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Australia vs New Zealand: The Facts

For those of us who have travelled Australia or New Zealand we have become aware of a constant battle (or banter) that has forever taken place between Kiwis (New Zealanders) and Aussies (Australians... if you hadn’t already picked up on that).

Both countries are a backpacker’s dream; beaches, weird animals, good looking locals and a relaxed “it’s all good” attitude. But it’s about time we solved the great debate – which country is better?

We have selected 8 controversial topics that have forever sparked debate among the two nations. These topics have undergone a series of in depth analysis and tests. These were the results:

1. ‘Fush and Chups’

From the very dawn of time both Kiwis and Aussies have made fun of each other’s accents. Aussies are accused of being lazy for shortening their words. For example, Afternoon = Arvo, Barbeque = Barbie, McDonalds = Maccas. Whilst Kiwis have a unique accent that causes confusion between ‘I’ & ‘U’ as well as ‘I’ & ‘E.’

FACT: We believe that rivalry based on accents is an inevitable argument bound to happen between most nations within the world. However the event fact that a Kiwi says ‘SEX’ when answering the question ‘How many sausages would you like?’ – we think the Aussies have one up on them!

WINNER: Australia

2. Thongs vs Jandals

Before you fall off your seat – a ‘Thong’ is slang for a form of footwear worn by most Aussies & New Zealanders. The ‘Flip Flop’ is a rubber shoe that is great for summer! You will find this form of footwear on every Kiwi and Aussies shoe rack. The Aussies use the term ‘Thongs’ whilst the Kiwis use the term ‘Jandals.’ ‘Jandal’ is short for Japanese Sandal whilst the origins of the term ‘Thong’ are unknown.

FACT: New Zealand actually invented the rubber Flip Flop so this point must go to them.

WINNER: New Zealand

3. Who eats more Meat Pies?

Both Kiwis and Aussies claim to be the Meat Pie capital of the world! In Australia, the meat pie is the "traditional" meal offered at most sporting matches. This delicious treat was once declared by a former Australian Premier as the ‘national dish,’. Whilst in New Zealand, the meat pie is so popular that you can find them at every McDonalds restaurant.

FACT: On average, Australians consume 12 pies per year whilst neighbouring Kiwis consume 15 pies annually.

WINNER: New Zealand

4. Who has more Sheep?

Like the battle between Wales & England, Kiwis have forever been the centre of ‘sheep shagger’ jokes from the Aussies.

FACT: Although there are more sheep per person in New Zealand (5 sheep for every person), Australia actually has more sheep! There are 110 million sheep in Aus whereas New Zealand has only 40 million.

WINNER: Australia

5. Who invented the Pavlova?

For those of you who have yet to try a Pavlova – it is a meringue based cake filled with cream, fruit and goodies! Ask a Kiwi or an Aussie who invented the delicious treat and each will provide an alternate answer.

FACT: The dessert was named after Russian ballerina Ana Pavlova who toured both New Zealand and Australia. It has been claimed that a chef in Wellington invented the dessert for her in 1926. She then stayed at a hotel in Perth where the Chef published a recipe for the treat a few years later which gave popularity and recognition. However, history dates the first ever pavlova to be made in New Zealand.

WINNER: New Zealand

6. Australia has more dangerous animals

Australia is home to the most venomous animal on the planet – the Box Jellyfish... along with 93 types of poisonous snakes, 15000 species of spiders, the Crocodile, Dingos, scary birds such as the Emu and the Cassowary and who knew the Platypus was poisonous? New Zealand however has no poisonous snakes! The scariest creature is the native Kiwi bird the Kea – but he just likes to eat the rubber off car windows!

FACT: All of this is true. But as Australia seems to pull it off we thought we’d give them a point. Also they have the weird native animals: Koalas, Kangaroos, Wombats, Platypus, Emu... you get the picture.

WINNER: Australia

7. Which country has the best Landscape?

This is a hard one! New Zealand is centred on volcanic activity which makes for beautiful lakes, mountainous peaks and in Rotorua – bubbling bright orange, bright green and turquoise blue volcanic crater lakes. You will also stumble upon the south island’s Fiordlands and Sounds – stunning! Travelling the North Island and Abel Tasman you will also find some of the most amazing beaches: Hot Water Beach with 60 degree hot pools, black sandy beaches, golden sand and the surf beaches of Raglan & Gisborne.

Australia however is home to 2500km of Surf Coast from Melbourne to 1770 alone, the Great Barrier Reef, the big red rock in the centre, the rugged West Coast, the Tropics, over 8000 islands, the watering holes & waterfalls in the north & the red, sandy Outback.

FACT: Both countries are just as unique and beautiful as each other!

WINNER: They both WIN!

8. Who has the most ridiculous place names?

Australia: Humpybong, Mount Buggery, Poowong, Boing Boing, Cock Wash

New Zealand: Waipu (pronounced Why Poo), Shag River, Pig Root and the longest place name in the world: Taumata whaka tangi hanga koauau o tamatea turi pukakapi ki maunga horo nuku poka i whenua kitana tahu

FACT: In Tasmania there is a town named ‘Nowhere Else.’ However, there is also a town called ‘Nowhere Else’ in South Australia. With two towns named ‘Nowhere Else’ Australia takes the cake!

WINNER: Australia


It’s a tie! Australia vs New Zealand is a battle that will go on forever. Banter, giving someone sh*t, being a smart arse  or pulling someone’s leg is a form of friendly communication that should not be taken the wrong way. Aussies & Kiwis are, after all, neighbours. Both countries, although different to one another, are unique and unlike anywhere else in the world.

Travelling Australia or New Zealand? You may like our complete Backpacking Guides: Australia or New Zealand

Main image: By Bahnfrend (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons