Monday, December 28, 2015

Ten Things You Think You Will See in Australia


Australia rocks!  Just let me put that out there.  Of course, as an Australian, I'm pretty biased, but Australia is a fabulous country with so much to offer.  It's a great place to live, has a pretty fantastic climate, and if you're a tourist, there is an enormous variety of things to do.  This has a lot to do with the fact that we have such a diverse country.  From one end to the other, if you were to go for a very VERY long walk, you'd come across mountains, deserts, rainforests, wetlands, bushland, farmland, small country towns, bustling cities and vast expanses of nothingness.  There is literally something for everyone.  You can ski in the winter if you head up into the High Country, go diving with the fish on the Great Barrier Reef, sip great wines in the Hunter or Barossa Valley, sample incredible locally grown food, swim off gorgeous golden beaches, check out our oldest convict built buildings around Tasmania, be amazed by the many moods and colours of Uluru in Central Australia or indulge in a bit of 'culture' at the Sydney Opera House or in Melbourne, the home of the Australian Ballet. 
Tourists are truly spoilt for choice, and to top off all the great places and lists of things to do, there is also the weather.  It can get a bit heaty during summer, (I admit it can sometimes get a little out of control) but some people adore the heat, which means that we are pretty fond of our outdoor activities and doing things like messing about with boats, swimming at the beach, going camping and, yes, having barbeques.  We're pretty fond of those.
There are, however, a few misconceptions about Australia that some tourists seem to have, so to clear it all up for you I have made a little list.
1.  We do not all keep kangaroos as pets.  Nope.  Sorry.  Nor are they hopping everywhere down the main street of Melbourne, Sydney or any other capital city.  You will, however, find them in the country.  For example I hit a small grey kangaroo with my car here in Gippsland a few years ago.  I didn't mean it of course.  Kangaroos are ridiculously stupid and if they are on the side of the road and a car comes along they will hop along beside it in panic and then suddenly jump out in front of your car.  I was very glad I had a 'nudge bar' on the front of my car.  When we go up north to my in laws farm in Wakool (more remote country New South Wales) we see lots of kangaroos, and truth be told, they make good hunting.  The other thing about kangaroos, despite them being on our National Coat of Arms, you can buy kangaroo meat in the supermarket.  Yep, it's delicious. 
2.  Cork hats are not a fashion statement.  Nor are they worn.  Supposedly these are worn by 'bushmen' (or should I say 'bush people' to not be sexist??) and the corks are supposed to keep the flies away.  I'm telling you now.  NOTHING keeps the flies away.  They are persistent little buggers that know exactly when you have your hands full.
3.  We don't wear Akubra hats everywhere.  Ok, so in the country you might see them a lot more often, but in the city no.  This is me wearing mine while hanging out with my Dad's cows, but I usually wouldn't be wearing mine with a skirt.  Farmers are quite partial to them, and you will see every single person at the saleyards wearing one, but on a farm and around 'farmy type' activities, they are very sensible.  Below is a shot of me wearing my old one, which I still have, while showing cattle at The Melbourne Show, something I did a lot of a few years ago.  Actually when I met my husband this is what I did for a living.  Yes, weird,  I know.
4.  "Throw another shrimp on the barbie"....meaning throw another shrimp on the barbeque.  This was an ad campaign that used to run in America quite a few years ago now with Paul Hogan chatting about the wonders of Down Under.  We call them prawns and we're more likely to cook a sausage to death or burn the crap out of a piece of steak. 
5.  Snakes.  Seventeen out of twenty-six of the worlds most venomous snakes are found in Australia.  Having said that it is unlikely you will see one when visiting.  The first time I ever saw a snake in the wild was when I was about 34 and I was driving out to my parent's farm.  I nearly ran over a black snake.  It was busy crossing the road and it was so long that it stretched from one side of the road to the other, so no wonder I nearly ran it over.  However when I moved up north to Wakool I used to see snakes ALOT, and I even had a Brown Snake (highly venomous) in my garden.  My  poor sister in-law had one in her pantry, so the garden one was nothing...but this was my snake (after I introduced him to the shovel)....  That's a toy truck by the way, not a real one, otherwise that is one BIG snake.
6.  Beer.  We all drink beer.  'Fosters' is our drink of choice.  Rubbish.  I haven't seen the 'Fosters' brand beer around for ages and we don't all drink beer.  My husband is quite partial to it, as are a lot of men, and yes women too, but we drink a whole variety of alcoholic drinks.  Personally I quite like Pear Cider and alcoholic Ginger Beer is awesome. 

