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Goodbye New Jersey. Hello World! A record of my journey as I give up my job, my possessions, and life as I know it to go off and see the world!

Australia vs. America: The Little Differences

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 12 January 2011 | Views [207139] | Comments [97]

I am getting pretty close to spending 3 months in Australia.  Over this time, I have noticed some subtle differences between here and the states.  I would like to take some time to acknowledge some differences and similarities between the two: 

Little Differences Between Australia and America

(1) Well the obvious, Aussies drive on a different side of the road than the states.  I have finally gotten used to looking in the right direction when I cross the road.  I am in so much trouble when I finally do come home. 

(2) Aussies very rarely dry their clothes in a dryer. Everything is air dried.  It’s a pain when it’s raining but makes so much sense when it’s nice out.  Think of all the electricity that they save! 

(3) There’s a definite sensitivity towards water usage here.  I have learned to wash my dishes differently here than at home.  Most homes I have stayed at have two sinks:  one to fill with warm soapy water and the other to rinse.  Short showers are also emphasized.  Oh - and the toilets here have two flushing buttons.  One is a half flush and the other is full flush.  I think you can figure out which is for which J 

(4) Want tea?  Use the electronic kettle!  Actually this is what most places in the world do for hot water.  I don’t know why us Americans are so old school putting our kettles on the stove to heat our water.  It is so much easier to use these electric ones.  Mental note:  purchase one of these when I get home. 

(5) Less free wifi then other places in the world.  It can be a bit annoying when you travel.   

(6) Salvation and charity shops galore!  No matter what town I go to I can always count on a charity and secondhand book shop.  Very nice for the backpacking budget. 

(7) Spelling/pronunciation of words and slang.  Words are spelled here as they do in England.  For instance honors vs. honours.  I know I have been here a long time because I am staring to look at the American spelling of words and thinking that they aren’t spelled correctly.  I am also starting to spell words in “proper English” as well.  As mentioned before, I am in a heap of trouble when I get back.  Also, I could go on and on over all of the abbreviations Aussies use.  They like to shorten a word and put an o or ie at the end of it.  To list a few:  Salvo (salvation sarmy), Povo (poverty), pressie (presents), chrissie (Christmas), Maccas (Mc Donalds), Sunnies (sunglasses), cozzies (swim costume), uni (university) and so on and so on.  Other words that sometimes throw me are “docket” for a receipt and “serviette” for a napkin. I have also learned some great insulting slang such as calling something “shithouse” if it sucks or telling someone to “take a teaspoon of cement and harden the f### up” if they are being a pansy. 

(8) Aussies use their cutlery different from Americans.  In fact, most of the world does.  Perhaps you will understand this if you have spent time with non-Americans.  When us Yanks eat a meal we will use our knife to cut, then put it down and put our fork back into our right hand.  Most other people keep their knife and fork in their hands all the time, rarely putting it down.  Often they will try to combine the different food on their plate on their fork at once instead of eating the food separately.  If you ask me, it’s a much more polite way to eat your food.  I have started to attempt to eat like that as well just because I think it’s fun to eat differently.  I know, call me a tool. 

(9) Usually the food is of high quality when you eat out....although you do pay for it.

(10) The beaches here are, hands down, some of the best I have seen in the world.  I always defended the Jersey shore growing up.  Sorry Jersey, but your beaches have nothing on the golden brown sand and deep blue water of the Australian coast.  And they are free. 

(11) It’s more expensive here.  Especially beer, even if you buy it at the bottle-o (liquor store). Petrol is over five dollars a gallon. 

(12) Baseball is nowhere to find, it’s all about the cricket.  I have watched quite a few cricket games.  They are really long.  I am trying to figure them out. 

(13) The bugs are insane.  They are either massive like the huntsman spider, or painful like the bull ants.  I don’t think I have ever been bitten so many times by mossies (mosquitoes). 

(14) The birds here are more exotic – and make funny noises.  All fine and good until you hear the squawking of kookaburras at 4 in the morning. 

(15) If you are a new driver on the road you have to have an extra square plate displayed on the back of your car.  It has a P or L on it depending on how long you have been driving. So when a car comes flying up the road and cuts you off you can blame it on their provisional driving skills. I heard they were thinking of doing something like this back in Jersey. 

But there are a lot of similarities between the countries as well.  More so than I would have guessed.  Some similarities are: 

(1) You are screwed if you don’t have a car.  If you live in a major city you are okay.  If you don’t, forget it.  You can bus it to an extent but even getting around in a smaller town can be quite difficult if you don’t have wheels. 

(2) Australian TV = American TV.  Pretty much all of their shows and sitcoms are American, with exception to the news. Scratch that - I can even catch the American today show here in Australia.  Let me tell you, Matt Lauer never looked more glorious J  Similarly Australian films = American films.  I have no problem keeping tabs on what is going on at home here.  As I write this I am watching an NFL game. 

(3)  Many American restaurants and shops are here.  I can get Subway, McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks, and Burger King (even though they call it Hungry Jacks here). 

(4) The weekends are the big nights out.  People love to go clubbing. 

(5) Families are especially important here.  People love to get together and have barbeques with the family on the weekends. 

(6) Smoking is banned everywhere inside.  This is good because I am pretty sure all the second hand smoke I got in Europe and China has taken a full year off of my life.  Good to come home from a bar and not smell like an ashtray J

I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge all of the amazing food that I have had in this country (another thing to blame for the weight gain ha ha)

(1) Tim Tans:  These rectangular chocolate cookies covered in icing that are to die for.  They are like crack cocaine.  Seriously, once you start you cannot stop.  I am proud to say I am now 2 weeks off of the Tim Tams. Let’s see if I can go longer. 

