You haven’t been to Australia unless you’ve experienced these 11 things

Who invented the pavlova? The Australians or the New Zealanders? Source: Shutterstock.

AUSTRALIA’S modern history only spans back 200 years and so Australian customs and traditions are still being established today.

However, there are a few things ingrained within the Australian culture that are unmoveable, no matter which of the six states you’re in.

Here are the top 10 most Australian things in existence that many locals would argue you have to experience to truly say you’ve visited Australia.

Learned to pronounce Australia as ‘Straya

Australians don’t have time to pronounce the nation’s whole name because they’re either rushing to catch a wave, grab a coffee or turn the shrimp over on the “barbie”, so it’s been abbreviated to ‘Straya.

There’s even a catchy ‘Straya national anthem to get you acquainted with Australia’s customs before you arrive.


If you ask an Aussie about what they think a typically Australian thing is, you’re bound to hear “Lamingtons!” – a chocolate sponge cake, covered in melted chocolate and liberally sprinkled with desiccated coconut.

According to legend, Lamingtons were created via a cooking mistake by a maid working for Lord Lamington, the eighth Governor of Queensland.

Lamington. Source: Shutterstock.

The sponge was supposedly dropped in a vat of melted chocolate and Lord Lamington, apparently not being a man of waste, suggested a topping of coconut to make it more than just a chocolate cake.

Arguing over who invented the pavlova

“I am married to a Kiwi (New Zealander). Every now and again we have this argument. It’s been going on in this house for near on a decade – still no definitive (answer),” Australian-born Denise-Marie told Travel Wire Asia via Facebook.

The airy dessert was named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who visited both Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.

Evidence points towards New Zealanders inventing the dessert as there are recipes dating back to 1927, but that doesn’t stop Aussies from waging a good argument.

Pavlova. Source: Shutterstock.

The answer of who invented it doesn’t really matter. The argument is fun to watch.

Gone to a drive-thru liquor store

You’ll be looking forever if you head to an Australian supermarket in search of liquor because they don’t sell it.

Instead, Australia has thousands of liquor stores such as Bottle-O’s, Dan Murphy’s, and Thirsty Camel’s that all sell booze.

Dan Murphy’s. Source: Shutterstock.

By day they open their shiny doors and cold-rooms for people to peruse the ABV-filled shelves, but by night, they offer a drive-thru service for those who are already late for the party. You simply pull up, tell the staff what you want and hey presto, you’ll have a boot full of booze!

Seen a kangaroo

Australia is hugely famous for its wildlife but not all its iconic creatures can be seen in every state, unless they’re in a zoo.

The only animals which can be seen throughout the whole of Australia are kangaroos.

Dingo. Source: Shutterstock.

Koalas, wombats, and platypuses only live in the East and South and dingos (wild dogs) roam around central Australia.

Google “How to escape drop bears?”

“Forget the snakes and spiders, it’s the drop bears you want to be careful of,” Perth local Pete Brown told Travel Wire Asia.

Drop bears have a reputation of being ferocious tree-dwelling creatures that pounce and attack those walking in the bush.

But we’ll let you into a little secret, they don’t exist. The myth of the drop bear is just a funny folklore to scare tourists and the images online are photoshopped koala bears.

Drop bear. Source: YouTube screenshot.

Don’t let this newfound knowledge stop you from Googling drop bears though, as there are some hilarious comments to be found, including this one TripAdvisor post from a concerned tourist.

Inhaled enough Aerogard to warrant a lung transplant

Every nation has a household name. Malaysia’s got Maggi, the UK’s got Bisto, and Australia’s got Aerogard, the bug repellent made famous by Queen Elizabeth II.

A visit to Australia in 1963 left Queen Elizabeth II swatting flies away from her face when she was out on visits – not a good look. But that’s when Aerogard stepped in to save the day.

Aerogard. Source: Chemist Warehouse.

Since then the bug repellent has become the ingredient to ensuring that Australians can “avagoodweekend.”

But just like all other bug sprays, the chemicals are pungent and will induce a coughing fit if not sprayed outside.

Worn Ugg boots and shorts

Ugg boots are one of Australia’s most influential exports, at least they were five years ago.

While the fur-lined boots have gone out of fashion in many other nations, Australians are still finding new questionable clothing combinations to wear their Ugg boots; one being with shorts.

“We wear Ugg boots and shorts because Ugg boots can keep your feet cool when it’s hot,” the same Perth local who told us about drop bears explained.

Ugg boots. Source: Shutterstock.

But we’re not sure how much we trust him.

Offended a local by asking if all properties are bungalows

Enthusiastically complementing someone on their bungalow in the UK, the US, Malaysia, or just about anywhere is great, except for in Australia.

They are not called bungalows in Australia, just houses or single-story houses.

An Australian suburb. Source: Shutterstock.

Referring to one as a bungalow could get you a sharp-eyed look and a tut.

Chewed a Redskin

Redskins might just be the juiciest, tastiest and chewiest candy in the world and they’re all over Australia.

The intensely raspberry flavored candy is loved by children and adults alike, with many families storing a bag or two in the cupboard for a sweet tooth soother.

Redskins. Source: Pinterest.

It’s also worth knowing all candies in Australia are referred to as “lollies”.

Assume every spider is dangerous

Caution is king when it comes to Australia’s critters as the desert nation has the highest density of venomous and dangerous animals in the world.

Alongside sharks, snakes and crocodiles are a whole array of hazardous spiders, some with enough venom to kill you in minutes.

Redback spider: Source: Shutterstock.

There are also plenty of harmless eight-legged friends, but it is acceptable to assume every spider will kill you because it’s better to be safe than sorry.