A Dutch backpacker has found out the hard way there is more than one Sydney in the world when he found himself in Canada rather than Australia.

Milan Schipper, from Amsterdam, only twigged he was heading to Sydney, Nova Scotia rather than Sydney, New South Wales, when the plane was about to land reported news.com.au.

"I thought I was going to Australia, but that turned out a little different," the 18-year-old told Canada's CBC Radio.

Like many Europeans before him, Mr Schipper was intending to spend a year Down Under.
"I was planning on going backpacking, working over there and just enjoying the land."

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The first clue that he might not be heading to a city of 5 million - where the average March temperature is 25C, but rather to a town of 31,000 people where 1.5C was balmy - was the ticket price. While other airfares from Amsterdam to Australia were north of 1000 euros, Mr Schipper snapped up his ticket to Sydney for less than 800 euros.

It was just a good deal, he thought, and so he happily hopped on the plane.

Presenter Carol Off asked him at what point he began thinking something wasn't quite right.

"Well, quite late - when I was already in Toronto," Mr Schipper said.

"I saw the plane [to Sydney] and it was really small. So I figured, would that make it to Australia?"

Nevertheless, he boarded the tiny Air Canada jet but the sense that all was not well only grew.

"I checked the screen on the seat in front of me and I saw the flight plan was going to go right and up left.

"That was about the time that I realised there was another Sydney," Mr Schipper said.

"I felt terrible. I think I swore in my head for like 10 minutes. But there was nothing I could do about it because I already was up in the air."

Astoundingly, Mr Schipper said he wasn't the only person to make the same mistake in the tiny terminal. He said he met another woman from the US, who also thought she was going to Australia, had found herself in Canada's north.

Asked if she had a sense of humour about her similar predicament, Mr Schipper thought not. "But at that time, I didn't really either," he said.

Canada's Sydney is located on the stunning Cape Breton and is renowned for its hiking. But Mr Schipper said he only saw the car park before hot-footing it back to Toronto and then to Amsterdam where his Dad picked him up from the airport.

"He felt really sorry for me but he thought only I could do such a thing."

However, there is a silver lining for the blundering backpacker. As compensation for his error of continental proportions, and to help him on his way, the airline offered him free tickets to Sydney.

Sydney, Australia, that is.