Australia: Common Stereotypes That Are So Not True. And So True

There are many stereotypes about the land of Australia. Whether you have lived in, visited or heard of Australia, chances are you’ve come across typical perceptions of Australia in the geographic sense – and come across Australians agreeing with them. And disagreeing with them as well.

Having lived in Australia for a while now, I’ve noticed some things are always predictable about this 7.692 million km2 patch of land called Down Under. At times its surrounds surprise me when I least expect it, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Stereotypes are unique to each and every country. Regional Victoria | Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare.

Stereotypes are unique to each and every country. Regional Victoria | Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare.

Some of the stereotypes you may know, and some you may have vaguely heard about in passing. Some of these stereotypes about this continent south of the equator also known as Oz include:

1. Everything in Australia kills you

Myriad creatures reside in literally every nook and cranny that you can think of here, creatures that just might scare or bite you. Or both. Venomous red bellied snakes hide under the hood of your car for hours in Oz. Unprovoked shark attacks are more likely to cause fatalities along the coasts of Australia. Survivalist Bear Grylls stood face to face with a saltwater crocodile in the Northern Territory on his second trip Down Under; the crocodile stole his fish but he would not fight it. Dropbears look a lot like koalas and prefer dropping down from trees overhead on those with non-Aussie accents – a myth. Amidst floods in the state of Tasmania, spiders escaped waters by spinning thick webs high up in trees, so thick that the webs looked like white walls – and if all those many spiders are harmless is anyone’s guess.

One summer’s night three years ago, I sat at my desk in my room. Cool breeze breezing through the open window to my left. I typed on my laptop, minding my own business. And felt a shadow cast over me to my left. Looked up. A spider the size of a palm was sprawled right above my head, crawling on the white wall beside the window. I froze and…

2. Australia is a small island with great beaches, great weather

Located south of the globe closer to Antarctica than most other continents, we’re arguably a one gigantic ‘forgotten’, isolated island that takes time to get here from any part of the world. There are 6 states in Australia compared to 50 states within the entire 9.857 million km2 of the States and approximately 50 countries in Europe. It takes almost 24 hours to fly to Oz from either continent. But once here, it takes around 3 to 6 months to do a ‘big lap’ caravan around Oz and stopping off at various towns along the way, traveling a minimum of approximately 15,000km.

With ozone depletion over Australia, ultraviolet radiation levels are high and melanoma is the third highest cancer here. Three summer’s ago I went to the beach on a clear sky 30’C Melbourne day with sunscreen all over. I sweated profusely right under the sun, felt my face flush, felt my exposed arms sting, sizzle and…

There’s also not forgetting the unpredictable four-seasons-in-a-day Melbourne weather that is the norm. Countless occasions I’ve walked out of work and the skies poured, my shoes soaked up puddles and the skies cleared when I walked through my door.

Australia, where grass and trees are aplenty.

Australia, where grass and trees are aplenty.

3. Australia is predominantly desert and bushland

To a large extent this stereotype holds true. A vast part of Australia consists of barren land. The nearest town from the iconic Uluru / Ayes Rock is roughly 450-desert-land-km away. 18% of this continent is made up of desert converging in the central and western areas, which constitutes part of the Australian Outback. And that was what I saw on the one and a half hour train ride all the way up to regional Victoria some weeks ago.

On the other hand, each state in Oz has a bustling city centre that are no strangers to the 9-5 grind and bumper to bumper traffic. But these cities are nowhere as dense as cities like Hong Kong and Singapore in terms of people to geographic ratio.

4. Kangaroos and koalas are everywhere

Kangaroos and koalas are considered the national animals of Australia, and these furry friends of ours find comfort in selective parts of the country. Naturally not all of us adapt to every kind of climate and surrounding. Kangaroos and koalas tend to habitat lush eucalypt woodlands and rainforests in coastal areas: Sam the koala stretched its arms out for water as the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires raged around him, and earlier this year a kangaroo in South Australia attacked a woman on a cycling track and ruptured her breast implants. Consequently, riding kangaroos and cuddling koalas is not the average Australian’s pastime.

5. Democracy is alive in Australia

We’re a nation that gives every Australian the right to vote in state and federal elections. If you don’t vote when the time comes, you can get fined. Yet at times Australians have had absolutely no say in their prime minister. Over the last five years Australia has had five different prime ministers: discontent among ruling parties led parliamentary members challenging for the nation’s top job through leadership spills, internal party ballots and dumping their own leader.

