One of the most common refrains heard from tourists visiting Australia from all over the world is that they want a chance to experience the ‘real’ Australia. Exactly what this ‘real’ Australia might look like is as subjective as the experience of travel itself, but seeing as it seems to be so high on the list of priorities of international guests, we thought we’d give you a few tips on how to find it.
From Surfer’s Paradise accommodation to camping in the outback, there are so many versions of this country to explore. Above all, forget what you see in the tourism advertisements and embrace whatever comes your way, because when you release your expectations, that is when the most authentic experiences of Australia will be able to shine through.
Talk to Locals
Australians are a friendly bunch, but not as openly engaging as one might have assumed. While a local might not catch your eye and start a conversation uninvited, most will be more than willing to stop and have a chat if you get the ball rolling. Asking questions about the country or the city and looking for recommendations about the best places to go and eat/see/explore will prove incredibly rewarding, because a local’s knowledge is something that no guidebook can ever replicate.
Remember That Not All Aussies Look And Sound Like Crocodile Dundee
Australia is one of the most multicultural societies in the world, with people from many different backgrounds making the country their home. The original inhabitants of Australia were the indigenous people, Australian Aboriginals, and everyone else came along much, much mater. That’s what makes the country so wonderful—the influence from different cultures and traditions. You’ll experience the ‘real’ Australia as much in the alleys of Sydney’s Chinatown or Melbourne’s Italian quarter as you will in the Outback or on a crocodile farm.
Get Out In Nature
Much of Australia’s appeal comes from the incredible diversity of its landscape. Whether you’re gazing up at the awe-inspiring majesty of Uluru or camping on the beach under the stars, Australia’s natural beauty speaks volumes about the national identity—the two are inextricably intertwined.
Eat, Eat, EAT!
While Australia might be a little behind in cultivating a ‘national cuisine’, what we do have is some of the best fresh produce in the world, great, clean seafood, excellent quality beef and the skill and creativity to set about creating one. The food scene in Australia is exciting, vibrant, diverse and takes its cue from hundreds of different culinary traditions. Whether you’re chowing down on Yum Cha in Chinatown, feasting on Lebanese food in Sydney’s west, dining on scrumptious roast lamb and impeccable wine in the Hunter Valley wine region or salivating over seafood in Darwin, the food of this country will speak to you.
Whether you’re experiencing the old world charm and hospitality of Ballarat accommodation or the rustic appeal of a country pub in Queensland, you’re bound to encounter the ‘real’ Australia everywhere you go…as long as you let go of your preconceptions about what it might look like!