Australia vs. New Zealand – The Difference Between

The difference between Australia and New Zealand Australia and New Zealand are separate countries located in the Southern…

The difference between Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand are separate countries located in the Southern Hemisphere. They are both countries of the South Pacific region of Oceania. They were both initially colonies of Great Britain and for this reason the flags of both countries are very similar. However there are distinct differences between the cultures of the two countries.

About Australia

Australia was established as a British penal colony and convicts from the British Isles were transported here. Immigration is still an important part of Australia society but the largest percentage of immigrants comes from Greece, Italy and Lebanon. It is a very large country and there are often great distances between cities and towns. There is a central government for the whole country with a Prime Minister as the leader, but there are also individual state governments that handle many of the day-to-day duties in each one. For example, schooling may be different in various states because it is the responsibility of the state government.

About New Zealand

New Zealand was established as a religious British colony. Although the largest percentage of immigrants to this country comes from other areas of the Pacific, in recent decades there have been more people moving here from countries in Asia. There are many glaciers in New Zealand as well as many lakes and plenty of fertile land. There is one central government and the schools all follow a national curriculum.

How Australia and New Zealand differ

The close proximity of the two countries would lead you to believe that they would have many similarities. This is not the case. The school system in Australia differs from one state to another, but in New Zealand all schools follow the same national curriculum. Australia is prone to long periods of drought, but in New Zealand droughts are of a short duration. The original immigrants to Australia came from countries in Europe, but those of New Zealand came from countries in the Pacific. Australia has a federal government for the whole country and individual state governments, but there is only one central government in New Zealand.

While there are differences between them, there is an air of friendliness and cooperation between Australia and New Zealand.

The following table will better illustrate the similarities and differences:


Australia New Zealand
Population 21.5 million 4.25 million
Area Australia measures 7.74 square miles and is the sixth largest country in the world. It contains a lot of deserts and the majority of the population lives in the South and the East. New Zealand is a mountainous country spanning about 268,000 square miles.
Economy The country has a per capita GDP of $41,300. It ranks 17th in the world in terms of export, which is mainly coal The per capita GDP is $28,000. The main export is dairy products and the country ranks 51 in the world.
Exchange rate $1AUD is equal to $1.115 USD $1NZD is equal to $0.713 USD
Climate The South and East have a temperate climate and the North has a tropical climate. The climate is temperate and earthquakes are common
Ethnic Population White – 92%; Asian – 7%; Aboriginal and other – 1% White – 56.8%; Asian – 8%; Maori – 7.4%; Pacific Islanders – 4.6%
Migrants The country ranks 14th in the world with migrants coming mainly from Lebanon, Greece and Italy The country ranks 37th in the world with migrants coming mainly from the islands of the Pacific
Language English (with a distinct accent) English; Maori
Government There is a federal government for the country with state governments for the individual states The government is a single Parliamentary democracy and there is an Constitutional Monarchy
Culture Australia has a multi-cultural society that is modest and places high regard on relationships. The people are direct in their dealings with others. The people of New Zealand are very friendly and although they may be reserved at first they extend hospitality to all visitors. They are concerned about the environment and are egalitarian.



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