Get the most out of your Down Under adventure.

Are you planning to visit Australia?  There are a number of things you need to know before you head Down Under.

Have you been dreaming of an Aussie adventure?  Do you want to see koalas and kangaroos in the wild or surf some of the best beaches in the world?

15 things you need to know before you visit Australia.

Australia is one huge island, country & continent!Sydney Opera House

Australia is a huge country with over 24 million Aussies!  Our nation is made up of people who have come from other nations and we love our multi-cultural country.

If you are planning a trip to Australia, you simply won’t be able to see everything in a couple of weeks!  Our suggestion is to do it state by state to see all our favourite places.

Read more:  Where, when and how to plan a trip to Australia

Each of States and Territories have lots to offer.

Melbourne

  • Tasmania is known for its pristine wilderness.
  • Queensland is where the Great Barrier Reef is.
  • Victoria hosts our most cosmopolitan city and famed for the Melbourne Cup – the race that stops the nation.
  • New South Wales is home to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
  • Australian Capital Territory is known for Australian Parliament House, the National Art Gallery and the National War Memorial.
  • South Australia is famous for it’s world-class winery regions like the Barossa Valley, McLarinvale and Clare Valley
  • Western Australia has the Margaret River wine region, Broome, Monkey Mia and the infamous Cable Beach.
  • Northern Territory lays claim to the real outback with Uluru (Ayers Rock) and of course there’s Kakadu National Park and menacing looking crocodiles!

Read more:  Australia’s Cities, States and Territories.

The Australian strine (local lingo) is a bit quirky!

Our lingo is probably the most noted of the most talked about ‘peculiaraties’.   We tend to make-up a whole lot of new words up as a way of clarifying what we’re trying to say … which usually doesn’t clarify anything at all!

The movie ‘Crocodile Dundee‘,  introduced the Australian language to the world.   A fun movie that did fabulous things for tourism in Australia and taught the world how to say ‘G’day’, Australian style.

Read More: Australians speak funny to confuse you even more!

We admit, our sense of humour is a bit strange!

It’s true, we love to poke fun and have a laugh.  Don’t believe everything you’re told .. especially by a serious faced Aussie who holds his hand on his heart.  Our biggest game is to ‘reel in the fish’, so if you take the bait, enjoy the ride.  We mean no harm 🙂

Aussies are known to eat weird things!

Favourite Australian Foods - PavlovaWhoever came up with the ‘shrimp on the Barbie’ thing is just plain nuts!  To others, our food choices probably do border on the bizarre.

We love chunky meat pies, and will never pass up a BBQ especially if there are steak and snags offered.  We love that thick black sticky stuff called ‘vegemite’ on our toast for breakfast and you really can’t do a trip down under without tasting our most famous dessert – the Pavlova!

If anything, BBQs and roast dinners would be our all time favourite meals to share with friends.  Quite civilised really!

Read next:  20 Favourite Aussie Foods you must try

No, kangaroos don’t hop down our main streets.

KangarooWell actually, that’s not entirely true – I do know of a couple of towns where they really do hop down the main street – see my post about Daly Waters.

Sadly in some areas these cute furry kangaroos are considered a pest. They have been known to destroy acres of crops, knock down fences and generally make a nuisance of themselves.  But we do admit, they really are very cute!

Australia has one of the oldest Indigenous cultures known to man.

Aboriginal rock artExperience our Aboriginal culture.  Be sure to take in some of our unique culture when you visit.  Key places to make sure you visit are Uluru, Kata Tjuta, the Devils Marbles and Kakaku.

Learn about bush tucker, traditional hunting tools, bush medicines and check out some of the oldest rock paintings in the world.  Take the time to listen to Dreamtime stories – it’s part of our unique heritage and we’re very proud to be a part of it all.

Must read:  6 Seasons of Kakadu – to time your visit perfectly

There are plenty of things that can kill you, in Australia.