‘Five for five’, as quite a few Aussies like to describe our recent political arena and ‘rotating door’ leadership. Often I wonder if the world laughs at Australia and the way we roll as a country – literally anything goes.

6. Sydney is the city to visit

Time and time again, Sydney – or the state of NSW – seems to be the city popular with tourists. It claims bragging rights to the majestic Sydney Opera House. There are picturesque views from above the nearby Blue Mountains, rolling waves at Bondi Beach, whales at Coffs Harbour, and camels in the town of Port Macquarie. It’s supposedly the “happening” state.

Twice I’ve spent a couple of months in Sydney. Compared to Melbourne, I found it much more pricey in terms of rent, food and transport. The non-grid-twisting-turning city was too perplexing for my liking. When it rained almost each afternoon, it poured and I sat at home watching the rain. At the end of the day, each to their own as to where they prefer to wander. Melbourne, which has just been voted the most livable city for six years straight, will always have a special place in my heart.

The more you get to know Australia, the more you reailse that literally anything goes here.

The more you get to know Australia, the more you reailse that literally anything goes here.

* * *

Stereotypes present one-sided impressions, but they also grab our attention. Opposites attract: we either tend to be fascinated or fearful of the unfamiliar such as someone who looks completely different from us or a creature that resembles something in our worst nightmares. Opposites make us stop, stare, slow down and take them in.

Arguably this is one reason why stereotypes can be an asset when it comes to tourism and branding a country to the rest of the world. Marketing itself on stereotypes, a country can be more attractive to visit if these stereotypes strike a chord. In the case of Australia, numerous Australia tourism ads show Oz as a country where there is ample sunshine and one can roam freely – symbolic of light and personal freedom. There was nochalant swearing in the infamous ‘Where The Bloody Hell Are You?’ ad in 2000, and this campaign showed blue skies, high hills, crystal clear waters, beaches and Australians who look like they have no cares in this world. Similarly the more recent ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ campaign showed the same thing about Australia.

Tourism numbers in Australia have been increasing over the last decade, and so maybe such stereotypical campaigns do draw tourists to Australia. Chinese travelers have doubled over the last five years and coincidentally they cite our coastal areas as a good reason to visit. As author Rivera Sun said on finding that special connection with something that is miles apart:

“Geography and mileage mean nothing. Separate is a single word that covers all distances that aren’t together.”

Australia, the land where there is something fascinating or unexpected around every corner.

Australia, the land where there is something fascinating or unexpected around every corner.

Change is constant. Stereotypes will come and go, or hang around, or both in different moments of time. Australians, the people of Australia, also make Australia the country that it is. Many migrants have called Australia home over the last few years, yet some travelers still think only Westerners live in Australia. But that is another post for another day.

Having lived in Australia for a while now, I think it’s a fairly safe place, a place where the warm sun will shine tomorrow. I’m still standing after a couple of sunburns and fighting that spider in my room three years ago…

What do you know about the land of Australia?

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236 thoughts on “Australia: Common Stereotypes That Are So Not True. And So True

  1. I loved this blog Mabel just like all of your other ones 🙂 It’s true that there are so many stereotypes about Australia that are simply not true. We don’t have kangaroos as pets or koalas everywhere you turn. Our homes aren’t infested with the deadliest most dangerous creatures. We don’t all talk with an ‘ocker accent and a lot of us (including me) don’t really care about AFL. When I was travelling in America, people I met thought I was European and when I said Australian they said oh but you don’t sound bogan or say ‘gday’ or ‘mate’ a lot. It made me laugh. It’s good of you to dispel these stereotypes. ❤

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  2. Hi Mabel,

    Quite interesting! I didn’t know any of these facts that you have shared though I have some friends who are settled there. Whenever we meet we have so much to share on personal level that we don’t discuss anything about the place they consider their own!
    Thanks for sharing only the positive thoughts though red bellied snakes hiding under the hood of a car and that big spider really gave me a shiver. 🙂

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    • It sounds like your friends in Australia are very friendly. Though you and them may not talk much about Australia, I am sure they find it a great country to live in. Haha, I have yet to come across a wild snake in Australia and hope I never do 😉

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  3. A very informative post Mabel. And honestly I have to say, whether these stereotypes are true or not, I got more excited to visit the country. And the way you described each and every detail made a direct connection to the readers. It displayed the soul of austrailia, which is beautiful. I am definitely planning to visit next year. But thank you so much for these informative blogs, it feels that I already know this country very well. Another superb post from you. Thank you.
    Shreyans

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    • Australia is a beautiful country, and so lovely to hear that you are eager to visit. Some parts of Australia might be scary, and other parts less scary. But either way, they are beautiful in their own right.

