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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ten things I love about Oz

I’m having a mad patriotic moment and decided to share my thoughts on what makes Australia a unique place to live.

Town Names – Did we corner the market of odd town names, or what? We have places like: Binnaway, Boing Boing, Bong Bong, Broke, Burpengary, Chinaman’s Knob, Cock Wash, Coffin Bay, Come by Chance, Dismal Swamp, Dunedoo (pronounced Dunny Doo), Foul Bay, Humptybong, Humpty Doo, Mooball, Mount Buggery, Pimpinbudgie, Poowong, Rooty Hill, The End of the World, Tittybong, Useless Loop. Believe me there are more like these!

Music – There really is no substitute for home grown talent to get a feel for a culture. Take a listen to Cold Chisel, INXS, Midnight Oil, Hunters and Collectors, Crowded House, Jet, Wolfmother, Eskimo Joe and Silverchair.

Big – Are Aussies obsessed about size? It’s possible. We have: The Big Banana, The Big Axe, The Big Ayres Rock (as opposed to the real on in the Northern Territory), The Big Beer Can, The Big Blue Heeler (it’s a dog btw), The Big Golden Guitar (Tamworth NSW), The Big Merino (Sheep), The Big Oyster, The Big Boxing Crocodile, The Big Captain Cook, we even have a big mower! Seriously, my country men need new hobbies.

Actors, Actors, Actors – there are so many home grown (and gorgeous) talent on US TV shows and movies that I had to include them: Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Simon Baker (The Mentalist), Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe (a personal fav), Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight), Cate Blanchet (Robin Hood and Elizabeth), Alex O’Loughlin (Hawaii Five O), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Jesse Spenser (House), Hugh Jackman, Geoffrey Rush (The Kings Speech & Pirates of the Caribbean), Mel Gibson.

The Grey Nomads – I’m talking restless retirees here not rebels without a cause. Australian’s are brought up to think of our home as our castle and my parent’s generation have put wheels under it. Every winter the roads are dotted with Grey Nomads escaping north for the winter or simply traveling round the countryside (as the Leyland Bros told them to do years ago) and exploring all the Aussie hot spots. Forty degree days (104F) are the norm in the red centre so they fixed that by installing air conditioners in their caravans. I dubbed my parent’s leadlight glass decorated caravan the Taj Mahal, but it keeps them happy. I’ve gotta wait another twenty years before it’s my turn!

Movies with a distinctive Aussie edge – Picnic at Hanging Rock (although I still don’t understand that one and its been 20+years), Mad Max (Mel Gibson) 1, 2 and maybe 3, The Man from Snowy River, Kenny, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Paperback Hero (Hugh Jackman as a romance author – oh yum), Gallipoli, Alvin Purple.

Friendly Competition – Sydney versus Melbourne, NSW versus Queensland (State of Origin Rugby League), Ford versus Holden (well of course you must say Ford). A little friendly competition is good for the soul. LOL

Small and Yappy – This, hopefully, will be my next dog. Say hello to the Australian Silky Terrier. Big enough to make a noise, small enough to tuck under your arm when they’re being stubborn (which is often – they’re a terror terrier). Despite their small size, they make a good watchdog, are intelligent and curious and are great to travel with. Aussie Silky’s hair is similar to human and is great for allergy sufferers but requires lots of grooming. I can live with that!

Language - Ga Day Cobber. Fair suck of the sav, but Australia’s a beaut place to grow up. For the sheilas – go put the kettle on for a cuppa. For the blokes – go crack a tinnie and remember it’s your shout. I mean, Holy-dooly, you’re probably scratching your head like a stunned mullet at my rambling. But you could hear any number of these expressions at one time or another. Probably not all together. I had a hard time typing the Aussie lingo like that myself.

Last but not least The wildlife.
"The second confusing thing about Australia are the animals. They can be divided into three categories: Poisonous, Odd, and Sheep." Douglas Adams

Echidna, Dugongs, Platypus, Kangaroo, Wombats, Galah's, Budgie, Tasmanian Devils, the Emu. Douglas Adams said it all - they are confusing. But definately don't forget the sheep!

If you haven’t guessed yet, we don’t take things too seriously down here. Life is short – go tart yourself up and enjoy it!




  1. I love the place names in Australia so much! One of my favorites is Wollongong. I have no idea if it sounds odd to an Aussie, but it sounds very odd to my Texan ear. LOL. I'm a bit of a obsessive about all things Oz, though, thanks to my obsession with a certain band called INXS. :)

  2. LOL I must have gotten used to Wollongong. It sounds pretty normal to my ear, but I'm so glad to meet another INXS fan! Never Tear Us Apart was my favorite.

  3. Does it get any better than Hugh Jackman??? Omg I love him! Love the town names...Chinaman's knob and cock wash are my favs LOL but I have a strange sense of humor. Excellent post, makes me want to visit that much more. Thanks Heather!

  4. Heather, don't tell anyone in my family, but I actually saw INXS 5 times on their last tour. LOL. I had to make up for missing them when Hutch was alive. I even traveled to Canada twice to see them on that tour. Kiss the Dirt might be my favorite, but it changes pretty regularly.

  5. Heather,

    Thanks for sharing a peek Down Under. Wow! Someone was really drunk when they came up with the town names. ;) In my home state, we have Toad Suck and Pickles Gap. I thought those were bad.

    Australia sounds like an awesome place, but mostly because you are there. :)

  6. Heather, what a great post! The grey nomads cracked me up. Here were call them "snow birds".

    I so hope to get to Oz someday. Your post just made me want to get there sooner rather than later. ;)