NEW ZEALAND-AUSTRALIA TRAVEL SPECIALIST SPEAKS BY ALECE SCHREIBER
Have you ever approached your local travel agent with a request for information on an out of the ordinary destination? Have you seen his or her eyes glaze over? You may be in need of a niche travel specialist, one who puts all of her energies and study on one part of the world.
This is a situation that happens often when people are seeking help in planning travel to Australia. The map of Australia looks quite similar to the map of the United States. But, do you know that a huge percentage of this continent's population lives on the east, southern and west coasts? 8,000,000 of Australia's 20,000,000 people reside in Sydney. The center and most of the northern portions of the country are barren and devoid of almost all human habitation.
People may not be aware that in both New Zealand and Australia the seasons are reversed when compared to the United States. June in the eastern U.S. is similar to December in Melbourne. Conversely, December in New York is akin to June in Sydney. Spring and fall are reversed and both are good times to travel to Australia and New Zealand. Queensland, in the far northeast, Darwin in the north central area and Broome in the west, all in Australia, are tropical. In other words, for North Americans, north is south and south is north!
What time is it in Sydney or Auckland is a frequently asked question. During the North American winter, the time in Sydney is EST plus 16 hours. In Auckland, it is EST plus 18 hours. When you leave in the evening from Los Angeles for Sydney or Auckland on May 1st , you will cross the international date line and will not arrive at your destination until early morning of May 3rd. On your return, you will arrive back in LA on the same calendar day that you leave the South Pacific.
This is the type of information that you can get from an agent specializing in one or a few destinations. Don't go the route of a generalist to help when you are focused on one part of the world. Help is available so that you have accurate and informative facts on your proposed destination.