22 things Kiwis say that Australians don't understand

Chris Ratcliffe/ Getty Images.

  • New Zealand and Australia are both English-speaking countries.
  • New Zealanders have a long list of slang terms and colourful expressions that set their dialect apart from Australian English.
  • We compiled a list of 22 Kiwi words that would confuse Australians.

  • New Zealand and Australia are linked in many ways, have an intense sporting rivalry and — to their dismay — often get mistaken as the same place by foreigners.

    But the most obvious thing the two countries share is their language (and New Zealand-born Australian Russell Crowe).

    However, the way Kiwis – the nickname they gave themselves after the country’s small, flightless bird – and Aussies speak can vary wildly.

    And the New Zealand accent is a source of endless amusement for Australians with its flat vowels, which make the number 6 sound like “sux”, amid endless jokes about “fush and chups”.

    When three Australians made an 80-second YouTube cartoon about a whale and seagull speaking with a Kiwi accent, known as “Beached Az”, it became a cult hit. Made for $16 worth of coffee, it has been viewed more than 9.2 million times over the past decade and given the film careers, as well as making them a fortune from merchandising.

    It grew into a TV series for Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC.

    Here is the original clip:

    New Zealand English is full of unique slang words and expressions that would leave most Australian speakers scratching their heads.

    Taking the lead from Business Insider’s Portia Crowe, who compiled a similar list of words for Canada and America, we’ve taken the list over the Ditch and found some more examples to illustrate how differently Australians and New Zealanders speak.

    Read on for 22 Kiwi words and expressions that most Australians simply won’t understand.


    A holiday home.


    An expression used when a person is pleased with something.

    Chilly bin

    An Esky.


    Chewing gum


    An expression used instead of thank you.


    A convenience store.

    An Egg

    An expression used to describe a clown, or insult them.


    Used at the end of a rhetorical question, or making a statement.

    Hard Out

    An expression used when in agreement with someone.


    Thongs or flip flops.

    Land Waka

    The bus.

    Pack a Sad

    Have a temper-tantrum.


    Used to describe something that is broken.

    Red Bands

    An iconic brand of Gumboots made in New Zealand.


    A university student.


    Broke, no money.


    Someone who is well dressed.



    Stink one

    An expression used when you have been disappointed.

    Tiki Tour

    Taking the long way to get to a destination.



    The wops

    A place in the middle of nowhere.

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