(2) Vegemite/Promite:  Okay, at first I hated the stuff but I learned it’s because I didn’t eat it properly.  You put butter on your toast then put a thin spread of the stuff on.  Not a bad brekkie (breakfast). 

(3) Pavlova:  Delicious meringue cake with a sugar coating and fruit on top.  Sickingly sweet.

(4) James Boags Beer:  In my opinion the only decent mainstream Aussie beer worth drinking.  And it’s Tasmanian!

(5) Lamington Cakes:  These small chocolaty, rectangular cakes covered in coconut shavings.  Yum!

(6) Crunchie Bars and Violent Crumble Bars: Honeycomb covered in chocolate. 

(7) Honeycomb and chocolate Supa Shakes:  Comes in a carton, you shake it up, instant delciousness.

(8) Northern Territory Iced Coffee:  In most places you can buy coffee falvoured milk in any convenience store.  My favourtie is the Northern Territory because it tastes just like the Starbucks Frappuccino drinks you can get at the supermarket at home.

(9) Gala and Fiji apples:  Okay you can get these at home but think about where they usually come from:  New Zealand and Australia!  They taste even better here. 

(10) Chicken parmesan.  Yes you can get it at home but it tastes so much better here.  And the size of it is massive.  There are so many places that advertise the biggest or the best in the country.


(11) Meat pies and sausage rolls:  Whoever thought of combining pastry and meat was a genius. 

I’m sure there are other things that I am missing.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking America.  There are quite a few things at home that I have come to miss.  But I have come to really like all these little differences.  There are many times where this country seems very similar to the states, but then I catch a glimpse of the Australian flag waving in the wind and I can’t help but have a sensational emotion run through my body.  Looking at that flag reminds me that I am here, in this country, thousands and thousands from home on the other side of the globe.  I am so glad that I made it here. 



Dig it, Lauren! I was only there for a few weeks, but I agree with a lot of what you say. Especially the meat pies!!! Why don't we have those??? :o)

  Peg Jan 12, 2011 8:47 AM


P.S. Check out an AFL game (Aussie Rules Football) if you can! Awesome! Much more violent and weird than the NFL.

  Peg Jan 12, 2011 8:48 AM


I actually miss the sound of Kookaburra's at four in the morning.

  Brittney Jan 12, 2011 9:33 AM


Actually we do have cable internet here, but most of us use an ADSL connection through the phone line, not a USB wireless dongle. The internet is bad here, but not that bad, especially if you live in a big city.

  Gerbils Jan 12, 2011 6:43 PM


Australians don't wear shoes.

  Nick Jan 12, 2011 6:46 PM


Fabulous article! As an Aussie living in the states it brought me a few giggles :)

One slight correction: it's chicken parmigana :) and there's a pub on every corner that does the best in town! I might have to try a home cooked one here for the americans!
Don't forget to try a few cherry ripes - more addictive than Timtams :)


  Renee Jan 12, 2011 7:06 PM


Haha good piece. I am an Australian but found Tim Tams in Canada at 'Save on Foods' - Don't know if they're in America. I talk about my hunt for them at www.barnardbarnes.blogspot.com
Our beer is good though!

  Tim Jan 12, 2011 7:20 PM


Oh the joys of Pavlova {drools}

  Saraansh Jan 12, 2011 7:34 PM



One tip before you head from our sunny shores.

- Take a timtam
- Bite just the smallest part of each end off, dip it into a mug of hot cholocate
- Suck the milk through the timtam till you feel it hit your tongue and then push it into your mouth.

It's called a timtam explosion and is what's known in aussie slang term as 'the ducks guts' (totally excellent!)

  Chris Noble (@worldnomads) Jan 12, 2011 7:46 PM


Hey. As an Aussie (Tasmanian, even!), I like this!

Two corrections: the apples are called fujis (not fijis) and a Parma is a chicken parmagiana (not Parmesan).

Glad your enjoying our wide, brown land (although the part I live in is green and wet, and rather small, so not wide or brown!).

Another key difference: thongs.

  Deon Jan 13, 2011 12:26 AM


I think most Australian's call it the Tim Tam Slam and do it with coffee.


  Tim Jan 14, 2011 5:09 PM


Lauren, I've been reading back posts of your blog and I love it. I know that you're in Australia on a long-term work visa. Have you found a job? (Forgive me if you mentioned it and missed it!)

  Wendy Gaudin Jan 15, 2011 8:53 AM


"The dairy products here are amazing."
What was the milk you tried??? Try Mungalli Creek Milk and you will never go back to the permeate filled garbage (that's most other milks).
Here is a link to Mungalli Creek Dairy-

  Chris Mar 7, 2011 8:31 PM


Thank you SOOO much for this incredibly entertaining and insightful article. I'm an Aussie from Sydney and enjoyed reading the article very much. It was hilarious and I think you have nailed it with your observant hints about our little "differences". Thank you .. loved it!

  Kate Mar 17, 2011 11:26 PM


Aussies have a thing for "sweet chili sauce" also, which I thought was great. It's EVERYWHERE, including Subway. Can't find the same thing here in TX.

Another key diff is that they aren't nearly as worried about lawsuits as they are here in the states. You can climb their bridge and dive their reef w/o a cert.

Also Holden vs. Chevrolet as far as GM goes.

