How To Trick People Into Thinking You’re Australian

A Guide for New Zealanders

There can come a time in a Kiwi’s life when they consider jumping the ditch from NZ to Australia, consequently “raising the IQ of both countries” – or so the saying goes… But I recently read that more and more kiwis are ditching their expat lives and returning to the land of the long white cloud.

For those of you who, like me, are sticking it out (don’t worry, the Abbott reign will be over soon) here are six simple rules to help you fit right in…

1) Always Remember: 1 is 2 and 2 is 1 

When changing currency to the AUD, be prepared to throw all reason and logic out the window. Not only will your coinage weigh 7 kilos more than what you’re used to carrying around in your wallet or pocket, some of it (I’m looking at you 5 cents) while still technically legal currency, will be unusable in all parking metres, vending machines, self-checkouts, public transport ticketing machines and anything else without a face that accepts your money.

But perhaps the most blundering of fallacies is the difference in size between the $1 and $2 coins. In NZ, The $2 coin is bigger, as it is worth more. In Australia, though the coins are the same size as the NZ 1s and 2s, the $2 coin is the smaller one. This might make your logical kiwi brain ache every time you go to buy your morning skinny (not skim) latte, but trust me, the feeling does eventually dissipate.


Don’t let your awkward morning latte purchase out you as the foreign imposter you are, and no one need suspect you don’t belong in their country!

2) Ditch The Accent

To people of non-Australian or New Zealand accent, the two may sound very similar. But to us, we hear those differences almost instantly. I spent my last two years of high school in Australia and, let me assure you, nothing convinces you to ditch your accent faster than a classroom filled with teenage drama students begging you to say “Fish and Chips” just one more time.

I learned quickly that there were certain words that made me stand out, so I Australianised them. Now I can do this without even thinking about it, and with my help, you can too!

Here are the first words you should tweak:

Offensive Word* Tips to Improve it
Men Less Min, More Man
Dance Less Daaahnce more Daynce
Fish Less Fush more Feesh
Six Less Sux more Seex

*For extra camouflage, all words that rhyme with these words should also be tweaked in a similar fashion.

Only when I am drunk do my true roots shine through.

3) Learn The Lingo

It may seem like Australia was having laugh when they invented their slang, but let me assure you they take it very seriously. God forbid you get even one of these wrong you may as well pack your bags and head back to the airport.

Here is a table of the primary culprits to get you started. (Please refer to this at any time).

Old Way New Way
Jandal Thong
Chilly Bin Esky
Duvet Doona
Plaster Band Aid
Cellotape Sticky Tape
Sharpie Texta
Skim Milk Skinny Milk

Remember, use of the incorrect lingo can lead to confusion, ridicule and even rioting and chaos.

4) Know Which Aussie Celebs To Celebrate…

Hint: Hugh Jackman is Jesus and Cate Blanchett is a saint

5)…And Which To Condemn

…But we don’t talk about Nicole, Russell or Delta

6) Be Vague About How You Got Here

Especially if you arrived by boat. I don’t know if that includes the cruise ship kind of boat but generally arrival by boat seems to be frowned upon. I’m still a little hazy on the laws surrounding this so my advice is just to generally avoid discussion about where you are from.


The Australian Government sends me a voting registration form basically every year so something I am doing is obviously working. I hope these tips help you as well and I wish YOU every success in fooling your Australian neighbour into thinking you are just like him!

Are you living the expat life?

What are your secrets to fitting in?

Or do you prefer to stand out?

Let me know in the comments below!



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