Australia. Home to some of the most stunning oceans, beaches and rainforests in the world. Blessed with great weather and a relaxed, casual attitude, the saying “she’ll be right mate” sums most of the people up.
The comment I hear so often is that Australia is so far away and it stops people from travelling. Sure it’s a long way to fly, but as they say “nothing in life worth having is easy” and Australia sure is worth having.
If you haven’t found the wonderful secret that is Australia yet, I am sure after reading about some of the places to visit and things to do below, you’ll be planning your next trip Down Under.
We speak English in Australia, but we’ve also adopted our own way of communicating that is often just plain confusing to others. Australians (Aussies) love to shorten just about every word we use. If we’re not shortening, we are using slang words. If you’re not a local, it’s sometimes hard to keep up, so here’s some phrases that will help you out.
- G’day- Hello
- Seeya- Goodbye
- Ta – Thank you
- Tinnies and stubbies – beer
- Smoko – morning or afternoon tea
- Arvo – afternoon or said as S’arvo is “this afternoon”
- Barbie – Barbecue
- Snags – Sausages
- Sambo- – Sandwich
- Togs – ladies swimwear
- Budgie Smugglers/Banana Hammocks/DTs – Mens swimming briefs
- Boardies – Boardshorts
- Mozzies – Mosquitoes
- No worries – It’s ok
- Ripper – Awesome
- Fair dinkum – Real
- Thongs – Flip flops
- Bottle-o – Sells alcohol
- Cuppa – Cup of tea
- Biccie – Biscuit
- Choccie – Chocolate
- Servo – Service station
- C’mon – Come on (hurry up)
Mate – often said like “maaaaate”. We use this word for everyone, but particularly our friends and not just the guys. It’s a term of endearment. Sometimes it’s said instead of “hello”
Surnames are often shortened and ended with an “O” or an “A”. So Williams becomes Willo, McConnel becomes Macca, Thompson is Thommo, Harrison is Harro….you get the drift.
Food and Drinks To Try
- Australia is a country that is rich in the production of exceptional quality livestock. As such, we have grown used to eating fabulous beef, lamb and pork in particular. Our beef and lamb is so great that it is exported all over the world. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been in overseas restaurants where the meat on the menu is Australian.
- Is it also any wonder that a country completely surrounded by beautiful oceans would produce fantastic seafood? From mud crabs to scallops, oysters to prawns, reef fish and the amazing barramundi, eating seafood in Australia should not be missed. Whether it be cooked by a leading chef, or simply wrapped in paper and eaten by the beach, make sure you sample some.
- Now this one will test any newcomer to Australia, but if you haven’t already tried it, it’s a definite must, even if just to say you’ve done it. Australians quite literally grow up on Vegemite. From very small children, we are introduced to this salty, black, tar-like condiment that we spread on our toast or our Sao’s. It’s even fabulous when teamed with cheese and toasted. Mmmmmm melted goodness.
- Meat pies are an Australian food but they can be divisive, Still, when in Oz,…..just be sure to buy them from a good bakery or pie shop (don’t eat frozen ones). Team it with tomato sauce and you’ve got a ready made meal.
- It’s been said that Australia is the only country to eat our national Coat of Arms, and it’s true. Kangaroo is one of the richest sources of proteins available and is incredibly low fat. Crocodile tastes like chicken, and emu, well I’ve not tried that one.
- There’s long been a tussle between Australia and our neighbours New Zealand for ownerships rights on the pavlova or pav. Whilst both sides continue to fiercely defend it’s origins, we’ll all just go on eating and enjoying this wonderful dessert. It’s enjoyed especially each year on January 26, Australia Day.
Things to see and do
Australia is an extremely geographically dispersed country. Flying from the west coast to the east coast takes around five hours. Driving from one capital city to another can take days. As such, the things to see and do are spread broadly around the country.
There is so much to do but here are some of the top highlights from around the country.
- Go to game of football (footy). There are various types of football in Australia, but if you are in Melbourne, the world here revolves around Aussie Rules and there is no greater stadium to watch this game than at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (the MCG or the “G” – see I told you we shorten everything!). This stadium can fit around 100,000 people in it and when it’s full, there is no better atmosphere. This is where you can get your fix of Aussie foods too by eating pies and drinking beer.
- Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge or the Brisbane Story Bridge. These bridge climbs are two of only three in the world. Here you can quite literally climb to the very top of the bridge and then take in the breathtaking, panoramic views across Sydney Harbour and the Brisbane city.
- Or, if you happen to be in Sydney or Brisbane in May – July each year, then lookout for a game of footy called ‘State of Origin”. This game pits state against state. It can be rough, even brutal at times, and we love it.
- No trip to Australia would be complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Running for over 2,000km along the Queensland coastline, it contains over 100 islands, reef systems and ocean life in some of the most pristine turquoise water you will ever see. Diving, snorkelling, fishing and reef tours are some of the activities that can be done on the reef.
- Visitors with families often make the Gold Coast a part of their Australian visit. If they don’t come for the gorgeous white beaches and surf, they come to visit the “Worlds”. Seaworld, Dreamworld, Movieworld and Wet n Wild are a kid’s (and big kid’s) activity park. Filled to overflowing with themed rides, waterparks, animals and animal shows, they are some of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Australia.
- Hire a car and drive in the beautiful outdoors. One of the most stunning parts of the Australian coastline is the Great Ocean Road, a 243km road along the southern coastline of Victoria. The views and beaches in some of the locations along here are sensational.
- In Western Australia the Margaret River area is best known for it’s fabulous wineries, craft beers and chocolate. It’s also a beautiful place to visit, with many wonderful B&Bs and boutique accommodation located here.
- Australia has a rich traditional history and there is nothing more iconic than Uluru, a huge rock in the centre of the Northern Territory’s Red Centre Desert. It is a sacred area to Australian’s indigenous people.
- Buy some authentic clothing from R M Williams stores. R M Williams was an Australian bushman who developed a range of clothing that is both unique and iconic. From moleskins, to shirts there is something for everyone. But, it is the Driza-bone oilskin coat, the Akubra hat and the RM Williams boots (known as RMs), made from calf or kangaroo skin that bring visitors in their hundreds to this store.
Australia is an incredibly diverse country. Where else can you see desert, rainforests, beautiful coastlines, pristine blue waters and coral reefs all in the one country. With a beautiful climate, fun loving people and a love for the great outdoors, it’s a great place to visit. Don’t let distance get in the way of an awesome adventure.
There are so many things to do here that I couldn’t mention them all. What are some of the things you love to do in Australia?
| Meet The Author
Kerri’s passion for travel writing began in the late nineties when she would write long, handwritten letters home to family and friends.
She now plans her travel around food destinations, and is known for souvenir shopping of a different kind. Each trip she brings home suitcases filled with a country’s finest foods (all declared of course! )
Living in Australia, Kerri has pushed through the “long haul flight” syndrome to travel to over 30 countries and now writes her authentic travel stories for others to enjoy on her blog Beer and Croissants. You can follow her travels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.