Today’s blog comes from our resident cynic Hannah “Jeffers” Jeffery who actually loves Australia. Honest.
Ordinarily, you can’t stop us from writing lyrical about Australia’s abundant charms…awash with desert island discos, sunkissed sailing adventures and wild outback odysseys etc etc. But on this particularly apocalyptic and drizzly December day at STA Travel’s London HQ, we suddenly ran out of superlative steam. While we were sat staring into the pitch black abyss of another London afternoon (no there wasn’t a capital-wide power cut, this is what happens at 4pm in the midst of a dark British winter)* our Australian cousins (or whatever, the commonwealth lineage is fairly confused and frankly a bit messy) were probably splashing around in their swimmers enjoying the full throes of summer.
So in miserly wintry protest, we decided to not taunt ourselves further with blogs of perfect beaches and smoky barbies with sunbronzed Bruce and scantily-clad Sheila (delete accordingly to preference).Instead, we’re bringing you all the bizarre stuff that almost certainly, you won’t need.**
Yeah yeah your lives are perfect we get it go away
An odd number of things you probably don’t need to know about Australia
1. The biggest property in Australia is a cattle ranch. It’s bigger than Belgium.
2. Political allegiances aside, it’s a source of national pride that when studying at Oxford in the 1950s former Prime Minister Bob Hawke set the world record for sculling a yard of ale in 11 seconds. We’re not saying anything – other than this says a lot.
3. You may fancy yourself as a bit of a beach bum, but if you visited a new beach every day in Australia it would take over 27 years to see them all. That’s a big bum.
We're not sure how long it would take to visit all the beach huts
4. Perceived to be permanently sundrenched, the Australian Alps actually receive more snowfall than Switzerland. Snow kidding! We’re not. Nor are we apologising for the pun.
This is in Australia. Really!
5. It’s illegal to walk on the right-hand side of a footpath in Australia. Tricky.
6. Apparently the selfie is an Aussie invention. Thanks for that.
7. In a cruel twist of criminal fate, the best-behaved of Australia’s convicts were drafted to form the nation’s first ever police force
8. In the 1930s the Australian military waged war on Western Australia’s emu population. Rather humiliatingly, they lost.
And is it any wonder? Look at those eyes.
9. Aussie and Kiwi rivalry is legendary, but is this a bid too far? In 2006, a Brisbane man tried to sell New Zealand on eBay. In the auction blurb, the item was described as having ‘very ordinary weather.’ Bidding started at a very reasonable $0.01 AUD and reached $3,000 AUD before it was removed. Apparently it’s against even eBay’s policy to sell countries.
10. In Victoria, it’s illegal to wear hot pink pants after midday Sunday. What, only on Sundays?
11. In accordance with an ancient British law that Australia has yet to bother appealing, taxi drivers in Queensland are required to carry a bale of hay in their trunk. For when their horses are hungry. Obviously.
*To any Aussie’s reading this, we’re sorry. And please ignore our comments about Britain, it’s actually awesome in winter so please come. Besides, the quicker night falls, the quicker you get to the pub right?
**Having said that, this blog had us fashionably lolling at our desks, thus firmly pulling us out of our seasonal affective winter grump. The result – it only made us love Australia even more.