      Australia is a big country, so I am sure you will be planning a lot before coming here, deciding what to see 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes sure…i will be needing a lot of your help in planning, so that I don’t miss on anything. I hope you will not mind. Because who better to ask than a person who knows so much about the country. And for the scary places, I can manage a little bit of thrill, no problem in that…
        Be well Mabel..enjoy..
        Shreyans

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  4. I learned geography from Australian authors.

    From my Australian coworkers, I learned that Australia was a smidge behind the U.S. in acceptable workplace etiquette. Plenty of alcohol at lunch,for example, and I got to the point where I had to yell “NO TOUCHY!” with certain older male colleagues who thought nothing of putting a hand on my arm or shoulder.

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    • You are right in saying that Australians can be touchy in the workforce. And, get this, winky too. In all of my jobs male co-workers have winked at me, from my colleagues to the managers.

      Alcohol at lunch here I’ve rarely come across, but alcohol at the bar nearby right after work, oh yes.

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  5. I had to laugh at your first stereotype, the everything will kill you, because we heard a lot of that when we were visiting in Australia several years ago. In fairness, I think that stereotype has its roots in the thought that you do have to be prepared and knowledgable if you are stepping off the beaten path in Australia. Of course, that is true pretty much everywhere.

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  6. Hi Mabel, I guess every place as its own set of stereotypes – I know India does! Found it interesting that generally people think Australia to be a small island. We, at least I, had the very different (vast) image of Australia from as far as I remember thanks primarily to a joke if I may share with you. In Australia, a pregnant woman on a transcontinental train needed hospitalization as her due date approached and labor pains began. The train official was frustrated as they were in the middle of nowhere. “Why get on a train in this condition Madam?” He put the blame on her. “But I wasn’t in this condition when I got on the train.” she shot back. 😉 Thanks for an interesting read 😀

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  7. To be honest I don’t know much about Australia, apart from the usual: big country, few people, red mountain, koalas, kangaroos. BTW I almost believed drop bears existed. They look so scary, like a vampire koala, hahaha.

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    • You know, I also almost believed drop bears existed. It would be so cool if there were actually koalas that look like vampires. But, you never know. Maybe dropbears are those things that go bump in the dark at night 😀

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  8. Excellent post again Mabel 🙂 I think Paul Hogan in ‘Crocodile Dundee” had a lot to do with stereotyping Aussies – we are all capable of surviving in this land of killers, haha. I agree that stereotyping can attract first time travellers to Oz, but does it bring them back, or were they disappointed when the sun didn’t shine every day, the beach sand was not pure white and kangaroos weren’t roaming the streets of our dirt road capitals 🙂 I remember once trying to get a spider out of my house and I thought that i would put a dessert bowl over it, slide paper between the bowl and the wall, thereby trapping it in the bowl and allowing me to take it outside… as I got the bowl closer I realised the spider was to big to fit under the dessert bowl! I finally chased it out with a broom hahaha – so macho 😉

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  9. the magpies. don’t forget the magpies. lol.

    and, yeah, the running belief that all spiders here are deadly stuck to me. i know some of them are harmless but at the same time, i don’t know which ones are and which ones aren’t. and so, in the name of equality, they all go through the wrath of my bug spray. except for those tiny ones when i couldn’t be bothered. but having said that, walking around the backyard barefoot scares me. not that i do, but it would be nice to do so once in a while.

    as for the beaches, as beautiful as they look, they’re not exactly swimmer-friendly because the water’s freezing most of the time. (and then there’s the shark and stingray issue…)

    all in all, i do love australia now. melbourne, most especially. sydney, not so much. hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh, yes. The magpies! They are all over the place. And in Melbourne city you always have those small black sparrows.

      I feel you. I too can’t tell spiders from each other. Most of the time they look the same to me. Don’t you feel powerful when you wield that bug spray and press the nozzle 😀 It is like going to war, lol.

      Sooo agree with you on beaches too. It is always wind at the beach, and yes, cold water and cold in general except on a 30, 40-degree day. Haha.

