It's kind of like asking should I go to Costa Rica or Italy. Both are awesome, but completely different. It depends entirely on what kind of holiday you want. NZ is more diverse in a lot of ways and there are more things to do, it's over , square miles, which is exponentially larger than the accessible islands of Hawaii , but you won't find the quality of snorkeling and diving there is some in NZ, but brrrr or the tropical beaches.
But you're from AUS where the snorkeling and diving is much better than anything we have in Hawaii. BTW, you would definitely want to rent a car in NZ too to get the most out of the experience. One option you could do is go to NZ and then add in Fiji or French Polynesia for some tropical time and Polynesian culture without going all the way to Hawaii.
I have been to both. Both islands of NZ are quite different to each other so you have the diversity there.
I visited both the Big Island of Hawaii and also Oahu and loved both. What I noticed on the BI was the diversity of the landscape from volcanic shores to rainforest to rolling hills with split rail fences and eucalypt trees so at times I thought I was back in Australia. Which did I prefer? I would probably say Hawaii but I can't really explain why.
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Your dollar would certainly go further in NZ although I don't think the airfares would be any cheaper than going to Hawaii. Upon reflection, while I love living in Hawaii and certainly think it's a great travel destination for many people, I put NZ in my top five places to go in the world, and coming from AUS, with the currency situation right now, I think if you haven't been to NZ, you should go.
The thing is though, I'd allocate as much time as possible and try to cover both islands. Our first trip, we spent about three weeks, including 4 days on the Milford Track, and we missed a lot. It's like a little piece of the Mediterranean. Great wines, olive and lemon groves, warmer water and weather.
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I would spend time with several books on Hawaii , and New Zealand. Then, get a couple of long sheets of paper. Draw a line down the middle of each, creating two columns, one for Hawaii and the other for New Zealand.
Fill in the things, which attract you to each. If you are still in a quandary, do the same with more paper, but instead of listing that, which appeals, write the negatives of each, to help you decide. You realize both have opposite season's don't you? Although they have mild winters, it's just now starting. Hawaii of course is about to start the summer season. And then there is the wine - yep WAY better than Hawaii. Private condos can be extremely affordable. Lodging in New Zealand can be done cheaply, but the quality is much, much lower bed bugs are no extra charge.
The same can be said for cars. The same amount of money will get a 1 year old Ford in Hawaii. Coming from Australia, both NZ and Hawaii will feel expensive to you. Well, I can say I get a lot more bang for my USD in NZ than I do in Hawaii , whether it's wine, dinners, activities, or lodging, especially the latter which is often my biggest travel expense.
Air New Zealand – United States Official Site
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