HomeAustralia & New Zealand Tours

How to Plan a Trip to Australia & New Zealand: Frequently Asked Questions

Ratings of Zicasso's Service
Mitre Peak rising from the Milford Sound fiord in New Zealand

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand are stunning South Pacific regions to visit and the following guide shares answers to the most common questions travelers have when choosing to explore these countries on a multi-country trip.

Both have beautiful beaches, glamorous cities, and unspoiled wildernesses. Each country has its own culture and traditions to immerse yourself in as you visit both. From tours that bring you to the Australian Outback to adventures across the seas surrounding New Zealand, you can find plenty to enjoy on a trip to the South Pacific.

As you plan to experience the best of Australia and New Zealand, let these answers inspire your trip and give you peace of mind while discovering the crown jewels of the South Pacific.

Overview
  1. Can I travel to Australia and New Zealand?
  2. When is the best time to visit Australia and New Zealand?
  3. How many days should I spend in Australia and New Zealand?
  4. What are the most popular destinations in Australia and New Zealand?
  5. What should I do on my trip to Australia and New Zealand?
  6. Where can I see wildlife in Australia and New Zealand?
  7. Do Australia and New Zealand have good beaches?
  8. Are Australia and New Zealand good places for hiking?
  9. How do I travel around Australia and New Zealand?
  10. Are Australia and New Zealand good destinations for families?
  11. Are Australia and New Zealand suitable for senior travelers?
  12. Are Australia and New Zealand suitable for couples or honeymooners?
  13. What food should I try in Australia and New Zealand?
  14. Are Australia and New Zealand safe to visit?
  15. What vaccinations do I need to travel to Australia and New Zealand?
  16. Which airports should I plan for?
  17. Do I need a Visa for Australia and New Zealand?
  18. What currency do Australia and New Zealand use?
  19. How can Zicasso help me plan my trip to Australia and New Zealand?
  20. Where can I find recommended itineraries for my trip?

Can I travel to Australia and New Zealand?

Australia and New Zealand are open to American travelers for multi-country trips. The entry requirements may change based on availability and restrictions enforced by Australia and New Zealand’s respective governments. Your Zicasso travel specialist can provide you with the latest information regarding potential changes while you are planning and before your departure date.

For more information on where you can travel, visit our guide on Where Americans Can Travel Right Now.

Learn more: Plan Your Multi-Country Trip to Australia & New Zealand

When is the best time to visit Australia and New Zealand?

The best time to visit Australia and New Zealand is generally between December and February, March and May, or September and November. The date of your vacation does, however, depend on the areas you wish to visit and the experiences you want to have.

December through February are popular times as warm summer weather and clear skies are prominent in New Zealand and south of Brisbane in Australia. That said, cyclone season occurs over Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, and Australia’s Northern Territory experiences heavy rainfall during this time of the year. For this reason September through November can be great alternatives to December through February as Queensland and all of New Zealand are beautiful during spring.

The best time to visit Australia and New Zealand also depends on who you will travel with and what you will do. Families and couples prefer the comfortable and quiet spring or fall, while adventurous travelers prefer the summer or winter months when traveling to New Zealand’s southern alps.

Learn more: Best Time to Visit Australia & New Zealand

How many days should I spend in Australia and New Zealand?

We recommend you spend between 16 and 21 days exploring Australia and New Zealand, though the length of your trip will depend on where you want to visit and the experiences you wish to have.

16 to 21 days gives you enough time to experience the best of the countries on a trip combining both, as well as to explore some unique regions. It is possible to explore Australia and New Zealand in 12 days, though these itineraries are geared towards travelers wanting to discover the best of both countries as quickly as possible.

Trips can also exceed 21 days, allowing travelers to take their time exploring the endless beauty of Australia and New Zealand. When planning, a Zicasso travel specialist can provide you with ideas and options to customize your trip and determine a length of time suitable for your preferences.

What are the most popular destinations in Australia and New Zealand?