And the obvious: It gets warmer and more tropical as you move NORTH, and the seasons are opposite.

"Arvo" (i.e. afternoon) is another good example of a shortened version with "o" at the end.

As far as being more expensive, one thing that really struck me was the exhorbitant price of cold .5 liter soft drinks vs. The States.

  Scot McKay Jul 15, 2011 2:02 PM


Another few differences I noticed:
1. American exit signs are red, not green (the ones I saw anyway)
2. Toilets in america seem to have a lot more water in them
3. light switches work backwards!

  Rosh Nov 18, 2011 9:35 PM


I did the opposite to what Lauren did and moved to the States for a year. I had the best time (I was living in NY) and really miss it. I agree with everything Lauren has stated but I really miss the social scene in the USA.

I live in Perth and it is so quiet here I sometimes think it's dead. What I loved about the States is that they cater for a mixture of ages at their bars while in Australia it is usually a younger crowd.

I also loved Jersey Shore. In fact that is one of my best weekends there and lets not forget the women. Sorry Aussie girls, I really found the American women really approachable and friendly. Sometimes I find Perth women a little closed off from engaging in a conversation.

Biggest draw back about the USA was the economy. Tough trying to get a job there and I was serverly underpaid for the work I did but you do what you have to to survive. I also did a knee injury while there and the bill just to see a doc and have a scan was $1500. Thankfully I had insurance but needless to say health insurance is crazy expensive. Still I miss the USA and it will always be my second home.

  nate Nov 19, 2011 12:45 AM


lol i was looking at what u said about the bugs everywhere and no cable internet i dont know about u but when i came to aus for 3months i was staying in the inner city of melbourne and i could get everything i had in the states in aus...

  jacob Dec 7, 2011 7:56 AM


Ha, it's kinda funny how americans react to us Australians.

P.s Tim Tams are awesome.

  Matthew Dec 19, 2011 9:11 PM


I've enjoyed reading this post. I'm a native Californian living and working in Gunbalanya (formerly Oenpelli), in the NT. The Traditional Land Owners are the Manilagarr/ Murrwan Clan and Mandjurlngung Clan, whose first language is Kunwinjku. We're in the wet season and the road is shut, water's up at Cahills Crossing, but good fishing and croc viewing; the waterfalls are running. We border Kakadu National Park, beautiful by air view, which is the only way to get anything in and out of the community now. I have to give a shout out to NITV, very high quality, nothing American about it, and I've gained the trust of my own "Red Dog", a cheeky camp dog with loyal personality. Bush apples, bush tucker, have to add these to the list as well. Our Australian flag is black and red with a big yellow circle in the center and I know what you mean when you say, glad I made it here. http://www.injalak.com/Injalak_days.html

  nicole Feb 4, 2012 4:49 PM


I live in Australia, America is one of the countrys i would love to see one day, lol timtams, i hate them, well they are not bad but im sick of them haha.

our beaches..? they are deadly! i would love to see the jersey shore! Australia is nice but you get some real "Bogans" or scumbags here and there that are wrecking out country :(

  Kirk Feb 5, 2012 7:49 PM


LOVE it, but so surprised you did not mention the coffee differences or is it not an issue . I personally cannot stand Starbucks coffee and every body i know who has been to the States says Americans just can"t do good coffee . I love good coffee and from what i have heard and tasted ( starbucks only ) i'd have to take my own plunger and ground stuff if i ever visited there . LOL Is this true?

  Sally Feb 6, 2012 10:45 AM


I stayed in Australia for about 5 yrs and recently I moved to US..and I'm not liking it. People are not helpful here the main thing..and the places are bit old and quite.. Travelling is hard here.Publoc trasportation is not good.

  Elina Feb 9, 2012 1:29 PM


And yea another thing...haven't tasted as good coffee as we get in australia.

  Elina Feb 9, 2012 1:53 PM


Starbux burns their beans. I was a barista at another cafe as starbux was gaining popularity and the difference was huge. Of course that was a decade agoansnow I give in to the convenience every now and then...they are also fair trade which is nice. Can't wait to try Australian coffee.

  Melissa Mar 12, 2012 4:47 PM


You must go to New Zealand next :)

  Nicola Mar 24, 2012 8:52 AM


I can't help but laugh. One of the commenters here said that they're American and living in the Northern Territory but that their Australian flag is black and red with a yellow circle in the middle of it - sorry, but that's not the Australian flag, it's the Aboriginal flag.

  Dani Mar 24, 2012 8:52 PM


Glad you didn't mention the growing number of Bogans in our country. Haha.
Urban Dictionary definition of bogan ;) :

  Alexandria Apr 3, 2012 4:54 PM


I loved your blog!
I am an Australian exchange student living in the United States for 6 months! I am 15 years old and I am absolutely loving every day here. Your blog helps me remember what Australia is like, it seems so long ago! Enjoy the Tim Tams while you still can! Trust me; they are impossible to get here in the States! Or you can pay some horrible price that just isn't worth it!

Some things that I have noticed that is different is that our sinks in Australia don't have that blender/food thing.
No one in Australia has a basement; we just don't have severe hurricanes/cyclones as much (even though we still get cyclones, like early 2011 in QLD)
It's weird, when I think about it; there are hardly any turning taps here in the US. They are pull-up ones. I remember when I first arrived; I didn't know how to use the tap!
Like someone mentioned, light switches are backwards.
And a heap of other differences that you have already mentioned.

