Aussie bloggers diss Auckland

An Australian couple has upset Kiwis with an online expat guide which warns that Auckland is a "horrible soulless city" and its inhabitants are "hobbits" who cannot dress properly.

The anonymous duo have used their website, fushnchups.co.nz, to attack their new home across the Tasman, rubbishing everything from the country's beer to its major cities and lack of worldliness.

"I was horrified that I couldn't buy a copy of The Age, even in the major bookstores. True story," wrote the bloggers, a professional couple in their late 20s.

They sum up the largest city, Auckland, as horrible and soulless, a comment the city's tourism chief executive, Graeme Osborne, took exception to.

"Maybe they're just envious that Auckland recently rated ahead of every Australian city as a tourist destination," Osborne said.

"They should get in touch with me personally and I guarantee I'll change their impression."

The couple also trashed Rotorua, a popular tourist destination famed for it sulfuric activity, saying it "absolutely stinks".

"It smells like the whole town let rip at once," they say on the site, set up as a guide for Australians contemplating making a move over the ditch.

"Can blokes (in Rotorua) get away with letting out a silent-but-deadly in bed next to the missus?" they ask.

"How do people tell when their eggs have gone off?"

Ruth Crampton, from Destination Rotorua, said the Aussie bloggers had missed the point.

"It's the smell that makes us special," Crampton said.

"And didn't they read that scientists have discovered the gas which causes smell is great for men's sexual arousal and prowess?

"That's a reason to visit."

The New Zealand beer brewery, DB, took exception to an open letter on the site which says the national brew is lacking in hops.

"They can't be serious," a DB spokeswoman said.

"We've got some of the best beer in the world."

The bloggers also waded into touchy trans-Tasman waters, laying claim to pavlova and Phar Lap, but adding "you can have Russell Crowe".

Professor Philippa Mein Smith, of the NZ Australia Connections Research Centre at the University of Canterbury, said the comments were "pathetically rude" and did nothing to help the two countries relate.

Picking up that the young pair were from Tasmania, she decided to give some back.

"Isn't Tasmania the butt of all the jokes over there?" Prof Mein Smith said.

"They're just attacking us because they themselves are at the bottom of the pecking order back home."

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