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Is Australia and New Zealand similar to European Countries?

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May 15th, 2018, 09:39 PM
  #1
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Is Australia and New Zealand similar to European Countries?

We’ll be vacationing in Hawaii, Fiji, Bora Bora, Australia, and New Zealand over the span of a month and a half. We love Europe, particularity France and Italy. Is Australia and New Zealand similar to Countries in Europe in terms of walking around various squares, museums, outdoor cafes, ect.? Are there similar “walkable” cities such as Florence, Paris, Venice, Rome. What about towns/villages/regions similar to Aix-en-Provence, Bonnieux, Tuscan towns, ect.? We vasically would like to vacation in a similarxway as in Europe. Walking around aimlessly down small narrowxstreets, eating our way through the streets, while experiencing the culture, food, and exploring the various areas.
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May 15th, 2018, 10:36 PM
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Not to me they aren't.

You'll find a vibrant cafe/coffee culture in cities like Sydney and Melbourne. As well as a good public transport system, plenty of shopping, etc.

Other than that, I don't see many similarities.

I can't think of a single place in New Zealand that might offer what you want, although Auckland would be the obvious choice - because it's a big city.

NZ is more about small towns, beautiful scenery and plentiful outdoor pursuits.

Are you sure you want to cram five countries into six weeks? We're currently in New Zealand for a month - the South Island only - and we've visited a dozen times before. It's not a place you want to rush through.

I think you'll be hard pressed to just visit NZ and a small part of Australia in six weeks.
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May 16th, 2018, 09:27 AM
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Thanks! We don't have to go to all the locations. We can skip Bora Bora or Fiji. We want to break up the flight with a few days in Maui. We vacationed in Maui twice in the last 10 months, so we don't need a long time there, just 3 days. I do want to mention we have twin boys. They will be 21 months when we go, therefore we will not be doing much outdoorsy stuff. We are just looking to go to a place we have not been to before and thought about adding Fiji or Bora Bora to the itinerary since it is in the same direction.

My thought was to do the following:
Hawaii (3 nights just as a stopping point - maybe)
Fly to Fiji or Bora Bora (7 nights)
Fly to Australia (15-18 nights)
Fly to NZ (10-14 nights)
Fly to Fiji or Bora Bora(6-7 nights)
Fly Home to Chicago
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May 16th, 2018, 10:32 AM
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Similar to Europe! Absolutely not! Australia and/or New Zealand is where those stuffy Europeans come to get away from all that European stuff!

We have great cities (but not too many). Spectacular natural beauty. Small population (except in Sydney and Melbourne). People are friendly. You almost speak the language. Similar to Italy. - great coffee (Starbucks just about went broke in Oz). Similar to France - excellent food, produce.

In both countries you need to get out of the cities to see the best.

You need to do some research.0
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May 16th, 2018, 10:38 AM
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A quick note on size. Australia is roughly the same size as mainland USA, but without the population. It's not a cute little country. Bokhara will be along later with her "mind-boggling maps"!

By comparison, New Zealand is a cute little country - but it takes a while to see it all. Take Mel's advice or check out her trip reports.

G'day Mel!
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May 16th, 2018, 01:43 PM
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Morning Margo, Melnq8

izap484 - Here’s the map ... as you can see, the whole of Europe would fit into a reasonable sized horse paddock in Australia.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/simoncrerar...ustralian-maps

You certainly can wander around our major cities & some regional places, eating & enjoying the ambience in the style you describe - Melbourne’s laneways & Sydney’s Harbour & beaches spring to mind. Our cities are all safe and easily walkable. By European standards, most of our capital city centres are quite compact.
But that’s not why one would come to Australia, charming though our cities are. What makes Australia unique & spectacular lies outside of the large cities.

Do we have undulating hills with vineyards like France & Italy? - yes. We have small towns in wine areas ... but they are nothing like European villages. You won’t have sparkling clear air, the unique light of Australian skies, our flora & fauna -or the wonderful unpopulated spaces in Europe.

Do do some research. Have a look at http://australia.com/.
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May 16th, 2018, 02:00 PM
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Buy or borrow a good guide book.
Each State & Territory has a “ Visit ...”website.
We only have 5 States & 2 Territories.

Each has its own characteristics, geographically, culturally and climatically. We see the subtleties quite easily - you will probably notice the differences in weather & architecture most.

Fewer than 25m people in 7.7million km2. So a lot less crowded than Europe ( and the US).

Look at the destination guides here on Fodors and in the more active Trip Advisor Australian Forum & Destination tags & FAQs.

In 2-3 weeks you can comfortably visit 3 - 4 destinations. Fly between them, rent a car & explore out of the cities.

You will need ETAs. Apply here before you book anything.

https://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETAS3/etas
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May 16th, 2018, 11:07 PM
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New Zealand and Australia are not like Europe at all! NZ is a long skinny green country (it rains a lot here) while Australia is big, hot and dry (but still gorgeous).
We are much much younger countries and history here goes back about 200 years only.
The touristy places like Rotorua and Queenstown would work well. Queenstown is walkable and cute but there are not too many museums and certainly none of the stone buildings of Europe. Our famous buildings are usually wooden. Rotorua has lots of activities and animal parks. Wellington is very walkable and we never hire a car when visiting there. If you stayed in a central hotel there is lots to do.
Are the toddlers good travellers? It seems a very ambitious trip for little ones so I'd pick a few base cities/towns with plenty to do close by rather than getting them in and out of the car all day.
Fiji would be a better choice than Bora Bora as you have the kids. It's adding a lot of extra travel to go there.
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May 20th, 2018, 09:38 PM
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"History goes back 200 years "" - woo there! hopefully you are referring to post colonization - Tasman girl .
Aboriginal culture has been here for over 65,000 years .
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May 21st, 2018, 01:00 AM
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Oops yes I had old buildings in mind with that statement and no offence to anyone intended.
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May 21st, 2018, 08:42 AM
  #11
 
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"the whole of Europe would fit into a reasonable sized horse paddock in Australia"

If not counting European Russia . . .
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