20 ways in which New Zealand is different from the United States

1. Kiwis drive on the left hand side of the road and the driver’s seat is on the right side of the car. 


2. There are a lot more sheep in New Zealand. There are 30 million sheep in New Zealand. The United States only has 5.21 million sheep.


3. Light switches


4. Outlets


5. Currency


6. Accent

7. Words/Expressions: Check out my guide to New Zealand/Kiwi slang HERE.


8. Rain guards on cars so you can have your windows open while it’s raining


9. Second-hand stores are called op shops (opportunity shops) or hospice shops. Hospices throughout the country raise funds to support their services by running second hand shops. There are over 100 retails shops run by hospices between Kaitaia and Invercargill.


10. Kids ride scooters more than skateboards. Check out this article about the NZ Scooter Championships.


11. At campgrounds you pay per person and you don’t usually get an individual site. Most campgrounds are fields.


12. There are so many 1 lane bridges! It costs less money to build and maintain a single-lane bridge than it does to build a double-lane bridge, and that is one of the main reasons why they are plentiful.


13. Sandflies In my opinion sandflies are worse than mosquitoes. Sandflies don’t make a noise so you don’t hear them coming! They suck your blood and you are left with scratchy bites.



14. Exeloo toilets

15. Stoats, ferrets, weasels and many other animals are being trapped and poisoned in New Zealand because they pose a danger to the indigenous birds. “In May stoats were declared “public enemy number one” for New Zealand birds. The Government has set aside an extra $6.6 million for research to control them.”


16. Kiwis walk around barefoot. You will even see people walking barefoot in grocery stores!


17. There are bean bags in a lot of public places.


18. The birds are very different from the birds in the U.S. This bird is called a pukeko.


19. Public healthcare in New Zealand is free or low cost if you are a citizen.

20. When you eat out at restaurants they do not bring you the bill. You have to go up and pay at the register.

One comment

  1. Anonymous

    This is a really interesting look at NZ! I especially like: the rain guards for car windows, accent differences, birds & bean bags! Nice work capturing the differences. The vocabulary list would help any traveler.

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