7 travel lessons Australia will teach you

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Australia – the land of dry desert, tropical rainforests, jaw-dropping beaches and sun, sun, sun. Beyond the incredible scenery, dreamy weather and friendly people you’ll find down under, here are seven things that you’ll learn.

7 travel lessons Australia will teach you

1. Australia is really (really) big.

Fact. Someone once asked me if it would be possible to have breakfast in Adelaide, drive by Melbourne for Lunch and end up in Sydney for dinner… you could, but only by plane! Driving between capital cities isn’t a matter or hours; it’s a mattter of days. To give you an idea, Australia is almost the same size as the United States, or Europe (with Turkey and Scandinavia included!)

Given the size of Australia, there’s also huge variation in climate from one place to another. When it might be 5 degrees in Tasmania, it might be 35 degrees in Darwin. If you’re travelling around Australia, pack for all climates.

7 travel lessons Australia will teach you

2. You’ll never have enough time.

You can do anything, but not everything. This applies to life as much as it applies to travel, especially in Australia. You will start with a big list of places you want to see, and leave with a list that’s longer than you arrived with. The more you explore and the further you travel, the more adventures that will open up to you.

7 travel lessons Australia will teach you

3. The best places are not the ones you think.

When you visit Australia, you’ll plan to see the must do’s – Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Uluru. But it’ll be the unexpected diamonds you come across that will really stop you short, and leave you head over heels for adventures… and the big, beautiful world.

7 travel lessons Australia will teach you

4. You’ll love the people.

The world is a small town, and as goes the saying, strangers are friends you just haven’t met yet.

On your travels, you’ll be surprised by the generosity of strangers. You’ll affirm that, fundamentally, people are genuiune. Aussies are no exception – they are very friendly folk. They are also relaxed, helpful, have a good sense of humor and some of the most “fair dinkum” people you’ll meet.

7 travel lessons Australia will teach you

5. It’s English, but not as you know it.

While the Australian English is grammatically the same, how we use it can vary markedly to England, America, Canada and other English-speaking countries. Familiarise yourself with some Aussie sayings, and we’ll make much more sense.

She’ll be right // don’t worry, it will be okay
Dead horse // tomato sauce
Barbie // barbecue
Knackered // completely exhausted; worn out
Crook // off colour, sick, not feeling well

7 travel lessons Australia will teach you

6. It’s expensive

Australia’s minimum wage is high, so the cost of living is high. You’ll find that getting from A to B on public transport possibly costs more in Australia than anywhere else. However, there are plenty of ways to make up for it – and travelling on a shoestring budget is possible. Many cities offer free tram or train travel within the CBD, and there are plenty of cheap eats around, and many wonderful things you can do completely for free – like explore the botanical gardens and parks, key beaches and many galleries.

7 travel lessons Australia will teach you

7. You’ll live for adventure

Australians are adventurous, and world travel is prioritised by many. It’s basically a rite of passage for young Australians to take a ‘gap year’ and to set off to explore the world after school or university studies. Know that when you’re travelling around Australia, you won’t be looked at strangely – you’ll be respected, celebrated and encouraged by fellow Aussies. We’re all for exploring.

Have you travelled around Australia? What did Australia teach you?

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    January 14, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    great insight to a beautiful part of the world, down under mate!!

    December 28, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Oi Oi Oi!

    November 4, 2015 at 7:02 am

    I spent one year studying in Brisbane and on my breaks I travelled as much as I could. Just like you said; there is never enough time. I don’t even remember how many hours I spent on trains and in planes, but it was so worth it. Australia is an amazing place and I have forever lost my heart to it!

    August 7, 2015 at 4:41 am

    the year i spent there on my working/holiday visa was no where near enough. i was fortunate enough to travel and see a good deal of the big ticket items, but after being there a year, my ‘must visit’ list grew tenfold…crazy! the people are truly amazing, some of my good friends to this day are people i met during my time there! thanks for this post, and reminding me, yet again, why i loved my year ‘down under’ so very dearly!

    August 3, 2015 at 6:06 am

    I went to Australia a few years ago and never quite got it out of my system. But I am heading back over there later on in the year and visiting some places I didn’t get to last time (plus seeing my family again!)

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    August 1, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    This is such an accurate representation of Australia! I have lived in Aus all my life and I really can’t stress that as famous as a place is, it does not necessarily mean its the most beautiful or the best. Take Bondi Beach for example yes it is nice but Shelly beach in Manly and Freshwater Beach are my personal favourites! Oh and I definitely recommend travelling to the Gold Coast and Byron Bay for some beautiful beaches especially Burleigh Beach its such a beautiful and iconic destination!

    August 1, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I was born and raised in South Australia. Born in Whyalla and moved when I started high school, in Adelaide. I live in NY now and have my own family but I sure do miss my honmeland. There’s nothing like it in the world and I truly miss the Aussies! Friendliest and down to earth people you will ever meet. Planning to travel back and stay for a bit to see family but also to go on an adventure and discover parts I never have seen before. All the comments posted are spot on!

