Need help deciding between NZ or Australia

Old Feb 24th, 2011, 12:26 PM
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Need help deciding between NZ or Australia

My husband and I have a last minute opportunity to travel to either Australia or New Zealand the end of April. We have not traveled to either country. Our main interest to Australia is scuba diving the GBR. After that we are not sure what else we would want to do in Australia. Our main interest in New Zealand is going to the south island and doing as many outdoor actives as we can. We only have 10 days for our trip. We are in our late thirties and we are very active travelers.

We have heard that the diving in the GBR is not the best in the world but it is on our bucket list.

We also do not know when we will be able to visit either country again.

Any suggestions on which country would be best to visit during April, with only 10 days to explore, and we want to be as adventurous as we can be.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 01:58 PM
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I can't help you choose between countries, but I would say that the diving at the Great Barrier Reef is spectacular.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "not the best in the world", I've only been to 5 or 6 different locations--the reef is 2,600 kms long--and the biodiversity was extraordinary in each location.

While in Far North Queensland you could also visit the Daintree and the Atherton Tablelands. You could easily spend ten days in and around Cairns.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 05:17 PM
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My vote would be for New Zealand because your 10 days will go farther there, particularly on the South Island. Save Australia for when you have more time and know exactly what you want to see there.

Vic's travels:
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 08:19 PM
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April will be the end of the cyclone season and a good time to go to North Queensland.

It depends on what you want to do. Queensland will have quite a bit of variety - reef, caves, tablelands, beaches, wildlife etc.

Plus if you don't know when you will be back, then you must do your bucket list before it is too late for either you or for the reef. The way it is being polluted it will not be there forever. Pessimistic I know.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2011, 01:34 PM
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What a dilemma. Both are fabulous. I thought the GBR was amazing, but if you aren't sure what to do with the rest of your 10 days you might want to go to NZ. Especially now that they have experienced the devasation of the earthquake, the infusion of your tourist dollars would be appreciated and so much of the South Island is still fine. As for the great outdoors - you can't go wrong with the South Island. Between all of the hiking, kayaking, and other active adventures, the people are some of the most welcoming and the scenary is amazing.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2011, 03:42 PM
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I might be biased, but definitely New Zealand after the Great Barrier Reef. It's only 3 hours across, Christchurch International Airport is open, don't go into the post-earthquake city just rent a vehcile at the airport and head into the mountains - Arthur's Pass - West Coast - Haast Pass - Queenstown - Fiordland - Central Otago - back to Christchurch. Gorgeous! Or north to Lindis Pass, Nelson, Abel Tasman, Murchison, Punakaiki, Arthurs Pass and back to Christchurch. Also gorgeous!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2011, 04:27 PM
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What a delicious dilemma, vertigo99.

Can't help you decide which country you want to visit, but just picking up on your thoughts about outdoor activities.

There are almost endless outdoor things you can do in and around the Great Barrier Reef and hinterland. Depending on your specific interests, there are ecological walks, seeing our unique birds, animals & flora; white water rafting;
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Old Mar 3rd, 2011, 04:53 AM
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The Great Barrier Reef is one of the wonders of the world in terms of its size and diversity. And I have no doubt that parts of it offer some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. But I wouldn't say it what makes Australia unique - after all there are many other exceptional reefs in the world to visit, albeit not as large as the GBR.

What does make Australia unique is the Outback with its spectacular scenery and truly unique collection of native animals. So with 10 days in Australia, I'd think about an outback trip, perhaps combining the Top End (Kakadu, etc) with the Kimberley or the Red Center.

New Zealand's South Island has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth (just spent 10 days there in Nov hiking - amazing!). But it is relatively sterile when it comes to wildlife, and not as wild as much of Australia is.
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Old Mar 5th, 2011, 04:30 PM
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Both countries are wonderful to visit, and there's so much more to Australia than the diving. I am in the camp that says diving in the GBR is not the best in the world, but that depends on where you've usually done your diving. If you are relatively new to Indo-Pacific diving you might like it more. If you only have the time and budget to dive close by the mainland, then I would wait for a better locale. If you are doing a live aboard that goes up into the Coral Sea, the diving does get better up there.

If you have limited time, I would opt for NZ, as you can do a lot of outdoor activities in a much smaller area. Either way, it's a wonderful choice to have to make.
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Old Mar 5th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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It really was a tough decision but after doing a lot of research Australia really won me over. Since the GBR is on my bucket list I really wanted to go to that area.

Sydney - 2.5 days
Live aboard diving trip to the coral sea 4 days
Silky Oaks Lodge 1 day
Port Douglas area (Kuranda tour, and Daintree and Cape Tribulation) 3 days


I really do appreciate it!
vertigo99 is offline  
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