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  10. I guess if I were to think of Australia, it would be the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback and the rainforest on, I suspect, the northeast coast. Not a city person, the only reason I would venture into one is for the architecture. My dad was in Melbourne in the ’60’s and loved it. Nice post, Mabel! 🤗

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    • The Great Barrier Reef is certainly an attraction for many tourists. One has to be careful exploring that area because tourists have accidentally stepped on corals and damaged them. Boats passing through the area have polluted the waters too, sadly.

      I think you will like the city of Melbourne if you do ever get to visit. There is a lot of Victorian architecture here – they form many a facade of city buildings 🙂

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      • Yes, both my husband and I love old architecture, being from the east coast. We miss it here in Hawaii, but this place has its compensations 😉 Although our reefs are getting bleached from warming oceans and yes, boats have damaged them, as well. Have heard of what’s happening to the Great Barrier. Sad, that.
        Enjoy the rest of your week, Mabel! ❤

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        • When I think of Hawaii, I think of clear waters and soft sand. Sad to hear environmental pollution is happening over there too. We need to be more careful with what we are throwing around. I am sure many of the locals in Hawaii do so and are proud of their island ❤

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  11. Hello Mabel! Thanks for sharing. Here are my thoughts:

    1. Our geographic isolation does mean we have a unique variety of wildlife and many of these are indeed very dangerous. It’s sometimes fun to scare our overseas friends with tales of close-calls and Internet memes abound of the things we ‘crazy Australians’ put up with in terms of surviving the wild. But for the majority of the population who live in urbanised areas I find it really isn’t substantially different as many other places in the world.

    2. Did you mean *million* square kilometres, when referring to the US? 😉 As with any continent, climate varies hugely across the land. Helping serve among some of the Indigenous communities in the Pilbara (north-west Western Australia) last June, it did get rather cold at night despite the very warm daytime temperatures. Granted, that’s to be expected for winter, but of course visiting in the summer would be intolerable! (At least for those of us from more temperate climates.)

    3. Agreed, though even in the rural areas there is huge variety. The aforementioned Pilbara is vastly different from country NSW, for example, or even the rural outskirts of Perth. I haven’t travelled as much across the country as I would like, but I’m sure every place has its own special feel to its surroundings.

    4. Certainly not true in the urban areas, at least outside of zoos. But the cuddly Koala and Kangaroos being quite violent – yep, definitely true. Aussie tech blogger Troy Hunt loves pointing out these facts when presenting to overseas audiences… and then encourages to come and visit us anyway! That story of the lady cyclist sounds awfully painful, implants or not.

    5. With regards to our compulsory voting in stark contrast with the majority of the rest of the world, I’m puzzled as to why anyone would willingly *not* exercise their right to vote, considering how hard some peoples in history have fought in order to gain that privilege (and indeed some people are unable to vote – or at least face great difficulty to do so – even today). I don’t accept the ‘I don’t like any of the candidates’ reasoning – to me an deliberate absence of voting is a tacit vote for the status quo. All that aside, the rapid changing of prime ministership in these last few years is a disgrace – regardless of one’s political views on those leaders – and we have given the world every reason to mock us in this area; the dramas of the recent Brexit and ongoing US presidential election process notwithstanding.

    6. Ah yes, the inevitable Sydney-Melbourne rivalry. Of course, I can’t give an objective view on this either – my most recent visits to Melbourne were for work reasons and unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to (re)visit anything even in the city centre during those occasions. While Sydney does have the Harbour Bridge and Opera House icons, I understand Melbourne city is the place for shopping and entertainment (though the competition there is always ongoing). Don’t know how recent your visits to Sydney were, but I’d probably agree with you on the sheer expense of living here, compared with Melbourne. No doubt, many would have an affinity for a place where they’ve spent a large portion of their life.

    Might be nice for both of us to visit each other’s home town again some time. (: Thanks again for your thoughtful words.

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    • Another insightful comment from you, Simon. I do wonder if you get tired of typing them up.

      1. I think you are right that a lot of urbanised areas across the world are similar. Maybe some might be more dense than others. But wherever you go, you can expect to find the same big brand shops, same fast food outlets albeit with some local flavours and nuances.

      2 & 3.Indeed I was referring to millions in square kms. You have have sharp eye and thanks for telling me. I have corrected it so the sentence doesn’t sound ridiculous. Temperatures can certainly go to the extremes in summer and winter, and often I wonder if must be hard for those living in the rural areas with little resources.

