Tuques and Togs? The Relationship Between Canucks and Kiwis

Shotover Jet Queenstown, New Zealand

Tuques and Togs? The Relationship Between Canucks and Kiwis

It’s no secret that Canucks (Canadians) and Kiwis (New Zealanders) have a lot in common.

Last year we met a fun Kiwi couple on the Galapagos Islands that we’ve since become great friends with. We will always remember the time we were about to go snorkelling and our new friends said they needed to get their “togs”.

Confused by the foreign term, we repeated to make sure we heard correctly. “What the heck are togs?”

“Togs” is the Kiwi term used to describe bathing suits or swimsuits. We had never heard the term before and found it quite comical. For non-Canadian readers, a “tuque” is the term used to describe a beanie or knitted hat that Canadians wear in the winter.

These amusing discoveries started our ‘Canucks vs Kiwis’ comparisons, which ultimately lead to our realization that New Zealand is a lot like Canada.

Our recent camping road trip through the Canadian Rockies reminded us of our time road tripping from Auckland to Queenstown in our Jucy campervan (pronounced “campa” in New Zealand).  We felt very comfortable and “at home” in New Zealand, probably because it reminded us of British Columbia.

We thought it would be fun to highlight some of the similarities between Western Canada and New Zealand.

1. Outdoor Adventure Capital of the World – Whistler or Queenstown?

The debate rages on! Both towns offer world class outdoor activities and adrenaline pumping sports.

whistler peak to peak gondola

Summer alpine views of Whistler Village from Whistler Mountain – Whistler, British Columbia

Queenstown, New Zealand

Autumn alpine views from the peak of The Remarkables – Queenstown, New Zealand

2. Canada and New Zealand experience all 4 seasons in the calendar year

Canucks and Kiwis enjoy climate changes that require “tuques” in the winter and “togs” in the summer.

New Zealand

3. World-Class Coastal Hiking Trails

Both countries are world renowned for pristine wilderness and dramatic temperate rainforests.

Juan de Fuca

Juan de Fuca Provincial ParkWest Coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada


Abel Tasman National Park – Northwest coast of Nelson, New Zealand (South Island)

4. Canucks say “EH” and “I figure…”,  Kiwis say “Sweet As” and “I reckon…”

Okay, those were too easy.  There are many more slang and language differences, but these are the stereotypical heavy hitters.  If you’ve got some good ones, leave us a comment below!

5. Canucks love their Ice Hockey, Kiwis love their Rugby

And both are the best at their beloved sports… which is debatable depending on when you read this!

Vancouver Canucks Game

Canucks v Blackhawks” National Hockey League Game – Vancouver, BC

Auckland Rugby Match

“Blues v Reds” Rugby Super 14 Match – Auckland, New Zealand

6. Ancient Glaciers Surrounded by Spectacular Mountains

The Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers in NZ are UNESCO World Heritage Sites that flow into lowland rainforests just a short distance from sea level, a unique natural phenomenon rarely seen.

Lake Louise Glacier

Lake Lousie in Banff National Park, Alberta


Franz Josef Glacier  on the West Coast of the South Island, New Zealand

7. Popular Wine Trails in Colourful Valleys

The dry, mountainous landscapes surrounding both wine countries are actually quite similar in nature.

Okanagan Valley Wine Trail – Central British Columbia, Canada

Central Otago Wine Trail – South Island, New Zealand

8. Spectacular Lakes and Rocky Mountain Vistas

It’s all about the great outdoors! There’s good reason why both countries are known as supreme adventure capitals.


Moraine Lake and the Canadian Rockies – Alberta, Canada

Lake Matheson, Mt Cook, New Zealand

Lake Matheson and the Southern Alps – South Island, New Zealand

9. Scenic Ferry Passages

Both countries offer stunning ferry trips that pass through beautiful channels.

BC Ferries passage through the Gulf Islands – Vancouver to Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Interislander passage through the Cook Straight – North & South Island Crossing, New Zealand

10. Iconic Harbour Cities

We find both city skylines and harbours to be quite similar, minus Vancouver’s coastal mountains.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Auckland, New Zealand

10. Canada and New Zealand are considered to be peaceful and friendly nations

Currently ranked #1 in the world, New Zealand takes top honours as the world’s most peaceful nation.  However, after the successful Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics we’re giving Canada the award for being the friendliest nation (though we’re slightly biased!).

11. Both countries are blessed with natural Hot Springs

Western Canada and New Zealand are located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, resulting in perfect hot spring conditions.

Radium Hot Springs in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia

Polynesian Spa and Hot Springs – Rotorua, New Zealand

12. Both countries are often overshadowed by its Big Brother

It’s the ongoing love/hate relationship between siblings.  In an effort to remain neutral, we’ll leave it at that (how Canadian of us?).

United States is Canada’s Big Brother – Canucks are often confused for Yankees

Australia is New Zealand’s Big Brother – Kiwis are often confused for Aussies


Did we miss some common similarities between Canucks and Kiwis?
Share your feedback in the comments section below!

About Traveling Canucks

Cam and Nicole Wears are newbie parents living in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. A passion for travel and outdoor adventure has taken them to over 70 countries on 6 continents in the past 10 years. Learn more about their story here. Follow them on Instagram and subscribe to their monthly newsletter.