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With winter fast approaching in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s a great time to start planning your trip to Australia and New Zealand. Whether you want to take advantage of cooler temperatures in your bid to explore the Australian outback—the average high temperature in Alice Springs sits between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit from May to August, a much kind of prospect than the 98° you’d have to deal with in the dead of January—or if you’re looking to get ahead of the curve in mapping out an itinerary so that you can book top destinations at cheaper prices, don’t waste a moment in planning out your trip.

To help out, here are some of the top destinations on the table for the Land Down Under and the Land of the Long White Cloud. I’ll start things off with an honorable mention. Both Australia and New Zealand have put considerable resources into modernizing their gambling industries in recent years, often combining casinos and sportsbooks with top-flight tourist destinations like the beautiful beaches of Australia’s Gold Coast or the trendy downtown areas of Auckland and Wellington. If all-inclusive resorts are your type of thing, make sure you look into online casinos in New Zealand so that you know you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Australia: Getting Away From the Tourist Rush

Australia’s eastern and southeastern coastal regions comprise more than 80 percent of the nation’s population, despite taking up barely one-third of the land area. The mild oceanic climate makes for a hospitable destination no matter the time of year, and you could explore the restaurants, cafés and beachfront attractions of the densely populated region for a lifetime, and still not even scratch the surface of all the things there are to do.

With that being said, there’s much more to do in Australia than just basing a trip around the big five states of Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania. They make for an excellent gateway to the region, but why travel all that way if you aren’t going to make the most of your time there?

The vastness of the Australian outback makes it difficult to boil down into a couple of top destinations, but I’ll give it my best shot. First and foremost is Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, the towering red sandstone monolith in the southern part of the outback’s Northern Territory. Uluru is one of the easiest destinations in the outback to get to, but that isn’t saying much: it’s still a roughly five hour ride by car from Alice Springs, so get ready to do some driving across the desolate yet beautiful landscapes if you want to visit.


Sacred to the Aboriginals who first called the region home, Uluru is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the area around it makes for rich hiking terrain with springs, watering holes, indigenous artifacts like ancient paintings, and caves.

Biodiversity is the name of the game in this trip guide, so the other stop I’ll break down is Kakadu national park. Located in the far northern reaches of the Northern Territory, Kakadu covers an area roughly the size of Wales. You can expect rivers, wetlands, waterfalls and sandstone outcroppings in the massive area, along with 1,700 plant and roughly 500 different vertebrate species.

New Zealand: AKA Middle Earth

If you’ve ever seen Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, you likely know all about the allure of scenic destinations in New Zealand. Whether it’s the mountains of the nearly 5,000 square mile Fjordland national park in the country’s southwestern corner or the idyllic forests and rolling hills of Te Ika-a-Māui/the North Island, New Zealand has natural wonders aplenty for any would-be hiker.

In terms of cultural attractions, I always like to visit local sporting matches when I visit a new country in order to accurately get my finger on the pulse of the local scene, whether it’s cricket in India and the Caribbean or ice hockey in Canada and Northern Europe. For New Zealand, the sporting scene begins and ends with rugby: while the national team, the All Blacks, is consistently one of the best clubs in the world, winning two of the last four World Cups, going to a game is quite affordable. Most tickets are split between child and adult pricing, so you can bring the whole family without breaking the bank… and at 59 New Zealand Dollars for an adult ticket—roughly $35 USD—you’re getting a steal in the process.

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