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Like any proud Australian will tell you, the land down under is one of the most incredible countries in the world!
It really has it all, lovely people, great food, nice cities, amazing wildlife… and we hear the weather isn’t too bad over there too!
Okay, so maybe it can be a little strange sometimes too, but that’s all part of the charm!
Hey, don’t take my word for it… check it out!
It’s like attack of the killer magpies down under there sometimes! In the spring time, during the Australian magpie mating season, those things can get downright freakin’ vicious!
Every cyclist in Australia knows how nasty these birds can be when the spring rolls around. They will chase and attack people without mercy, even though humans are way bigger than magpies.
Aussies call this time of the year ‘swooping season’, because the magpies swoop down to attack so much. This is why cyclists have even taken to wearing these funny helmets with spikes on to protect themselves from mad magpies!
Every year in Australia, thousands of people are attacked, with many sustaining injuries or even being hospitalized with injuries from swooping season! People have to visit hospital with eye injuries gained from magpies attacking with their beaks and claws.
2. Australian road signs
Australian road signs can get pretty dang confusing! It’s not just a case of speed limits, stop and things like that, oh no! Things can get way more intricate on Australian roads! Imagine zooming past this sign at 60 miles per hour and thinking, “Wait a second, what the heck did that say?”.
I guess that says everything about how much Aussies love their wildlife! They change the rules of the road so that nobody runs over a kangaroo or a koala because they’re going too fast.
So basically you’ve got a better chance at not being run over if you’re cute and covered in fur over there!
The Australian obsession with Vegemite is legendary. They go through buckets of the stuff over there, with Vegemite on toast being considered the national breakfast dish just as much as waffles are in the US or a fried breakfast is in the UK!
For a product that prides itself on being something that you either love or hate, it’s done pretty well for itself! Just how in the heck has something so divisive gotten to be a national obsession?
Who knows, but it certainly is that!
4. Free Fruit for Kids programme
Free fruit for kids you say? Sounds like a great idea that should be adopted all over the world, right?
Well, the Aussies got there first. It’s not a government programme or anything, it’s just that one of the leading Australian supermarket chains thought it would be a good idea to get kids eating more healthily by handing out free fruit in their stores.
So the basket your can see in the photo gets filled every morning with pears, apples, and bananas for kids to enjoy while their parents shop for groceries.
Actual photo of Australians voting pic.twitter.com/5ttupqZtjx
— Brianne Worth (@brianneworth) January 31, 2015
Check out this photo of Australians casting their vote in beach wear! I think that just about sums up the country, don’t you?
One of the main differences about voting in Australia is something that perhaps many non-residents don’t actually realize. Voting is your democratic right, isn’t it? Well in Australia, voting is actually mandatory!
So if you don’t turn up to vote, it’s against the law. All no shows are sent a letter, and if you don’t have a valid reason for not turning up (like severe illness, for example) you’re given a $20 fine! And if this isn’t your first offence, that fine increases to 50 dollarydoos!
Great idea, right?
6. Driving in the summer
You think your country gets hot in the summer? Do you find a tree to park in the shade at the height of the hot weather? Well chances are it’s nothing compared to Australia!
The Australian summer of 2012–2013 was known as the Angry Summer and resulted in 123 weather records being broken over a 90-day period, including the hottest day ever recorded in Australia. That was a sweltering 121.3 °F (49.6 °C) in Moomba, South Australia.
Think about THAT next time your steering wheel is hot to the touch!
These fellas can often be found chilling in people’s back yards, like this friendly looking guy.
But as every Australian know, not all wildlife is as relaxed as this ‘roo, and sometimes it’s best to keep a safe distance. Kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas have huge claws, and while they’re not usually aggressive, they can get pretty het up in mating season!
As far as weather goes in the land down under, it’s a country of extremes!
So while it can get baking hot in the summer, other extremes of weather like dust storms and hail storms are common at other times of the year!
Sure these Australian hailstorms only last a few minutes, but with hail the size of golf balls, every Aussie knows to stop driving, stay under cover and get their pets indoors when they strike!
9. Australian Christmas
Whereas in most countries that celebrate Christmas the holiday season comes around in the bleak midwinter, it’s exactly the opposite down under!
Since Australia is in the southern hemisphere and because of the way the Earth tilts in orbit, when the northern hemisphere is braving their coldest temperatures, Aussies are sunbathing!
So while there’s very little chance of a white Christmas, they get to open their presents on the beach with a cold beer in their hand and a BBQ blazing! Lucky things!
