Our Road-trip around Australia finally done, it’s time for our classical overview of the country, after 10 913 km driven!
Let’s talk cities
With 23 millions inhabitants for the size of the US, there are few big cities around Australia. Sydney, the biggest one, was quite a deception; the nightlife was good but too expensive, there was no good surf spot and it’s overall not a very interesting city. Then there is Melbourne, more European-like, more sophisticated, which has a good vibe but nothing extraordinary. Brisbane was a better choice for us, with good temperatures all year long, a CBD well organized and particularly alive! And there are also towns without anything particular like Adelaide, Newcastle or Cairns: no big interest.
Yes, the Coca-Cola near Kings Cross is one of the main landmarks of Sydney: you can visit the entire city in less than a day
Piano concert by François in Melbourne
We went to Australia for the waves, and we were really deceived by the surf conditions. Maybe we weren’t lucky, but it’s supposed to be full of great surfing spots. Used to the South-West of France, the beaches were not that extraordinary and when it’s good, it’s packed up with douches not respecting the rules.
Bondi Beach, full of surfers as usual
And it’s dangerous! watch out for other’s surfboards.
People you’ll meet in Australia
First, Australian (duh!): its hard to find them in big cities like Melbourne or Sydney since those are filled with foreigners, but if you’re moving a little bit around, that’s where they hide. Be prepared to be called “mate” and revise your vocabulary!
g’day, mate : good day, good morning
no worries : no problem
mate : friend, buddy, fellow; more common between males
barbie : barbecue
good sport: somebody who is easy-going, nice
aussie : australian
kiwi : New Zealander
You will also meet what they call there the “backpacker” (nothing related to the one you’ll meet in Asia, America or Europe). The “backpacker” is a young fellow willing to live in Australia, considered in Europe as the new Eldorado for jobs, easy money, surfing and parties. But since it’s not really like that, the dream turned bad. Hostels are swarming with hippies living there for 6 months doing nothing, French and Italians not even able to put two words of English together and making their respective countries feel ashamed (yes, that’s not the smartest ones).
The “backpacker” is sophisticated (try not to laugh)
It’s actually a real pleasure to be out of Australia: we can meet real backpackers, full of interesting stories coming from all around the world. We met in Philippines two times more interesting people in 10 days than in 3 months around Australia.
Quick list of facts and stereotypes:
- The Australian is a packed-up dude, going to the gym every day and drinking protein shakes. He also loves to spend his week-end drinking, starting at 11am on Sundays.
- Speaking of alcohol, it’s so expensive! You pay around 20 euros for a 6-pack… My bad, actually virtually everything is expensive in Australia.
- The fauna and flora in Australia are really amazing! Snakes, turtles, dolphins, kangaroos, birds, sharks, koalas…
- Camping in Australia is a real delight! There are camping sites every kilometers in the middle of the forest, in the desert or on the beach, with facilities and barbecues (really important to cook kangaroo).
- In Australia, you drive on the left, and they remind you every kilometers.
- Australia has over 500 national parks (it can be a beautiful and massive park as well as a small hectare of grass in the middle of the city).
- Internet is worst than in India (true story).
As a conclusion, we really enjoyed our road-trip in Australia, but didn’t enjoy this much living for a few weeks in Sydney.