A is for Australia: Think Aussie with these 5 Tourist Tips

April 1st has finally rolled around bringing with it the start of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge . Good luck to all the participants – whether you’re a first timer and new to blogging like me or a seasoned blogger and Challenge champion. And a big thank you to the A to Z Challenge gods for giving my blog a shout out in their weekly wrap up  last night. It means much.

Living in this time zone, I guess I am one of the first cabs of the rank… so let the alphablogging games begin!

Australia is my homeland and I am an Aussie. Aussies tend to refer to Australia as the lucky country, with good reason. Leaving politics aside, Australia is truly blessed with natural beauty (and beauties), a terrific climate, unique killer wildlife (the beauties aren’t included in that statement) and wonderful freedoms. I am truly grateful to be living here.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were just over 500,000 visitor arrivals to our fair shores in January 2012, the majority of which were from New Zealand (75,000), China (77,200) United Kingdom (57,000) and United States of America (38,000).

If you have ever travelled to a country for the first time, you know that there’s a fine line between fitting in and looking so much at home that you are asked for directions by other tourists! No tourist wants to stand out with a big “T” on their forehead. So here’s my 5 tips on how to do Australia like an Aussie:

1.       Do your tanning on the beach – Australia is blessed with some of the most amazing beaches in the world. Crystal blue waters and soft white sand abound. If you are visiting a coastal city, do your tanning at the beach and not in a mid-city park. The only Aussies who wear a bikini in the park are those visiting a public swimming pool located there and those coming home after a big night on the town, having lost their clothes. Besides, you haven’t really experienced tanning until you have had sand in your cozzie (Aussie word for swimming costume) and crevices.

2.       A temperature of less than fifteen degrees Celsius does not a summer day make – Australia is blessed with amazing weather. Summers are hot and winters are temperate. However, to most Aussies a temperature of fifteen degrees does not constitute a day worthy of shorts and a tank top. Appropriate dress for fifteen degrees is jeans, a jumper and a neck scarf!

3.       Treat the possibility of a shark attack with the same caution as the possibility of a car accident   – most Aussies are acutely aware that there are killer sharks swimming in our oceans. This does not stop us from enjoying the surf. News of death by shark attack is rare and reports of shark attacks seem to be greatly exaggerated by overseas media.   

By contrast, treat the possibility of a crocodile attack seriously. For some reason, they particularly like the taste of European tourists.

 4.       Give everything a short, pithy nickname  – Aussies tend to shorten the name of everything and everyone. Any word with more than three syllables is too much to say after a few drinks. For example, ” McDonalds” becomes “Maccas” (you’ll probably really need to know that one after a few drinks), Barbeque becomes “Barby”, “Kimberley” becomes “Kimbo” and “Politicians” become “a waste of space” er… I mean “Pollies”.

5.       Savour all of our amazing food – Australians love to eat Aussie food. We love our  pizza, yiros, pad thai, and donner kebab. Any dish which contains pineapple is considered Australian even if it originated from another country.

Now that you have had a taste of my homeland I hope you’ll come on down. Follow these tips and you’ll be tourist savvy in no time.

[photo of the letter A from flikr – Leo Reynolds]

About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

23 thoughts on “A is for Australia: Think Aussie with these 5 Tourist Tips

  1. Finally! I been watching for an Aussie blog to post. Great start to the Challenge. I’m always ready for pizza or pad Thai.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  2. Ausies and South Africans are so alike. (Not really, but it is amusing how northerners get us confused.) It must be a Southern Hemisphere thing. 🙂
    Sharks and Crocks, we sorta have the same here, only foreigners seem to have this problem.
    A great post, very entertaining, Geoff.

    • Hi Geoff, nice to meet a fellow Southy. Have not been to South Africa, yet, but am hoping to get there one day soon. You guys have some AMAZING wildlife that I can’t wait to see.

  3. I did a training class in Sydney in November 1996. Unfortunately, it didn’t leave much time for sightseeing, although I got out in the evenings with some of the guys I was training. It was strange to me that we were so close to Christmas and it was warm and humid. I got to stay in Manly, so I could look out the window in the morning and watch the people playing volleyball on the beach. Sadly, I can’t travel anymore because of physical limitations, but I’d love to come back.

    • I am glad you enjoyed your Sydney visit. It truly is a beautiful city and staying at Manly you would have gotten a real taste of the ocean, beaches and harbour. Christmas is a funny thing, I have never experianced a white one and would love to do that one year. One of the quitessential Christmas images I have is of ice skating at the Rockefeller Centre in NYC.

  4. Glad to hear south of the Equator has the same issues with Politicians as north. Austrailia was awesome when I went. Would like to return and see more. Looking forward to more posts.

  5. I’ve always wanted to visit there and if you have alot of dishes with pineapple…Oh YEAH!!! I live in Florida, USA and shark attacks are over exaggerated here too. We also have tons of alligators, you can see them sunbathing on the side of the road all the time. I am sure they attack sometimes but most of them are not vicious that I’ve seen; still not getting too close though, just in case!

    • Adena, I love Florida and was there for a visit just last year. Didn’t see any alligators in my travels, but I saw some amazing beaches – Clearwater being one of them. Would love to go back there.

  6. I’d love to visit Australia one day! You’re pithy little name for politicians gave me a good chuckle. Had no idea yall had a thing for pineapple. Mmmm. Sounds wonderful 🙂

I would really love to hear what you have to say. C'mon.. you know you want to!

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