- It is best to look at your itinerary with all the activities and attractions of interest, then research the anticipated temperatures, and create a packing strategy.
- Summers are warm in almost every part of New Zealand and Australia, so they make great winter getaways from the United States.
Australia & New Zealand Tour Options
- Take one of the many food and wine tours that teach you about a specific area of New Zealand or the entire country of New Zealand.
- Book a spot on a sailboat charter that will take you on a cruise to see remote islands and amazing sea and wildlife.
- Once you arrive at the South Island of New Zealand, arrange for a tour guide to show you the attractions, especially if you are short on time. Often, these excursions include meals and transportation.
- Check out one of the many New Zealand bicycle tour operators that will help you pedal your way through the island, seeing the attractions up close from the road.
- Take a river cruise day trip from Sydney to view Australia’s beautiful Blue Mountains and other natural wonders.
- Experience the Yarra Valley via a wine and food tour departing from Melbourne, Victoria, which includes a lovely lunch and return travel to the city.
- Book an outback expedition that often comes with luxury vehicles and a glamping-type accommodation, so you can travel in swanky outdoor comfort.
Transportation in Australia & New Zealand
- If you are in a major city like Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, or Queenstown, forgo the rental car while you are in these urban areas. Instead, visit a rental company in the CBD when you are ready to depart the city to save money on parking and valet.
- Public transport in major cities is usually reliable and affordable. If you are visiting rural areas, then sign up for a tour or rent a vehicle to travel around.
- A big trend in New Zealand and Australia right now is renting luxury RV’s. This is a cheap alternative to a hotel.
Australia & New Zealand Travel Safety Tips
- The sun in New Zealand is harsh because of the lack of ozone layer over the country. For this reason, always apply sunscreen, and wear both sunglasses and a hat, especially for outdoor activities in nature, an island cruise, or a beach visit.
- In both New Zealand and Australia, you will be driving on the opposite side of the road as the United States, so travel with care.
- Purchase travel insurance because medical care is expensive, in case of an emergency.
- Always notify someone (even hotel staff) if you are planning a rural, rugged, or difficult hike or dive, and when you plan to return.
- There are poisonous spiders in Australia, so if you are bitten and concerned, seek medical attention immediately.
Australia & New Zealand Airport Tips
- The most popular airports in New Zealand are Auckland (AKL), Wellington (WLG), and Queenstown (ZQN).
- The most popular airports in Australia are Sydney (SYD), Cairns (CNS), Melbourne (MEL), Brisbane (BNE), and Perth (PER).
- If you take a flight from the United States, the flights are rather long, so get as much rest as you can, and take advantage of shower services during your layover.
- Both countries crackdown on any organic matter or food being brought into the country, so throw away any fruit or vegetables, and declare everything else before customs.
- If you are arriving in a major city, take advantage of shared shuttles, which will save you money versus taxi fares.
Best Restaurants in Australia & New Zealand
Australia and New Zealand both boast amazing places to eat, no matter how much you want to spend. Be sure to indulge in the local ingredients that shine on the plate, such as seafood, beef, and lamb. Both countries are known for their regional wines, such as pinot grigio in New Zealand and syrah in Australia, so order up a bottle or two. Pack your appetite and your foodie sensibilities, and prepare to eat your way through an awesome holiday.
Fine Dining in Australia
- Ebisu, Auckland – The Japanese culinary wonder of a restaurant makes sushi dance on the plate and the palate. The ambiance is chic, and the staff eager to please. By the time your dining experience is complete, you will be ruined for sushi anywhere else.
- Baduzzi, Auckland – This restaurant is tucked away in a little spot on the North Wharf, and it couldn’t be any cuter. Here the meatball is the hero of the day, and it is why the restaurant initially gained rave reviews. This lovely little Italian powerhouse has multi-course offerings, a great wine list, and desserts that dazzle.
- Logan Brown Restaurant and Bar, Wellington – This eatery has gotten Wellington’s restaurant scene buzzing by serving game, seafood, and beef with skill and flair. Make sure to try the New Zealand cheese selections, which will give world travelers a taste of one of the things this little country does best.
- Etc, Sydney – If you book a table here, make sure you plan your day around your reservation as you will want to linger and savor your meal. There are two, three, and four course meals made up of contemporary continental cuisine where fresh fish, vegetables, and beef are the stars. Chef Peter Doyle not only soars in what he accomplishes with flavors; the presentation is just as exquisite.
- Sepia, Sydney – This restaurant is consistently rated as one of the best in the world, so the price per plate is well worth the splurge. The menu is constantly changing and evolving according to the chef’s whims, innovations, and his current favorite ingredients. The menu is laid out via multi-course options that are charged per person. There is a lounge if you are unable to secure a coveted table in the restaurant.
- Cutler & Co., Melbourne– It is self-described as modern fine dining, and the critics unanimously agree that they are serving up exceptional food. It is located in an old metal works factory with an open floor plan that really works as it is softened by lovely colors and touches of nature. Instead of offering a laundry list of a la carte options, they focus on nailing four or so beautiful selections for each course, featuring fish, beef, chicken, and vegetables.