Crocodile factsWe have 21 or the 25 most venomous snakes in the world!  Add to that mix; sharks, spiders and deadly jellyfish which are often so small you can’t see them.  Toss in our dingos, boxing kangaroos, prehistoric crocodiles, blue ringed octopus and cone shells which will give you a nasty bite and that will give you a bunch of reasons to be cautious while visiting our country.

We like to shock our visitors .. but really, the chances of anything ‘getting you’ is actually unlikely.  You will probably never come into contact with most of them.

If by chance you do have an emergency – Ring Triple Zero “000” to get help.  

Take heed of the warning signs ie: ‘Beware of Crocodiles’. They’re there for a reason!

Read next: Crocodiles – FACTS to know before you visit Australia 

Slip, Slop & Slap!  

Airlie Beach in the WhitsundaysAustralia has some serious sun issues!  To quote a famous song written by Noel Coward;  “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”.  Be aware.

Down here, the sun is HOT, and it WILL damage your skin.  Most visitors know to Slip on a shirt, Slop on some sunscreen and Slap on a hat.

Australia is known to have one of the highest records of skin cancer so get with the program and cover up!  Most of the fun stuff in Australia is held on our beaches or out in our open spaces so you need to protect yourself.

A rip?  What’s a rip?  Do you know what a rip is?

Surf rescue

Australia has a lot of beaches and this is one of the most important things to know about our beaches.

Treacherous undercurrents can tear you off your feet and sweep you out to sea.  Make sure you look for any warning signs on the beaches, obey the lifeguards.

Don’t swim anywhere beaches are unpatrolled.  Swim between the flags and follow the direction of the surf lifesavers.

Australia has some of the world’s best Road Trips. 

Cobber PedyTravel some of our famous roadtrips.  Long, often straight roads taking in the magnificent outback scenery, or a drive along the Great Ocean Road will have you experiencing one of the most scenic drives ever.  Be sure to stop at the quirky roadhouses along the way, they’ll be sure to bring a smile to your face!

Some of my favourite Road Trips are Darwin to Alice Springs & Alice Springs to Adelaide.  If you decide to venture out to the outback – be sure to take your safety seriously.  Its often a long distance between towns and sometimes the conditions are not always ideal.

Read next:  10 trips to Drive Safely in Australia.  It may just save your life.

Border advice

Make sure you don’t take fruits and vegetables across the borders.  Australia has extensive farmlands growing fruit, grain and vegetables, many of which are isolated from noxious pests and insects.

Don’t be the one to transport bugs and pests across the country which could potentially wipe out entire crops.

Beer o’clock happens!  Darwin's 10 best pubs

Aussies love their beer and there’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot day.  Visit a pub any hot day (and trust me, there are plenty of pubs Down Under), strike up a conversation about footy, cricket or fishing and you’ll have the makings of a good day.

Read next:  Beer O’Clock – 10 best pubs in Darwin

Stop at the dodgy looking roadside stops

A quirky sense of humourSome of our best travel experiences have been when we’ve randomly stopped at places that have looked a bit dodgy at first glance.

Be sure to stop at these:  Hayes Creek in the Northern Territory.  Coober Pedy is an adventure all of it’s own.  Daly Waters is an experience we keep going back for, and in outback western Queensland, the Winton Pub was one of the most fun places we’ve ever stayed at en route.

Step outside your comfort zone and experience the real Australia.  You won’t regret it!

Don’t underestimate the harsh bush conditions – prepare

This harsh brown landSadly, each year we see news reports of visitors, and sometimes our own, who underestimate the Australian bush by often setting out for a bushwalk with nothing more than a bottle of water.  Sadly some perish in our harsh conditions.

Make sure you prepare properly, take notice of signs and be sure to let someone know where you’re heading and when you expect to arrive so that you remain safe during your stay in Australia.

All in all, Australia is a fun place to visit.

We’ve lots of exciting things to see and do and if you really want an adventure of a lifetime – Australia is definitely the place to go!

Quick Quiz:
Q: What is a boomerang that doesn’t come back?

A:  A stick!

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Visit Australia

Have you visited Australia yet?  We’ve put together a list of 15 things you should know before you visit the land Down Under.   Let us know if you think there’s anything we’ve missed.