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With Australia over 9000 miles away from the US, it’s no surprise that there are a few miscommunications between the two countries over their national norms. Way down in the southern hemisphere, Australians are riding kangaroos to work, talking pretty much a different language and making friends with snakes and spiders. Aren’t they? No, probably not. Not your average Australian anyway. So what is the truth? It’s time to bust some myths about our friends down under.

australia map

Myth Number One: There are snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies everywhere

While you won’t find an Aussie who’s never seen a snake or spider before, it’s not a part of everyday life - especially for city dwellers. In fact, if you asked a few people living in Australia, most would say that they’ve only come across a snake in its natural habitat a few times. There are considerably more snakes, spiders and everything in between living in Australia, but at the end of the day if you don’t bother them, they generally won’t bother you (just be careful not to get bit by the poisonous ones).

Myth Number Two: Riding a Kangaroo to get from place to place

Whilst it sounds like a fun idea, there is absolutely no truth whatsoever to this rumor. In fact, wild kangaroos are quite intimidating up close, so it would pose a bit of a challenge to actually ride one. Not to mention, there’d be all sorts of traffic issues if cars and buses had to share the roads with kangaroos on a daily basis. The chances of riding a kangaroo or even keeping a kangaroo as a pet is about as likely as sitting down with an emu for a cup of tea;  a fun concept but it’s not going to happen.

kangaroo

Myth Number Three: It doesn’t get cold in Australia

In an ideal world, this wouldn’t be a myth and all Australians would wake up every day of the year able to pop down to the beach and soak up the sun. But winter does exists. Depending on where in Australia you are will dictate how cold it gets. In Melbourne, they’re renowned for experiencing four seasons in one day, which means one day it could be 89 degrees Fahrenheit and the next it could be 50. In winter, the further north you go the warmer it will be, with some areas of North Queensland experiencing minimum temperatures of 62 degrees in winter. You can certainly still hit up some beach destinations during the winter up north, but you’ll still need to pack a jacket for your trip Down Under during the colder months (June to August).

Myth Number Four: They speak in weird slang 

Aussie language is essentially just English with a lot of shortened words. There will be a few different words thrown in to every second sentence, such as “arvo” instead of afternoon. You probably will be called mate a dozen or so times a day, but they don’t all say “crickey” or “fair dinkum” and you will generally be able to understand them most of the time.

Myth Number Five: Everyone lives in the outback

Whilst there is a percentage of the population that does live in the outback, managing farms and living miles away from their neighbors, most people live in urbanized areas and close to the coastlines. In fact, 40 percent of the Australian outback is unlivable. Some people even live in underground towns in the middle of nowhere due to scorching heat – but that’s not the norm.

outback

There are clearly quite a few differences between what we may think is fact about our friends in the Southern Hemisphere and what is actually true. The only way one can know for sure is to go on vacation Down Under and find out for yourself! 

 

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