The ‘Lucky Country’ and its people are synonymous with laid-back and relaxed, but regardless of this easy-going nature, there are probably a few things a foreigner should not do while on a trip to Australia. These warnings pertain to Australian travel, nature and culture – and range from the humorous to the just plain serious.
Don’t think you can drive across the country in 2 days. Australia might be an island, but it is also a country and a continent about the same size as the mainland of the US. Individuals on short holidays who try to pack in too much, and cover too much distance, will be sorely disappointed at the amount of treasures that must be overlooked. In other words, plan wisely and always keep a mileage chart at hand.
Don’t drive on the right-hand side. Americans might joke about Australia being backwards because it’s on the opposite side of the globe, but for some aspects of travel and culture, that proves very true. When driving a camper-van along the coast of Australia, don’t forget that Australians drive on the left, which can take some getting used to at first.
Get more tips on driving on Australia
Don’t pet the wildlife. The animals in Australia, although cute and cuddly, possess the ability to pack a mean punch. Kangaroos kick and punch, cassowaries slash with their giant claws, and crocodiles…well on’t go there.
Don’t swim outside the flags. Beaches are plentiful with Australia being an island of 21,262 miles of mainland coast. Tourists flock from regions far and wide just to spend time on the beautiful beaches, but if you’re one of them, please take the time to learn about beach safety. Forget crocodiles, forget sharks: not swimming in between flags is one of the biggest reasons for accidents and deaths at the beach.
Don’t believe the stories of mythical animals. Several unique species call Australia home, so while it’s not so hard to be suckered in at first, don’t become the sucker. Drop bears and hoop snakes are not real.
Don’t call them Aussies with a hard ‘s’. Hearing a person say Aussie instead of Ozzie is the easiest way to know someone is not from around here. Plus, people might laugh at you.
Don’t use the wrong lingo. Australians speak English, however that English differs from American English greatly. As an American, several situations have presented themselves where, believe it or not, I spoke about situations in an amusing manner – amusing that is, to everyone but me. Namely with the words root and fanny.
Learn some Australian slang
Don’t be alarmed by decorative language. Profanities are not such a big deal in Australia, even on evening television (generally after 9pm) where there is less bleeping and censorship than in places like the US.