7 things Aussies don’t know about Australia
WE'RE a funny country, Australia. We are so united yet so divided.
Of course, we were formed as colonies where everything was different: currencies, stamps, even railway gauges. And we're still paying for it.
This legacy means that when you're travelling interstate, ignorance is not bliss.
So, when embarking on a break across the border you might want to check out this must-know guide beforehand.
1. ORDERING A BEER CAN BE HARD WORK
Pot. Pint. Pony. Please …
How is it that no wannabe PM has ever realised that if you really want to grab the public's attention, you simply need to tackle one of the most controversial issues in the country?
"If I achieve only one thing during my term as PM, it will be to make beer names uniform across the country."
Insert wild cheers and applause from an adoring crowd.
Instead we have the ridiculous first-world problem of having to use charts like the one below to know what beer to order when we travel from state to state to territory. Sigh.
2. YOUR AMBULANCE COVER MIGHT NOT COVER YOU AFTER ALL
OK, time to get serious …
Think you have ambulance cover when travelling interstate? You might want to check that.
If the unthinkable happens and you require an ambo when on an interstate break, your existing subscription might not cover you if you have a slip-up.
That could be costly - eating heavily into your daily bar tab - so it's well worth making inquiries with your local provider if only for peace of mind. In some cases, private health insurance might be the way to go.
3. WE HAVE DIFFERENT TIME ZONES, AND CONFUSION GROWS DURING DAYLIGHT SAVING
We might not be as bad as the likes of France, Russia and the US - which all have 10-plus time zones - but telling the time can still get confusing. That confusion only grows during daylight saving.
As a reminder, we have three regular time zones*.
•Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) is observed by QLD, NSW (except Broken Hill), ACT, VIC, and TAS.
•AEST is 30min ahead of Australian Central Standard Time (SA and NT and Broken Hill).
•AEST is two hours ahead of Australian Western Standard Time (WA).
Daylight saving is not observed in QLD, WA, or the NT, so put those clocks and watches back an hour during this period if travelling into those locations from somewhere that does hoard daylight. If you use your smartphone to tell the time, simply relax because those things are so intelligent that they'll do it all for you.
*There is this peculiar Australian Central Western Standard Time that is observed by a tiny, remote section of southwest WA, but let's not confuse the situation any more than we need to.
4. YOUR FOOTBALL CODE IS NOT LOVED BY ALL
Sports lovers among us can all be guilty of being a bit insular when it comes to our chosen footy code. Here are a few things to keep in mind when travelling interstate:
• AFL fans: The game might be called Australian rules, but half the country really couldn't care about a sport oft-mockingly referred to as 'aerial ping pong'. You may regularly fill stadiums to the brim but a whopping portion of the population has more interest in the horoscopes section of the daily newspaper than what is happening at the MCG.
• Rugby league is not rugby. Rugby union is rugby; rugby league is called 'footy' or 'league'. However, rugby is called footy, too. Are we clear? Just to be sure, one game is a 13-man code, the other 15, and there are major differences.
• Anti-AFL fans: The 'tight shorts' jokes about AFL players are so yesterday. It's like yelling 'taxi' when someone spills a drink at the local. It might have been funny about 15 years ago; it definitely isn't now.
5. THE CATCH OF THE DAY COULD CATCH YOU OUT
Fancy fishing while on a break? Well just wait before you chuck in that bait. In many cases, a recreational fishing licence is required when dangling a line. Then the minimum size of a legal catch varies from place to place, too.
It's best to do your research, but it's not as complex as it sounds. Many fishing licences can be obtained with ease online.
6. QUARANTINE LAWS MUST BE NOTED
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it could also land you with an unwanted fine. Biosecurity or quarantine zones are located within Australian states and territories and restrict the transport of various plants, fruits, vegetables, and other items.
Roadside signage usually alerts you to what items are restricted from being taken over the border, but this website offers a comprehensive overview of restrictions throughout the country.
7. LOCAL LINGO IS LIKE ANOTHER LANGUAGE
This topic could be an article alone. In our day-to-day holidays travels, we will likely encounter varying names for a range of standard items, services, and other things.
At the beach we wear swimmers, bathers, togs, or cossies depending on where we are. You can get your daily supplies from the milk bar, corner shop or store, or deli - but they're all the same. It's a similar case when it comes to fried treats: a potato scallop, potato fritter, and a potato cake are one and the same.
And the list goes on and on.