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More than 6.8 million Australian’s travel internationally every year.  We’re everywhere! And regardless of where you travel, I guarantee you’re bound to bump into an Australian somewhere along the way.  There’s no escape – we’ve infiltrated every tourist trail, every secluded beach, and you can’t even escape us off the beaten path.

But this weekend, not only will the world be infiltrated by Australian travelers, but infiltrated by Australian Pride. If you thought we stood out before, get ready for patriotism like you’ve never seen it before.  Faces will be painted in Green and Gold, flags will be worn for clothing, and an unprecedented amount of alcohol will be consumed.  Quiet European side streets will be transformed into a carnival of ruckus, Irish pubs will be overtaken, and there will be drunken singing and dancing in the streets…although none of us know the second verse to our National Anthem, so you’re likely to hear the first on repeat!

If you’re wondering what the hell is going on on January 26 just say:

Australia Day: January 26.

Australia Day: January 26.

Happy Australia Day!

Happy Australia Day!

Just to confirm though, this is NOT our “Independance Day”.  Australia Day marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Sydney Cove, and raising of the Flag of Great Britain at that site by Governor Arthur Phillip.

In Australia today, celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation, and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards, and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new immigrants into the the community.

So if, after all the painted faces, all of the dancing, and all of the public drunkeness, you’re still having issues distinguishing who’s Australian and who’s not, this may help:

How To Tell An Australian Abroad


They say “Straya” instead of “Australia”.

They call McDonalds Maccas.

They ask for Beetroot and Pineapple on Burgers.

Beetroot is a must on all burgers!

Beetroot is a must on all burgers!  Photo by Breville USA

They pronounce Melbourne as “Mel-bin”

They believe “Woolloomooloo” is a perfectly reasonable name for a place.

They believe it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that’s twice as big as its $2 coin.

Australian coins. $1 are twice the size of $2 coins. 50c pieces are even bigger!

Australian coins. $1 are twice the size of $2 coins. 50c pieces are even bigger!

They believe that certain words must, by law, be shouted out during any rendition of the Angels’ song “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again”.

They don’t acknowledge Burger King exists.  It’s called Hungry Jacks.

They believe snow is a freakish occurrence.  More often than not it’s fake!

They know the difference between thongs and a G-String.

Australia Day 2012 at Bondi Beach. Havaianas Thong Challenge.

Australia Day 2012 at Bondi Beach. Havaianas Thong Challenge.  Photo by Eva Rinaldi

They call either short shorts or small beer bottles, “stubbies”, a “gimp”, “bogan” or “geezer” is a random idiot, and someone in trouble is in “strife”.

They’re likely to burst out laughing whenever they hear of Americans “rooting” for something.

They know how to abbreviate every word, all of which usually end in -o: arvo, combo, garbo, metho, muso, rego, servo, smoko, speedo, righto etc.

They believe there is a universal place called “woop woop” located in the middle of nowhere.  Doesn’t matter where you actually are!

You will NEVER see them touch a fosters beer because it tastes like piss.

They believe that the Metric system will always be better than anything inches, feet, pounds and fahrenheit will ever offer.

They drive on the left hand side of the road.

They drive on the left!

They believe that democracy means the freedom to draw caricatures of Parliament.

They place ‘bloody’ in front of something for when they REALLY mean it.

They say ‘no worries’ quite often, whether they realise it or not.  They spell “realise” with an “s”.

They firmly believe that in the end, everything will be ok and have offered advice that included the words, “she’ll be right, mate”.

They have a story that somehow involves an excessive consumption of booze… but they can’t remember.

This was probably an amazing night...I can't remember!!

This was probably an amazing night…I can’t remember!!

They know that the value of a public holiday is measured in terms of alcohol. God bless the queen and her 4-day birthday.

They refer to someone they like as “a total bastard”, but call someone they don’t like “a bit of a bastard”.

They flash their headlights to warn fellow drivers that local authorities are in the immediate proximity.

They can tell the difference between a Wallaby and a Kangaroo.

This is a Wallaby. The most obvious difference between a Wallaby and Kangaroo is size. Kanga

This is a Wallaby. The most obvious difference between a Wallaby and Kangaroo is size. Kangaroos are generally much larger.

They will leave cars worth thousands of dollars on the drive, and lock their junk and cheap lawn mower in the garage.

Their back is emblazoned with a tattoo of the Southern Cross.

 About Megan Claire

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.


  1. Nice to learn some quirky facts about Australians. I have visited Australia once and I loved it. Would love to return. :)

    • We’re definitely unique :D!! I hope you can get back at some stage – make 2014 the year! Have a great week :)

  2. LOVE this! One more week and we’ll be in Australia – going to follow much of your advice!

    • You’ll have such a great time! Travel Safe!

  3. So so true! I didn’t think a blog could make me miss Oz so much!

    • Putting it together made me incredibly homesick! Although I have 3 jars of vegemite here in the States so that got me through :D!

  4. Kiwi here, but I think that might be ‘wop wops’ not ‘woop woop’?

    • No, we have a place called ‘woop woop’ lol as ridiculous as it sounds!! Pronounced “whoop whoop” maybe :D

      Maybe we pulled a spin off of your “wop wops” – always have to be different!!

  5. I honestly don’t even understand the woop woop thing haha. But this post definitely made me laugh! Thanks for the tips :)

    • Lol actually neither do I. I say it, and it’s a normal part of my vocabulary lol but I can’t say I understand it!

      Glad to make you laugh though! Have a great weekend!

  6. Oh, I chuckled out loud at some of these!! Great examples!

    • They’re funny because they’re true :D! How I do miss Australia!!

  7. Everything listed is spot on although I have never heard anyone pronounce it Mel-bin and it irritates the hell out of me when they say Straya. It’s Bloody Australia lol

    • Lol I’ve been told by my American husband we Australians have a problem pronouncing our “r”s as well – gotta love that slang!

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