Thinking of visiting Australia either as a tourist, backpacker, or on a working holiday visa?
Exotic and exciting adventures await you in Australia, with our outdoor lifestyle, beautiful beaches, and friendly multi-cutural society.
There are a few things you might want to know before you get here. Here are some of the best and worst things about Australia
The Best of Australia
It is really hard to beat an Aussie beach. I can safely say that, as I have experienced so many of them around the world.
As the biggest island nation we have over 10,000 beaches to explore. The majority of these are natural, unspoilt and wild or in sheltered coves, the sand glows white or golden, the water is clear, and the surf is usually pumping. Even our city beaches are pretty damn beautiful.
There is no place in the world like the Outback and I am so proud to raise my hand and claim this unique and beautiful part to our landscape. The red dust, boab trees, Aboriginal culture, unusual rock formations, large expanses of nothingness, blue skies and wild animals makes the Outback a special place to explore.
It is like Africa; it gets under your skin.
They’re cute, furry and cuddly- well not really, most of them do pack a punch. A koala is a vicious fighter if provoked, kangaroos are known to box, wombats will give you nasty bites and you never want to mess with a Tazzy Devil.
Australia is known for its marsupials; we are the only country in the world that has them (expect for some wallabies and possums in New Zealand). Lucky for you, you will have ample opportunity to see them at our many wildlife parks. You won’t have as much in the wild, although sighting kangaroos is pretty easy.
After this past year of what feels like an eternal rain and cold it feels like saying Australia has a warm and sunny climate is a bit of a myth. It has been an unusual year.
Australia does have a moderate climate. There are only a couple of places in Australia that ever receive snow, and apart from this season, it usually doesn’t get a lot. Winters are mild and summers are hot and glorious. And of course the further north you go the more tropical your climate making it warm for you all year round.
Thanks to our climate, Australia has a very active outdoor lifestyle. Any chance we can get, Aussies are outside enjoying the sun.
Whether it is sport, hanging at the beach, dining and drinking outside, having barbecues and picnics, or just out walking or running, there are plenty to things to keep you occupied in the Great Outdoors. Just don’t forget your hat and sunscreen.
Australian’s are sport obsessed and if you look at per capita statistics we are one of the best sporting nations in the world.
Sport is played, watched and worshipped all year round. If you tell someone you don’t like sport they will look at you like you just dropped down from Venus, same as they would if you tell them you don’t drink.
“What is wrong with you?”
I love Australian slang. It is our only little language which is so much fun to speak when those around you haven’t a clue what you are saying. Power to the Aussie English speakers.
An American friend of ours often spoke of how she would sit, as us Aussies would talk, completely bewildered to what we were saying. She knew we were speaking English but could not make any sense out of it.
We shorten our words, we add things to them, and we speak in rhyming slang which turns everyday conversations into riddles.
We love it.
The oldest living civilization in the world, you cannot come to Australia without spending time getting to know this amazing culture. They lived a nomadic life off the earth for 50,000 years before white people came along,without ever experiencing sickness such as the common cold.
They hold so many secrets about life that we could all learn from.
Seafood and Mangoes
‘Mango time with Mummy‘ is one of Kalyra and my favourite things to do. Australian mangoes are delicious; I’ve never tasted a better one anywhere else, even when I had them dropping on my tent all day long in Malawi. As we have a tropical climate, a lot of our fruit is something to rave about.
With all that ocean on our shores, it is no wonder that we have an abundance of seafood to enjoy. There is not much that distinguishes our food from other countries, but our seafood is definitely a stand out. Our prawns are big, sweet and tasty, our calamari soft and succulent and our barramundi fresh and flaky.
You want oysters? we’ve got fresh ones. You want fresh and juicy balmain bugs, mud crabs, lobster, scampi, octopus? We’ve got those too!
It’s time I fired up the barbie and cooked a seafood feast.
The Worst of Australia
If you have been following our tweets over the past year you will know just how irritated we are on a daily basis by Australia’s internet and telecommunications. They border on the edge of embarrassing.
I can’t believe how dreadful it is in comparison to other countries around the world, especially considering we are quite a wealthy first world nation. The internet is slow and costly, and mobile phone service is never reliable.
Telstra is our major player and if you intend on visiting areas outside of the major cities then you have to go with Telstra or you just won’t get quality service. Telstra, of course, is the most expensive and their customer service is ridiculously bad. They are my most despised company in the world.
Optus are the next biggest provider and while their prices are cheaper, they provide value and their customer service is better, their connection and service reach is not great.
High Cost of Living
There is a reason why 4 Australian cities just made the Top 15 most expensive places to live in the world. I am shocked daily, not just by the high price of everything here, but by the poor service and quality that comes with it.
Australia is not going to be a cheap destination to visit. You are going to have plan carefully to reduce your costs while travelling here. Craig and I often call it the Land of Taxes, Fines and Fees. Everywhere you turn there is a new tax law being introduced or a rule that will impose a fine or a fee on you for something or another.
My brother has always joked that soon they will be fining us for farting in public in Australia. We are not too far off it. You can now get fined for offensive swearing in public, or soon to be introduced, fines for walking and texting.
Instead of implementing programs that teach our citizens how to be responsible and productive members of society, our government believes that to control the masses more rules need to be introduced. Rules made for the minority of idiots who can’t act like grown-ups, which affect the majority of responsible, hard working people and so limiting their freedoms to enjoy their life.
The lunatics run the asylum.
Don’t think of entering a pub with a hat on your head, ditch the rat’s tails (really a good rule) keep your shirt on at football games, …….
Poor Customer Service
If you are American, you are really going to notice this. You are not going to have wait staff appearing at your table every five minutes to fill up your water glass, check that your meals are okay, or ask if you would like anything else.
In fact you could be sitting there for half an hour before someone even comes over to take your order. Don’t expect a smile or “Come back next time.” Then again you don’t need to tip in Australia.
Eight of the world’s most poisonous snakes, the deadliest spider, box jellyfish and conefish that can kill you within minutes, shark filled oceans, and crocs that lurk beneath the murky waters, Australia is the land of creatures that are out to kill you.
Just make sure you do through your day in Oz projecting the energy that you believe Australia to be the greatest nation on earth and they will leave you alone.
Many people won’t visit Australia because they are scared of our deadly animals. Don’t be. I’ve rarely seen any of them. Alas though, they are there, so err on the side of caution and use your common sense.
As we like to say in Australia “She’ll be right, mate!”
There is a reason why Australia has the highest case of skin cancer in the world. Our sun is brutal.
I have olive skin so I don’t really burn, except for when I am in Australia. Give me half an hour in the sun I will start to redden. You can feel the heat searing your skin.
Many cars have wool steering wheel covers. If you don’t and your car has been sitting in the sun for an hour, as soon as you put your hands on the wheel they will sizzle. It makes driving near impossible.
It doesn’t matter what country you visit, there are going to be bests and worsts. All you need to do is be prepared to ovecome the challenges of the worsts and concentrate on thoroughly enjoying the best the country has to offer.
The ‘Blog your Backyard’ Project
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