Australia and New Zealand are geographically separated from the rest of the world, but their proximity to one another makes them close neighbors.
Despite the fact that the two countries have a great relationship and are only a 3.5-hour plane flight apart, they have some distinctions.
Both Australia and New Zealand have a distinct, thriving culture that has emerged from a fascinating and historic history, as well as a distinct, humbling landscape that attracts visitors from all over the world.
Everything About Australia
Despite being referred to as the “great island” by some, Australia is the world’s smallest continent, covering less than 7.7 million square kilometers. Australia is south of the equator and is bounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Australia is almost widely recognized as “the land Down Under” due to its southern location in regard to Europe, the Middle East, North America, and much of Asia.
The country consists of states and territories. New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia are the states on the Australian mainland, while Tasmania is the sole state that is separated from the rest of the country by the Bass Strait.
The country’s territories include the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, which is home to Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Other well-known cities in Australia include Sydney, located in New South Wales, Melbourne, located in Victoria, and Brisbane, located in Queensland.
Australia’s population is predicted to be over 25 million people as of 2019. Since early colonization, Australia has welcomed chain migrants from all over the world, such as the Italian, Greek, and other Western European chain migrants in the 1950s. Other huge influxes of immigrants have arrived from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, creating a broad and colorful cultural climate in Australia.
Despite the fact that various languages are spoken in Australian homes, including Indigenous Australian dialects, English remains the country’s primary language.
The Australian government is a constitutional monarchy, and its sovereign queen is the present head of the English royal family, Elizabeth II.
Everything About New Zealand
New Zealand’s entire area is 268,000 square kilometers. It is located southeast of Australia, and there is a great deal of commercial transit between the two, especially by ship. Most cruise ships travel from Australia to New Zealand in around three days.
The majority of New Zealand is made up of two big islands. The North Island is approximately 115,000 square kilometers in size, whereas the South Island is 151,000 square kilometers in size. In addition, New Zealand has a number of small islands.
New Zealand’s population is expected to reach about 4.7 million in 2019. In addition to the unique mix of races that currently call New Zealand home, the indigenous culture of New Zealand, Maori culture, is prevalent in modern New Zealand society.
New Zealand has a maritime climate, which has cool summers and winters. The scenery is defined by beautiful volcanoes, mountains, and lush flora, which draw visitors from all over the world.
Was New Zealand ever incorporated into Australia?
We’ve already proved that New Zealand was physically a part of the Australian continent millions of years ago, but was New Zealand ever a part of the country of Australia in more recent times? To answer this question, we must first comprehend Australia’s history and formation.
Britain colonized both Australia and New Zealand. Australia was formed from six independent British colonies: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. Constitutionally, New Zealand began as an extension of the colony of New South Wales, and remained thus until 1841, when it became an independent British colony.
The Commonwealth of Australia, as we know it today, was created in 1901 as a result of an agreement between the six self-governing colonies that formed the basis of today’s Australian states. Because New Zealand was no longer constitutionally connected to New South Wales at the time, it did not immediately become a member of the Australian Commonwealth. Of course, New Zealand was offered to join the Australian federation process, but chose to remain independent.
So, while New Zealand was never a part of the country of Australia, could we one day become a state of Australia? While this is doubtful, the original Australian constitution appears to have left the door open. Section 6 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act still reads as follows:
“The States shall mean such of the colonies of New South Wales, New Zealand, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, and South Australia as are currently parts of the Commonwealth, as well as such colonies or territories as may be admitted into or established as States by the Commonwealth; and each of such parts of the Commonwealth shall be called a State.”
The epic flag race between Australia and New Zealand
Now that you know more about the history between New Zealand and Australia, you’ll understand why our flags are so similar. Our respective flags are seen below, with New Zealand on the left and Australia on the right.
Comparison of the flags of New Zealand and Australia
Isn’t it a little perplexing? Don’t worry, even Australians may be perplexed at times, as evidenced by this Australian news broadcast discussing… Today is Australia Day. Recognize the flags in the backdrop.
Failure of the Australia Day flag
So the obvious question is, who raised the first flag? The Australian flag was designed and flown for the first time on September 3, 1901. A design competition was held, and five nearly-identical entries were given equal first place out of 32,823 entries. One of the design submissions came from a first officer from the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand.
New Zealand’s present flag was officially adopted in 1902, making Australia’s flag legally the first. The New Zealand flag, on the other hand, dates back to 1867. A bill for the current New Zealand flag was introduced in 1900, but due to political wrangling, it was only ratified in November 1901 and authorized by Britain’s King Edward VII on March 24, 1902. Australia wins 1-0!
Finally, we haven’t attempted to change our flag since 1902. Former Prime Minister John Key announced in 2014 a two-stage referendum procedure to determine whether New Zealanders wanted a new national flag. As a result of this protracted and expensive process, New Zealanders narrowly voted to preserve the current flag.
We had some heated argument during the process, and in typical Kiwi form, we generated a few ‘strange’ designs that drew attention from worldwide.