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There are many similarities and differences between Australia and New Zealand which causes people to ask questions like the ones that follow.
1. Can you drive from Australia to New Zealand?
Australia and New Zealand are separated by the Tasman Sea. It is known by Australians and New Zealanders as “The Ditch.”
The Tasman Sea is a dangerous piece of water due to the merging currents of the Pacific Ocean and the Southern Ocean, which can create huge waves and swells. It is also impacted by cyclones and storms.
There is no bridge between Australia and New Zealand. The shortest distance between Australia and New Zealand is about 1,050 miles (or 1,700 km).
You cannot see New Zealand from Australia.
Fun Fact Kiwi Becomes First to Solo Kayak the Tasman Sea After nearly 40 years of attempts by multiple people—and at least one mysterious disappearance—Scott Donaldson became the first person to paddle alone across the 1,400-mile stretch of ocean.
2. Can you catch a ferry from Australia to New Zealand?
You cannot catch a ferry from Australia to New Zealand.
The distance between Australia and New Zealand is about 1,500 miles (or 2,407 km).
However, there are cruise boats that depart from Australia and call at various ports in New Zealand. These cruises start from 11 nights.
There are also freight/cargo boats that travel between New Zealand and Australian ports. Some of these ships carry up to 12 passengers. You can expect to pay between US$100 – US$130 per day as a passenger on a cargo ship.
Find out more about why New Zealand does not have dangerous spiders.
3. How long to fly between Australia and New Zealand?
The flight time between Sydney, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand, is around 3 hours and 15 minutes.
The distance from Sydney, Australia, to Auckland, New Zealand is 1,342 miles (or 2,159 km).
Flights are direct from the multiple major cities in both Australia and New Zealand.
You can fly to New Zealand from Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, and Melbourne from Australia.
Flights to Australia are available from these New Zealand airports: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown.
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4. Are both Australia and New Zealand democracies?
Both Australia and New Zealand were colonized by the British before independence. Today they have parliamentary democracies based on the Westminster system.
Australia became a nation on 1 January 1901, when the British Parliament passed legislation enabling the six Australian colonies to collectively govern in their own right as the Commonwealth of Australia.
New Zealand started out as part of the Australian colony of New South Wales. But New Zealand became a separate colony in 1841 and was made self-governing in 1852. Dominion status was attained in 1907, and full independence from Britain was granted in 1931 and ratified by New Zealand in 1947.
Both Australia and New Zealand share the same person as their sovereign (Queen Elizabeth II) and independent head of state (Queen Elizabeth II).
In Australia, the Queen’s royal official title is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.
The Australian parliament consists of the Queen (represented by the Governor-General) and two Houses (the Senate and the House of Representatives).
Australia is broken up into six states (with their own constitutions, legislature etc. ) and three internal territories managed by the federal government.
Australia’s six states are New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia). There are three internal territories (the Australian Capital Territory, the Jervis Bay Territory, and the Northern Territory).
In New Zealand, the Queen’s formal title is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
The Queen is responsible for appointing a Governor-General for New Zealand, which she does on the advice of the country’s Prime Minister. The New Zealand parliament consists of one house or representatives.
5. Do New Zealand and Australia have the same currency?
Australia and New Zealand are separate countries and do not share the same currency.
In Australia, the dollar symbol $ is usually used. Or AUD, A$ or AU$ are often used to show that it is the Australian dollar. It is subdivided into 100 cents.
Australia’s national currency comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20, 50 cents, one and two-dollar denominations.
On 14 February 1966, Australia started to use decimal currency – the dollars and cents that we know today. Before this, Australia used the pound.
In New Zealand, the dollar symbol $ is usually used. OR NZD or NZ$ is used to show that it is the New Zealand dollar. It is also subdivided into 100 cents.
As well as being used in New Zealand, the NZD is also used in the Cook Islands, Niue, the Ross Dependency, Tokelau, and a British territory, the Pitcairn Islands.
New Zealand’s national currency comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, one and two-dollar denominations.
6. Is New Zealand part of Australia?
New Zealand and Australia are separate countries.
