Do you wonder what Aussies love most about Australia?
In the lead-up to Australia Day on the 26th January, I put the question to several fellow Aussie travellers “What do you love most about Australia”?
Surprisingly their responses were varied. Some talked about their favourite places like their favourite cities, the outback, the beaches and specific things. Others reminisced about the laid-back lifestyle – the BBQ’s, visiting the local swimming holes, going fishing with mates, whilst others talked about the familiarity among Aussies, but noticeably they all talked with pride.
Let me share what they had to say.
What I love about Australia
Australia has the best beaches
There is nothing like grabbing a brightly coloured beach towel, slipping into your togs, and heading off to the nearest golden sandy beach. Whether you’re wanting to swim, surf or snorkel or build a sand castle, there is an activity for everyone!
Australians have a serious case of beach addiction. At least for the 85 per cent of us live along the coast making it so easy to get to a beach.
Australia has it all when it comes to landscapes.
Expect to find incredibly diverse landscapes and extraordinary national parks which include eco-systems like the tropical wetlands of Kakadu or the desert country around Uluru. Immerse yourself into the ancient tropical Daintree Rainforest or enjoy the striking views across the Great Ocean Road. Visit Rottnest Island in Western Australia or for something totally different, or explore the world-class snowfields of the Snowy Mountains before taking a trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
An awesome country, isn’t it?
Read more: Gateway to the Whitsunday Islands
The Great Outdoors
In this country of vast open spaces and remote wilderness, Aussies love nothing more than hitting the open road and heading out bush for a few days of camping and fishing.
Childhood memories of lazy summers spent camping by the beach are entrenched in so many of us an for many of us, some of our happiest times. We all have a love of the Great Outdoors and camping is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in nature. There is nothing like waking up with the sunrise, listening to kookaburras, taking bush walks in the bush, watching sun sets over the water and gazing at the starry skies of a clear night.
Our unique Critters
Whether they’re cute, cuddly, or ferocious, we love our creatures. More than 80 per cent of our mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia and are found no-where else in the world.
Some of our best-known animals are the kangaroo, koala, echidna, dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat. Australia has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal.
Read next: Australia Zoo – a unique Wildlife Experience
Our stunning birds
Not only is our birdlife plentiful, it’s also colourful, unique, and often noisy. There is nothing quite like the call of the kookaburra in the wild. Kookaburras, best known for their hysterical, human-sounding laughter at dusk and dawn. You’ll most likely hear them most places you go – even in the city suburbs.
Of the 828 bird species listed in Australia, about half are found nowhere else. They range from tiny finches and honey-eaters to the large, flightless emu and cassowary, which stand nearly two metres tall.
Read next: A Bird Watchers Paradise – Fogg Dam
The Aussie bush
Several photographers commented that what they loved most about the bush was the scenery and the serenity with nothing but the sounds of the birds in the trees and unexpected waterfalls and creeks.
There’s so much to love about going bushwalking or camping in the Australian bush. The smell of the bush is something I long for when I’m away. The strong smells of the eucalyptus trees and native wattles as the sun warms up the day are just part of the bush experience. Its refreshing.
Our blended cultures
Australians are a very diverse people, with a vast range of cultural and historical backgrounds. Although Aussies are predominantly of European backgrounds, we also have Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern, African, Indian as well as our first Australians who have been here for over 60,000 years.
We may be of many different ethnicities. But at the end of the day, we are all Australians.
Our cultural diversity brings one of the most diverse cuisines in the world. Today, an Australian family is as likely to sit down for a beef Madras as a meat pie or a roast lamb. We love the diversity of being multi-cultural.
The Aussie Lingo
I love the familiarity of the Aussie strine. Whether you’re already Down Under or visiting soon there are a few Australian slang words that you really should learn, to help you get through your Aussie experience.
Aussies have a tendency to shorten most words in the English vocabulary. It won’t take long to become familiar with the words but to help you understand more, read this post for a short list of some common terms and translations.
Read next: Speak Aussie to me – the language Down Under
Our laid-back Lifestyle
Australians are known their laid-back and relaxed attitude to life. I’m sure you’ll meet a few locals who take the time to enjoy life. This is certainly true in regional areas and in surfing communities like Byron Bay and the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.
Australia is also a highly developed, modern country, with strong professional, corporate and business sectors. Although the laid-back attitude remains a strong element of the country’s culture, many Australians these days are driven and hard-working with very busy lives.
Practically every Aussie owns a pair of thongs (sometimes referred to as flip flops). When we’re not working, we wear them everywhere. Be like a local, embrace the Aussie lifestyle.
The Australian Outback
Where on earth is the Outback? It’s one of those places that people dream of visiting. Hot, red, dry but somehow still bursting with life. Many photographers told us how living in or travelling through the heart of Australia had a significant impact on them.
The outback includes the arid desert regions of the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. The town of Alice Springs, is roughly at the centre of the outback and is the outback’s self-appointed capital.
Expect to see wide open spaces, experience a sense of freedom, learn more about Aboriginal people and their culture, and connect with deep spirituality of this part of the world. Be prepared to see lots of red dirt and flies! Learn to do the Aussie salute!
Read next: The Best Aussie Road Trip
Our major cities
Sydney and Melbourne are our most well-known of our capital cities but don’t miss Hobart or Brisbane on your journey. Sydney is famous for it’s Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and seems to be on everyone’s travel itinerary. Australians love their capital cities.
Hobart on the other hand, is an incredibly unspoiled and unpretentious part of the world–and by the way, Brisbane is the Aussie city with the most sunshine. Just sayin’!
Read next: Beercan Regatta in Darwin
Australia is renowned for its sunny weather, outdoor living and beautiful beaches. However, it is also notorious for its creepy-crawlies.
Thousands of species of spiders, insects and snakes call our huge country home, which can be pretty terrifying for international tourists. The good news is, contact with most of Australia’s assortment of smaller land or sea life is usually not fatal, but can be pretty uncomfortable or painful. It is worth remembering, they’re often more frightened of you.
Read next: Litchfield National Park
Our love of sports
You could say this country is sports mad. But in Australia, it’s true!
We are a country that loves its sport but that may mean a casual bike ride or a couple of laps in the local pool. Football of many genres is played right across the country. Challenge us to a weekend game of tennis or even a family cricket match in the backyard. We’ll have a go.
Many of us travel across the country to enjoy world-class events such as the Tour Down Under, the Australian Open Tennis tournaments and a circuit of International Cricket events.
Australia’s not just sport mad, it has earned its place in the world arena. Aussies are a real force to reckon with in international Cricket, Rugby, Hockey, Cycling, Tennis and the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Read more: Noosa Strade Bianche
Our native flora
There are an astounding 24,000 species of native plants in Australia. Australia’s geographic isolation means that most flora and fauna is very different from other parts of the world.
Some closely related species are also found on the continents which were once part of ancient southern Gondwanaland. Most of Australia’s flora and fauna have their origins in Gondwana, which broke up about 140 million years ago. Gondwana included South America, Africa, India and Antarctica.