Here is a list of the most popular destinations in Australia and New Zealand to visit on a South Pacific trip:

  • Melbourne
  • Sydney
  • Auckland
  • Matamata
  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • Rotorua
  • Port Douglas
  • Mount Cook
  • Milford Sound

Each city or region provides travelers with unique experiences. You can embrace the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the bustling cities of Melbourne, Sydney, and Auckland. The Great Barrier Reef, Milford Sound, and Mount Cook are natural wonders, while Matamata, Rotorua, and Port Douglas have deep cultural and historical roots. You can learn more about these cities and regions in our guide on the 5 Best Places to Visit in Australia & New Zealand.

What should I do on my trip to Australia and New Zealand?

The following list shares the top things to do in Australia and New Zealand when you visit both. You can customize your multi-country trip to include several of these experiences:

  • Explore marine wonders when snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, island hopping off the coast, and visiting marine reserves
  • Spend time on breathtaking beaches, enjoying the bustle of Bondi Beach or viewing the beautiful boulders of Moeraki Beach
  • Spot the curious creatures that call the South Pacific home on trips to nature sanctuaries and rainforests, including Rottnest Island, Daintree, and more
  • Cruise the crystal-clear seas to isolated islands, including Rakiura, Waiheke, and the Whitsundays
  • Sip the best wines on tours with professional sommeliers in prestigious regions, including Barossa Valley and Central Otago
  • Discover majestic geothermal landscapes on scenic tours to Rotorua, The Blue Mountains, Innot Hot Springs, and more
  • Take to the skies in a helicopter or hot-air balloon to see stunning scenery and unique landscapes from new perspectives
  • Hike along trails that zigzag through flourishing regions to appreciate the regional beauty of glacial landscapes, rainforests, coastlines, and more
  • Plan a thrilling winter adventure to experience the seasonal pleasures and winter sports at Falls Creek, Mount Cook, and Queenstown
  • Experience the scenic beauty on self-guided drives

This list is only the beginning of what you can experience on a trip to Australia and New Zealand, and you can learn more about what to expect in our guide on the Top 10 Things to Do in Australia & New Zealand.

Where can I see wildlife in Australia and New Zealand?

Travelers can explore Australia and New Zealand’s forests, coasts, and national parks to spot wildlife wandering the diverse landscapes of the South Pacific. Some of the best places to see wildlife include the following:

  • The Australian Outback
  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • Akaroa
  • Waitomo Caves

Each wildlife sanctuary is a cinematic slice of paradise. Adventure tours guide travelers into the heart of the unique landscapes, from sparse desert plains to coral gardens, glowing sea caverns, and beyond. Family trips are wonderful in these wilderness havens, romantic retreats are secluded and lavish, and senior trips are comfortable.

Along the way, you can catch glimpses of some of Australia and New Zealand’s most unique wildlife. Kangaroos, koalas, dingoes, wallabies, and wombats are some to spot in Australia, while kiwis, skinks, Hector’s dolphins, sea lions, and tuatara can be found in New Zealand.

Learn more: 5 Best Wildlife Places to Visit in Australia with FamilyThe Great Barrier Reef’s Great Eight and Where to Find Them

Do Australia and New Zealand have good beaches?

Australia and New Zealand have brilliant beaches, and the following list highlights a few of the best to visit on your trip:

  • Whitehaven
  • Bondi
  • Moeraki
  • New Chums

The beaches are either a main coastal attraction or a hidden secret behind isolated bays. At these beaches, you can experience the unending natural beauty of the scenic coastlines and spot marine creatures swimming beneath the sea’s glassy surface.

You can also visit secret islands with hidden beaches that few others enjoy the privilege of visiting. These are some of the most unique shores in Australia and New Zealand, with privacy at the heart of cruises to the castaway islands.

Learn more: 5 Best Secret Islands of the Great Barrier Reef

Are Australia and New Zealand good places for hiking?

Australia and New Zealand are great places for hiking, with many marvelous trails and treks that guide travelers through the wilderness, Australian outback, or coastline highlighted below:

  • Tasmania Overland Track, Australia
  • Three Capes Track, Australia
  • Cape to Cape Track, Australia
  • Maria Island Walk, Australia
  • Milford Track, New Zealand
  • Tongariro National Park, New Zealand
  • Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

Hiking in Australia and New Zealand is great for nature enthusiasts, adventurous travelers, and those who prefer casual strolls, with a combination of challenging and leisurely hikes possible.

