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    15 Little Ways You Probably Never Realised That Australia And New Zealand Are Wildly Different

    Just across the ditch, but low-key a world away.

    1. Watties instead of Heinz

    Flickr @9557815@N05/ / Via Flickr: 9557815@N05

    Let's start with the minor things. Australians have Heinz beans and tomato sauce. In NZ, it's the exact same products, same company, but the brand is called Wattie's.

    2. Countdown instead of Woolies

    Wikimedia / Creative Commons / Via commons.wikimedia.org

    Speaking of random name changes, New Zealand's Woolworths supermarkets are called Countdown. 

    3. Burger King instead of HJ's

    Creative Commons / Via hospitalitybusiness.co.nz

    Burger King exists in NZ, but in Australia, of course, it's called Hungry Jack's. 

    4. And a lot of inventive slang words

    Flickr: joceykinghorn / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: joceykinghorn

    While Australia and NZ share some iconic slang words, there are some unique aspects to the Kiwi language — like chilly bin, jandals, and bach. FYI Aussies, a bach is a beach house or holiday home. And it's pronounced 'batch', not like the composer. 

    5. Much more inclusion of Indigenous language

    Flickr: othree / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: othree

    Speaking of words, NZ is far further along with integrating native Maori language into the every day. In fact, Maori is one of the country's three official languages (along with English and Sign Language). 

    It might not be as simple to do in Australia, given the diversity of the Indigenous language groups, but something would be better than nothing. 

    6. Non-compulsory voting

    Xinhua News Agency / Xinhua News Agency / Getty Images

    Aussies, did you know that in NZ it's not compulsory to vote in federal elections? But the voter turnout averages around 80% — much better than some other countries out there... *side eye*

    7. Cops don't carry guns

    Kai Schwoerer / Getty Images

    Unlike Australia, cops in New Zealand aren't armed with guns. In 2020, they trialled a unit of armed police, but it was dropped after public concern. The country's police commissioner said that giving firearms to cops doesn't "align with the style of policing that New Zealanders expect."

    8. Far fewer creepy crawlies

    Flickr: felipeskroski  / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: felipeskroski

    There are no wild snakes in New Zealand. The spiders are very rarely venomous. The one thing you have to look out for are the wetas. But at least they won't kill you.

    9. And low-key, everything is a meme

    Facebook: ilovenewzealand

    Yeah, Aussies love a meme. But there's something about the Kiwi culture and sense of humour that's led basically everything in the country to be a big ol' meme.

    10. Scrumpy reigns supreme

    So.. Is scrumpy hands just a New Zealand thing? Where else in the world do yall do it?

    In Australia, teens drink Passion Pop or goon, but Kiwis are blessed with the golden elixir that is Scrumpy cider. Eight standard drinks for less than ten bucks? We love to see it. And playing Scrumpy Hands (where you tape giant bottles of the cider to your hands) is a NZ rite of passage.

    11. And you can get your booze in the supermarket

    An incomplete list of things I miss about NZ: 1. Feijoas 2. Being able to buy alcohol from the supermarket

    Buying alcohol in the SUPERMARKET is something that Kiwis take for granted, but Aussies could never dream of. The convenience!

    12. Definitely drink the tap water

    Medianews Group / MediaNews Group via Getty Images

    The tap water in New Zealand is frickin' PURE. Anyone who buys bottled water in that country is a dummy, because it's perfect straight from the tap. 

    13. Feijoas grow on trees (literally and metaphorically)

    Saulgranda / Getty Images

    Feijoas are a fruit, and its a flavour that you'll find everywhere in New Zealand, from ice cream and chocolate to beer and vodka.  They kinda taste like a mix of pineapple and strawberry and its kinda baffling that they're not as wildly available in Australia. 

    14. While pies are a whole different ball game

    Flickr: like_the_grand_canyon / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: like_the_grand_canyon

    You wouldn't think that a meat pie could be so different across the ditch, but they are. Australians use short pastry on their pies, whereas NZ uses a more flaky pastry. Yeah, you can get good quality flaky pies in 'Straya, but here we're talking about the classic servo pie. 

    15. And finally, in NZ, small cities are better

    Georgeclerk / Getty Images

    In Australia, most people wanna live in Sydney, Melbourne, or one of the other big cities. No offence, but the smaller cities are kinda shithouse. Meanwhile, in NZ, a lot of locals swear off Auckland in favour places like Wellington and Dunedin. Bigger than a town, but not a huge metropolis, these cities are filled with great bars, good coffee, a lot of culture and easy access to nature. 

    Anything we missed? Sound off in the comments below!

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