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Is Australia as spectacular as New Zealand and Italy?!

Is Australia as spectacular as New Zealand and Italy?!

Nov 22nd, 2004, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,092
Melnq8 - when I said some Australians refer to NZ as a "mini Switzerland", its because NZ is some ways is like Switzerland, however, in the southern hemisphere. Its only because of the high NZ alps and lakes, that the reference is sometimes used. Its got nothing to do with comparing sheep on hills in NZ, or cows in Switzerland
Its a generalised comparison, thats all.
Alice13, is right, there are places in Australia, that just don't compare with NZ, nor other countries in the world, even a lot of our wildlife is unique.
Camping out in the bush, is a wonderful way of understanding our outback. Staying in motels/hotels is okay, but it doesn't give you same perspective. My son lives overseas, and still tells me he would love to come home for a visit, camp in the bush and smell the gum trees once again.
tropo is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 01:58 PM
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I think that NZ is nicer than Norway ( a place that it is most similiar to) because there is much more diversity and you have a far nicer climate. However the glaciers are not as awesome as those in Chile and Argentina from the Patogonian Ice cap and neither are the fiords as magnficent as those of Southern Chile ( another place that NZ is similiar to) But as far as being a lovely little country it cannot be beaten, getting around is easy and the countryside is lovely.
As for Australia - I think it is magnificent and is better than South Africa ( a place that part of it is similiar to) because it is much safer, you may not have the animals but you have the birds which are awesome and you also have much greater diversity in countryside in Australia - besides you also have the GBR. Australia is also the oldest continent on earth and therefore there are those things that go with that aspect.
Aussies and Kiwis are the most friendly people on earth and you will be welcome in either country.
As for Italy - well I cannot stand the place mainly because the people are always trying to rip you off, the cost of travelling in the country is expensive, accommodation is third rate and expensive and for my money I prefer the countryside and history of the S.W of France or perhaps somewhere like St. Petersburg in Russia. Certainly the wine is third rate and I have had better pizzas in Sydney.
I prefer to enjoy a country more because of its people and how friendly they are than its historical icons, especially the man made ones.
lizF is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 04:09 PM
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Tropo - I understand what you're saying - I've heard the comparision made before. I just meant that there's no place quite like Switzerland just as there's no place quite like NZ.

I find it interesting that my two favorite countries in the world (Switzerland and NZ) are similar (landscape, mountains, lakes) yet so incredibly different (culture, people language). They're polar opposites when it comes to people - the Kiwis are friendly and laid back - the Swiss are reserved and rule bound.

They're probably my favorite countries because they both offer incredible scenery and lots of opportunities for outdoor pursuits.

To Melissa if you're still out there -
It sounds like you have the chance to visit both NZ and Australia, so do both. Would love to hear your own comparision when you return.
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2004, 02:25 AM
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LizF - you sure are well travelled. But your swipe at Venice as "man made"?? Of course it is. Look - many European capitals have artworks to die for - and some iconic buildings - but Venice is a one-off.

