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Compare AUSTRALIA with NEW ZEALAND and Switzerland! HOP in HERE!

Compare AUSTRALIA with NEW ZEALAND and Switzerland! HOP in HERE!

Feb 6th, 2011, 11:25 PM
  #1  
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Compare AUSTRALIA with NEW ZEALAND and Switzerland! HOP in HERE!

Have you been to New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland? HOP IN here and compare them for me! Please be as subjective, opinionated, and personal as you wish! Tell me which of the three ignites your passions and why?

My husband and I are choosing one destination for our 30th wedding anniversary trip in January 2012. We will choose Australia or New Zealand.

So why did I mention Switzerland as well? Because for me, the south island of New Zealand, and the Berner Oberland in Switzerland are the most stunning places on the planet!

I wish to return to the south island of New Zealand for our 30th anniversary in January, and my husband wishes to go to either the North island of New Zealand or Australia. It's my job to get more insight...so we can agree on our destination! Neither of us has been to Australia.

Please share about that soulful, magical, transformational moment in Australia, New Zealand, or Switzerland...when YOU fell in love with your favorite destination! YES, I am happy to hear your experience, even if you haven't been to all 3 countries.
Melissa5 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 12:30 AM
  #2  
 
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There is no comparison - its apples and oranges. It would be like comparing Utah's Canyonlands with Martha's Vinyard - 2 very different places.
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 12:30 AM
  #3  
 
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By the way, yes I have been to all three and several times.
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 10:20 AM
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You might look into the weather patterns for January. Not so good in Australia, much better in NZ.

You're opening a giant can of worms here.

There are some nice spots on the North Island, but for mountains you've got volcanoes not Alps, and there won't be much snow in January. Maybe you could have him split the stay between North and South Island, could go down via Tongariro, Wellington and visit Abel Tasman or Marlborough Sounds.
mlgb is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 01:54 PM
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If you have not been to Australia mlgb - how do you know what the temperatures are like and that the weather is better in NZ? Certainly give your impressions of NZ mlgb but not in comparison to somewhere you have not been and do not know anything about.
Australia is a huge country with all sorts of different weather throughout the year in various areas. For instance it has been the best summer in Tasmania ever, Darwin has had a good summer, Cairns has had beautiful reef weather taking out the few days of the cyclone and the Gold Coast has been lovely. The latter being a particularly beautiful place in Australia to go with its hinterland and varied flora and fauna. There are 326 varieties of birds alone in that S.E section of Queensland, has the southern hemisphere's largest caldera and the second largest in the World, has remaining Antarctic Beach Trees which are thousands of years old. Has magnificent beaches, beautiful waterways, wonderful islands and that is before you go into northern New South Wales with its beautiful countryside and interesting little towns like Byron Bay and Nimbin ( a not to be missed place for a lot of reasons).
How do I know all this?????? I have just been there for the 3rd time.
I agree that you cannot compare Switzerland with Australia but Switzerland with NZ perhaps and then that is not fair because in Switzerland there is always so many people around and about whereas NZ is natural and unspoilt and does not have floods of people in one place at one time. Then again Switz. has historic places and so on and so forth. Switz is also one of the most expensive places for anything on earth.
Others will come up with other comparisons I guess so I will leave it to them now.
MaryD2 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 05:15 PM
  #6  
 
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Hi Melissa -

As you know, I've been to all three countries many times (live in one), and there's just no way to compare, as each is unique and wonderful in it's own way.

Due in part to its sheer size, Australia is incredibly diverse and there's something for everyone here, it's just a matter of deciding what interests you the most...beaches, reef, rainforest, wildlife, wine, red dirt and big rocks, forests, mountains, gorges, aboriginal culture, cities...it's endless, it truly is.

I too, feel that the SI of NZ and the Berner Oberland are the most stunning places I've personally visited, but there's a whole lot of the world I've not yet seen.
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 06:37 PM
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I've lived and worked in two of them (still do in Australia) and been to Switzerland several times, and agree with others that there is no comparison between the three countries.

January of course is summer; there are parts of Australia which won't be ideal weatherwise, I'd probably avoid the red centre, but in a country of this size there'll be countless areas where the weather will be fine. In fact, January is high season for many areas, and is the time of year when many Australians choose to take their annual holidays.