Learn more: 10 Great Walks of New Zealand10 Best National Parks in Australia

How do I travel around Australia and New Zealand?

The best ways to travel around Australia and New Zealand include flights and trains for long distances, private transfers and rental cars for shorter distances, and boats to reach the islands.

If you intend to visit the countries you should allocate some time to travel between them, leaving a morning open for a flight and the afternoon free to relax and unwind. In the cities, you can access the highlights on tours, with an array of transportation modes available.

Different options cater to different experiences. A lavish cruise is a spectacular way to see the islands of Australia and New Zealand’s coast, a private transfer can get you from the city to remote villages, and flights can help you navigate to the best regions in Australia and New Zealand quickly.

Learn more: The Best Ways to Travel Around AustraliaThe Best Way to Travel Around New Zealand

Are Australia and New Zealand good destinations for families?

From finding Nemo when snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef to living your Lord of the Rings fantasy as a family in the Hobbiton film set of Matamata, Australia and New Zealand are exciting destinations for parents and children of all ages.

Family trips to Australia and New Zealand appeal to young children as activities highlighting the magical marine creatures suit little explorers and older children. Teenagers also enjoy visiting Australia and New Zealand as the beaches are vibrant and beautiful, the museums educational, the wilderness inspiring, and the star gazing in Uluru is breathtaking.

Are Australia and New Zealand suitable for senior travelers?

Australia and New Zealand are perfect destinations in the South Pacific to visit as a senior traveler, with modern cities and state-of-the-art facilities making trips comfortable.

Senior tours of Australia and New Zealand can combine days in the cosmopolitan cities with trips to cultural regions and historical sites. Adventurous senior travelers can escape to the Australian Outback and others can spend days relaxing on the sparkling New Zealand beaches. The travel options for all types of senior vacations are endless in Australia and New Zealand.

However you decide to spend your time, knowledgeable tour guides share their deep understanding of the countries and the activities best suited for senior citizens.

Are Australia and New Zealand suitable for couples or honeymooners?

Australia and New Zealand are stunning places to visit as a couple or for your honeymoon. Both cater for romantic travel, with glamorous accommodations at sheltered spots along the Cairns coastline or private tours of Sydney or Auckland revealing the secluded charms of each.

You and your partner can set sail across the South Pacific to spot marine life swimming in the crystal-clear coves, take to the skies in a helicopter or hot-air balloon to see Australia and New Zealand from above, and discover the cultural roots of remote villages.

Couples and honeymooners adore Australia and New Zealand for their laid-back atmospheres, romantic accommodations, and cinematic tours of the beautiful wilderness and marine sanctuaries.

What food should I try in Australia and New Zealand?

The culinary cultures of Australia and New Zealand are diverse. Modern influences dominate many Michelin-starred restaurants, while tradition comes to life in the plates served by authentic Aboriginal and Maori establishments. The unique mix of old-world dishes and contemporary flavors make Australia and New Zealand cuisine exceptional, with the following list spotlighting the top foods to try.

  • Emu barbeque and grilled kangaroo in Sydney
  • Barramundi in Melbourne
  • Lamingtons in Brisbane
  • New Zealand crayfish in Kaikoura
  • Hāngī in Rotorua
  • Jaffas in Christchurch
  • Kina in South Island
  • Meat pies in Australia and New Zealand

Culinary classes are a great way to learn more about the local cuisine, while mastering the preparation of classic Australian and New Zealand dishes. Travelers can also partake in Michelin-starred gastronomy tours or enjoy local flavors on canapé tasting tours.

Are Australia and New Zealand safe to visit?

Traveling in Australia and New Zealand is very safe. The locals are invariably relaxed and laid-back, and always have a moment to say hello to foreign visitors. Both countries speak English, a genuine warm-heartedness pervades the regions, and a world-class transport infrastructure effortlessly connects remote destinations.