When you come back to the US, you'll definitely notice that things are a lot cheaper here (although wages aren't as high). I am love the fact that I can buy things here in the United States half price or cheaper than what I'd normally pay in Australia.

There are baseball games in Australia, but as you say it's not as common as our Australian Football, Cricket or Soccer. If you try and search for local games in your area via the internet, you might be able to get for baseball fix (or just watch the American games online).

I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay, and eat up those Tim Tams, and Cadbury chocolate! I know that I will deeply miss the Hershey’s bars and Reese’s cups- but that is what Amazon is for!

  Aussie in the US May 23, 2012 7:13 AM


Love your blog!!! I live in a small town in Alabama and secretly wish to run away to Australia and never come back!! So I enjoyed learning some of the similarities and differences!!

  Kelly Jul 10, 2012 9:36 AM


I loved this post!

Yes, Tim Tams are to die for! I've never been to the States, but I really want to go someday! You'll probably have noticed that we Australians are really big on sport and the outdoors, but we don't really play baseball, and obviously not American football.

And you're right - the bugs are a nuisance. Especially mosquitoes in the summertime after a big rain.

  Gabby Jul 13, 2012 3:28 PM


lol, this was fun to read~ Although I'm Aussie I can't stand cricket. It's like watching a bunch of guys standing around in white all day and occasionally throwing a ball. =/ I much prefer baseball. We actually have an Aussie Baseball League, you just have to know where to look XD

  Erin Jul 23, 2012 10:32 AM


One of the most enjoyable reads I have had in a while. What a laugh as I sit here with an American......

  Steven Aug 22, 2012 7:35 PM


OMG, this was such a funny read! It made me feel good but sad at the same time as I am an Aussie living in the US, I've been here for two years and I miss home terribly.

To Nicole, that flag isn't the Australian flag, it is the Aboriginal flag :)

also, to anyone in the US that misses Tim Tams, you can get them along with Vegemite on this website:


the prices are ok, especially when you are really craving.. the Tim Tams are listed at Arnott's Original but they are definitely Tim Tams. You can also buy Vegemite at Wegman's supermarkets..

Thank you for a great read!

  LJ Sep 25, 2012 5:25 AM


I had a quiet laugh to myself reading this. You listed all the things I love about Austalia. I'm an Aussie living inthe states for the year, and am having a blast do do miss some of the little things. I found a shop that sells Tim Tams :), even paid a rediculous price for 4 packets. But I also discovered Butter Fingers!!! I will be taking several boxes home with me, I already sent some home to friends and family

  Shaz Sep 28, 2012 7:06 AM


I just moved to NYC for work. Love the city. Does anyone. Know where I can buy some vegimite and timtams.Ive searched so many shops and found nothing . I really miss australia . I taught heaps of people at work t he differents type of slangs. And they say it all at the wrong times aha

  Alex Sep 30, 2012 10:24 PM


One thing watch AFL dude your missing out... GO HAWTHORN!! even if they lost the grand final

  Lucy Oct 1, 2012 4:30 PM


WE AUSSIES DO WEAR SHOES XD... Also great piece ^^

  Rani Oct 24, 2012 10:06 AM


Try a health food store for the vegimite may be expensive but alot of them have it. also try contacting Kraft, they do make it now after all.

  jessie Oct 30, 2012 9:04 AM


Good article, but there are some awesome Australian beers, did you try Crown Larger, Carlton Draught, Little Creatures Pale Ale, Coopers, some of the best Beers in the world.

  Melbourne Man Nov 27, 2012 4:52 PM


Making me miss Oz. I lived there 2 1/2 years. Toohey's Old and Cooper's Double Stout are both great beers. Plus, I don't know if you are working at all or just traveling, but when I was working there you could sit around after work and have a few beers out of the office fridge (provided you put into the slush fund). For the record, you can buy Tim Tams at Target in the states (at least in Washington State).

A couple more notes for your record:
You have to have a TAFE certificate to do just about anything.
Almost everything is more expensive generally (island prices, but that fluctuates with federal reserve meddling).
Cops there are more like normal people there than here......
I miss the sausage rolls and meat pie like nobody's business.

  Bryan Taylor Jan 6, 2013 4:38 PM


I just got back to Aus from the U.K. after 29 years.. and I am 29 years old, so that's no mean feat! Haven't tried Tim Tams just yet, but then things like sausage rolls, pavlova, electric kettles, usage of cutlery and the like- in fact most of what you mention- is what I'd count as the 10% of the human environment and culture which is also presentin the U.K.- the rest is comfortingly similar to that in the Western U.S. (right down to the road signage and sometimnes even the smell), to which I am hoping to go back to soon for my PhD :)

  E.T. Jan 30, 2013 9:49 PM


And also, Americans can't think of their own original ideas for television shows. They just rip off previous shows or try to add to them.

  John Feb 2, 2013 11:34 AM


I've really enjoyed reading this. I am a born and bred Australian, but I have a HUGE interest in moving to the US.
I absolutely adore the way you talk about Australia! I am so glad you've had a good time over here. I hope no one gave you a hard time :)
I am looking everywhere for information on the differences between Aussie and the US, and this has helped. Thankyou for that :)
Again, I'm glad you enjoyed yourself, and I hope that you may be able to come back here in the future.
:) xx

  Aussie Girl Feb 23, 2013 6:32 PM


I was born in and have lived nowhere but in the states but I have a recent interest in researching all I can about Aussie!!!I have even met some people from Aussie on FB and one if them likes to travel to and look around the u.s. and I have even got them interested in visiting my hometown here in the states on vacation next year,which I am really excited about!!!And maybe ONEDAY I will go there and visit Aussie!!!

