If you’re planning to add some sunshine and serenity into your life, let Australia and New Zealand show you how it is done. Perfect for nature seekers, a quick getaway to Mother Nature’s dynamic duo is enough to showcase the true meaning of reconnecting with nature sans Whatsapp and work. From nature attractions to outdoor adventures, we’ll give you a lowdown to decide which destination will suit nature lovers best.
1. Free Attractions
The open-to-all public parks and botanic gardens in Australia will definitely have nature seekers dancing for joy. Best explored in the mornings and evenings, go for a light exercise by cycling around Sydney Park; feed a raft of ducks at Brisbane’s City Botanic Gardens; seek out for native plants at Canberra’s Australian National Botanic Gardens; sniff the wildflowers at Perth’s Kings Park; and lastly, catch local surfers in their truest element at the Gold Coast Beach.
Credit: Lydlane Image on Flickr
It’s easy to ditch your worries behind when you have New Zealand’s natural splendour come to life before you. Cool down with a quick dip in the waterfalls of Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges; leave your footprints in the black sands of Auckland’s Piha Beach; appreciate the captivating limestone caves of Waitomo’s Ruakuri; navigate through the wilderness of South Island’s Mount Aspiring National Park; and finally, admire the deep blue waters of Queenstown’s Lake Wanaka. Plus, you don’t have to stuff your pockets with cash because admission is free.
Credit: Long Zheng on Flickr
Credit: Phil Nguyen Photography on Facebook
Verdict: Australia wins for their better accessibility to free public parks and botanic gardens.
2. Guided Nature Walks
For a touch of local’s narratives to the beautiful sceneries around you, sign up for a guided walk whenever you stumbled upon one. Some of the nature walks in Australia come with a premium price tag, which includes luxury accommodation and daily meals (starting from AUS$1,000). You can spot them easily in major cities such as Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, and Perth. Look out for outdoor explorations such as Larapinta Trail in Northern Territory, Great Ocean Walk in Victoria, Cape to Cape Walk in Western Australia, and Kings Canyon Rim Walk in Northern Territory for a great introduction to Australia’s captivating landscape.
Credit: TravelingOtter on Flickr
If you have a tight budget to manage, check out the free guided walks at Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. Alternatively, Brisbane’s Mount Coot-tha Botanic Garden gives out self-guided tour brochure that gives you the freedom to explore various sections of the Botanic Garden.
Credit: Gavin Anderson on Flickr
Travellers tend to appreciate nature better through guided walks and New Zealand has plenty of day walks in North and South Islands to keep you busy. You can find really great ones from local tour operators such as half-day walks at Puketi Rainforest, Bream Head Coast Walks, Milford Track, and Russell Nature Night Walks. They’re mostly priced between NZD$55 to NZD$515.
Credit: Eddy Milfort on Flickr
If you prefer to immerse yourself in Mother Nature’s breathtaking form at your own pace, join other travellers via a self-guided walk at the Urupukapuka Island Archaeological Park, Cape Brett Track, and Bay of Islands Walkway.
Credit: portengaround on Flickr
Verdict: New Zealand wins for their wider range of affordable nature trips and self-guided walks.
3. Unique Outdoor Adventure
When you have spacious plains, rainforests, and mountain ridges presented before you, it’s difficult to resist the chance to explore them adventurously. Some nature attractions in Australia are so unique, it’s very likely that you won’t find them anywhere else in the world.
Credit: PaulJill on Flickr
Imagine spending the day with the exotic wildlife of Kangaroo Island in South Australia, appreciate the greenery of Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest, snorkeling freely with the manta rays at Queensland’s Lady Elliot Island, white water rafting down the Tasmanian Franklin River, and go hiking along South Australia’s Larapinta trail.
Credit: Andy Dolman on Flickr
A beauty that is second to none, let New Zealand’s mountain landscapes, nature trails, and gorgeous sceneries be the backdrops to your adrenaline-fuelled adventure. For starters, take things slow by catching the sunrise at Mount Cook, or take a walk on the wild side at these recommended spots: Whanganui River, Lake Waikaremoana, and Abel Tasman Coast.
Credit: Bernard Spragg on Flickr
Then, turn up your adrenaline by skiing down the slopes of Mount Ruapehu, jet boating furiously through the shallow Canterbury rivers; skydiving in Lake Wanaka, and bungee jumping at the Kawarau Bridge.
Credit: mat79 on Flickr
Verdict: It’s tie! It’s a challenge to choose between hanging out with the kangaroos in Australia and bungee jumping off the bridge in New Zealand. We’ll have them both!
After a fun-filled day in the wild, everyone needs a little break and these eco-friendly accommodations are great to call the night. If glamping is more of your thing, get a shut eye at The Escape Glamping in New South Wales, Pebble Point Glamping in Victoria, Jabiru Safari Lodge in Queensland, Paperbark Camp in Sydney, and Karijini Eco Retreat in Western Australia.
Credit:Paperbark Camp on Facebook
For an interesting twist to your vacation, take shelter in the unique tree houses of Rose Gum Wilderness Retreat and the Canopy Treehouse – both located in Queensland. Of course, there are other eco-resorts to discover such as the Freycinet Lodge in Tasmania and Heron Island in Queensland.
Credit: Rose Gums Wilderness Retreat on Facebook
Picture yourself waking up to the sights of picturesque mountain ridges and lush rainforests with hot coffee in hand. If this is your ideal morning, there are many eco-lodges and nature accommodations like these in New Zealand. Rise early to the sound of birds chirping at the Hapuku Lodge & Treehouse in Kaikoura, snuggle up to your spouse at the Magic Cottage at Takao River, or retreat to the Awarao Lodge at Abel Tasman National Park for a night under the stars.
Credit: Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses on Facebook
Credit: Magic Cottages at Takou River on Facebook
Verdict: It’s a tie! With eco-friendly stays and glamping options, can we stay the night in Australia and New Zealand please?
Where should you go for your next nature getaway, you ask? It’s a really close race, but we have to go with Australia for its accessible nature attractions as the upper hand on top of the range of guided walks, eco-friendly accommodations, and unique outdoor adventures. With New Zealand coming to a very close second, how about making it a memorable sequel after your trip to the Land Down Under?