Visitors rarely encounter problems, other than those provided by nature. Crime levels are low, the water is safe to drink, and rural areas are famed for their friendliness. However, the unique geography can pose challenges for the underprepared. The Australian desert is remote and relentless, certainly not a place to explore on your own. Likewise, avalanches and volcanic activity continue to shape New Zealand.

Visitors should not have any issues, just remember the standard precautions. Be generous with sunscreen, stay out of the midday sun, listen to local advice on weather conditions, and don’t overestimate your abilities on a mountain bike, sea kayak, or when traveling on remote trails.

What vaccinations do I need to travel to Australia and New Zealand?

Vaccination requirements and recommendations for multi-country trips to Australia and New Zealand can change and the latest information on these can be found on the CDC Australia Vaccination Information and CDC New Zealand Vaccination Information.

Your Zicasso travel specialist will provide more information on what you will require to enter the two countries, as well as insight on any changes to entry requirements.

Which airports should I plan for?

As you begin to plan the route of your vacation in Australia and New Zealand, you will need to consider airports that are near the places you wish to visit. Below we list the most common airports that offer access to many of Australia and New Zealand’s primary travel destinations.

  • Sydney Airport (SYD) • Sydney, Australia
  • Melbourne Airport (MEL) • Melbourne, Australia
  • Adelaide Airport (ADL) • Adelaide, Australia
  • Auckland Airport (AKL) • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Christchurch Airport (CHC) • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Queenstown Airport (ZQN) • Queenstown, New Zealand

Do I need a Visa for Australia and New Zealand?

Travelers from the US will need to obtain a visa or ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to travel to Australia. For trips to New Zealand, US travelers will need to obtain a visa or apply for an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority).

Australia’s ETA and New Zealand’s NZeTA are types of electronic visas and the easiest and quickest ways for American citizens to travel to both countries. Your Zicasso travel specialist will provide you with more information regarding these visas and the documents you need to obtain them before departure.

What currency do Australia and New Zealand use?

The official currency of Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD) and the official currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar (NZD).

These are different currencies with different exchange rates, so be sure you have both as you will use the official currency of both Australia and New Zealand on your multi-country trip.

Many establishments in Australia and New Zealand accept visa cards. However, you should carry AUD and NZD in cash in case of emergencies.

How can Zicasso help me plan my trip to Australia and New Zealand?

Our Australia and New Zealand travel specialists have a wealth of insight into these countries and our Australia & New Zealand Tours offer a collection of custom tours to browse before you start planning your trip.

With these trip ideas, you can start painting a picture of your Australia and New Zealand vacation, from the types of experiences you can have to the specific places to visit. Whether perfect for your family or sparking your imagination for a honeymoon in the South Pacific, these can form the basis from which you build your itinerary design.

When you are ready, you can fill out a Trip Request whereby you can stipulate the places that you would like to visit, the length of your trip, the size of your group, and traveler ages. During this step, you can also provide more information about your travel style and trip budget. After submitting your request, our Travel Care team will contact you and match you with a top Australia and New Zealand travel specialist.

Your designated travel specialist will be available leading up to and during your trip. They will help you plan an inspired and stress-free vacation in Australia and New Zealand. They will also be readily available to answer your questions and assist with, if any, rare emergencies. From changes to your tours or accommodations, your travel specialist will give you peace of mind, no matter the scenario.

Learn more: How to Plan Your Zicasso Trip in 4 Easy StepsHow to Plan Your Zicasso Trip Budget in 3 Easy Steps

Where can I find recommended itineraries for my trip?

Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Take a trip to the South Pacific and discover the natural beauty, cultural charms, and historic significance of Australia and New Zealand. Vacations there reveal what makes each destination unique and their shared qualities.

If you wish to see the marine life and coral of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, followed by a stay in the geothermal wonderlands surrounding Rotorua in New Zealand, or enjoy the bustle of famous cities such as Melbourne and Auckland, our Australia & New Zealand Tours are the perfect place to find inspiration.

Your Dream Vacation

in 3 simple steps

  1. 1

    Describe your dream trip

  2. 2

    Get matched with top travel specialists

  3. 3

    Book the trip

Free service - no credit card required

Get Top Travel Specialists to Help Plan Your Trip