For leg 5 of our trip, we come to another one of those difficult-to-get-to-but-have-to-visit-if-you-can destinations, Australia and New Zealand. These countries are tough.
Lets start with Australia:
Australia is huge, the sixth largest country in the world. Despite this, it has a small population (Australia is 27% smaller than the US but its population is 1300% smaller), primarily because the majority of Australia (the outback) is inhospitable. As a result, Australia is really spread out, more so than any other country. Australia is so spread out that day trips are pretty much impossible, as is ground travel from one destination to another. Add to this that Australia is expensive, and it all combines to make the country a difficult one to visit.
New Zealand is not as difficult as Australia. It is smaller, has a more hospitable landscape, and isn’t as expensive. What makes New Zealand difficult is how remote it is, so remote that it is very expensive to fly from New Zealand to anywhere other than Australia.
Despite all these handships, Australia and New Zealand are so unique and awesome that visiting them is a must. And since leg 4 left us in nearby Southeast Asia, leg 5 is the perfect time to visit.
Here’s the map of our plans for Australia and New Zealand:
As you can see, we aren’t doing much in Australia. Sydney is a must, as is Cairns (the access city for the Great Barrier Reef) and we’d like to have one more Australia activity, right now our plans are to visit Melbourne, although we might switch that to the Gold Coast. Or maybe we’ll do Melbourne and the Gold Coast; we’ll just have to see how much money we have. Unfortunately, no matter how much money we have, we’re pretty confident that Uluru and Western Australia are no goes for this trip.
New Zealand, however, is the opposite. Since New Zealand is smaller and less expensive, and since it is so hard to get here, while here we want to do as much as we can. As you can see from the map, that will be a lot of it.
Some specs on this leg of our trip: ~3800 miles (not counting our flights from Australia to New Zealand and back, which alone is 2700 miles each way), two countries, four of the hundred most visited cities in the world, one natural wonder of the world, one underwater wonder of the world, one New7Wonders of the World finalist, two New7Wonders of Nature finalists, three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 6+ national parks, and lots of beaches and coastlines.
Up next, the final portion of our year of travel itinerary: Eastern Europe!