We’ve already seen some examples of Australia’s beloved wildlife. Because of its isolation from many other continents, the animals that live there prove to be quite unique.
They don’t come much more unique – or dangerous, for that matter – than the cassowary! You might not have heard of them, but every Australian knows how dangerous these big, aggressive birds can be!
Try to imagine if somebody crossed a turkey with an Ostrich, attached a kitchen knife to its foot…
And really, really p****d it off, then you’ve got a cassowary! They rarely attack for no reason, but they’re extremely territorial and capable of killing a full grown person.
11. Australian Firefighters
So adorable…..so cheeky, this little guy wanted to get closer!! The gorgeous koalas of Australia Zoo! #Goodcause #firefighterscalendar #ffchotshot #charity #childrenshospitalfoundation #mates4mates #rspca #fundraiser #childrenshealth #firefighter #igfit #fitfam #aesthetic #fit #muscles #motivation #fitspo #muscle #bodybbuilder #athlete #gym #fitness #trainer #hotmen #sexymen #2018firefighterscalendar #2018ffcshoot #newrecruits #firefightersandpuppies
Yes, this butch hunk of a man is VERY nice to look at… and yes, he’s a real firefighter. But the reason why he’s stripped off is just as remarkable as his day job!
In 1993, the Australian Firefighters Calendar Campaign began by publishing a charity calendar featuring shirtless firefighters. It has since gone on to raise more than $2.3 million, and has become a yearly tradition!
While Australia has a lot to be proud of as a country, even the most patriotic Aussie would probably accept that their Wi-Fi is truly dreadful! Australia is currently ranked 51st in the world when it comes to internet speeds, with an average speed of 8.5 Mbps.
To put that speed into perspective, streaming giant Netflix recommends speeds of 25 Mbps for Ultra HD quality movies! The reasons for slow Aussie internet are pretty complex, but we hope for all their sakes it improves soon!
13. Sugar gliders
Back to the cute and cuddly stuff now, and look at this adorable little fella!
Meet the sugar glider, which lives in Australia, New Guinea, and a few Indonesian islands. They rodents which look like small squirrels, and they can glide from branch to branch in the trees they live in with flaps of skin between their arms and legs!
In the wilds of Australia, sugar gliders can cover distances over 50 meters (164 feet) gliding from tree to tree in search of food. That’s seriously impressive!
14. Animal quarantine rules
As Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard found out when they tried to smuggle their pets into the country, Australia is extremely strict about what animals are allowed in from overseas.
Pets have to stay under quarantine for months at a time before being allowed in, because there are some common animal diseases that have never been reported in Australia, and the authorities want to keep it that way.
15. Kangaroo fights
It’s not like you’ll see two ‘roos duking it out in the middle of the street on your way to work every day, but every Aussie knows what to do if they do come across this sight.
Stay away, keep your dog on its leash, and let them fight it out!
16. Natural beauty
"Hop along folks, we're on the express tour today!" – When visiting @discover_stradbroke island in @queensland, you'll need to keep up with the locals – they like to set the pace! 'Straddie' local @maddi_evansxoxo went up to Point Lookout to spot whales recently and bumped into these two resident #kangaroos as they hopped their way down to the beach. It's not uncommon to spot kangaroos on @straddieis off the coast of @visitbrisbane, so be sure to have your camera handy at all times. #thisisqueensland #travelgram #wanderlust #exploretheworld #wildlifephotography
Still scared of all the spiders, snakes and jellyfish you hear about over there? Why!? I mean, Australia is a land of amazing natural beauty!