  Lisa Feb 28, 2013 6:42 AM


Whoa hey hey hey, whiile I did find this an interesting read, I'm American and do not love Starbucks. Starbucks is a chain coffee shop where all the coffee is ever so slightly different from one another and quite frankly, sucks. There are real coffee joints here, and you can find many hole in the wall places that grow and grind their own right in front of you. If you ever visit Phoenix, try Jobot, Lux, Lola's, and Cartel Coffee Lab. Americans do know good coffee; it's just a lot of ignorant people prefer "status" over taste.

I hope to visit Australia someday. It certainly sounds wonderful. Minus the bugs.

  Nessa Mar 8, 2013 7:14 PM


P.S. John, you're talking about Hollywood. As a film student, I don't care for Hollywood's tactics, but there are TONS of original movies and TV shows we've got under our belt. You're being kinda mean. Coexist, man. Coexist.

  Nessa Mar 8, 2013 7:17 PM


stumbled across this whilst looking for other aussies in america, but found more of the opposite. thank you so much, its really made me super homesick! i almost burst into tears when i read 'docket' - i had forgotten it, and i have only been in the US for a year and a bit. thank you!

  kristen Mar 14, 2013 7:04 AM


I agree with what Nessa said about Starbucks - it is low-grade coffee that's burnt - and America has much better coffee also available! In fact, here in NY, I prefer .75 cent coffee from the coffee stands that are everywhere - much better than Starbucks. Starbucks has only fooled some with their name and good marketing ;) And TimTams. Oh, Timtams! I haven't yet been to Australia, but my many friends that have been introduced me to the wonderful world of timtams. And I found some in the randomest of places here - in a little grocery in Harlem. Go figure!

  A southerner in NYC Jun 1, 2013 1:42 AM


Sorry I just had to say that I adore you. I have never actually seen someone so honest but kind on a blog post about traveling before. Most of the ones I read are constantly complaining about stuff and wishing they were back home.

Thanks from Queensland :)

  Hi Jul 3, 2013 12:14 AM


#29 Basments are a cold climate thing. If your foundation has to be 1.5m deep to get below the soil freezing depth than the additional cost of constructing a basement is economical whereas in warm climates its not.

  miket Jul 24, 2013 1:30 AM


After 12 years 'down unda', both the bride & myself are oh so happy to be back in the USA!
Sure we miss the kookaburras & a few friends but Vegemite was never a priority & inexpensive living in the USA reminds us of the dysfunctional costs of nearly everything 'down unda'!

  MikeWon Aug 16, 2013 11:44 AM


All ill say is timtams are the shit but you guys don't even have fresh brewed coffee here... It's all espresso nonsense, good coffee and all but doesn't even touch American coffee, and Starbucks does not equal all American coffee lol

  John Sep 9, 2013 7:52 PM


Im 50 yrs old and have been reading some about aussie. I suddenly just wanna move there! Wouldnt know where to begin a process like that! I currently live in NC...in the states of course. Im ready for a change.

  Caroline Sep 15, 2013 6:31 PM


At 50 years old, your visa options are getting thin. I moved to aus from NC on a perm skilled visa at 38 years old. there are still exceptional cercumstances where a skilled visa could get you in, but really, you can go to the immigration site for aus and do the wizard thing and find any info you want.

personally im about 50/50 here.... i would have no prob moving back stateside if my aus girlfriend comes with me.

  Rick Sep 18, 2013 8:59 PM


if u think that nrl and afl are good u should watch nsw (new south Wales) vs QLD (queensland) lots of fights, but they are thinking of stopping the fighting propel because nsw was getting beaten to the pole. GO MAROONS (queensland)!!!

  tomung Oct 12, 2013 11:29 PM


Australia is a awesome place

  Amber Nov 7, 2013 12:44 PM


I'm a Canadian who also spent 3 months in Australia. Most of what Lauren has outllined we also experienced (but Vegamite is awful). Some other observations:
Roads are generally narrower than North America.
Downtown is called the CBD (Central Business District).
Many of their so-called suburbs are what we would call city districts or neighbourhoods.
20/20 Cricket is as good as baseball if you bother to learn the rules.
People in Adelaide are terrifically friendly (We were headquartered there).
Their toilets don't make a flushing noise; it sounds more like rushing water.
Sydney freeways are expensive.
At most mid-range restaurants, you order and pay at the cash first; then you are given a number "flag" which you place at your table. Waiters then bring you the pre-paid food. (Fancy restaurants work like ours however.)
You generally do not tip waiters; they make way more money than North American counterparts.
Payment processes at restaurants and supermarkets are more advanced than American or Canadian ones. Chip cards work better than in Canada.
You can't easily get "American" coffee; the closest is the "flat white."
You can't easily get flavoured creamers for coffee; indeed it's hard to find cream for coffee.
Australian school children must wear "Aussie hats" when outside for recess. This is because Melanoma is a real problem down there.
Casual tennis players will wear Aussie hats while playing.
Round robin tennis is called "social tennis."
Many of the tennis courts are grass courts.

  Jack Nov 13, 2013 1:50 AM


Forgot to add: we loved Australia; we'd live there if it wasn't so far from family.

