5 things you can do in New Zealand but can’t in Australia

Gold Coast Australia beach

New Zealand and Australia are neighbours in the South Pacific, sharing cultural and historical ties. This fosters a friendly rivalry and mutual admiration that further binds them globally.

However, when it comes to activities and regulations, there are unique experiences available in New Zealand that visitors and residents simply can’t find in Australia. 

Online Casino & Lotto Tickets

In New Zealand, the approach to gambling, particularly with online casinos and lotto tickets, has been more open compared to many other countries. Historically, gambling has been a part of New Zealand’s leisure activities, with the government establishing regulated avenues for people to engage in such activities. For example, the sale of lotto tickets can be easily accessed in grocery stores and shops within a controlled framework.

On the other hand, Australia has adopted a stricter stance towards online gambling, including the operation of online casinos and the sale of lotto tickets. The regulatory environment in Australia is more stringent, with tighter controls and restrictions aimed at minimising the potential harm associated with gambling. 

Go in Long Grass Without Worrying About Snakes

One of the more liberating aspects of the New Zealand outdoors is the ability to wander through long grass without the fear of encountering venomous snakes. This allows outdoor enthusiasts to explore the country’s vast natural beauty with peace of mind.

In contrast, Australia is infamous for its deadly snakes. These include the Eastern Brown Snake, Coastal Taipan, and Inland Taipan, often cited as the world’s most venomous snake. Encountering these creatures in habitats ranging from dry bushlands to lush coastal areas demands vigilance and awareness for everyone in the country. 

This difference profoundly affects outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and picnicking. In New Zealand, you can sit on the grass, explore off the beaten track, or walk through fields without the constant vigilance required in Australia. This freedom adds a layer of ease and enjoyment to outdoor adventures in New Zealand.

Natural Hot Springs

New Zealand is home to many hot springs, thanks to its unique geological activity, particularly in areas of the Pacific Ring of Fire. While an exact count can vary as new springs can be discovered and access to some may change, it’s commonly understood that New Zealand has over 100 natural hot springs spread across the country. 

In contrast, Australia, although famous for its diverse natural landscapes, has fewer natural hot springs accessible to the public. The existing ones, like those in the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria or the remote Dalhousie Springs in South Australia, offer unique experiences but are less prevalent and integrated into the national identity than New Zealand. 

Besides the number, the unique geothermal landscape in New Zealand offers distinct experiences at hot springs not found in Australia. Some examples are Te Waiariki Ngawha Springs’ healing properties and Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa’s comprehensive wellness facilities, including spa treatments and therapeutic services. 

Drive from the East Coast to the West Coast in a Single Day

New Zealand’s relatively compact size allows for the unique possibility of driving from the east to the west coast within a day. You can’t do this in Australia, given its vast landmass. This makes for an incredibly diverse road trip experience in New Zealand, where you can start your day with a sunrise over the Pacific Ocean and end with a sunset on the Tasman Sea, experiencing a range of landscapes in between.

The journey not only highlights the geographical diversity of New Zealand but also showcases the ease with which one can explore this diversity. From lush rainforests and rugged coastlines to majestic mountains and tranquil lakes, the ability to experience such varied scenery in a single day is uniquely Kiwi.

Drive on Your Own at 16

In New Zealand, teenagers can drive alone at the age of 16, which is a year younger than Australia’s minimum age of 17. However, it doesn’t come without risks. Critics argue that younger drivers may lack the maturity and judgment required for safe driving, potentially leading to higher accident rates among this age group. It may also increase dependency on personal vehicles, impacting the environment and public transport usage. 

On a positive note, other groups consider that this early access to driving provides young New Zealanders with earlier opportunities for independence and responsibility. Specifically, early driving experience can lead to better skill development and a deeper understanding of road safety from a younger age. 

Final Thoughts

While New Zealand and Australia share many similarities, distinct experiences set New Zealand apart. These unique aspects enhance the diversity of options available to travellers and residents, enriching the region’s cultural and natural tapestry. 

However, note this doesn’t imply that New Zealand is inherently better than Australia. The value lies in the diversity and the different opportunities each country provides. This variety makes travel and exploration within these two countries so rewarding.