Kangaroos on Yeppoon golf course Photo by Donna Kos

Why Australia Will Capture Your Heart

Plus Some Quirky Australian Foods, Phrases and Stories to Help You Aussie Up

You just got off the plane.

You’re half way around the world and you’re exhausted.

You pause. You’re trying to navigate your way out of the airport.

Apparently you look a bit perplexed.

“G’Day! How ya goin’?” A stranger pipes up.

Wow! Someone is actually asking you how you are.

Weird…

You’re not in New York City anymore are you!?

You haven’t even made it out of the airport and a few people have already spoken to you.

I’ve spent the last five months in Australia. I’ve been in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. My adventures have taken me from small towns to big cities.

You’ve heard how amazing Australia is and now you’re ready to see for yourself.

Here are some endearing things to get you ready for an Aussie adventure!

Now, put yar listening ars on. Yar gona need em. Thar spekin’ Aussie English Downunder!

The People are Great Fun and Quite Lovely

Photo by Donna Kos

Everywhere I’ve gone people are great fun, polite, courteous and “lovely”.

You’ll hear “G’Day” by many people as you walk by.

If someone passes you on a sidewalk, and it seems a bit crowded, they’ll likely utter, “Sorey” (Sorry).

When you’re in a conversation, regardless if there’s a point of contention or not, don’t be surprised to hear, “Far nuf”(fair enough).

If someone is your “mate” they are your friend. If a guy introduces a girl that’s a friend, as a mate, it means they’re friends.

Apparently, back in the day, all the bad guys were sent over to Australia to live on this big island in solitude. Rumor has it the “Northies” are a bit more badly behaved and less refined. If you’re in Australia long enough to know the difference, “Gud on ya”! And Northies are a lot of fun!

I don’t know if the blokes I met the army man day were Northies or not. They were playing a drinking game. Each one of us had a plastic army man (I got to keep mine and he rides shotgun in my backpack). What ever position your army man is in, you have to assume that position when the random dude in the group, blows the whistle, at a random time. Who ever is last in position has to skull a beer.

I lost.

They might have cheated…

“What does skull a beer mean?” I asked.

“Maynes ya gotta don a bar in one bret.”

“Awright,” I said.

“Ar ya gona do it?” He asked.

“You bet!” I replied.

Standing there waiting, I finally asked, “Are ya gonna open it?!”

They cheered me on.

“She can skull a bar fasta than we cahn!”

They claimed that I’d finished in record time but I have my doubts. Who keeps tabs on that anyway?


An oddly Australian side note:

So, apparently the Queen still has a gig in Australia.

Who knew?

Seems really far away to take over a country and look after it if you ask me. I was wondering why Prince whoever and his chick were over here all the time. Now I get it, and quite frankly they look quite nice and as real as you could imagine they could be if you’re The Prince and Mrs Prince.


Awesome Australian Foods That Are Difficult to Find

Wallaby at Charcoal Lane Photo by Donna Kos

Kangaroo is lean, affordable(in Australia) and can be cooked any way you cook beef. I eat it all the time when I’m in Australia because I know I’m not getting it anywhere else.

They consider kangaroos a pest on golf courses. However if you want a photo of a kangaroo, golf courses qualify for the easy photo op.

A wallaby looks like a small kangaroo. It’s tasty and I’m still not clear on the difference other than they look like a small kangaroo.

I found Quandong berries because there was a bowl full of the seed pods in a hallway at Charcoal restaurant.

I asked if I could take one of the pods home.

“Take as many as you want” she said.

The pit of a Quandong berry reminds me of a marble. You can bounce it off a table.

After hearing my query, the chef sent out a fresh Quandong berry to our table.

It was quite tasty and a clear choice for an ingredient in aboriginal sauces.

I took one pit from the bowl in the hallway and the other pit from the fruit I ate that the chef sent out.

They will travel with me!

Quandong pits Photo by Donna Kos

Blue steak is a term used when asked “How would you like your steak done?”

I’d never heard the term blue before.

The steak has to be left out to room temperature for at least 20 minutes. It has to be an excellent cut of beef. Then it’s flash cooked so it’s medium rare all the way through except the edges. Can’t be in a hurry for this meal but well worth the wait!

Cuttlefish skeletons Photo by Donna Kos

Cuttlefish have an amazing history. Anyone interested in photography will find this fascinating.

I found their skeletons on the beach in Yeppoon. I had no idea what they were and took one into a restaurant to ask.

“What are these?!?” I asked the server.

“Cuttlefish” she said.

After a google search, we both learned things we didn’t know about cuttlefish.

The cuttlefish is in the squid family and releases a brown ink when it’s in danger. The brown ink was what was first used to make sepia toned photographs.

You can find Cuttlefish in the freezer section of an Asian market in Austrailia. If you want someone to cook you some killer Cuttlefish: MoVida on Hosier Lane in Melbourne makes an outstanding Cuttlefish small plate. It’s similar to calamari and will rock your world!

Other Quirky Australianisms

Australians shorten any word possible.

Examples:

Possibly: pos

Probably: probs

Melbourne: Melbs

Good Day: G’Day

I could give you a list that is ridiculously long but just shorten any word and you’ll sound Aussie!

They drive on the wrong side of the road. Ok the right side for there.

“Far nuf!”

When my host picked me up at the airport my first day in Australia and we started motoring, my brain kept going into overload.

“OMG I’M GONNA DIE!!!!”

I still look both ways, several times, to try to make sure I’m not going to get run over.

It’s very unnerving to see cars driving on the “wrong” side of the road when your brain has been conditioned to see cars driving on the other side of the road your entire life. You can’t undo that in a couple of weeks.

When You See a True Aussie!

Photo by Donna Kos

I was in the bank in Yeppoon, Australia when the epitome of Australia walked in.

I was “gobsmacked” (stunned)!

He was tall.

He had the Aussie hat.

He was sunburned and had leathery skin.

His hands were the size of meat hooks!

He had a twinkle in his eye.

I paused…

But not for long...

“Oh my God… you look like AUSTRALIA! Can I take my picture with you? Please?!”

“Awight” he replied with a very slight interest.

My warped sense of humor kicked in as I was getting my camera phone ready.

Grabbing a chapstick(closest thing to make up that I have), I asked, “I need a little lipstick. Would you like some?”

After a VERY, slight pause he replied in true Aussie fashion, “Piss Off!”

After that very endearing moment we posed for several pictures.

“Piss off” is far different than “He’s pissed” which means he’s drunk.


When you land in Australia it’s clear it’s a special place.

Finding the people so charming was amazing.

You found foods that made your palette sing.

You’re gobsmacked by the sheer magnitude of pleasant people in this country.

You can’t wait to share this with your friends!

Everyone wants to go to Australia.

Book your ticket because now you know why you should!

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