  Jack Nov 13, 2013 1:56 AM


Fantastic read, thanx heaps, the differences are actually not that far, i have a real fasination with America, and love reading blogs like these, keep em coming, im learning plenty, btw i love the american accent!!!!How does the high school differ between America /Australia, apart from the no uniform policy in America, sadly my only perception of American h.s is Beverley Hills 90210 lol

  sarah of geelong victoria australia Dec 22, 2013 2:14 PM


What a wonderful read!as an Aussie by choice 40 yrs now ,I still try to work out ' Cricket',but I figured that it will be a waste of time! :-), My wife a true blue Aussie Sheila always tries to correct my spelling ,'Old fashioned School, as she calls it, perhaps it is a bit of teasing on my part too!
And why on earth we still drive on the other side of the road when it makes far more sense to adhere to what they do elsewhere,
What I really miss here is proper crispy bacon, I buy pieces of Speck' and cut it myself and it is very close to the real thing when cooked.
Shopping, I use my US address when shopping on line, shirts and Dockers are outrageously expensive and cannot justify forking 100 bucks for shirts that sell for a fraction in the States, they come from the same source anyway.
Apart from that it is a pretty good life here, the beaches are awesome and so are the inland waters, we live in the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Truly amazing! With all the waterways, why don't they embrace the concept of floating homes? Not talking about Houseboats, but 2 storey properties on the water.

  Rob Dec 23, 2013 3:43 PM


Im an Aussie, Been to the USA several times LA, Las Vagas, New York, Orlando, Chicago, San Fran for three months and longer visits
I found the USA to be culturally rich and people more patriotic, passionate and more proud about the work they do and service generally. Given the population size, the is a lot more options in terms of products and services, and entertainment, all hours of the day and night in the case of NYC. By observing the size of the infrastructure and other construction and developments being undertaken, there is a feeling of "we can achieve anything mentality" and the bigger the better
From what I have seen it is also much more tougher unforgiving place to live, with lots of crime and drugs and poverty. If you are not a degree qualified professional you stand little chance of survival unless you have a good business. Health costs are a huge issue for many in the USA (I beleive 60 % of bankruptcies site healthcare costs as a reason).
Despite the negatives I still love travelling there because I enjoy the Feeling that I'm in the centre of the world, I get inspired by the sharpness, toughness and resilience of the people in the USA which actually makes them more human, contrasting the laid back and careless attitude in Australia " we have everything we are OK" type mentality.
I look forward to my next USA visit soon to enjoy meeting Americans, most of who I have found to be witty, welcoming, and polite

  Karl Dec 30, 2013 12:19 AM


I'm an Australian, and I find you forgot a few things.
If you are not working, or walking too far, thongs.
One thing I love about Americans:
They're reactions when we tell them we have Christmas during summer, most of us don't celebrate thanksgiving, our school years start in Jan and end in December, and we don't keep koalas as pets. I know a lot of Americans know this stuff, but some people's reactions are funny,

  Aussie Jan 6, 2014 9:34 PM


Im a australian, and I so want to visit the us.
I didn't realise how different culture is between australia and america.
I love american lollies (or candy as you call it)! My friends mum is american and I get to try all of their stuff their relatives send them. I live hersheys kisses. they are the best thing ever invented!

  Brianna, WA Mar 19, 2014 8:45 PM


It's Fuji (as in Mt. Fuji, Japan) Fuji & galas grow & are sold nearly everywhere here in the Pacific NW. Low flush toilets are also here. Japan also has the multi flush toilets. Japanese people don't have dryers but during the rainy season I used to go to the coin laundry & use the dryer. You might like it here in Oregon where lots of us have double sinks, are environmentally minded and have electric tea kettles:) How do Aussie homes compare?

  rinne Apr 7, 2014 1:34 AM


P.s. Baseball is everywhere here

  Anon Jun 25, 2014 2:12 PM


I am Vietnamese used to lived in Yellowknife ,Canada now living in Canberra ,Australia .I wish the clock handle go backward I will stay in Canada for ever

  Trisha Jun 26, 2014 10:27 AM


Yanks, do have a lot of great foods I just didn't see much of in Sydney unless I go to an import shop. Cool Ranch Doritos, Heinz 57 Sauce, ranch dressing, Dr Pepper and many of 90k kinds of barbeque sauce you find in the megamarts.

Yanks also fail to grasp that to the outside world they are all yanks, regardless of where they were born, live, or the color of their skin. This has been true since long before they tried to divide themselves up into yankee and non yankee.

  Daphne Prestwood Jul 8, 2014 10:49 PM


Lol!! i am an aussie and i have been to america a few times now but i do prefer aussie food over american food. Also you should watch AFL it is awesome and not as boring. And we do wear shoes thank you very much gees, -_-

  Sophia Taylor Jul 26, 2014 1:39 PM


My names Brittney and I'm a American and I was born and live in Florida, and I'm 26 years old with 3 Children and I have been to Australia alot with my Children it is a Fantastic place to go to for a Holiday my Children absolutely love Australia as much as I do we just got back from The gold coast 3 weeks ago, My children love the amazing theme parks in the gold coast like Movie world, Dreamworld, Sea world they went there 3 weeks ago and had a blast I must admit i love Australia and i am wishing to Move there with the Amazing quality of things they have over there But i have to say i Cannot move from Florida my Children get on so well there and have many Friends. and also we have alot of Family over in America but we go to Australia twice a year. The first time we went to Australia from the first time my Kids tried Tim Tams the ate the whole box aha, :) and wanted more they loved them that much my Daughters also enjoyed watching the Football in Australia and now Barrack for Collingwood LOLZ

  Brittany Oct 3, 2014 5:08 PM


There are tonnes of great tasting beers in Australia
Toohey's and Carton for eg .
especially Toohey's new :)

  Lilly Dec 5, 2014 10:58 PM


I think number 8 is just a you thing. I've never met an american that puts their knife down everytime. Also, people who don't combine food on their fork, we typically call children or just weird eaters.

  jerry Feb 24, 2015 6:32 AM


So glad you enjoyed your time in Oz Lauren and picked up on some of our 'differences'. One tiny correction that others didn't pick up on, kookaburras don't 'squawk' they laugh, the squawkers are cockatoos, and they sure do make a racket at sunrise and sunset, while the kookaburras are an amazing bird that is a joy to hear. I hope your travels ae continuing and you get back here again one day (assuming you are no longer in Oz).

