Busted: Australian Myths - Fact Or Fiction?

Busted: Australian Myths - Fact Or Fiction?
Sidney city skyline, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Do Aussies ride on kangaroos to work? Find out!

OT Staff
November 01 , 2019
05 Min Read

Chances are you’ve heard about most of these ridiculous theories about Australia. We are sure some of these false notions are putting you off from visiting the country. Myths ranging from  “Australia is just a vast desert” to the most bizarre ones like the toilet flushes in the reverse direction, are enough prove that Australia is perhaps the most misunderstood country out there. It’s ironic that having produced some of the biggest names in Hollywood like Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman and Margot Robbie, the land of oz is still a mystery.  But before we divulge into the stereotypes and misconceptions about Australia and Australian culture, we need to clear out some air.

Australia doubles as a country and a continent. Nestled between the Indian and Pacific oceans, Australia is one of the largest countries on Earth and yet the smallest continent. Its isolation and unique flora and fauna justify the world’s fascination with this region. Colloquially known as the land of down under, it is the perfect destination for those seeking an adrenaline rush. A hardcore outdoor country, one can indulge in diving, snorkelling, hiking and various other adventure activities. But despite all this, we know so little about the social landscape. Here are few misconceptions about Australia that the natives are tired of hearing. 

It’s always sunny around the year

Sure, Australia has the perfect beach weather, but the climate does vary a lot across the continent. It might be hard to believe but some parts of the country even experience snowfall and have snow-capped mountains. Cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth have temperate climate meaning that they are relatively cool during winters and humid during summers. (Fun Fact: During summers the lowest temperature recorded in the country’s southern most point Tasmania is 3.3 degree celsius).

Vegemite, a dark-brown savory spread

Australians survive on vegemite

All of us are well-aware of Australians’ obsessions with vegemite. For those who haven’t tasted this, are in for a treat. Well, this Australian delicacy is beyond most people’s comprehension. From chocolate bars to popsicles, Aussies just can’t seem to get enough of vegemite. The dark-brown spread, invented in 1922, enjoys an iconic status today. But mind you there are some contrasting views on this.  And the long standing debate on Vegemite and the British Marmite is enough to start a war. However, there is a notable difference between the two which lies in the consistency and taste. While vegemite is thick, Marmite is more syrupy. In terms of taste, the Australian product is salty with a umami flavour, while Marmite has a dash of sweetness. The Vegemite v’s Marmite debate might be hard to settle, but it sure is worth a shot!

Australians ride kangaroos

This is one stereotype that Aussies are fed up of hearing. As opposed to common belief, Aussies do not commute to work or school on kangaroo back. Well, you can thank the Simpsons for debunking this myth. The possibility of spotting a kangaroo are close to nil in urban areas, but if you’re lucky you might see one in the rural parts of the country.

Koalas can be found in eastern Australia

Koalas are bears

Yes. The cuteness overload of koalas are hard to match. But the notion that they are bears and just randomly drop out of trees on unwary travellers is completely false. These furry little creatures are not related to bears at all. Koalas as a matter of fact are marsupials, meaning,that they birth and nurture their young ones in their pouches. While at the first glimpse they may seem to be the most laidback creatures but in reality they are quite agile and are nocturnal animals. 

Foster’s is Australian for beer

Beer plays an extremely pivotal role in the Australian way of life. Many might argue that in the Australian culture, it’s hard to say no to alcohol and we can’t deny that. With the legal drinking age being 18, the drinking culture here is a celebrated one. But contrary to popular belief, fosters is not the only brand available. So the myth that Aussies are obsessed with Foster’s doesn’t really stand ground.. In fact this particular brand is not even a big seller in the region. Brewed in Manchester and consumed in Britain, this beer is often thought to be the beer of choice of Aussies. Befriend an Aussie and you’ll get to know the reality.  

Sydney Opera House

Sydney is the capital

Trust us. We’ve been witness to debates where both the parties have argued over whether Sydney is the capital of Australia or is it Melbourne. And more often than not foreigners fall prey to these silly notions. To settle the debate once and for all, the city of Canberra serves as the capital of Australia. While Sydney is home to some iconic structures like the Sydney Opera House and is one of the largest cities in the country in addition to Melbourne, it is in no way the capital. 

Be prepared to die of snake bite or a spider sting

Australia is a dream destination for many. But is the misconception that it is full of dangerous insects and creatures hampering all your vacation plans? Fret not. The notion that Australia is home to the most venomous snakes is largely a myth. The wildlife in Australia can be quite deadly. There is no denying that. But the chances of any kind of fatality is one in a million.

Don't forget to read more #OTBustingMyths stories! 

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