There is a long-standing rivalry between Australia and New Zealand that I am sure goes deeper than if you play AFL or Rugby.
The first time I visited Auckland, I couldn’t help but see similarities between Viaduct Harbour and Sydney Harbour. Both cities also have tall viewing towers and a park called the Domain. I thought Auckland was basically Sydney, about 20 years ago.
Many New Zealanders actually come to Sydney to work for a while, and it was through these people that I learnt what Pinky bars were and discovered the differences in our accents.
Of course, you should never compare countries, but it’s human nature to do so.
They have kiwi’s and we have kangaroos. We have the better beaches, but they have the better snow. Historically, the New Zealander relationship with their native culture- the Maori’s- has been much more progressive than our relationship with the Aboriginals. Part of the New Zealand national anthem is sung in Maori and the haka is performed before rugby games.
They have Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and we have Hunter Valley Semillon. We have desert and they have glaciers. Australia was a well-known filming destination for movies such as The Matrix, but it seems like New Zealand has now cornered the market with productions like The Hobbit.
Australians are often accused for taking credit for New Zealand talent, such as Crowded House and Russell Crowe; but can we help it if global perception naturally attributes these to Australia?
After recently exploring more of New Zealand, I have fallen in love with the city of windy Wellington and the small town of Akaroa. Driving around the South Island, I was struck by the natural beauty of the country, and of the west coast in particular which reminded me so much of the west coast of Canada.
I would love to go back and explore Milford Sound and Mt Cook.
I hope that the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is just skin deep. Personally, I like both countries and can see the advantages of each culture. Isn’t it time we all just got along?