      4 Our national animals can be hostile at times…but why not take up the challenge to be friends with them 🙂

      5. I really don’t have much to say about Australian politics. You said it. It makes Australia look like an indecisive country on the international level.

      6. I too think it would be great for us to visit each other’s cities again. But, you know, work. There is only so much time we have, and exploring Australia really does take time. It was only a few years ago since I visited Sydney and to be honest I got the impression it was a much more livelier fashion and entertainment city than Melbourne. Melbourne, I feel were are more…hippie, artsy and cultured 🙂

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      • Never! I suppose I’m just ‘chatty’ like that, plus your writing obviously inspires me and others to respond in a meaningful way. Thank you, too, for taking the time and effort to respond likewise. (:

        I’m not saying it’s not worth trying to befriend the native wildlife… but it is more dangerous than some overseas visitors might think. Plus, living in an urban environment, one doesn’t spot kangaroos and koalas very often (outside of the aforementioned zoos). While having some rest time around Karijini National Park, we only spotted one kangaroo and one dingo (separately) in our travels. I find cockatoos, kookaburras and other native birds are fairly common in the suburbs, though.

        Well, I’m glad that you also have work to help feed yourself. Plus, as the author of Ecclesiastes wrote, there’s a time for everything and that includes work and rest. You do get leave, don’t you? 😉

        I think it’s fair to say that both Sydney and Melbourne have much to offer, in their own way, it’s meaningless and subjective to try to say that one is somehow better than the other. And many of the others towns and cities of Australia too – in my couple of visits to Perth, I really liked the laid-back atmosphere even in the city centre (at least compared with the busyness of Sydney) and it really doesn’t take that long to get to the ‘outback’ since the city is relatively small. While it’s true that the Sydney icons might bring in more overseas visitors, someone who really wants to visit Australia will go beyond Sydney and visit other cities and towns both in NSW and other states. In my times venturing outside of the major cities, I find that very few Asians will do the same – the vast majority of those I see and meet are Caucasians and Indigenous folks.

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        • “it is more dangerous than some overseas visitors might think”. I think you hit the nail on the head. Although it is commonly known that many creatures in Australia can actually kill you, many of us who travel here do have an adventurous spirit and might have no hesitation getting up close and personal with wildlife here. After all, quite a few places where you get to go are once in a lifetime experiences.

          It is similar here in Melbourne, and I think for the others states in Oz too – that the ‘outback’ is not far off from the city centre. Not too hard to escape the stresses of urban life. And Karijini National Park is just a few hours’ plane ride a way – and you get to go back in time 😀

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          • Just as long as it’s not an end-of-your-lifetime experience! x.x

            I would say the outback is at least a couple of hours’ drive away from Sydney CBD. Heading west, one has to cross over the Blue Mountains and there’s Newcastle and Wollongong north and south of Sydney.

            Yes, you can go by plane, but you miss out on all the stuff in between!

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  12. We recently had a wombat attack a woman walking her dogs in Canberra. The lesion was quite deep. Wombats also have really hard arses and their pouches open towards their arses so joeys have a great view 😂😂

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  13. Wonderful post Mabel. People from South Africa that visit Australia often say it is so similar to SA. Many South Africans have immigrated to Australia and now call it home. I visited your country some time ago and have to say that I agree. Melbourne reminded me a little of Cape Town and Brisbourne of Durban.

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    • Thanks, Raine. That is so interesting to hear that South Africa and Australia have similarities. Both countries also share the same seasons during the same times of the year. I hope you had a great time in Australia while you were here, and enjoyed what Melbourne has to offer 🙂

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  14. I wanna visit Australia! Actually, I’ve always wanted to visit Melbourne more than Sydney. One day…..

    And I’ve always found it strange that Australia has compulsory voting. I wonder if that would be a good or bad thing in other countries (specifically America right now…) Anyways, not a political blog~

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  15. I don’t know enough to know which stereotypes are really true or not, but I do know that I loved every city and region I visited in Australia! From beachy places, to wild and woodsy nature areas, to busy city life, to suburban ease, I found Australia and its people to be among the best in the world. I’d go back for a visit or a permanent stay if I could!

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    • Glad to hear that you enjoyed your time in Australia, wandering around without judgement and simply enjoying the country as it is. It sounds like you covered much ground in Australia. Come back when you can!

