I know they're different countries - but different how? All I've got is that NZ is smaller, cooler, and wetter than Australia. Other than that, I have no idea what the distinctions are, culturally, politically, and so on. Anyone care to fill me in?
Well, we're definitely cooler
Kiwis do tend to talk a lot "flatter" that Australians ("Nyew Zuhlend", "fush end chups"), and in lower tones. But a lot of the slang is similar or the same.
I'm a Kiwi currently living in London. A lot of people here seem to think that it's just a quick jaunt to Australia - I have to enlighten them that it's a three hour flight from Auckland to Sydney (the nearest place you can get to really). From London, you can get pretty much to Turkey in that time.