So its really up to what interests you ... if you give us some ideas you'll get tons of help here.
pat_woolford is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 06:53 PM
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<>

Aussies and Kiwi's don't do that kind of rhetoric, we leave that to Oprah
Geordie is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 09:36 PM
  #9  
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ivenotbeeneverywhere: I would really enjoy hearing about 3 special experiences you have had: 1 in Australia, 1 in Switzerland, and 1 in New Zealand. Hearing about other people's favorite places sometimes ignites a spark in me. It's like browsing in the "library" of your memories to help me find the "book" that really speaks to me. Guidebooks are full of facts...but hearing about people's magical moments is the heart & soul of travel.

mlgb: That's an interesting idea...You know, we didn't really see the north side of the south island either... No worries about the can of worms, they could be a gourmet treat for a bird! I appreciate your reply, and thank you for being so bold as to voice your opinion. I want to hear everyone's viewpoint. If nobody disagrees with you...then probably you haven't said anything original! The glory of originality is what I love about the forums. Thank you for posting a reply.

MaryD2: Thank you for sharing all those glorious glimpses of Australia! What really drew you back to return to Australia for the 3rd time? Will you return to Australia for a 4th trip? What if you had to name just 1 personal favorite experience in Australia, what would you choose? Australia is hard for me to tackle because it is so huge and varied!

melnq8: We must have been born under the same star. The south island of New Zealand and the Berner Oberland in Switzerland are the most stunning and addicting places on earth that I've visited so far, I agree with you. I feel like I can't get enough of them. I guess mountains and wild coasts are 2 of my very favorite things on the planet. So far... Who knows what lies ahead for me to discover? I also like to seek out what is unique in a new country when I visit. Aboriginal culture in Australia has always interested me. (I've never been to Australia, but have seen some films and documentaries about it.)

pat_woolford Although we can't compare Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland, it sure is fun to try! I am wondering what YOU fell in love with in any of these 3 countries? Not a complete list...just one special moment or experience? Guidebooks have facts...but sometimes it's an intuitive spark that draws me to explore a new country...

Isn't it fascinating how unique we all are? For example I just came back from Bosque del Cabo on the Osa peninsula in Costa Rica. I went there to be immersed in the environment of the rainforest, and to hear the wild ferocious-sounding call of the howler monkeys and the birdsong, the cicacas and the ocean shushing and tossing...And I loved it! I miss nature's symphony the most. And guess what? When we were sitting in the tiny Nature Air airport on the return flight home, we met a family of travelers who had also stayed nearby. But the man said, he liked the area "except for those #$%!! howler monkeys waking me up every morning", is what he said! It was funny, because I LOVED being awakened every morning by the exotic call of the howler monkeys, and that is mainly what I went there to experience!

Geordie: Aussies and Kiwis are fortunate because they are surrounded by living poetry, in my view of things. Maybe you have already been transformed and are light years ahead of me! Here I am running halfway around the world just to get a decent cup of coffee and a really fresh fish.

I may need to post 2 separate questions...one on Australia's forum and one on New Zealand's forum... I am just looking for that intuitive sense that I always have when I know where we are headed for our next adventure!

Right now I'm curious to hear what made YOU fall in love with Australia, or New Zealand?
Melissa5 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 11:54 PM
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Its easy for me as an ex-American, I am married to an Aussie and I choose to live here in Australia and love every minute of it - always have and always will. Its the way of life, the friendly people, the open country and being able to find a beach or piece of rainforest where you cannot see or hear another person. The animals and particularly the birds are fantastic for me as well, so many and so unique.
Actually I do not agree with you about The Berner Oberland and the South Island of NZ being the two most beautiful places in the World but then thats just me. I have my own favourite places in the World - my two places are The Dordogne area of France and Bariloche, Argentina together with Terra Del Paine in Chile ( cannot split the last two ). So in answer to your question, I did not get a feeling of wonder and awe when I went to Switzerland ( have relatives in Geneva ) but that could have been because of the high costs there and the regimental attitude of the Swiss which gets to be a pain after a while.
MaryD2 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 09:13 AM
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Torres del Paine, Liz.
mlgb is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 02:58 PM
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mlgb: Muchas disculpas. Aunque la mona, se vista de seda, mona se queda
MaryD2 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 04:05 PM
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El que tiene rabo de paja, que no se arrime a la candela
mlgb is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 04:10 PM
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Ditto drongo
MaryD2 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 04:41 PM
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Come on...if I can figure out you're saying, I'm sure the editors can too.
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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If you think NZ is the most stunning place you have been wait til you go to Iceland. It makes NZ, the Isle of Skye and the Lakes district of England look ugly step sisters. I haven't been to Switzerland, but I'm guessing she would be an ugly sister too.