If glorious town and water scapes do nothing for you - OK - I'm not a mad lover of religious art. But this city was built on mud a thousand years ago. And to wander its small streets - and if you like you can ignore all the churches, etc. - is to consider the mystery of why we are. How we got to where we are now. Doesn't wondering how they lived and how they thought - those people that built it - intrigue you?
alice13 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2004, 03:15 AM
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Sure it does intrigue me but the "treasures" of Italy, if you wish to draw that comparison, pale into insignificence when you look at the "art" work of Lascaux and the other caves around France, the Aboriginal art in Australia which is up to 60,000 years old and particularly for me, the wonders of Petra and its religious signifance to the very beginnings of, what we know as religious history of this world. What is more fascinating though is the people of these regions and their interactions - now - and how it makes me feel about a place. I will have forever the fondest memories of the kindness, the good manners, the honesty and the humility of the people of Jordan when I arrived there directly from Italy and how much better I enjoyed the Arab lands because of those people, much more than I ever could have enjoyed Italy however much they have a stranglehold on their kind of Religion or however much the country has retained of what could be called the "legacy of the Church" which is flaunted to such a great extent and for mainly monetary gain. So I actually do like history but it has to be meaningful and to make it absolutely the best, it has to have the kind of people who are worthy of being in charge of those wonders. Otherwise I prefer the natural wonders of the world without interference of man.
lizF is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2004, 11:06 AM
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I found the buildings, artworks, etc, of Venice interesting & worth seeing, but after having seen Venice, I no longer want to revisit the place.
When we were there, the water smelt strongly of sewerage (summertime), the gondoliers looked tired, and not interested, and the street sellers/pickpockters on the various bridges looked sharp & ready for business. Even saw one street seller standing over another, no doubt ready for violence. St.Marks Square was crowded, and people were getting their photo taken with hundreds of pigeons sitting on their heads (I wonder how many get the pigeon poo in their hair) In Australia, you get get the rainbow lorrikeets sitting on your head, much more colourful, but still you can get the parrot poo in your hair also.
We chose to break away from the crowds at the square, and walked the little laneways, and found churches and alleyways, without a soul in them, this then felt like the true Venice, of where the locals live. Before leaving Australia, we approached the Italian Tourist Bureau, who was able to give us the walking maps of Venice, which was invaluable.
LizF, you mention pizzas in Italy. We visited Naples on one trip (Yuk what a crime ridden city that is), anyway, I believe the pizza was supposed to have originated in that city. We were convinced that the good pizzas made in Australia, beat the Italian pizzas.
I think a lot of people travel to these overseas countries, with tunnel vision, or glossy eyed approach.
Melnq8 - I get your point, yes they are both beautiful countries in their own right. I will never forget going up to the top of Mt.Pilatus in Switzerland, then walking down the little tracks, to a station further down the mountain, to get the cog wheel train to the base of the mountain.
tropo is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2004, 12:31 PM
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would have to agree w/others can't remember who now. But NZ is "immediate" gratification whereas Oz is so immense and diverse.

Having only been to Sydney as one other mentioned--I also only saw a snipet--having said that New Zealand far surpassed what I already suspected would be a magnificent country.

I drove both N/S Islands and prefer the South--but you can't lose w/NZ!

libretango is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 10:14 AM
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Do two separate trips - one to NZ & one to OZ. My wife & I traveled to Australia via New Zealand in March 2003. It was a vacation we will never forget. We stopped in Auckland for 3 days then caught a flight to Christchurch for 3 days, then went to Sydney. NZ was beautiful. We didn't give it nearly enough time so we are planning another trip to include more time in NZ, maybe two weeks with two weeks in Australia hitting some places we would like to see again & some we didn't see on the last trip. You may want to confine a trip to Australia to a couple of locations due to the size of the country. We spent 6 nights in Sydney, drove to Melbourne for 4 nights, then drove to Adelaide for 4 nights, turned in the vehicle & flew to Perth for 4 nights, returned to Adelaide via Ayers Rock (2 nights) with a all day stopover in Alice Springs, another overnight in Adelaide, then a flight to Hobart for 4 nights, then on to Brisbane renting a vehicle & driving to Surfers Paradise (5 nights), & finally flying to Cairns, renting a vehicle & driving to Port Douglas for 8 nights. We rented a vehicle at each location & I can tell you we could have used 3 or 4 days more at each place. I find it difficult to pick our favorite among all the places because each had it's own unique features. We loved the land & the people. If I was recommending some one with a couple of weeks to visit they would have to visit Sydney & Port Douglas areas. That would give you an appetite to do another trip as it is with us. Both NZ & OZ, but especially OZ, you will be planning a second trip in very short order.
Shea is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 04:31 PM
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Melissajoy, here's just a few things that I found spectacular in Australia. I spent almost a year there and was fortunate enough to have a job that included a lot of travel.

1. The absolute breath-taking beauty of Whitehaven Beach in The Whitsunday Islands! (I could almost stop here, that's a good enough reason to go!)

