Australians: Share With Us Foreigners Facts and Trivia About Your Country.

Share facts and trivia about your country. Don’t let the Canadians get all the attention!

My favorite anecdote about Australia is the one that Bill Bryson opens his book on the country with: the country actually lost one of its prime minister. Harold Holt went for a swim one sunny morning in 1967, dived beneath a wave…and was never seen again. And then they named a memorial swimming pool after him in Melbourne!

I should note that I’m not Australian, but I’m not Canadian either and I posted in that thread too. :dubious:

We lose Prime Ministers.

You tart. That’ll teach me to type up my post and wander away.

They are all probably sleeping now, or otherwise engaged. :wink:

There was one of these “Ask the Aussie” threads a few years ago that was very informative.

They told of certain spiders, snakes and the dreaded Drop Bears, an animal that lurks in the branches of trees and drops on unsuspecting humans that happen to stroll beneath. I think the bears have sex with your ear after they drop on you, or something gross like that.

Anyway, I kinda’ changed my plans to take a trip Down Under. Unless maybe I’ll go to see the Kiwis.

Au contraire, it is 2:30pm here (Eastern Australia) and we’re probably just mostly finished with our lunch breaks and back at work.

My brain however is engaged in a typical mid-afternoon lull and can only remember fairly standard non-interesting factoids.

Taunt not the Drop Bears.

Oh, I have no intention of taunting them. And what was it about the “Red Guy” spiders; something like that, that hang around under toilet seats and will bite you on the butt if you don’t check for them before sitting down? :eek: :eek: :eek:

It’s not all dangerous. The following Aussie icons hail from our shores. Bands such as Crowded House, Split Enz and Dragon. The actors Russel Crowe and Sam Neil. The racehorse Phar Lap and of course the Pavlova dessert.

And we love stirring Kiwis.

That’s Redback spiders.

They’re from the same family as the American Black Widow, but are distinguished by a red stripe on the back of their abdomen. The whole toilet seat thing is more urban (actually, probably rural) legend than anything else. I’ve seen redbacks in outdoor toilet stalls, but it was usually in a corner of the stall, never under the actual seat.

Australia certainly has plenty of scary spiders and some very venomous snakes, but in all my years growing up there i think the animal that caused me the most grief was the bulldog ant.

Bulldog ant is actually a sort of generic name we give to ants from the subfamily Myrmecia. They are large (up to one a half inches long), aggressive ants with a powerful sting, and if you step on a nest of them you will be in severe pain in very short order. I speak from childhood experience.

Red Bull ant
Jumper ant, or Jumping Jack
Bulldog ant mandibles

For something less painful, check out the mimicry of the Australian lyrebird in this incfredible video clip.

(Going by memory from an old National Lampoon piece on “Unwanted Foreigners”)

Some of the colorful forms of native wildlife have up to nine assholes, the Australian dialect has more than 90 words for “vomit,” and the recent destruction of Darwin by a hurricane was actually a cover story for a regrettable coincidence of paydays on three separate sheep stations.

I’m sure C3 will be along in a minute…

American in Australia - things that I notice.

Cookies are biscuits, biscuits are scones and scones are rock cakes.

Nobody but my husband (for some weird reason) actually says “Gidday” much at all.

Few people talk like Steve Irwin, but some do.

Victorians are perjoritavely called Mexicans (since they live south of the New South Wales border.)

Queenslanders are called Banana Benders (in the same vein, as they have supposedly nothing better to do than put the bends in bananas.)

McDonalds as a “McOz” burger, which is pretty much like a regular burger, only with beetroot. (Pickled beets).

There’s a few things.

I have seen one snake, a heap of kangaroos, and many large dark spiders which I declined to identify more closely.


Hah, you can KEEP Russel Crowe, but hands off Sam Neil!

Aussies make enough movies to have an awards night in which Joan Rivers shows up masterfully drunk. They also make some nice films. (See Somersault, also The Castle.)

Hmm what’s to say? Strewth, here in godzone the sheilas are bonzer, and we don’t even spit the dummy when septics come the raw prawn. Kenoath we don’t. We are girt by sea and pissed by lunchtime.

From a British point of view I woud add Choisir.

And, with respect, the Australian cricket team.

I understood every word of that, without even thinking about it. Its only taken me three years!

I may officially be an Aussie by now.


This is true, but odd. I think it just shows how Australia is becoming the 51st state of America.

I am not Australian. I just live here. How can I stop my kids becoming Australian though?

I dunno - I’m raising a duel citizen kid myself, but I personally wouldn’t mind him identifying as Australian. I quite like it here, its enough like the US that I don’t feel totally out of place, but not so uptight and Republican. (Sorry.)

I’m still as American as I can be, but Australia is my home and I can’t envision moving back to the US, so I can’t help you there.


Before moving to the US a few years ago, i spent most of my life in and around Sydney, and i don’t think i ever heard Victorians called Mexicans.

Burke and Wills.

There are left-handed boomerangs. :slight_smile:

(I know, because I learnt to throw one.)