Australia is generally considered to have a very tolerant attitude towards matters of etiquette. The laid back Australians are not easily shocked and newcomers’ faux pas are generally taken in stride. Nonetheless it is wise to have knowledge of the cultural norms of a country before one visits it. Australia and New Zealand are separate countries but share many customs.
It is considered rude to pay for a purchase by placing money on a counter, the correct way is to hand it to the cashier. Taxi drivers are offended if the passenger does not sit in the front passenger seat; exceptions are made for women. An invitation to ‘bring a plate’ to a party means bringing a food item.
Avoid trying to imitate the Australian accent; most locals will not be amused. It is also not a good idea to refer to Australians as the descendents of convicts; this is rude and also inaccurate. Do not use terms such as ‘abo’, ‘coon’ or ‘boong’ for aboriginal people; aborigines or indigenous people is acceptable.
When visiting new Zealand show respect for Maori culture and language. Maori is never pluralized by adding an‘s’. It is offensive to sit on a table or rest ones backside on it, especially if food is to be placed on it, Maori consider the bottom unclean. It is wise to remove ones shoes when entering a Maori home or religious site. The term ‘mainland’ is not appropriate for either of New Zealand’s islands. Australians consider it even more offensive in connection with the continent.