UPDATED February 29, 2024

BY Michael Coo

IN Trans-Oceania

no comments

UPDATED February 29, 2024

BY Michael Coo

IN Trans-Oceania

no comments

Aussies Or Kiwis: Who Rules The 2024 Trans-Oceania?


Australia (‘The Lucky Country’) and New Zealand (‘The Land of the Long White Cloud’) have long had a sibling rivalry between them. For example, in sports, like cricket (point to the Aussies) and rugby (point to the Kiwis). Although the 2 countries love to tell jokes about their Trans-Tasman neighbours, they also consider each other as best friends on the world stage.

Our Trans-Oceania Cycling Tour covers both these unique countries and with the 2024 edition starting in about 7 months, we thought we would take a good-natured look at the debate and see who comes out on top.


Eastern Brown snake

Australia has kangaroos, wombats, emus & koala bears…but also some of the world’s most dangerous animals – salt and fresh water crocs, 93 types of poisonous snakes, spiders the size of a small dog and deadly box jellyfish!

Kiwi at night

New Zealand, on the other hand, has cute kiwis and a bunch of harmless birds and penguins

Winner: Australia, for both the variety and excitement of its animal population. Just keep yours eyes open!


Australia – Aussies love to draw out their vowels and shorten words. Dean Frankel, an expert in communication at the University of Melbourne, claims that early British settlers “frequently got drunk together and through their repeated interactions, unknowingly added an alcoholic touch to (the) national way of speaking.” They call flip flops, thongs. Our favourite expressions include: Ripper (Awesome) and Arvo (Afternoon).

New Zealand – Kiwis also play with vowels. Everything feels a little more nasal, so a “I” has a “U” sound. They call flip flops, jandals and claim to have invented the footwear. Kiwis have pointed out that “Australia is literally the only country on earth that wears thongs on their feet rather than their bums.” Our favourite Kiwi expressions include: Munted (Broken or drunk) and Chur (Awesome, sweet, good, yeah).

Winner: This is a tough one. Both countries get points for originality and style but the sheer number of Australianisms gives the edge to the Aussies. If you are having a hard time deciphering the differences in accents, watch this instructive video to learn the difference.

Cultural Norms

Australia – Kiwis take pleasure in portraying Aussies as gregarious, loud, rude, ex-convicts who foolishly claim that Crowded House is an Australian band.

New Zealand – Aussies return the favour by suggesting that Kiwis are shy, disdainful, sheep shaggers who mistakenly think that somehow Crowded House was a New Zealand band.

Winner: Let’s call this one a tie!


Wellington, New Zealand

Australia – Canberra. A true government town. One writer claimed “The most exciting thing to come out of Australia’s capital Canberra is the highway heading up to Sydney.

New Zealand – Wellington. Despite the sometimes crazy wind (the locals call. it ‘Windy Welly), the city’s attractive waterfront and picturesque location are hard to beat.

Winner: Sorry this one is a no-brainer. Point to the Kiwis.

Indigenous Symbols

Australia – The Didgeridoo was developed by the Aboriginal people of Australia over 1,000 years ago and its unique sound is used to accompany ceremonial dances. The word didgeridoo is not of Aboriginal origin and various peoples use terms like yiḏaki, mandapul or mako to describe it. The instrument itself can be anywhere from 1 – 3 metres in length.

New Zealand – The Haka is a Maori ceremonial dance that is probably best known to the wider world as performed before New Zealand’s All-Blacks rugby games. It involves the intense stamping of feet, rhythmic shouting and vigorous gestures – really quite the spectacle.

Winner:  Another tie. Both these symbols have an incredible impact on those experiencing them and reflect the beautiful traditions of the Aboriginal peoples of both countries.



Australia  is the world’s 6th largest country with a population of over 26 million people (and 42 million kangaroos). Kiwis would suggest that is all well and good but over 70% of that is semi-arid, arid or desert where virtually nobody lives (except those roos) and that Aussies are obsessed with size.

New Zealand, by contrast, is the 75th largest country with a tiny population of 5 million people (and 25 million sheep). Aussies would scoff at these two tiny islands and think that the difference in size gives the Kiwis a large (!) chip on their collective shoulders.

Winner: Australia. Size does matter.


Australia’s National rugby team is the Wallabies who play New Zealand’s All Blacks every year in the Bledisloe Cup. Unfortunately they haven’t been victorious since 2001. The country does get credit for inventing the rather insane Aussie Rules Football and more points for inventing something called polocrosse, which is exactly what the name suggests – a straight cross between polo and lacrosse.

New Zealand – The All-Blacks are widely considered to be the very best rugby team in the world. The country has also won the America’s Cup Yacht Race twice in the years since the Australians managed the feat back in 1983.

Winner: New Zealand gets the nod, not only for the incredible All-Blacks but also for Australia ‘cheating’ at cricket. In 1981 New Zealand was playing Australia in a cricket match and the Kiwis needed a six (the equivalent of a home run in cricket) to tie the match. The Aussie captain Greg Chappell made his brother Trevor bowl the ball underarm along the ground preventing any chance of the Kiwi batsman Brian McKechnie hitting a six. Whilst this wasn’t against the rules, it hadn’t been done before and was very much against the spirit of the game. Personally, I was in NZ at the time and still remember the outrage!


Australia – The dry. Forecast is hot and sunny…really hot and sunny.

New Zealand – The wet. Forecast is variable. Sunny periods with chance of rain and wind, perhaps lots of rain and wind.

Winner: If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Australia! However, the sun, gotta love the sun. A tie.

Food & Drink

Australia – Aussies prefer their malty, salty yeast spread in the form of Vegemite and consume on average 12 meat pies per person each year. The country is known for its rich Shiraz wines and take their XXXX beers to the beach in an Esky (cooler). They claim credit for inventing the Pavlova, a delicious desert named, oddly, after a Russian ballerina.

New Zealand – Kiwis prefer their savoury, earthy yeast spread in the form of Marmite and consume on average 15 meat pies a year. Their claim to fame in wines comes via the otherworldly flavours of Sauvignon Blanc while they cart their Steinlager brews to the beach in a chilly bin. They also take credit for the invention of the Pavlova, a disagreement with the Aussies that has lasted for almost 100 years.

Winner: Well, yeast spread is certainly an acquired taste (to put it mildly). Red wine fans will likely opt for Australia while white wine aficionados will lean towards New Zealand so this one is a tie.


Australia: The country has so many beaches (11,761) you could spend your live exploring them and never see them all. It also has the stunning sandstone monolith of Uluru and the incomparable Great Barrier Reef.

New Zealand: This country has it all – Beaches, mountains, rivers, forests, lakes, volcanoes and hot springs for a start. It is no wonder that it was chosen as the location for the filming of the Lord of the Rings.

Winner: New Zealand, for its incredible variety of landscapes, takes this one easily.


The final score? Australia and New Zealand each take 3 categories while 4 others ended in a tie. How does that affect your decision on whether to cycle one country or the other on the Trans-Oceania?

Well, if you rate wildlife, language and size highly then you could cycle all 3 Australian sections – Great Ocean Road (Adelaide – Melbourne),  Tasmanian Devils & Tigers (Launceston – Devonport) & Wizards of Oz (Melbourne – Sydney).

On the other hand, if scenery, sports and capitals are more important you could ride the 2 New Zealand sections – Maori Magic (Auckland – Wellington) & Kiwi Country (Wellington – Queenstown).

Or judge for your self and pedal through both countries and send us your own scorecard.



Pedaling across southeastern Australia, Tasmania, and both islands of New Zealand the multitude of experiences will be hard to fathom: pleasant wine...


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