Australia and New Zealand can feel tucked away at the end of the world in the southern hemisphere. These two nations share a common language, are members of the British Commonwealth, have the Queen’s face on their currency and the Union Jack and Southern Cross in their flags.
Once you get past those common threads however, these are two nations with some very distinct differences. Australia is a massive continent; New Zealand comprises two islands about one tenth of Australia’s land mass; Australia is almost 80% desert; New Zealand is wet, green and mountainous; Australia northernmost point pokes into the tropics at 20 degrees south; New Zealand’s southern tip sits at 53 degrees south.
Flying from subtropical Sydney to temperate Christchurch, on New Zealand’s South Island, feels like quite a change. Not just in terms of climate, but also in terms of temperament. It could be said that the Aussie personality is large and expansive, like the continent. New Zealanders, or ‘Kiwis’ after the national bird and fruit, on the other hand, can seem more circumspect and quiet in comparison.