Planning to escape to Aus? Statistics show that US travel to Australia is on the up. And it’s no wonder, with so much to enjoy here. From food to culture and festivals, there’s lots to experience – and much of it celebrates the multicultural spine that makes up this spectacular country.
As with any traveling adventure, make sure you have your admin sorted well in advance. Check whether you need a US citizen working holiday visa for Australia or certain vaccinations before you go. Once you have everything in place, it’s time to focus on enjoying yourself while you’re out there. Here’s what you need to know about embracing the Land Down Under.
Festivals that define the Land Down Under
There’s no better way to throw yourself into the mix than by heading to a festival – and there are plenty to choose from. See spectacular art at Sydney Festival, enjoy a few laughs at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, or soak up the winter lights and music at Vivid Sydney Winter Festival.
Fan of blues music? Byron Bay Bluesfest takes place over Easter weekend and is a must. And if you want to seek out an LGBT festival, Sydney Mardi Gras is a great choice. It’s a three-week-long festival that champions pride and self-expression.
The culinary wonders of Australian cuisine
When thinking of Australian cuisine, most will likely picture a barbecue, ideally situated by the beach. You’ll typically find sausage, steak, lamb chops and rissoles being sizzled and then served up with a fresh salad. Plus, you can find barbecues dotted about in parks – and they’re open to the public. Not forgetting the all-important seafood, which is enjoyed both on and off the barbecue.
Vegetarians and vegans needn’t fret either. There are numerous cafes and restaurants with dedicated menus so that everyone’s tummies are filled. Australia takes pride in integrating global flavors in cuisine, so you can enjoy a wide variety of dishes. Of course, there are all-out Australian staples too, like Vegemite, Tim Tams, pavlova, salt and pepper calamari and much more.
Aboriginal culture and traditions
When visiting a new country, it’s important to take the time to understand the local culture and history that shapes the identity and experiences of those living in this location. In the case of Australia, you can pay homage to its indigenous heritage by seeking out ways to experience Aboriginal culture and traditions.
For Australian Aboriginal people, Dreamtime reflects the period when Ancestral Spirits created life and physical formations. It encompasses the inter-relations between people and all things. This philosophy can be experienced through storytelling, art and even ceremonies, giving you a breadth of ways to learn something new. You may even come across nature initiatives led by indigenous locals.
Aussie slang, etiquette, and customs
Australia is proud of its unique identity, spanning the language and etiquette people use with one another. It helps to have a brief understanding of why certain phrases are used. Did you know, for example, that “G’day” is said to link back to a rebellion against English establishments and the ‘proper’ language used?
The term “Aussie mateship” is another important one to consider. It encompasses the ethos of supporting one another and showing compassion and care for those who need it.
Other examples of the slang and expressions used include:
- Arvo: Afternoon
- Breaky: Breakfast
- Bush: The Outback or countryside
- G’day: Hello
- Good on ya: Well done or good for you
- Heaps: A lot
- Maccas: McDonald’s
- Sweet as: Awesome
When it comes to customs and etiquette, it’s generally very relaxed in Australia. Some things to note include tipping taxi drivers by rounding up the cost and also bringing drinks if you’re invited to a barbecue.