As an American with limited options for a working holiday visa, I chose New Zealand over Australia for a few key reasons.
One, of course, was the draw of the majestic Southern Alps, a truly magnificent spectacle without comparison. The other was because I really don’t enjoy stifling hot temperatures. The third and perhaps the most compelling argument against Australia was that there are too many things to kill you. Spiders, snakes, crocodiles. Even the kangaroo, which Winnie the Pooh led us to believe was kind and nurturing creatures have their dark side. (Seriously have you seen a buff kangaroo trying to drown a dog!?)
With a mild climate and nearly predator-free backcountry, it was an easy choice for me when I weighed my pros and cons but there was one I missed. One creature that feeds on human blood so viciously despite its pint-size stature.
The dreaded sandfly.
You can read my article in its original form here.