So you're coming to Australia!

You should - its a cool place - well I think so anyhow, but I live here :) So with that in mind here are my visiting Australia tips.

Things to remember

  • Everything is poisonous/dangerous/deadly - everything! I mean it - koalas, kangaroos, wombats, platapus, sheep, cows. Ever seen anyone attacked by a kangaroo? Not pretty. Koalas? The males have spurs for fighting. Sheep - well ok, they're not dangerous, but damn there's a lot of them.
  • You won't understand half of what people say. I mean this - I've been to the US and had to suffer the blank stares that. You receive when I use words that I take for granted.
  • Try not to look like an American tourist - we hate Americans - we blame them for everything that's wrong with the world.
  • Canadians are cool because they hate Americans too.
  • We can drink a lot more than most people in the world - and if you're American, remember, our beer is twice as strong.
  • Once you leave the major cities make sure you take a map, especially if you are getting off the beaten track. It's not like America - if you're heading across the middle, there aren't really any towns to speak of, and certainly not many 7-Elevens.
  • If you're in Sydney, don't get into a taxi expecting the driver to know where your destination is (unless its something major like the Sydney Opera House - even then you could be unlucky). Most of the time they don't, and have a problem with English to top it off. Oh, and 3AM is a shift change - YOU WILL NOT GET A TAXI AT 3AM! Trust me, I've tried many many times.

Things you won't see

As a note at the beginning of this part I'd like to note that Australians themselves are mostly responsible for the ridiculous things that the rest of the world thinks about Australia (Well, mostly Americans think). Why? Well, because when Australians get overseas (especially the ol' US of A) we discover that everyone actually knows nothing about Australia. Nothing - nothing at all. We know a lot about the rest of the world, but they know nothing about us. So, it becomes a running joke to see who can tell Americans the most ridiculous stories and have them believe you. eg. around 3AM koalas stampede through the streets of Sydney (true story - my flatmate has been asked about this by a tourist).
  • For gods sake people, WE DON'T RIDE KANGAROOS!
  • Yes, we have water.
  • Wildlife does not roam the streets of our major cities.
  • I'm having trouble thinking of Australian sterotypes right now - if you msg me some I will happily debunk them here.

Other stuff

Want to impress some Australians? Demonstrate your knowledge of our geography by remembering that the capital of Australia is CANBERRA! Not Sydney, not Brisbane, not even Melbourne. Why not visit it? Its a really nice city (my home town) - just don't go driving around it without a map. In fact, even with a map, its more than likely you'll get lost. The only people who can navigate around Canberra are the residents. I'm not kidding here. Everyone I've brought back to Canberra with has professed to being completely lost halfway between my house and the CBD.

Yes, the Queen of England is still our head of state. It's a bit of a sore point at the moment so don't make too big a deal of it unless you enjoy having someone's attack wombat set on you (note: see "Things you won't see"). We still have a large population to whom the Queen means something, so the referendum to move to a republic went down 51% to 49% if I recall. Thats OK - give it some time...

Try some Australian alcohol - especially Bundaberg Rum - you'll never be the same again.

Closing thoughts

Australia is a great place - the best in fact ;) Our women are hot, our beer is strong and plentiful, the weather is great, and for some reason we have some of the best drugs in the world (or so I have been told!). Not only that, but for the most part we're a lot friendlier as a nation than most of the world. So... come visit!