15 things you need to know before you visit to get the most out of your Down Under adventure.
Are you planning to visit Australia? There are a number of things that we think you should know about before you head Down Under.
The UK fits into Australia
Our geography: Australia is a big country and there are a lot of people who love living here. Over 23 million Aussies live here! Our nation is made up of people from other nations and we love our multi-cultural country.
Our lingo is probably the most noted of the most talked about ‘oddities’. (see #2). The movie ‘Crocodile Dundee‘, introduced the Australian language to the world. A fun movie that did fabulous things for tourism in Australia and taught the world how to say ‘G’day’, Australian style.
Australia is one huge island continent!
You simply won’t be able to see everything in a couple of weeks!
If you are planning a trip to Australia, best plan to do it state by state to see all our favourite places. Watch this space for our state to state
Visit all of our States and Territories for their ‘must see’ destinations.
Tasmania is known for its pristine wilderness. Queensland is where the Great Barrier Reef is. Victoria hosts our most cosmopolitan city and famed for the Melbourne Cup – the race that stops the nation. New South Wales is home to the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. South Australia is famous for it’s extraordinary winery regions. Western Australia has Broome, Monkey Mia, Cable Beach and the Northern Territory lays claim to the real outback with Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kakadu National Park and mean looking crocodiles!
The Australian strine (local lingo) is a bit quirky!
We tend to make a whole lot of new words up as a way of clarifying what we’re trying to say … which usually doesn’t clarify anything at all! Check out this earlier post – Australians speak funny to confuse you even more!
Our sense of humour is a bit strange!
We love to poke fun and have a laugh. Don’t believe everything you’re told .. especially by a serious faced Aussie. Our biggest game is to ‘reel in the fish’, so if you take the bait, enjoy the ride. We mean no harm 🙂
Aussies are known to eat weird things!
Whoever came up with the ‘shrimp on the Barbie’ thing is just plain nuts! I must admit, to others our food choices probably border on the bizarre. We love chunky meat pies, a nice ribeye steak on the BBQ, thick black sticky stuff called ‘vegemite’ on our toast for breakfast and you can’t do a trip down under without tasting our most famous dessert – the Pavlova! If anything, BBQs and roast dinners would be our all time favourite meals to share with friends.
No, kangaroos don’t hop down our main streets.
Well actually, that’s not entirely true – I do know of a couple of towns in the outback where they really do hop down the main street – see my post about Daly Waters.
Sadly in some areas these cute furry kangaroos are considered a pest. They have been known to destroy acres of crops, knock down fences and generally make a nuisance of themselves. But we do admit, they are very cute!
Australia has one of the oldest Indigenous cultures known to man.
Experience our Aboriginal culture. Be sure to visit our cultural areas like Uluru, Kata Tjuta, the Devils Marbles and Kakaku.Learn about bush tucker, traditional hunting tools, bush medicines and listen to Dreamtime stories – it’s part of our unique heritage and we’re very proud to be a part of it all.
There are plenty of things that can kill you, in Australia.
We have 21 or the 25 most venomous snakes in the world!
We also have sharks, deadly spiders, killer jellyfish – often so small you can’t see them, dingos, boxing kangaroos, prehistoric mean-looking crocodiles, blue ringed octopus, toads and cone shells that deadly animals live in which will give you a nasty bite.
We like to shock our visitors .. but really, the chances of anything ‘getting you’ is unlikely – and you’ll probably never come into contact with most of them. If by chance you do – Take heed of the warning signs ie: ‘Beware of Crocodiles’ and make sure you follow the instructions!
Slip, Slop & Slap!
Australia has some serious sun issues! To quote a famous song written by Noel Coward; “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”. Be aware.
Down here, the sun is HOT, and it WILL damage your skin.
Australia is known to have one of the highest records of skin cancer so get with the program and cover up! Most of the fun stuff in Australia is held on our beaches or out in our open spaces so you need to protect yourself.
Slip on a shirt, Slop on some sunscreen and Slap on a hat.
A rip? What’s a rip? Do you know what a rip is?
Australia has a lot of beaches and this is one of the most important things to know about our beaches.
Swim between the flags and follow the direction of the surf lifesavers.
Treacherous undercurrents can tear you off your feet and sweep you out to sea. Make sure you look for any warning signs on the beaches, obey the lifeguards and don’t swim anywhere beaches are unpatrolled.
Australia has some of the world’s best Road Trips.
Long, often straight roads with some magnificent scenery to experience through the Australian outback. Or try the Great Ocean Road to see the spectacular coastline.
Some of my favourite Road Trips are Darwin to Alice Springs & Alice Springs to Adelaide. If you decide to venture out – be sure to take your safety seriously. Its often a long distance between towns and sometimes the conditions are not always ideal. Read 10 trips to Drive Safely in Australia. It may just save your life.
Some advice if you’re planning on doing a road-trip Down Under.
Make sure you don’t take fruits and vegetables across the borders. Australia has extensive farmlands growing fruit, grain and vegetables – many of which are isolated from noxious pests and insects. Don’t be the one to transport bugs and pests across the country which could potentially wipe out entire crops.
Beer o’clock happens!
Aussies love their beer and there’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot day. Visit a pub any hot day (and trust me, there are plenty of pubs Down Under), strike up a conversation about footy and fishing and you’ll have the makings of a good day.
Stop at some of the funky little roadside servos no matter how dodgy they look.
Some of our best travel experiences have been when we’ve randomly stopped at roadside stops that haven’t looked picturesque or appealing. Coober Pedy is an adventure all of it’s own. Daly Waters is an experience we keep going back for, and in outback western Queensland, the Winton Pub was one of the most fun places we’ve ever stopped en route. Step outside your comfort zone and experience the real Australia. You won’t regret it!
Don’t underestimate the harsh bush conditions.
Sadly, each year we see news reports of visitors (and sometimes our own) who underestimate the Australian bush by often setting out for a bushwalk with nothing more than a bottle of water. Sadly some perish in our harsh conditions. Make sure you prepare properly, take notice of signs and be sure to let someone know where you’re heading.
All in all, we’re a fun place to visit. We’ve lots of exciting things to see and do and if you really want an adventure of a lifetime – Australia is definitely the place to go!
Q: What is a boomerang that doesn’t come back?
A: A stick!
Have you visited Australia yet? We’ve put together a list of 15 things you should know before you visit the land Down Under. Let us know if you think there’s anything we’ve missed.