It's worth waking up at an ungodly hour to capture a scene like this one at @exploreuluru! @simonmarkhof took this stunning shot just before #sunrise on a trip to this sacred part of @visitcentralaus – he said that the "clouds and stars made it perfect… definitely a moment I will remember forever." Although the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is open all year round, the best time to visit is from May to September when the weather is cooler. Photo: @simonmarkhof #seeaustralia #NTaustralia #redcentreNT #uluru #explore #travel
“Geez, there’s quite the line up for fish & chips today” – Luckily the pelicans that call #TheEntrance home are a pretty patient bunch. This part of @ourcentralcoast in @visitnsw, which is only a short drive up the coast from @Sydney, is where the Tuggerah Lake meets the Tasman Sea. Due to a huge amount of fish attracting thousands of pelicans to the area, this coastal spot is also known as “The Pelican Capital of Australia”. A well-deserved title by the looks of this shot by @sisifriendly! #newsouthwales #wildlife #travel #coast #nature
What causes the beach on @christmasisland to be fringed with a vibrant red colour? A sea of tiny red crabs, believe it or not! 🦀 There has been a population explosion on #ChristmasIsland with millions of baby red crabs returning to shore after hatching from eggs then exploring the ocean for roughly three weeks. These tiny prawn-like critters gather in pools close to the shore before morphing into young crabs and beginning their march inland. This year has seen an astonishing number of baby crabs return to shore, which is excellent news for the island's important (and rather famous!) red crab population. Photo: @faulkner_photography #wildlife #wildlifephotography #island #travel #explore
The #HorizontalFalls can be quite a peaceful place, believe it or not! These thundering tidal falls in @westernaustralia are surrounded by the calm waters of Talbot Bay, which on a day with no wind can often give off stunning reflections like the ones in this photo. According to @serene_memories, admiring this serene scene was followed by an "exhilarating ride through the falls on a speedboat… not an experience I’ll forget anytime soon!" Photo: @serene_memories #justanotherdayinwa #thekimberley #australiasnorthwest #explore #travel
17. AFL – Australian Football League
Commonly known as ‘Aussie rules football’, this sport is the national pastime.
It’s a weird hybrid of football, soccer, rugby league and rugby union, without being quite like any of those things. It has its own set of rules and unsurprisingly, not any countries play the game aside from Australia.
18. Bush fires are common
Bush fires can be massive. Well, you know that you’re dealing with something serious when the ‘everything is fine’ rating on the scale reads ‘High’ and the worst is freaking ‘Catastrophic’!
19. Sydney Opera House
One of the world’s most famous and distinctive buildings, the Sydney Opera House has enjoyed pride of place on the harbor of the New South Wales city since 1973.
It took a remarkable 14 years to complete, at a cost of what would be almost a billion Australian dollars in today’s money. It went way over time and budget, and architect Jørn Utzon even resigned from the project. But can you really put a price on one of the world’s most iconic buildings?
And that distinctive shape? Apparently it’s meant to represent shells, but another story is that the architect was peeling an orange, saw the shape and liked it!
20. Laughing kookaburra
When it comes to Australian wildlife with hilarious sounding names, the kookaburra has to be right up there!
The laughing kookaburra is one of Australia’s most famous residents, with its distinctive call used as a stock sound effect in countless movies to signify to the audience, “Hey! We’re in Australia!”.
What in the heck are monotremes, I hear you ask!
Well, it’s really not that complicated, a monotreme is a mammal that lays eggs, rather than giving birth to live young like most mammals do.
They’re basically an Australian exclusive! The only surviving monotremes all live in Australia and New Guinea, although there is evidence that they were once found in South America too.
Some examples include the guy above, which is an echidna…
And this famous fella! The duck billed platypus, which is such as weird creature that when the person who discovered it mailed an example home, everyone thought it was a joke!
Now marsupials are another example of Australian wildlife, but these are possibly even more famous than monotremes.
Examples of marsupials include some of the most famous Aussie animals you can think of, such as kangaroos, koalas and bandicoots.
What makes a marsupial a marsupial? Their pouch, of course! They use this to carry their young.
23. Gigantic lace goanna
Imagine getting home for work at night to find that this gigantic critter had moved in, I would freak out! It’s a relatively common sight in Australia however!
These lizards can reach up to 6 feet in length, which I would REALLY not wanna mess with, no sir!
24. Pygmy possum
On the other end of the scale is this adorable little thing, just look at it!
Yeah, the pygmy possum is pretty gosh darned cute alright. It’s not venomous and won’t try to kill you!
You think the pygmy possum is cute? You ain’t seen nothing until you’ve seen the Quokka!
Native to Western Australia, these things have no natural predators and no fear of humans. So when we come calling, they’re only ever curious and friendly!
It all started with one baby camel. Three years later, globe-trotting adventure photographer Allan Dixon (@daxon) continues to take selfies with wildlife, sometimes relaxing with them for hours before a photo is taken. “Patience is key in getting so close,” Allan explains. “I think they can sense how I feel and know I have no desire to harm them.” Allan grew up in Ireland and is currently traveling in Australia where his favorite animal, the quokka, lives. “It’s hard to believe that an animal the size of a rabbit, with the body of a kangaroo and a face of a bear exists in real life,” Allan says. “They have a permanent smile across their face and are very curious when you come say hi.” Photo by @daxon
One of the most endearing things about them? They just LOVE a selfie! A-freakin’-dorable!
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