7.  A koala is not a 'bear'.  It might look cute and cuddly but it actually has some pretty nasty claws and it growls.  Yes, I know, kind of  like a grizzly bear, but this animal is not related to the 'bear' family.  Nor is it related to the 'teddy bear' family.  Here I am holding one on my honeymoon.  He was nice and soft but this was where I experienced the nasty claws.
8.  We always eat Vegemite for breakfast.  As ghastly as it looks, and yes to some it tastes pretty ghastly, it's actually not our food of choice over other foods.  Breakfast or otherwise.  I mean it is nice on a piece of toast but it's all about 'doing it' correctly.  If you smear it on like jam you're in for one hell of a ride baby!  It's super salty and tastes you can only have a little scrapping on your bread.  I'm sorry I can't describe the taste, it really has it's own unique flavour, but seriously it's not that bad.  But it's not all we eat for breakky.  I've been known to also have avocado on toast, porridge, a full cooked breakfast, mushrooms and ham on toast....the list goes on. 
9.  You will get eaten by a shark if you swim at the beach.  Awww look, it's like a puppy fetching a ......seal??  Ok, so you might not want to adopt one but you can MOSTLY go in the water without fear of being eaten.
10.  So just to make sure you're all awake, and to throw in a bit of eye candy, this is the typical Australian Male.  I wish!  Actually no.  They don't all look like this, although there are some about.  Surely.  Ok, so there are some gorgeous men about, I mean I'm MARRIED to one, so don't feel disappointed if you want to bag yourself a hunky Aussie bloke.  They do exist.  However, unfortunately we aren't all beach bronzed babes and actually, we are one of the most over weight nations in the world!  What an honour! (insert overly large sad face) 

Anyway, I hope this hasn't put you off coming to our fabulous country.  It really is one of the best countries in the world, even if I do say so myself.



  1. I laughed so many times when reading this. I also shared a few favorite snipets with Spencer (who is currently sitting beside me playing a video game). I remember when you first told me that you can buy kangaroo meat in the supermarket. How strange and exciting, haha!! I can't wait to actually visit and experience what Australian ACTUALLY has to offer!!

    -Stephanie Eva

    1. I'm glad you found it amusing! Yes, very much looking forward to you coming and visiting and showing you how awesome Australia is!

  2. I agree (although being Aussie I'm biased too!) we do have a wonderful country.

    Expect the snakes, and the spiders. Those I could happily live without. I've never actually tried kangaroo either - can't get my head around it. Even if woolies is full of it come January!

    Away From The Blue Blog

    1. The snakes and spiders are a bit nasty (I actually had a red back on the ceiling in my bathroom the other day, which is rare because they normally hang around outside and mind their own business!) Kangaroo is apparently quite good for you because it's very lean! I've had emu, that was nice, and my husband has had crocodile!

  3. Haha this totally made me chuckle! Especially the shrimp on the barbie bit. So shrimp is actually called prawns? Yes? I must correct everyone I know. (; I love all these country stigmas set straight. It's so easy to lump everyone into a category and roll with it. I remember the first time you told me you eat kangaroo. I was freaked out. But, we eat deer, and that's literally the same concept. lol. I might do one of this for the US. We dont all eat McDonald's and carry guns. (;

    1. We eat deer too, actually we had some in our freezer that Lindsay shot after he went hunting with his brother. I'm not overly fond of it because of the 'gamey' flavour. Yep, bring on those prawns!