Stereotypes of Australia: What’s Fact and What’s Fiction?
Thanks to classic movies like Crocodile Dundee and the power of the Internet, plenty of stereotypes about Australia have emerged throughout the years. Heaps of them are true, but many couldn’t be further from reality. Here's our breakdown of facts versus fiction!
Aussies have their own slang
While Australians technically speak English, sometimes it's as if they are speaking their own language. Everything is shortened, and there are so many random words they throw in. If you were wondering if they really say “mate” all the time, they do. All. The. Time. However, “G’day” is way less common than you'd expect.
Kangaroos & koalas are everywhere
This one is partially true. While koalas can be found throughout the wild in Australia, they hang out high in trees, so you don’t see them much. If you go to the country areas of Australia such as Bathurst, kangaroos really are roaming in everyone’s yards. They’re mainly seen out at night and can be found in huge herds. Think of them as the deer of Australia. However, you’ll rarely see them in the coastal areas and big cities (with the exception of that one roo that caused chaos when it decided to stroll over Sydney Harbour Bridge at rush hour…)
Everyone is a surfer bro
Although Australia is completely surrounded by water, the majority of the population doesn’t know how to surf. It's a nice idea that all Aussies are tan, blonde-haired surfer dudes, but sadly that's just not the case. Trust me, I wish it was.
The entire continent is a desert
Nope. Not true. Granted, a hefty percentage of the continent is indeed desert, but there is much more variety in climate and landscape. Obviously, there are loads of beaches, but most people don’t know there are actually slopes to ski on and rainforests to explore, too!
Shrimp on the barbie
This is maybe the dumbest stereotype out there, and I am tired of people asking me if I’ve had shrimp on the barbie while I’m here. Sure Australians do grill out a lot, but it’s not anything to gawk at. Plus, Australians don’t even call shrimp, shrimp. They’re PRAWNS, and not eaten more than any other food.
It’s always hot & always sunny
I wish this were true, but much to my displeasure it does get cold here just like everywhere else. However, it can be pretty dang sunny even when it’s freezing out.
Aussies live off of kangaroo meat & Vegemite
Vegemite is regarded highly here, but it's not like you would imagine. Some people eat it, some people don’t. No different than eating jam or honey on your toast. Kangaroo meat isn’t commonly eaten at all. It’s available in supermarkets and the occasional restaurant serves a kangaroo dish, but it certainly isn’t a regular part of any Australians diet. Smashed avo (cado) on toast, however, is a key part of the Aussie diet! And good coffee, of course.
Deadly animals will kill you
I’ll admit, I was one of these people when I first arrived. Constantly petrified that a poisonous spider or snake would crawl over my foot, bite, and that would be the end of me. I was convinced if I got in the water I would immediately be taken away by a shark, stung by a jellyfish, or reach my demise via stingray barb. However, I can happily report back that it's just not like that. I’m yet to even see any of these creatures, let alone be in danger from one. Australia's exotic wildlife is seriously nothing to be worried about! The bats are pretty big though.
Ready to start your adventure Down Under and check out these stereotypes for yourself? Check out the group tours and arrival packages we offer in Australia here! With expertly crafted itineraries, the guidance of a knowledgable group leader, full end-to-end support, and a new group of friends to make memories with, our small group tours are the ultimate way to discover a new country! Oh, and did we mention that all of the activities on our itineraries are included? You heard right - everything we mention is included in the tour - no extra payments required.
For more info about Australia, including our best tips on where to go, when to go, how much money to save, what to bring and so much more, check out our Ultimate Guide to Backpacking Oz here!