Australia Generally speaking:
North Australia will be hot and tropical with a chance of cyclones.

Central Australia; the West and South Australia will be consistently hot and dry - up to 40 celsius.

The south east Sydney through Melbourne and western Victoria could be anything from 15-35.

SO - As we hate hot weather we tend to favour TASMANIA. It truly has everything, but in a lovely mild (some would say cold and wet) climate. There are mountains that rival NZ for beauty; rolling hills; stunning coastlines of every sort - cliffs to beaches; wineries, breweries, gourmet food; lovely little towns; great walking; great whisky; great ecotourism(penguins in arms reach; sea eagles sea lions within metres);stunning geology and diving. There really is something for everyone. And best of all - no crowds (except for cradle mountain) like you would get else where. The distances are small and you can comfortably travel the whole Island. Plus Tasmanian Devils are on the verge of extinction due to their facial cancer. Not would be the time to see them.

NZ in January will be full as a boot (pun intended). It is their peak season (another pun). Prices for accommodation etc. will be up to triple what you would pay in the off season. Not value for money in my thinking. If you have been to the South Island, then the North Island may come as a bit of a disappointment. I actually like the North Island better.

The North Island Has lots to offer. The vulcanology is great. Go to White Island by helicopter. Possum Hunting was fun. Napier was largely destroyed earthquake and so was rebuilt when art deco was the rage.

The bay of islands rightly has a good reputation.

NZ distances are deceptive and it takes a bit of time to get anywhere.

In January Tasmania would win hands down. At other times of the year I would go for the Outback or Northern Australia.

Why go back to somewhere you have been when there is a whole world to explore? And it is all in Tasmania.
I sound like an advertisment, but it truly a wonderful place.
Read my trip report.

Enjoy your 30th.
peterSale is offline  
Feb 9th, 2011, 06:30 PM
  #17  
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MaryD2: Do you mean Torres del Paine Chile? You have been there? Where did you stay and how did you get there? We have been thinking about going there for a few years...but it seems remote and challenging to get to. And the place that caught my eye as the place to stay...I think it's called Explora...is super unbelievably expensive... I enjoyed reading about what you love in Australia.

PeterSale: Wow! You make Tasmania sound enticing! Now I've got to look up more info on Tasmania. I'll look at your trip report. Thanks! If Tasmania has good weather in January that's a plus too.
Melissa5 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2011, 07:05 PM
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Yes, I made the mistake and it is Torres del Paine, Chile.
I crossed the Andes from Baroliche to Puerto Montt by local but ( takes 5 hours or so and costs, well it did then, $15 as compared with the US tours of $150 which go via the lakes and road across the Andes).
From P.M, where I stayed in a fantastic hotel on the side of a hill, the name of which I cannot remember unfortunately but it was some very old and historic house apparently, I got the Navigmag ship down to Puerto Natalas where I stayed again in a hotel and again the name escapes me. We did tours into Torres del Paine but stayed in P.N so I cannot comment on the accommodation in T.D.P but I loved the look of the place that is on a lake with those beautiful mountains behind them. I would love to stay there.
This trip had coincided with flying down the Ushuaia ( sp??) spending time exploring that area - fantastic! Then flying to El Califate and visiting the glaciers which come off the Southern Patagonian Icefields - now these are what you call glaciers, the one I liked the best was the Moreno Glacier which is constantly calving and which is growing. The front of the glacier stands at 90 ft or so high and is exceptionally wide. Then we flew up to Bariloche where I was blown away by the beauty of the area and spent 10 days there.
I have also done a cruise to Antarctica then up to Ushuaia then Punta Arenas, through the Beagle Channel ( which is fabulous and absolutely stunning with many glaciers named after either the country or the person who was on the Beagle at the time, then through the Magellan Strs. All of that area is beautiful but I think southern Chile is particularly stunning.
The Navigmag boat is not 5 star but you do get very close to everything and of course there are not thousands of other people on it. Puerto Montt is not the most wonderful place in the World but the snow covered volcanoes you can see from there are very interesting. Also the lake district is very close.
Back to Australia, see if you can find the music and words to the song " I still call Australia home" which I think is how most of us feel about the country.
MaryD2 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2011, 07:39 PM
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Southern Argentina is another of Iceland's ugly sisters!

I thought it was the most amazing and stunning place... til I went to Iceland.
peterSale is offline  
Feb 9th, 2011, 07:48 PM
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Here you are. The music and lyrics were from the late Peter Allan.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqaCzsCSn90
MaryD2 is offline  

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