However, New Zealand was briefly part of the Australian colony of New South Wales, first under a sweeping definition of the extent of the jurisdiction of the powers of the governor of New South Wales. Later this is was formalized but only for a short period around 1839.
New Zealand became a separate colony in July 1841. Full independence from Britain (which made New Zealand its own country) was granted in 1931 and finally fully ratified by New Zealand in 1947.
New Zealand and Australia might be considered cousin countries, maintaining a close relationship with many people with very close relationships across “The Ditch” (the Tasman Sea).
Australians and New Zealanders have a friendly relationship but also like to taunt each other – especially over sports. There is also a friendly rivalry about the origin of things like Split Enz, Russell Crowe, the pavlova and lamingtons.
In fact, it is estimated that half a million New Zealanders live in Australia. In contrast, a much smaller number of Australians live in New Zealand.
Australian citizens and permanent residents can visit, work and live in New Zealand, a vice versa.
Australian and New Zealand citizens need a passport but do not need a visa to travel between the two countries.
7. Are New Zealanders considered Australians?
New Zealand citizens are not Australians.
New Zealand is a different country with a separate government, currency and immigration laws.
The two countries maintain close relations, with many families that have members who live in both countries.
8. The difference in size between Australia and New Zealand?
Australia is the size of the continental US, and New Zealand is the size of California.
Australia is about 29 times bigger than New Zealand.
New Zealand is approximately 103,798 sq miles (269,000 sq km).
Australia is approximately 2,988,816 sq miles (7,741,000 sq km).
In contrast, the United States of America is 3,717,792 square miles (9,629,091 sq km).
9. Which Population is Bigger, Australia or New Zealand?
Australia’s population is bigger than New Zealand’s, by about six times.
|Australia||Approx 30 million|
|New Zealand||Approx. 5 million|
However, due to the much bigger landmass, Australia is sparsely populated with just 7 people per square mile (3 people per square km). This makes it one of the least densely populated countries in the world.
New Zealand has 46 people per square mile (18 people per square km).
In contrast, the United States of America has overall has 93 people per square mile (36 per square km).
10. What’s the difference between the Australian and New Zealand flags
Confusingly, the Australian and New Zealand flags are very similar but with core differences.
Both display the union jack, stemming from the shared history as colonies of Britain.
The Australian flag has five white stars depicting the constellation of the Southern Cross. The Australian flag also has a seven-pointed white star that represents the various states and territories.
Fun Fact The Australian flag was designed by a New Zealander in 1901.
New Zealand Flag
The four red stars of the Southern Cross emphasize this country’s location in the South Pacific Ocean. The Union Jack in the first quarter recognizes New Zealand’s historical origins as a British colony and dominion.
In 2016, New Zealand held a referendum to vote on changing its flag. The options were the current New Zealand flag and the Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue) design selected from among five designs in a referendum in 2015. After an animated period of discussion, nearly 57% of voters opted for the current flag.
The Australian and New Zealand flags are often confused, and it has been know to display the wrong flag at international sporting events, even at the Olympics.
New Zealand Māori Flag
Waitangi Day 2010 saw the first official recognition of the national Māori flag.
The design represents the balance of natural forces with each other. To live life is to live with nature. To appreciate life is to understand nature.
11. Who has the least dangerous animals, Australia or New Zealand?
New Zealand has the least dangerous animals, by far.
In fact, New Zealand has no dangerous mammals (the only native mammals are bats and marine mammals).
That’s because NZ was already isolated by a large body of water before many mammals evolved which meant that only mammals who could swim or fly colonized New Zealand.
New Zealand has a few spiders and insects that may sting or bite you, but none of them are lethal. And New Zealand has no snakes on land so you’re not going to die of a snake bite.
Most of New Zealand’s native fauna are birds, such as the flightless Kiwi which New Zealanders are named after.
Fun Fact New Zealand also has the world's only flightless parrot, the Kakapo.
In contrast, Australia has lots of snakes, with more than 100 species of snakes being venomous.
There are also over 2000 species of spider in Australia but few of these are dangerous to humans. Despite this, the number of deaths from snakes and spiders is very low.
Find out more here why New Zealand does not have dangerous snakes.