final thoughts – australia


  • Sydney- must go in general but the must-do highlights: coastal walk, opera house, harbour bridge, bondi beach, fish market. and learn the public trans system, the buses are super easy.
  • Byron Bay- delicious brunch eats, bar hop, lighthouse walk, beaches, super chill.
  • Noosa National Park was cool- don’t go at night or off path (ref: few attacks in the past) but you’ll see some awesome surfing and potential koalas.
  • Fraser island – very cool, nothing like it in the world. 
  • Airlie Beach & the Whitsundays – white sand beaches + crazy backpackers. Fun times for all. 
  • Cairns- dive the Great Barrier Reef!! Don’t fall for the elite/5-star packages (our motorpark attendant was definitely pushing the most expensive cruise/boat/dive option for the commission), pick a mid-priced group with good staff reviews and never look back. Cruze Coffee, no joke this place was amazing. 
  • *Melbourne – we didn’t go to Melbourne but every expat/traveler/human not from Australia, and those from Australia, told us we missed big time by not starting there. Oh well, another reason to go back.* 

can skip:

  • Brisbane- nope.
  • Nimbin- the open-market is cashed. Pass it. Pretty sad in retrospect. 
  • Mission Beach– was highly recommended but when we got there we realized it wasn’t much our scene. Super sleepy and underdeveloped.
  • The native accent – don’t miss it. 

the longer version…

aussies do not like kiwis or NZ and they will publicly, and often, talk down about it. they claim the “rivalry” worsened after the citizenship agreement between the countries was opened up and kiwis started coming over to take jobs (cue the south park rednecks). as someone who has now been to both countries i don’t see any reason why one would leave new zealand for australia. personally, i think aussies don’t like kiwis bc the All Blacks are the best rugby team in the world.

aussies also don’t like aboriginals and will also openly talk ugly about them which always comes off distasteful. i don’t fully know the history between the groups, but it didn’t seem appropriate.

kangaroos cannot walk backwards, at all, and bc of this they get hit by cars on the highway…and often. kangaroo roadkill is abundant. depressingly so. they tend to come out during dusk and dawn and hide/sleep during the day. hence why many cars hit them.

the term “bogan” refers an australian redneck.

aussies like to drink…a lot.

australia is expensive. it’s manageable if you’re smart but prices can jump quickly on the most basic stuff. for example, food is $$$, even in grocery stores, but wine is not. the cheap wine is just as good as murrica’s good wine.

if you want to drive australia don’t save money on the camper. get something bigger than the economy size, it’s too small for two people. the medium versions will also have electrical hookups, which the economy doesn’t, and is totally necessary for an electrical fan. however, be aware of getting lazy and going to fast food drive thru’s as most don’t cover roof insurance…weird thing, but true.

kevvy, our frasier island tour guide, believes australia will be in a recession within the next 7 yrs.

koalas sleep 22 hours a day.

everyone travels. tourism is huge. locals, foreigners, etc.

australia has basically all of the most deadly animals in the world and every type of bug you can imagine…plus fruit bats in most of the city centers.

water can go thru security – such a little thing but don’t down it to buy another.

we learned from an expat that the min wage in Norway is $30/hr. so, move to Norway.

caroline now knows what an espresso is…fair warning.

eat barramundi and drink fresh coconuts. their coconuts are sweet and always served cold.

any chance you get go to the local markets/farmers markets

there are tons of optional outdoor activities that one can take advantage of that we didn’t. we’re obviously working with a thin budget, but for those traveling you should go nuts and try everything – kayaking, diving, surfing, skydiving, etc.

*as previously mentioned, don’t skip melbourne. we did and regret it.

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