  Helene Feb 28, 2015 12:54 AM


Us Australians do wear shoes, just not all the time in the Coast. I live in the western suburbs of Sydney and we all wear shoes. My family lives in the mid North Coast and they don't usually wear shoes often. Also, the red black and yellow flag is the aboriginal flag. Tim tams are amazing.

Plus, we don't have the same schooling system not do we have college. Which sucks shit because I reckon college would be amazing. We also have a lot of bogans and that sucks. We refer to drug addicts as junkies. I hope you enjoyed Australia.

  Sarah Mar 7, 2015 7:05 AM


i lived and was born in australia my whole life. australia is the most unique and beautiful place ever and then the tragic event.. i had to go to england. it smells like....skunk , there is so much congestion and it is horrible! as an aussie from sydney australia in the slang/language australia is the total opposite of america but in tourist sites it is a bit simillar and i am proud to be australian!!!!:]]

  Debbie May 6, 2015 5:35 AM


Just a little note:
mozzies not mossies.
and if you want to know why things are more expensive it's because people get paid. The hourly rate at Australian Costco is double that of California Costco. Plus we have health care for everyone.

  penelope May 23, 2015 10:08 PM


I've spent months several times in Australia. The food that I just can't live with is "double cream." It is not available in the U.S. Put double cream on sticky cake (something else Aussies eat a lot of) or in coffee and it's heaven on earth! The other thing not mentioned is that there is no tipping in AU, that's why food is more expensive. Loved your comparison, almost the same as what I would have written.

  Jannie Jun 8, 2015 11:34 PM


Loved the blog. And loved reading all the replies. I am English and living in Spain - now there are two countries that are different. Maybe I'll do a blog. lol

  Lorraine Jun 19, 2015 4:22 PM


As the author of this story I am informing the reader that any future comment trashing Americans/America and/or pompous spouting of how Australia is the greatest country in the world will be removed so don't bother. This is not because I disagree or agree with you but rather it goes against what this story was all about. I've lived and worked in 3 different countries now and can tell you that every country has great things and every country has issues. No one is perfect. Be at peace people. I just wanted to point out some differences I saw that's all.

  lauren_watson Jul 23, 2015 11:03 PM


Hiya, I'm from Newcastle, Australia, never been out of the Country yet.

Americans don't have meat pies?? never knew that

I would love to go there one day, any good places to see??

  Josh Aug 29, 2015 3:46 PM


As a Australian that has travelled to the U.S. On many occasions over the past 25 years I would have to agree with most of the above comments. What I think sets the U.S. Apart from Australia is its population which allows it to do things on a much bigger and grand scale. More population means more choices but can sometimes mean more problems too. I love how Americans can put on a show and entertain like no one else I've seen before. Their national parks are spectacular too. I've always found Americans to be very polite, friendly and offer great service in restaurants that is sometimes lacking in aus.
On my current trip I've found things a little more expensive then before, but with the Aussie dollar around.70c US most things are close to what we pay back home and here in California petrol (gas) is 3.30 to 4.00 a gallon. Which when converted is pretty much to what we pay back home in Aus.
Overall I always enjoy traveling to the U.S. And I'm sure will be back soon.

  Craig Hardiman Oct 2, 2015 10:52 AM


Not going back ever. I'm here to stay.Best place in the world, Ox.

  Bob Dec 18, 2015 11:23 PM


I've been to Australia 4 times over the last 8 years and love it. I agree with the blog comparison. The biggest differences I found were in what was available in the food stores... They have a large 'roast' size but of Corned Beef! In Canada we only have brisket or ribs and it comes in a plastic bag or plastic tub with the brine included. The other most significant difference was the bacon. In North America we have just part of the bacon Aussie's do. They have what is called a 'Rasher' and includes the round 'Canadian Bacon' at the top, a middle section that is not available anywhere here and then the 'strip at the bottom. It is sizeable and contains a lot of meat. When asked by my friends the first time how many 'pieces' of bacon I wanted for breakfast, I answered 4! She couldn't believe it and said her husband, (a big man of 350 lbs) only ate 2! So she took me to the grocery store and showed me what their bacon looked like.... I decided one piece would probably do!

Good Internet connections are available but just more expensive 'down under. I usually stay with friends but my first time, in a hotel in Sydney, (in 2008) I paid $25 a day for a connection in my room. There wasn't free wifi in the lobby or a business centre where one could get online for free either. McDonald's did have wifi however, and it was free, so there are alternatives but it was several blocks away and that was before iPads and tablets-laptops were pretty heavy to carry around back then.

Food expense: I took my hosts to a Chinese restaurant in Rockhampton and for the 3 of us it was $99 for the buffet! I'm Canadian and here the most you would ever pay for a buffet would be $14-$17 each, and that would be on a weekend and several seafood dishes would be included-crab (real), mussels, shrimp, octopus and squid.