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  16. So good to see your photos of country (though I love the city ones too) – such lovely warm light. You’re too young to remember kodachrome (film) but its prints always had a warm cast that these shots reminded me of. And spiders! Don’t get me started. There’s a great migration from my basement that I’ve been trying to discourage (catch and release outside) but it’s hard to keep up. Thanks for another excellent read! — Sandy

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    • I googled kodachrome. First I’ve heard of. Looks like this kind of photography produces images that look sort of vintage. I found it challenging to take photos out in the country – am very used to city surroundings but it was refreshing.

      I hope you stop the bulk of spiders invading your cozy home. It sounds like an army of them hiding behind the walls and floors!

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  17. Mabel I smiled through your post. Having recently visited I will admit to having some of the stereotypes preior to travel. Certainly many family and friends were certain we would be eaten or bitten and die a prompt death just landing in Sydney. We did not see one spider in two weeks anywhere. Nor a snake. We did see kangaroos and koalas in the wild but they definitely weren’t everywhere. Happy to report I did no cuddling or riding of either.
    In Canada of course we have stereotypes too. It’s snow and ice all the time, Mounties ride around on their horses everywhere, maple syrup drips beside a moose on every corner and on it goes. I do think the stereotypes are part of increasing tourism. It’s important though that campaigns don’t set it up as an expectation but more of a ‘you’ll be lucky to see…or unlucky in the case of some of Australia’s creatures.’ 🙂

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    • Good to hear that you had a great time in Australia, Sue. I thought you did when I met you – you were smiling and smiling 🙂 I do remember reading on your blog how you took a few road trips. Good to know our wildlife kept their distance.

      When I think of Canada, I think of what you mentioned: snow capped mountains, maple syrup and pancakes everywhere, tall trees with lovely bark all round too. Love your take on how tourism ads can be run. You would be perfect to help out with Canada’s with your great photography of the region far and wide 😉

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  18. Wonderful article. Certain stereotypes will be never broken I guess, ofc I heard all these stereotypes about Australia from other people but thankfully I know a bit better than that.
    I really do wonder when we have the chance to visit Australia one day, so far years are just passing by and we never make it anywhere but to China =(

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    • Stereotypes always make the world more interesting. With China, you have your family and of course, MIL. Maybe you get the chance when Nathan is a bit older. Australia is really a faraway place, and it is not easy to get here and it is an expensive country. Your road trips in your area sound more affordable and very much enjoyable 😛

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      • Well compared to Finland I bet Australia is a pretty cheap country :p
        But indeed it will costs rather much for a flight from Europe down to Australia. In case we ever manage it we will prbably stay for 2 weeks to be able to see at least a little corner 🙂

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        • I think at the end of the day, living anywhere is hard. We all just have to make do with what we have 😀 By the way, I really like the Finnish brand Golla and their bags but…so expensive…

          If you come, let me know. I will show you around 🙂

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          • Oh you like Golla? I had back in University some marketing projects for them, was rather nice. These days my two camera bags are actually from Golla but I can’t really say that they were expensive (few years ago), just a couple of Euros more compared to all the standard stuff

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  19. I hope to visit Australia in the near future. I don’t know too much about the country apart from the stuff posted by some Australian bloggers pertaining to where they live. It is great that you have written about the issues etc that matters to you.

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    • Hope that you get to visit soon, and if you do, good luck with the planning. There is plenty to see and do here if you are the kind who likes spending time outdoors. I wish I knew more Australian bloggers. I only seem to know a few 😀

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  20. We had a wonderful visit to Australia a few years ago. The people we met were really friendly, but I was quite disappointed not to see a single person with corks bobbing around the brim of their hat. 🙂 I’d been told that there were flies everywhere, but they must have all gone on vacation when I was there. Great read, Mabel.

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    • So glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Australia, Sylvia. Haha, there are plenty of those hats with bobbing corks can be found in souvenir shops. Maybe you visited in the cooler months. In the summer, I do see people wearing these hats and flies are aplenty too where I live 🙂

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    • You are so right. So many Aussies love having fun and that goes to some way as to why we’re pretty laid-back. I think the other reason we’re laid-back is that we can be lazy. Then again, we all have a bit of laziness in us.