    Melissa Giroux
    August 1, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I agree 100%! I am currently in Australia and there is so much stuff to do! The country is so HUGE! I did not expect that at all. I am from a bigger country (Canada) and I am still surprised! It is the paradise to have a couple of great road trips!

    Kate Martin-Williams
    August 1, 2015 at 2:15 am

    Australia completely changed my life. Whilst growing up in London I always had an idea of what life should be like. And well, I guess in London, it wasn’t quite happening.
    I had the pleasure of travelling to Australia last year and suddenly everything made sense. The people ,the lifestyle, the culture. Everything I was looking for was there. I haven’t quite made it back since but I have plans to return and live there one day in the near future.

    Heather Griffiths
    August 1, 2015 at 12:15 am

    I spend three months in Oz earlier this year – it was incredible! The things that really surprised me coming over from Europe were the utter remoteness of the place – especially over in Western Australia, the intensity of the sun (seriously, wear a hat people!), and the diversity of climates and landscapes. My favourites were northern Queensland for the rainforests and reefs, Uluru (pure magic!) and seeing the Sydney Opera House and Bridge for the first time. Managed all mainland states including the Capital Territory in this visit. Next time, I want to drive from Perth to Darwin and also visit Tassie

    July 31, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    I’ve lived in Adelaide all my life (except for 5 quick years in Melbourne). And I have to say this post is pretty well spot on. Including the “dead horse”. Add to that: sky rocket – pocket, khyber pass – ass, and many more.
    Anyway from someone who LOVES travel around the world, I URGE you all to explore more than just the East Coast (Sydney, Melbourne etc.) There is SO much more to Australia. And in my opinion, that’s not even the REAL Australia. I know its big and it takes a long time to get between places, but do yourself a favour and get out of the cities and see the real thing. The West Coast has so much to offer.
    As does Adelaide, but I’m biased there.

    July 31, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Hi, I loved your generous and positive review of Australia. I’m Sydney born snd raised, in fact my family came over on the first fleet!
    We’ve travelled a lot within Australia and done some amazing trips in most states but there’s heaps left to do many more. Plus we have the travel bug – we do at least one South Pacific cruise a year along with an overseas trips every few years, our favorite by far has been America!
    We’re so lucky, we’re close enough to Asia to visit there within hours, same for South Pacific. As an Australian, we love tourists so make sure you say hi and start a conversation when you come to visit, we can tell all about out favourite local places.

    July 31, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    I lived in Australia for nearly 6 months during my semester abroad and I visited for a month the year before that. 7 months altogether and still have seen barely a glimpse of this immense country. I knew it was big… I just didn’t realise what”immense” actually meant.

    One thing I learned was to respect the caution remarks. If it says “don’t go into the water”, you just don’t go into the water. If it says “don’t go with flip flops in the bush” then you just put your sport shoes on and long pants and you keep your eyes wide open. Naturally, it is the tourists that suffer the most from all the tiny little things that are trying to kills you down under just because they do not respect the rules. Remember, if it says “sharks in the water”, there are sharks in the water. It is not that the lifeguards are feeling lazy today.

    Another thing I learned was that Australians respected beauty. Wherever you look around the town or the park or whatever everything is postcard pretty just because that’s how they like it. If the municipality gets two projects for a park bench they won’t choose the cheapest one but the more beautiful one.

    Also, in Australia benches just appear from the nothing. I remember many times that I’ve been walking through a scenery road or just a regular street, I came up to a place with a great view, I think to myself “I wish there was a bench here so that I can just sit and observe”, and there it is – the bench… like it forms itself from the atoms right away.

    Finally, Australia is full of hidden gems. Not that the famous sites are not gems, they are but it is just surprising how many more beautiful things there are in this country. Take for example Sydney. Sydney is famous for the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, for Bondi and Manly. But do you know what you can see if you cross the bridge to North Sydney and from there take the road to Balls Head reserve? You will see the city, just standing there over the water as if you can gather it in your palm. It’s surreal. Near that place I found that terrace where Kylie Minogue was writing her letter in the beginning of the video clip of “Especially For You”. Australia is just that country where you have to take a road and walk all the way and with each step you will surprise yourself more and more.

    July 31, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Completely agree with everything you’ve said. We’ve just gotten back from a two month road trip from Melbourne to the Kimberly and it definitely made me realise how huge this place is (and how expensive petrol can be!)

    The best destinations are definitely not what lots of people think. I love the beaches, but inland Australia is spectacular in it’s own way. It’s amazing how many Australian’s don’t get away from the coast and head inland.

    July 31, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I lived and traveled in Australia last year and it was the best decision of my life. Life in Australia taught me how to be a better version of myself, to trust strangers, push my comfort zone and appreciate every tiny moment. I am planning on ending up back in my favorite country in a few years time.
    Aussie Aussie Aussie!