Tomato sauce: We call it Ketchup here in North America and it is free everywhere food is served. In Aus it comes in little hard plastic containers which only contain about a 1/2 tbsp and it can cost as much as 25 cents. I usually want a lot of 'tomato sauce' on my hamburgers and would have to pay a dollar to get what I wanted!

Fish and Chips: Here we have a choice of a couple of kinds of fish. Aus has many different kinds, and, as here, all are priced differently. The first fish and chips I had was in Airlie Beach and there were 7 kinds on offer!!! I wanted to try them all but never had the chance! They even had mackerel which we would never have in North America with chips!

I loved the comment about drying clothes. It is absolutely the case. I was a bit put out at first too, but then when they smelled of fresh air rather than fabric softener I was won over. And in Rockhampton it's so hot in their Spring (Oct/Nov) that they dried in about 30 minutes or less! Much faster than a dryer!

Houses: Cars garages are, for the most part, on the ground floor along with a suite for guests, and the main living area is upstairs. Also, the staircases to get up there is on the outside, not inside!

Meat Pies: You can get 'meat pies and 'sausage rolls' in the US and Canda in Irish Pubs. For sure there are many on the Eastern Seaboard and I'm sure on the West Coast as well. And I'm happy that in Canada we have lots of them across the country!

Tim Tams: And yes, we can get Tim Tams in Canada at Save-On (West Coast) and Superstore, anywhere in Canada.

Beaches and roadside parks with BBQs and HOT tap water: I was astounded that one could stop at a roadside 'picnic' area and have only hot water for tea from a tap, but stainless steel BBQs. ! Unheard of in North America! Also that 99% of the public beaches had them as well, strung out along the beaches for convenience. Fantastic idea for a warm country!

I'll quit now! But I'm going back next 'spring' (Oct/Nov) as I love the flowering Jacaranda trees, all the chirping exotic birds and the huge number of tropical flowers and trees. And the 20 to 35 degree C temps when it's getting colder here.

  Julia Feb 1, 2016 9:34 AM


I'm an aussie and i can't wait to see usa sooner then later i hope
I read as much as i can about america and would love to spend
a few days with an american family

  greg Feb 27, 2016 8:21 PM


Finally! Someone who knows how to eat VEGEMITE properly! Just the other night I tried the tim tam slam thing because I thought it was outrageous that I hadn't tried considering I'm Aussie, but I don't drink coffee yet so I tried it with a chai latte! WAS GOOD :P XD

  Greta Apr 22, 2016 1:57 PM


I also really want to go to the US AND UK AND EVERYWHERE ELSE but mainly those two because they speak English so I could understand everyone.
I LOVE the American and English accents btw XD

  Greta Apr 22, 2016 2:00 PM


spring is in sept as well. (Julia [also don't take this offensively])

  Greta Apr 22, 2016 2:06 PM


spring is in sept as well. (Julia [also don't take this offensively])

  Greta Apr 22, 2016 2:06 PM


"And theyre free" (beaches). Wait wut? You have to pay to go to a beach in the US??

  Dave May 17, 2016 11:24 AM


I'm trying to get over to Australia NOW because I finally found my dad after 39 years & he's been living in Australia for about 30 years. I last saw him when I was about 6 or 7 & haven't seen him yet. He does have medical conditions at 67 years old & I want to live the remainder of the years with him. I Love & Miss him So Much....BUT there is always the $$$$ I think it's like $135.00 for a passport, about $12.00 for the photo for the passport & about $1,000.00 for a 1 way ticket...UGH....anyone got any suggestions???

  Michelle Renihan Jun 22, 2016 1:45 AM


It's a Farmers Union Iced Coffee or its nothing

Come to SA and try one

  Dave Jun 23, 2016 9:44 PM


Haha this article was soooo entertaining to read. I live in Australia and I love seeing what Americans think of Australia!

  Gkitten Jul 26, 2016 7:40 PM


You should definitely check out the AFL while your here! It is the most popular sport in Australia.

  geo Jul 28, 2016 7:58 PM


Loved this post, thanks! I'm an Aussie who spends 50% of my time in Brisbane and 50% in Boston. Love both places for different reasons. What I miss most in Boston is real cream - that is, double cream, 48% milk fat that's so thick you can turn the punnet upside down and it doesn't move. Also, lamb - chops, shanks, roasts...I mean, you have lamb but it was $21USD for *three* Frenched chops at Wholefoods (admittedly more expensive than Costco or Stop n Shop, but they might not have lamb at all). What I miss most in Brisbane is JP Licks ice-cream, decent public transit (live in inner city Boston so the T gets me everywhere) and snow-shoeing. You mentioned water conservation. I've noticed that Yanks are pretty profligate with resources like water and electricity. I guess because, like petrol (US "gas"), they're way cheaper than in Australia. Oh and MAJOR difference, US uses so much plastic packaging that I make at least four times more garbage (US "trash") in Boston than in Brisbane. Do people there care less about the environment and world's future do you think?

  Julia Aug 13, 2016 8:45 PM


My heart lies in Australia

  Lisa A. Smith Dec 25, 2016 4:16 AM


you gotta hate the mozzies. glad you enjoyed down under :)

  australian Jan 4, 2017 10:21 AM


Um, pretty sure i have cable internet. From Telstra and live in QLD, it works fine. Btw any yall tried the double coat tim tams or the salted caramel?

  RandomAusdie#1272749 Sep 19, 2017 11:05 PM

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