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  21. Oh gosh, the spider story is awful… I’m so scared of spiders and every Australians I have met had a fair share of spiders story. Yes, it won’t kill you but still… to me it sounds like a nightmare 😀

    There is a stereotype about Australia that I often hear is that it’s a very laid back country. People are not that stressed and they chill all the time 😀

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    • Haha, I think you are right in that every Australian has a scary encounter with a spider. Spiders here can appear anywhere, even in the toilet bowl 😀

      Yes, Australia is certainly a laid-back country. Work hard, play harder!

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  22. Apart from reading about you wrestling with spiders, I’m sorry to say I find this blog post boring. I guess it is my own fault. I misled myself into thinking this blog post will be about stereotypes on the people, on Australians. Making fun of a country doesn’t sound as fun as making fun of people. 😀

    And, you really must come back to Malaysia for a spin. If you do that then you will realize ‘five for five’ can be considered a blessing in disguise. Our politics here, now that’s a legit laughing stock. 😦

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    • Haha, making fun of anything always offer some kind of entertainment. Making fun of people is another level altogether and am looking at doing a post on that sometime next year 😛

      It would be great if I can visit Malaysia at some point, but we’ll see…

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  23. I found the post interesting. I’ve never visited Australia, so all my knowledge of it comes from TV, movies, and the Australians I’ve met over the years. You asked at the end what we know about Australia. One thing I did hear was that the Outback has a huge number of feral camels — by far the largest number of free-living camels on the planet, in fact. That’s kind of amazing. 🙂

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    • Haha, I think you see more stuffed toy kangaroos than real kangaroos wherever you go in Australia 😀 Australians don’t seem to mind voting at all. Then again, quite a few of us vote really randomly on the voting paper.

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  24. I did not mean to laugh at the kangaroo rupturing the breast implants – but whoa – crazy! we used to watch a show called “botched” and these top dog surgeons repair many surgery fails or probs – and quite often they deal with ruptured implants or botched boobs – and seriously M – it is crazy to see how large some women go with their implants – wow!
    anyhow – back to your nice post – the spider would freak me out – and glad you survived that and the sunburns – and I admit that Sydney is on my list to visit –
    what I know about Australia?
    well I am very glad because I can order certain supplements from them – like this water purifier called “mms” or chlorine dioxide – it is amazing as a water purifier and some use it for other things – I tried it for a while – but prefer herbs – but I know some folks who insist the CD is a life saver.

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  25. My impression of Australia is it is a warm and sunny place with equally warm and relatively more easygoing people. It has huge cattle stations (usually owned by some dashing romantic heroes the likes of which I encountered in romance book when I was a teenager 😂). Seriously though, I would love to experience the Outback (I am not much of a beach person) and the nature of your adoptive country.
    Oh, let me not forget this important bit of info – Australia is home to many of Hollywood’s gorgeous and talented actors – Mel, Russel, Hugh, Nicole, Juliane, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I always liked the dingos and everyone carries an awesome knife (ala crocodile dundee) sterotypes, though probably not true. And the Sydney/Melborne feud is so strong – it even shows up in your post. Why so much hate? It’s not like you have a large number of real cities. Also, the Aussie accent murders in America. Murders. Absolutely melts hearts. Lonely boys or girls from Oz need only go to the States to find love.

    Strange China related question: Is the food in Oz terrible? As someone of non-white Australian heritage, I’ll happily take your word on the subject as you have surely been exposed to non-Aussie food in your life. I only ask because pretty much everything that comes from Oz in China is absolutely terrible. Beef, cereal, lunch meats, condiments – all horrific. So, so bad when compared to American or European food stuffs. Only the Timtams taste good. I just have a hard time believing the food is so terrible there and really believe you guys are dumping garbage food here at fully foreign prices to make bank. Then again, y’all seem to actually like Vegemite and that stuff is God awful.

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    • I have no idea when and how the Melbourne and Sydney rivalry started. Hmmm. Another topic for another post for another day.

      It depends on how you like your food. Personally I find it rather challenging to find food that tastes like how dishes taste in Asia. Authentic Asian food places in Oz can be hard to come by. As for Australian food, I am on the fence on this one. I don’t like Vegemite. But I do like Tim Tams, Cherry Ripe chocolate, pavlova and meat pies just to name a few 🙂

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  27. I didn’t know that people thought Australia was democratic. I was under the assumption that it was more socialistic. Of course, although the general belief is the US is democratic, it’s actually a republic. That’s where our representatives go into action.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Politics is a sensitive topic and is always open to debate and scrutiny. To quite a few Australians it is a privilege to vote, and to others not so. There’s always be agreeing and conflicting opinions in this arena.

