Four places to avoid Australians in Sydney

Cast of Kath and Kim.
A group of typical Australians Photo credit: Getty

OPINION: We share a lot with our Trans-Tasman neighbours, from our love of sport, the beach and the barbecue, to our sense of humour and approach to life.

But there's one big problem for Kiwis in Australia: try as they might, they're not like us.

In robotics they call this the "uncanny valley". The more lifelike a robot gets, the more unfamiliar and creepy it seems. With every step closer to being human, artificial intelligence feels further away.

Most Australians are sentient beings. But you can fall in the uncanny valley as a Kiwi living in Australia, too. As close as they are, they'll never be Kiwis and heaven forbid we should end up like them. 

We know in our hearts that a thong is a jandal. The drinks are in the chilly bin, not the eskie. Budgie-smugglers should be permanently banned.

So if you're ever homesick on a visit to Sydney, can't stomach a "chicken schnitty" or a XXXX Gold, every Kiwi needs a place to go.

I've assembled the definitive list to keep you from drowning in an Ocker sea.

The All Blacks Supporters Club
There are few greater joys for a Kiwi in Sydney than watching the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup. Success has become a virtual certainty, with the men in blacks' grip on the Trans-Tasman rugby now stretching back 15 years. 

You can certainly enjoy this religious experience surrounded by glum and bored Australians, but these days they may not turn up at all.

Bledisloe tests at Sydney's Olympic Stadium used to draw a crowd of 100,000 people. Last year, just over half turned up.

All Blacks fans in Sydney.
The All Blacks Supporters Club in Sydney. Photo credit: Supplied.

So the only real venue for self-respecting Kiwis is the Palace Hotel in Haymarket, home to the All Blacks Supporters' Club.

On game day, the bar is standing room only. Every touch is greeted with a rapturous roar. Strangers high-five, sing the national anthem - they normally join in the haka as well. 

Also deserving of an honourable mention is the Harlequin Inn in Pyrmont, which hosted Kiwi fans for decade.

The crowds are gone now, but the passion remains. Signed All Blacks jerseys line the walls, and if you look closely, there's a man with a pie-warmer that contains only New Zealand baked goods.

The Palace Hotel, 730-742 George St, Haymarket, Sydney

Chur Burger
Before Auckland's Burger Burger became the city's best spot for gourmet grease, Chur Burger did the same for Sydney.

New Zealander Mimi Gilmour is behind both brands, as well as the wildly successful Mexico.

She and ex-husband Warren Turnball started Chur Burger in 2013 in a glorified garage in Surry Hills. Today, it's the best burger chain in Australia, and it's probably because it's Kiwi at heart.

Chur Burger, Kiwi burgers in Sydney.
Photo credit:

Nowhere else can you order a "Kiwi-style coleslaw", kumara fries and a "fush and chup burger" at once.

Behind the bar is Moa, the Malbourough beer, sitting right next to New Zealand vodka 42 Below.

You can't beat these prices in Sydney either. Brunch can cost $30 in Bondi, but the city's best burgers are $12 here. I can say this from experience, because I'm there far too often - by now, all the staff know me by name.

But perhaps the eatery's best feature is its soul - laid-back and welcoming, just like home. It's captured in an iconic Kiwi phrase written in the wall in large neon letters: "Chur Bro".

Chur Burger has eight locations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The Bach Eatery
How can four letters that mean so much to New Zealanders leave every Australian scratching their heads?

The word "bach" doesn't exist across the Tasman. They're more likely to think of the German composer instead. 

Bach eatery in Sydney.
Photo credit: supplied

Thankfully, The Bach Eatery in Newtown is putting this essential piece of Kiwi culture on the Australian map.

Sandwiched in a bustling inner-city suburb, it looks every bit like the Kiwi beach house, complete with weatherboards and Coloursteel roof.  

There are New Zealand green-lipped mussels with paua, Ōra king salmon and Cloudy Bay clams. Sauvignon Blanc flows in abundance, and if that's not your drop, so does Kiwi craft beer.

The owners say it's inspired by New Zealand summer, and the beach doesn't feel like it's far away.

The Bach Eatery, 399 King St, Newtown, Sydney

Hangi Jax
Like the Gold Coast and Bondi, Sydney's Northern Beaches are so full of Kiwis, they've become a home away from home. So it comes as no surprise that there's strong demand there for our national dish. 

Hangi Jax food in Sydney.
Photo credit: supplied

A hangi is a rare treasure even in New Zealand, but there's one place it's available five days of the week.

For two years, Hangi Jax has been serving up beautiful meat and veggies that taste like they've come from the Kiwi soil. And don't miss the classic New Zealand fried bread. There's also a great selection of Tongan and wider Pacific cuisine.

Fresh New Zealand kina and paua are for sale when available, alongside imported chocolate and snacks. And with so many home comforts all in one place, it's no wonder many Kiwis never return.

Hangi Jax, 329 Condamine St, Manly Vale, Sydney


Conor Whitten is Newshub's Australia Correspondent, based in Sydney.