- Walnut Restaurant and Lounge Bar, Brisbane – This place is a little more old school in its décor with heavy wood, crystal chandeliers, and glass-top tables. The service is fantastic, and the wine list a nod to Australia’s best. The menu has traditional and well-done selections, such as lamb, steaks, and scallops, as well as the customary sides and starters.
- Vanitas, Gold Coast – Bookings are essential at this gorgeous windowed restaurant where the jet setters of the Gold Coast line up to dine. The plates are elegant, and they are served in three, six, and nine courses. Given the complexity and precision of the dishes, the prices are quite reasonable, and the wine list well-executed.
Mid-Range Restaurants in Australia
- Burger Burger, Auckland – Ponsonby is known for its chic shops, adorable architecture, and great eats. Burger Burger is meaty organic fare served up on a bun with your choice of sides.
- The Store, Auckland – Britomart is one of the coolest parts of the city, brimming with beautiful people. The Store offers outdoor seating and a diverse menu of salads, sandwiches, mains, and much more. It’s the perfect place to people watch.
- Florditas, Wellington – Cuba Street is one of the city’s must-see attractions, and Florditas is the ideal place to recharge after wandering the area during your visit. They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even brunch, plus coffee and wines. The chefs cook up everything from egg dishes, to sirloin, so there is something for everyone.
- Barnacle Bills, Cairns – Kitsch is part of the fun at Barnacle Bills, and outdoor seating means you can soak up the sun. Of course they have seafood, but the kids will love the pizza and pasta options, if they are picky eaters.
Cheap Eats in Australia
- Fish Pot Café, Auckland – There is an ongoing unofficial competition to see who has the best fish and chips to eat on the beach, which is a weekend ritual for locals. Hands down, Fish Pot Café in Mission Bay is one of the best in Auckland. Couple great food with stunning views of the ocean and Mount Rangitoto, and you have the recipe for a magical meal by the water.
- Hog Heaven, Auckland – Hog Heaven, located in charming Parnell near the CBD, is a true taste of New Orleans in New Zealand. Prices are downright cheap, and the menu stars include pulled pork sandwiches, gumbo, corn bread, and ribs. Plus, the owner and his lovely wife are usually on hand for a bit of banter.
- Fergburger, Queenstown – When you are ready to quench your appetite after a full day of conquering the outdoors, there is nothing better than a great burger. Fergburger has a hilariously delicious menu that locals and international visitors adore. Don’t forget to order the crumpled calamari and onion rings to round out your meal.
- Sea Bay, Sydney – Besides the food, the best feature of this cheap find is the BYO beer and wine policy, which will save you serious money. The fried dumplings are awesome, and this is a great setting if you are dining with a group.
- Paperboy Kitchen, Melbourne – For super Vietnamese on a budget, you can’t beat Paperboy Kitchen. Here you can order up crispy fried chicken, BBQ pork, and panko breaded fish for next to nothing.
Best Luxury Hotels in Australia & New Zealand
New Zealand and Australia always amaze and impress when it comes to their range of hotels and resorts that have something for everyone. Whether you want to go the rustic chic route or elaborate luxury, you will surely find what you are looking for, and your expectations will be exceeded. What makes these countries so fabulous with regard to hotel accommodations is the friendly owners, affable staff, and a non-pretentious vibe, even if you are staying at the most posh property.
- Azur Lodge, Queenstown – Located near the Queenstown airport, this hotel has stunning mountain views, luxurious private villas, and dining options from local restaurants.
- Blanket Bay, Queenstown – This hotel is just a short drive to Queenstown, and brands itself as a true alpine experience. Its accommodations are truly high-end, and the hotel will help you book activities like fly fishing, heli-skiing, horseback riding, and much more!
- The Farm at Hawke’s Bay, North Island – Located on the coast just hours from Auckland, the views here are breathtaking. The hotel is luxurious with rustic décor, and the staff will spoil you.
- Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour – From your lovely room, you will have views of luxurious yachts and the harbour, which is always humming with activity. Centrally located, you are just a short walk from the chic shops at Britomart and the city’s best restaurants.
- The Park Hyatt Sydney – This five-star hotel has amazing views of the harbor, and the Sydney Opera House. The hotel has a lovely high tea and a great bar. You can’t go wrong booking here.
- The Langham Melbourne – This elegant hotel has views of the city’s skyline and impeccable service from the staff. Families will love the pools, fitness center, and central location.
- Qualia Resort, Hamilton Island – This resort gets you close to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef where you can scuba dive among a kaleidoscope of sea life. Exceedingly romantic, this hotel is perfect for a first (or second) honeymoon.
- Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley – This hotel gives you the chance to experience Australia like few others are able. Situated on 7,000 acres of reserve in the Blue Mountains, this resort is mindful of its impact of the environment.
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