In the eighties a phrase was coined that defined the Australian personality as the rest of the world would see it. Crocodile Dundee’s Paul Hogan went topless on a national TV ad and told America that he would “throw another shrimp on the barbie”. Since then it has been every Australian’s battle to explain to travelers abroad that one, we call them prawns, not shrimp, and two, we generally don’t put them on the barbeque.
Nevertheless, Australians are now generally known as half-naked beach bums who tackle crocodiles and eat weird food. While this may be the case for a lot of the country’s people, Australia is actually quite a big country with a diverse culture. In fact, you could go to any given region and find completely different types of people altogether. So if throwing seafood on a barbeque is not your thing, chances are another part of Australia is a right fit for you.
Thanks to Australia’s unique landscape and wild animals, the adventurer has it covered. It’s best for you guys to head north or towards the centre of Australia. Here you can get up close to the crocodiles in Darwin (not too close of course!), climb the mountains at King’s Canyon and dive into the waterfalls of the Northern Territory gorges. Brave the harsh weather in the dunes of the Simpson Desert, learn of the fascinating indigenous culture and try the age-old cuisine of the Aboriginal people. Get lost in the bushes of Kakadu National Park, sail the northern tropic seas and descend to the depths of the Cutta Cutta Caves.
The Luxury Enthusiast
If a cocktail on the beach is more your thing, then the coast of Queensland is more for you. Take a cruise out to a remote tropical island resort, comb the restaurants and bars of Surfer’s Paradise and sun bake on the warm, white sandy beaches. Stretch your dollar at the fancy casinos, then spend it all on massages, fancy food and fake tan. No crocodiles to tackle here.
The finer things in life aren’t only found in Queensland’s Surfer’s Paradise. All Australian shopaholics know to regularly migrate south to Melbourne for a good bargain and some fine dining. The Direct Factory Outlet (DFO) is the most famous fashion chain store in Australia, known for a good bargain, and while Sydney and the Gold Coast each have one, Melbourne has three. Because of this, both national and international fashion labels have set up headquarters here, turning it into Australia’s most classiest and fashionable city.
Head into Australia’s wild west to explore the unique colours of the Bungle Bungle Ranges or the strange rock formations of Uluru and the Lost City in the Northern Territory. Snorkel the largest living organism in the world off the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef, and visit the Australian Zoo just out of Brisbane to get up close to the strange animals unique to the Australian continent. Having had millions of years of evolution in isolation from the rest of the world, it is no wonder that Australia is a playground of endless, natural fascination.
The Adrenaline Junkie
Thanks to sharing a country with some of the world’s harshest weather and deadliest creatures, Aussies are always up for a bit of a challenge. In Sydney you can dive with the sharks or take the Skywalk on top of the city’s tallest building, Sydney Tower. Just north of the city you can visit the Australian Reptile Park and get semi-close to Australia’s infamous spiders, snakes and reptiles. On the Gold Coast you can ride one of the world’s biggest roller coasters at DreamWorld, before moving further north to take on jungle surfing through the canopies of the tropical rainforest. Never a dull moment!
The Party Person
You can pretty much go anywhere in Australia for a good beer session, but if you’re a proper party person, you’ll want to get yourself to Oxford Street, Sydney. Get lost in the fabulous colours of Australia’s gay capital and the endless selection of nightclubs open all hours. Find the fashionable, hidden bars in the underground world of the off-street alleys, or join in the annual festivities of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. If you’re still not partied out, don an outrageous hat and head east to Randwick for the horse races, before letting loose at a good beach party on Bondi Beach.
The Sports Fan
There is never a shortage of good sports competition in Australia. Whether it be swimming, cricket or football (locally known as “footy”), someone is always barracking for a team in something. Any city you go to you can get swept up in the local favourite, in Sydney you can go to a rugby game, in Melbourne you can follow the crowds to the Aussie Rules Football and in Perth you can catch a local soccer game. If you don’t get the chance to hit the big stadiums you can always catch a game on TV at a local pub, or join one of the many friendly “backyard” games of soccer or cricket in parks and on streets wherever you go.
The Crocodile Dundee Fan
And though Australians may fight the stereotype, the truth is there is a good chance on your travels throughout the country you will meet the sun-tanned beach bum, be invited to a barbeque, encounter the wilderness guy who tackles crocodiles and eat a whole lot of “shrimp”!