Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, South Australia © South Australian Tourism Commission
Experiences that will make you feel like an Aussie
Do as the Aussies do; there’s no better introduction to Australia.
By Amy Fraser
Here in Australia, we’re known for our big smiles and laid-back attitudes – a happy consequence to our beautiful backyard and all it offers. Get a glimpse into the Australian way of life with these 11 quintessential Aussie experiences, from ordering a flat white to cheering at an Australian rules football match and saying ‘cheers’ with your mates on a Sunday ‘arvo’ (afternoon). Get ready to feel like a local.
Order a flat white
Coffee is a big part of the Australian way of life and when it comes to our morning brews, we have high expectations. We don’t just order a ‘coffee’, rather, we opt for one of the several specialty brews on offer, including the classic Aussie creation – the flat white. Made up of a single espresso, steamed milk and a gorgeous layer of foam, it’s like heaven in a cup. If you want the very best, pick one up from one of Melbourne’s best cafés; the ‘Coffee Capital of Australia’ never disappoints.
Enjoy our epic coastline
Australia’s coastline is simply extraordinary. When your beaches are this good, it’s difficult to stay away – so we don’t. For many of us, the ocean is ingrained into our daily life and most days are punctuated with sunrise surfs, afternoon beach strolls or evening swims. Grab a surf lesson, swim in our ocean pools, paddle in breathtaking bays and marvel at marine life. Enjoy the ocean like we do.
Visit an outback pub
To really experience Australia like a local, journey into the outback where regional towns perch amid the wide-open wilderness that encompasses over 80 per cent of the country. Here, you’ll find the true blue outback Aussie pubs; typically modest establishments with big hearts. Grab an ice-cold beer and have a ‘yarn’ (chat) with a friendly local.
Spend Christmas day at the beach
A white Christmas exists in Australia – we simply swap the snow for sparkly white sand. For a real taste of Aussie culture, plan your holiday around the festive season and be ready to don your red cossie (swimming costume) and Santa hats on the beach alongside the locals. Swim, surf and sunbathe before tucking into your Christmas barbeque in the sunshine.
Eat freshly shucked Tasmanian oysters
Go to an AFL match
Australian sports events worth travelling for
Australia’s sporting culture is woven into our way of life, and nothing will make you feel more like a local than by chanting along with thousands of Aussies at an AFL (Australia Football League) match. These games are so much more than the players on the pitch – it’s the comradery, the colourful team clothes, the match-day entertainment and the feeling of being a part of the team itself, not to mention post-match pub fun!
Try our native ingredients
Australia’s seasons deliver an abundance of mouthwatering native ingredients, most of which have phenomenal health benefits which Indigenous Australians have been harnessing for over 60,000 years. Try out our native flavours at local markets and restaurants across the country, from Kakadu plum to mud crab and green ants (which are surprisingly tasty in a glass of gin). You might even come across an honesty box along your travels, a popular Aussie tradition particularly along Queensland’s Rainforest Way, where you can pick up farm-fresh produce straight from the source.
Have a Sunday session
The ‘Sunday session’ – a relaxed afternoon drink in the sunshine to mark the end of the weekend – is a long-standing Aussie tradition. Think ocean views, refreshing beverages, lively ambience, and plenty of sunshine – it’s tough not to get on board with this one. Let your hair down at any one of Australia’s picturesque rooftop bars.
Hit the walking tracks
From coastal paths to mountain hikes and rainforest treks, Australia’s not short of epic walks in awe-inspiring landscapes. Walking is one of the best ways to truly get to know the country, whether through encountering native wildlife, witnessing beguiling rock formations, connecting with the wilderness or learning about the Indigenous Australians who have been occupying the land for over 60,000 years. Immerse yourself in the land like a true Aussie on a hike, or soak in our rich heritage during an Aboriginal guided walking tour.
Experience New Year’s Eve in Sydney
Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks have been a special part of Australia’s festive season since 1976. The fireworks take place on the harbour, lighting up the city's iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge with a mesmerising display of sound, colour and light. Pack a picnic and choose a spot along the harbour to enjoy the display.
Brunch, Aussie style
Much like the flat white, the Australian brunch culture phenomena featuring our beloved ‘avo’ (avocado) on toast is spreading all over the world, for good reason. The real deal includes a menu of delicious veggie-filled options, acai bowls, and hearty plates of goodness (with avocado on everything of course). Regional towns and cities are bursting with trendy, farm-to-fork haunts to treat yourself, particularly the laid-back Bryon Bay and coffee-loving Melbourne.