2. Standing at the top of the Harbour Bridge in Sydney on a warm, clear Saturday night. Watching the people below and feeling on top of the world!

3. Cruising the Great Ocean Road from Adelaide to Melbourne with 3 friends and cool cd's!

4. Having a quick game of football (even though I'm hopeless) at Ayers Rock waiting for the sun to rise.

5. The sun rising at Ayers Rock!!

6. Sitting at the top of Baramundie Falls in Kakadu Park looking over the edge! (A bit of a silly thing to do but wonderful all the same!)

7. Sleeping on deck of a ship in The Whitsundays and watching the sunrise. You would not believe the peace and quiet.

8. Feeding crocs on The Adelaide River in the NT.

9. A very important one. Sitting in a jeep on top of a hill in Kakadu watching the most amazing lightning storm. Has to be seen to be believed!

10. Ok I'll shut up but my point is it's a wonderful country. Please don't miss out on the trip of a lifetime!
jake is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 05:26 PM
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Perhaps the major similarity of Australia and Italy is they both currently have troops in Iraq. On the other hand Melbourne I believe has the largest Greek population in the world after Athens.

After the Olympic organizing committee in Athens refused to provide housing for parents of Australian athletes, Greek Melburnians called their Athens cousins and no one had to sleep in Syntagma Square

AndrewDavid is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 06:34 PM
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And we have lots of Italian-Australians, too, to whom we owe the fact that you can find an espresso machine everywhere. The Greeks (and Chinese) used to provide the only (approximately) edible food in most Australian country towns. The food served up in the Greek cafes bore no relationship to Greek food, though, and catered for local tastes with overcooked steak and mixed grills. Later, exotica like wiener schnitzel turned up on the menu.

Even the inevitable Chinese place felt the need to serve some "Australian" dishes in addition to short soup and chicken chow mein. In fact I came across one still doing that on the NSW south coast not long ago. Not only that, but the (non-Chinese) waitress assumed that we wanted knife and fork rather than chopsticks, that we'd be ordering individual rather than shared dishes, and that we'd be slathering soy sauce on everything. I think that this habit originated because diners at the Greek cafes needed a bottle of Worcestershire sauce on every table (for the well-done steak, which was otherwise inedible), and treated soy the same way. The good news was that the food wasn't at all bad.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 12:38 AM
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Its just me again Neil, no need to get twitchy! Just wanted to comment when my dear husband and I were in this very small village in Italy (population around 600 or so) as we were visiting the family of my high school friend (who came from this Italian village when she and I were 14 years old) a dear couple came up to us in the piazza and started talking to us in English which was a shock as no one in this small village in southern Italy spoke English. But the biggest shock was they spoke English with an Australian accent!!! Second cousins of my school friend. They just happened to have returned home from Australia for one month to Italy the same time we were in their village, Cantalupo.

Really, standing in this tiny village, in the piazza with these 60 year old Itaians speaking English with the strongest Australian accent I have ever heard is something I will never forget.
LoveItaly is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 01:34 AM
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L/I, is Cantalupo in Calabria? That would explain the presence of Australian accents.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 02:13 AM
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Hi love italy and Neil, I just love to hear an Italian (yes, probably from Calabria) speak with their Aussie accent, they manage to flatten their vowels even more than we do (Aussies I mena).
pat_woolford is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 02:31 AM
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Hi I loveitaly - I hit the post button before I meant to. Up here (but down to you) in Far North Queensland we have a very strong Italian community - after WWII Italians flocked here to work the sugar cane farms, and dare I say it, tobacco farms - before automation in the cane farms - dreadfully hard labour in hot and humid climate, which the Aussies wouldn't come at. As a result we have a wonderful choice of Italian restaurants and to this day Italian home-made ciabatti, pastas, panacetta, mortadella, prosciutto, salamis etc, easily available. I used to live in Sydney, and I can tell you I can get far better real Italian food up here.
pat_woolford is offline  
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