New Zealand is a relatively short flight across the Tasman Sea from Australia; it is also a former British colony. These two countries are pretty isolated from the rest of the world. Unsurprisingly, they are very similar in many ways.
Both countries speak English exclusively, complete with similar accents. New Zealand TV is mostly Australian TV Channels. Cars drive on the “wrong” side of the road in both countries. The people are all very friendly and approachable. Cuisines largely seemed similar. New Zealand has even been proposed to be added as the 7th Australian state several times.
Still, the countries are different in many ways. Australia is mostly desert – or “outback” – and much larger. New Zealand seemed very green top to bottom, with lots of scenic mountains and lakes. Look up a list of the deadliest/most venomous creatures, and Australia will be home to most of them. New Zealand on the other hand has produced defenseless, flightless birds. Australia’s population (22.3 Mil.) is a little more than 5 times New Zealand’s (4.4 Mil.); in fact, Sydney alone has a larger population than all of New Zealand.
Well…We’ve been home for about 2.5 months, and I’m finally getting around to finishing up my “wrap ups.” As one might imagine, taking 3 months off tends to put you behind the 8 ball at work, so – needless to say – I’ve been pretty busy in that regard.
Fortunately, I kept good notes and have Alyce’s blog posts to look back on. Plus, I have a decent memory, so I should be able to recap things almost as well as if I had wrote this while we still on the trip. On to Sydney…
Sydney is the largest city in Australia; its metropolitan area population (4.7 Million) would put it between Detroit and Seattle in the US. So it is a big city, but not huge. The city was pretty clean—maybe slightly less so than some of the Asian cities, but still very clean. I also found Sydney to be very safe, as was the case with most of the places we visited.
Sydney’s downtown – at least from a tourism perspective – is located around a little cove off of Sydney Harbor call Circular Quay. A quick note: Quay is pronounced as “key” (like you lock/unlock things with)…something we did not figure out until our last day in Sydney.