    July 31, 2015 at 3:29 am

    My family live in Australia and it truly looks amazing, I really want to go out and visit them one day and then go traveling around the country, it’ll probably help as they’ll know some good places to see and things to do

    EmilyAnne (Eat All Over The World)
    July 30, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Oh these are so true. We have lived here over a year, and love finding all the places that are not on the “must see” list. I have yet to hear the dead horse for tomato sauce. I will have to listen for that.

    ijaz Ibrahim
    July 30, 2015 at 3:08 am

    Australia is great country
    when i have done it my studies i will go there
    because my passion Australia
    thank you for sharing

    July 29, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    These are all so true! I am heading back to Australia for a month this Winter, and I can’t wait!

    July 29, 2015 at 3:04 am

    I lived in Australia for over 20 years and most of these points ring true. As an example, Bondi Beach, though spectacular, is far from my favourite beach in Sydney, that honour goes to 3, Shelly Beach at Manly, Nielson Park on the harbour, and La Perouse which is south of Sydney. And yes, Australia is now so expensive compared to how it was, when I first moved there in 1994. Love this post 🙂

    July 29, 2015 at 2:01 am

    I’m not into Australia that much but the pictures are gorgeous!!!

    July 29, 2015 at 12:51 am

    I would love to travel to Australia

    July 28, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you for the great write up! 4th generation Aussie here (with 4 little 5th generationers) . Love it! I’m probably one of the minority because overseas travel for me is on the bottom of my priority list. There is so much of Australia to see and I will be heading around Australia before I leave our shores.

    Naomi in Wonderland
    July 28, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    I haven’t traveled around Australia yet but I will starting in October and this just made me REALLY excited

    July 28, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Australia is on the other side of the globe…it takes a lot of planning…or shall I just hop on the plane?! 😉

    July 28, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    I agree with everything in this post so much, haha! Especially the 2nd point, Australia is so big and I managed to see and do most things I wanted to on the East Coast on my last trip there. But there’s so much more to see that I left with a huuge list of things I wanted to do next time I came to Australia.
    And I definitely agree about Aussie’s being some of the nicest people. I can’t wait to go back some day!

    July 28, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Great post!
    I was surprised first when I met some Aussies about the way they speak especially their understanding of “thong” 😀

    July 28, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Beautiful article. Australia taught me that world is wanderlust 😉

    July 28, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I’ve visited Australia twice and both times to Sydney and Melbourne… visiting relatives. Of course I couldn’t see everything although we went out nearly every day.
    I couldn’t agree more on the English part. One time I was talking to one relative, she was born and lived all her life in Melbourne.. we were just chatting about what she will decide for her future career and she said something. What? Socia woka… again what? Socia woka. I said would you say it slowly please and then it turned out to be: a Social worker… till now I can only question: where did the L and R go?????

    July 28, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    I loved EVERY SINGLE PART of this post, thank you so much!

    Now I just can’t wait to go to Australia!

    Amy Stewart
    July 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Loved this post and can’t wait to explore Australia. I think the mini glossary will come in handy! x

    July 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    That’s completly true! I went to Australia last fall for my honeymoon and it was amazing indeed! Pretty expensive for europeans though :p but people are so lovely and all so healthy!! I wish I could live there!!! Cheers from Portugal 🙂 I love your blog!

    July 28, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I agree the I left Australia with so many other places I wanted to see and visit. There simply wasn’t enough time when I studied/lived there for six months. Also – the people were awesome!


    Jodie @perchoine
    July 28, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    This is so true. Im a Guern that has travelled and is now living in Australia and this has it down to a t.
    À la perchoine, Jodie
    Check out my latest post

    July 28, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    This really took me on a journey. I felt like I was in Australia. I can’t wait to visit! I was just 4 hours away from Aussie when I was in Bali last year. So close!

    Zoe Joy
    July 28, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Sounds like a dream that’s why it’s my dream place to visit. So true about the people! I’ve met a lot of Australians that moved here to The US and they are the sweetest! Can’t wait to visit one day.

    July 28, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Although I’ve grown up in Melbourne, I haven’t seen much of Australia. My boyfriend and I are currently saving to buy a caravan, and drive around Australia. I cannot wait to see and learn more about this beautiful country of ours!

    lynn raye
    July 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Would LOVE to visit someday!

    Rachel Oliver
    July 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

    some great tips, australia is next on my list to visit!


    July 28, 2015 at 10:36 am

    This is actually so accurate! Unfortunately didn’t get to take a gap year but I did really want to


    Julie Provost
    July 28, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I haven’t ever been but my cousin went for her honeymoon last fall and loved looking at all of her photos. I will get there someday 🙂

    July 28, 2015 at 9:48 am

    This is such an accurate description of Australia it had me laughing out loud! What a great country huh (though not quite as great as New Zealand…) 🙂