What are the best places to visit and the coolest things to do when discovering Australia & NZ ?

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Answered by: Michael, An Expert in the Australia & NZ - Discover Australia Category
The first thing anyone who is thinking about discovering Australia & NZ needs to understand is that it will be the trip of a lifetime. From incredible city life and culinary experiences to amazing wildlife, this will be the coolest trip you will ever take!

Australia



Australia is a truly massive country that you should dedicate at least three weeks to exploring. This article is divided according to what to see and do in all the different states.



New South Wales

Sydney is home to the incredible Opera House and take iconic Harbour Bridge (yes the Aussies spell it like that).

There are fantastic beaches to enjoy including Bondi Beach where you can learn to surf. Others include Manly and Whale beach. Talking of whales, if you are around in November, take a whale watching trip, it's an incredible experience to watch them breaching. Sydney's Newtown is great for those who want to see some incredible street art and enjoy an incredible variety of food. If music festivals are your thing, then make sure you attend the free Big Day Out.

Head out West to the Blue Mountains, where tree cover extends in every direction. Bush mountain trekking is at your fingertips here. Other great places to go in NSW include the hippy beach town of Byron Bay and Bellingen. If you head South, you can try out hang gliding near Scarborough. Grey Kangaroos run wild the further out of Sydney you go.

Victoria

Melbourne is the cool city. It's significantly colder than Sydney, but it has a wealth of bar and clubs that are a night-owl's dream. Victoria is the traditional home of Australian Rules Football. It's quite an experience to watch a game live at the stadium, which can fit 100,000 spectators. Make sure you head to Lygon Street in the center of Melbourne for great food.

Street art in Melbourne rivals anything from the rest of the world, you can just wander around the city and take it all in. Wildlife here includes wombats and echidnas.

Queensland

They take life quite easy up in Queensland because it's so hot up there. Brisbane is quite laid back when compared to Sydney and Melbourne. The big draw in QLD is scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Moreton Bay is another destination which is very popular with divers. You can take a full PADI course in 5 days and that can include shore and boat dives. You can also have a cuddle with a koala at dedicated sanctuaries. Water dragon and Monitor lizards can also be seen in abundance here.

Tasmania

They call it the little island, but it's roughly the same size as Switzerland. The scenery is stunning and you can venture into the temperate Tarkine Rain Forest. Tasmania is a special place of natural beauty, but Hobart - which is the second oldest city in Australia is a vibrant place full of culture and live events.

South Australia

SA is one of the quieter states that is home to Adelaide. It's a planned city and if churches are your thing, then this is the place to go. It's a modern city but quite small by world standards. Another interesting place to visit in SA is Coober Pedy, a mining town where it gets so hot that people have built their houses underground.

Northern Territory

NT's capital city is Darwin. Darwin is a relatively quiet place with a population of just a few hundred thousand people. It's very popular with backpackers that want to discover Uluru - the world's biggest rock. Camping there under the stars is a truly unforgettable experience.

Western Australia

You are always guaranteed a sunset over the Ocean in Perth. The Margaret River region is one of the most well known wine producing regions in the world. The red earth makes for excellent viticulture. You will also see Red Kangaroos in WA, they are everywhere!

New Zealand

When discovering Australia & NZ, you should dedicate enough time to discover both the North and the South islands. The two are very different and offer great experiences.

The North Island

You should definitely consider hiring a car in New Zealand. It's sparsely populated and quite vast. One minute you are in the mountains, and the next minute you are in temperate forest. You can go big game fishing at the Bay of Islands, or experience a thermal bath Waiotapu Springs. You can also experience local Maori culture at Tongariro Park.

The South Island

The South Island is known for its mountains - think Lord Of the Rings territory. There are plenty of white capped peaks to enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Queenstown in particular, is well known for adventure sports such as bungee jumps, go karting and kayaking in caves that are full of glow worms.

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