Australia

Australia is a country comprising a large mainland, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. Australia is the largest country by area.

Capital City:

Canberra

Currency:

Australian Dollar

Total population:

25.7 million (2020)

Languages spoken:

English

Cultural dos:

Respect the natural environment, wildlife and land of Australia. Protection of the country’s ecology is very important to many Australians

Cultural don’ts

Don’t hold a koala. There are government regulations around animal welfare that forbid it

Continent:

Oceania

Three foods you need to try in this country:

  • Chicken parmigiana (a baked dish made from crumbed chicken smothered in a rich tomato sauce and mounds of melting cheese)
  • Vegemite on toast (savoury spread)
  • Kangaroo meat (very lean red meat)

Bonus 

  • Anzac Biscuits (contain oats, desicated coconut and other sugary goodness)
  • Australian BBQ

What the country is known for :

  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • Aboriginal Culture
  • Kangaroos and Koalas
  • Surfing
  • The Outback
  • Many natural things that can kill you e.g. spiders, scorpions, snakes or jellyfish

More About Australia

Australia is a country I wanted to move to for many years since I started living in the UK. My logic was that since it was roughly on the same latitude line as Zimbabwe (my original home country), the weather would be more favourable with very mild if any, winter at all. However, got slightly lost and ended up in New Zealand. However, the close proximity led to many visits to what would have been my home. My first visit was to Melbourne for Christmas in 2017. Melbourne is such a centre of culture and diversity. So much to do and see. Later trips then took me a little further afield, exploring other cities and towns. 

The indigenous people of Australia are known as the original custodians of the land and mostly live in New South Wales and Queensland (according to the Australian Government). Visitors should be respectful of indigenous cultures and adhere to certain rules in cultural and spiritual places. A huge example of this is Uluru (aka Ayers Rock), a large rock monolith in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As tempting as it might be, climbing Uluru is considered disrespectful as the monument is considered sacred and of great spiritual significance to the indigenous people. 

The oceans surrounding Australia possess breathtaking natural beauty. Stretching over 300 000kms off the coast of Queensland, The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, made up of over 2000 reefs and almost 900 islands. It is apparently so large it can be seen from space. There is an underwater street view feature on Google Maps that allows users to view lots of panoramic footage for a more immersive experience. In the South, the Great Ocean Road also offers stunning views that may evoke moments of breath-catching due to its significant wonder and magnificence.

When they (whoever they are) say that there are lots of Kangaroos in Australia, believe them – they come in their numbers both in the wild and in farms. Try keep away from any Kangaroo fights, though, as you definitely do not want to get caught in a flying kick – they are really powerful animals. The kangaroo is the national animal of Australia and can be found on the country’s coat of arms. Admittedly, I find it strange that you can also get the national animal in a burger. The country definitely offers the great outdoors, in the outback, for the adventurous outdoor enthusiast. I’d recommend insect spray, sunscreen, insect bite cream and read the guides of where you are going and possible creatures you may encounter. Always take appropriate precautions, so you can survive the experience and leave with nothing more than the memories and pictures. Australian cities also have a lot to offer by means of food, culture and scenery. Gold Coast, Brisbane and Melbourne hit the mark for me as they give a nice balance of urban, culture and nature within close proximity. 

Australia is also known for its wine regions across the country. I have only been to vineyards in Victoria and have not tried too many Australian wines to be able to give any experiential recommendations. However, I will have you in mind on my next visit and will come back with an update to this section. 

When visiting Australia, be mindful of the summers, as the country has experienced really bad heatwaves over the last few years, which have also resulted in some bushfires. There are also various ski resorts around Australia which suggest that their winters are not as mild as my logic had erroneously concluded. Australians are generally quite laid back and use a lot of ‘banter’, so try not to take offence. They use slang a lot, and when they ask you to put on your ‘thongs’ before you go outside, they are referring to your flip-flops. 

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