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  28. I can never decide whether Australia might be a place I would like to live, Mabel. The cities look beautiful, and the beaches too, of course, but I do enjoy European architecture and the way the past is ever present. A holiday would be wonderful though. 🙂 Thanks for the enlightenment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We do have a lot of lovely Victorian architecture all around Australia. A lot of city buildings in Melbourne boast this look. Maybe it has got to do with British colonisation in Australia all those years ago.

      If you do ever come for a visit, let me know, Jo. Then we can go on a walk together and I can learn photography from you 🙂

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  29. My husband and I spent a mont in Australia and loved every minute of it. We saw quite a bit of the country but never got to your west coast– it is indeed and immense place. We saw koalas and kangaroos but had to really search and finally found them on the Great Ocean Road. We toured beautiful vineyards, ate fab food and avoided venom-producing creatures wherever possible! Your rain forests were amazing and just as you described with heir on again off again showers. Great post as always!

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    • Australia is indeed an immense place. Good to hear you had a great time around Australia and didn’t come face to face with any scary creatures. Yes, we do have on and off again showers, so it is always wise to bring an umbrella everywhere you go in Australia!

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  30. Crocodile and shark attacks feature in the news prominently when they happen. As with most things, better to be aware and take appropriate precautions. Stereotypes exist everywhere. It’s up to the individual to explore further.

    It sounds like a Huntsman spider in your room. They are “good guys”.

    Yes, our PM has changed regularly recently. But we vote for the Party/Policy not the Individual here. If it were the other way around, we would have the situation America is facing this year. You decide which is better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Stereotypes exist everywhere. It’s up to the individual to explore further.” So true. An open-minded person would tend to look beyond stereotypes before sizing up someone.

      When I sprayed the bug spray at the spider, it shrank to the size of a fifty cent coin. I wonder what kind of spiders do that.

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  31. I have enough Aussie friends to know that those stereotypes are not true. Although, I’d argue your #1 because my friend Nina likes to post the horrific creatures she finds in and around her home on FB. And then my other Aussie friend enjoys posting those funny news stories, but they’re mostly scary, about crocodiles eating people or something like that. I think I blank out when I see them.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention, Crocodile Dundee or Paul Hogan. He seems to embody Australia or represent the Land of Oz along with your Kangaroos and Vegemite. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • It depends on where you live in Australia. Certain areas especially the more leafy and bushland areas tend to welcome the creepy crawlies much more. Your friend Nina sounds like she doesn’t mind seeing them around where she lives, lol.

      Ahhh, Crocodile Dundee. Probably in the next post about Australians and the stereotypes about Aussies. This post was long enough already 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Yes Mabel, I agree with you that stereotypes can be useful for creating marketing hype and can boost tourism if these strike a chord with the visitors.
    I love the way you have put together the stereotypes about Australia in this post. It must be a frightful experience to see a palm sized spider on the wall over your head. From four-seasons-in-a-day Melbourne, to the story of drop bears dropping over tourists, to a kangaroo attacking a woman, to the picturesque views from the Blue Mountains, rolling waves at Bondi Beach, whales at Coffs Harbour the way you have presented so many facets of Australia makes it a very interesting read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Somali. You are very kind and I am very humbled. That spider certainly scared me and even when I sprayed it with bug spray (about half a can), it didn’t die – it simply shrank to the size of a coin and then crawled back outside. So, it is still somewhere out there…

      Maybe you will get to visit Australia some day. You can then see the mountains for themselves and enjoy the warm sand under your feet 🙂

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  33. Strangely, I wasn’t aware of any of these stereotypes. Probably because, I have never visited Australia or because I follow many Australian bloggers. 🙂 I’ve learned to read first-hand accounts, watch travel documentaries, and meet people (wherever possible), before forming an opinion of any place that we intend to visit. That being said, I also know, we’re bound to fall for stereotypes at some point in our travel journey. The trick is to overcome the urge and try to find the real picture. For what it’s worth, I loved those shots!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You never now, Cheryl, Maybe one day you and Basil will get to visit Australia. It sounds like you know quite a bit about Oz already from what you have seen and heard 🙂 Not all stereotypes are true, and not all stereotypes are not true.

      Had to do quite a bit of editing on these shots. Sometimes I really am not that good with my camera, but thank you so much.

      Liked by 1 person

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