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Australia a local view.

Updated on May 10, 2011

The land down under.

Although Australia is big in land area, if you look  from outer space you will see an orange/red country with only a thin green fringe around some of the mainland. That's where we all live apart from a few in Tasmania!

Tasmania, our Island state being the only state that is mostly arable and greened by rain.

In fact we do not have much arable country in Australia at all.

Our major cities are modern and as big as most large world cities, we just don't have many of them. Australia has a lot of smaller cities and towns mostly scattered around the coast, with just a few big inland cities. Those big inland cities are usually wonderful peaceful and set in beautiful surrounds.

The mainland deserts are beautiful and take days or even weeks to cross, and most of Australia is desert inland.

Downtown Melbourne.
Downtown Melbourne.
Australian desert
Australian desert
Downtown Melbourne on the Yarra river.
Downtown Melbourne on the Yarra river.
Rainforest pathway.
Rainforest pathway.

Australian cities

All the Major cities except Perth and Adelaide are sprinkled along the massive east coastline with little population on the far North East and North West coast or near the center.

Most of us live on the East coast in or around four major Cities.Melbourne, Sydney, Surfers Paradise and Brisbane.

Apart from Tasmania and Victoria the weather is hot on average for most of the year by comparison to many other countries.

Australia is hot and dusty more than a few hundred miles inland from any direction and it hasn't rained on a lot of it since Noah was a pup until this year when it all got drowned again. That's the outback cycle .Drought flood, drought flood.

People survive in the outback because the Australian sense of humor is as dry as the desert itself. Although we have very little rain water inland, when it does rain it rains a lot! In some places floods replace drought every ten years or so, refilling huge inland lakes at the same time.

Within weeks these lakes are surrounded by growth that has been waiting for the rains many years. The number of birds that take up residence in what was an arid barren place just weeks before is astonishing!

To give you an idea of the Australian attitude to life in the raw, I recall the last time I was in the outback, the temperature got to 45c (113 Fahrenheit.)

I was sitting in the shade on the veranda of an outback "milk-bar" or general store/ petrol station, hardware store. A local came up the road, dressed in stubby work shorts and a tee shirt.

As he stepped up to the veranda I greeted him with the standard weather related greeting. "G'day mate, a bit warm ay?" He grins and shakes his head slowly, the sweat had saturated the tee-shirt and Stubbies (very short shorts, ) and was running down his face in rivulets. "Air conditioning" he says, glancing at himself. "I'm as dry as a nuns naughty bits." He wanders in to the shop. "Might get warm later" says the shopkeeper."Nah" says the local. They both laugh ...... big outback laughs.

When the country is flooded with 10 inches of rain in a few hours the local greeting will be something like... "Might get a bit damp later on ay mate?"

Greetings are usually delivered with a big conspiratorial grin if you are a bit of a wag. If your delivery is good and funny, you get local brownie points in the outback.

Humor is a funny thing. (sorry could not resist the silliness of that.) Australian humour is often self deprecating, irreverent, laconic and exaggerated.There is a good reason for that.

Living in the outback, sooner or later you are going to confront this harsh land. This year or next you could be watching your house float by with only the roof showing in a river 100 miles wide, were there hasn't even been a drop of rain for years, or be stuck in the desert with a broken vehicle, a broken GPS or flooded in with no way out for weeks or even months.

You can get washed away by the floods or die of thirst if your four wheel drive breaks down in the same piece of country depending on time of year and weather patterns on of the remote parts of Australia's outback.

Australian entertainers and sports.

A lot of Australians are very proud of our world sports heroes and entertainers who have succeeded on the world stage in almost every area of sport and entertainment.

Barry Humphrey's 'Dame Edna Everage" character is world renown, our great larrikin Poet Banjo Paterson who is among the worlds best, and very funny too.

Nicole Kidman and many other movie stars who you will already know if you are a movie buff which I am not.

Hollywood does not move me often.

It's absolutely true that we have more of the best motorcycle racers, golfers, cricketers, basketballers, actors and ratbags in the whole bloody world! Yet somehow we can spoil it by being immodest about it at times....

Sports humour is a bit nationalistic for my liking.

"Go home yer pommy bastards" is a common greeting familiar to our British cousins at the famous MCC. (Melbourne Cricket Club)

We beat the English cricket team and beat them consistently much to our delight.


Australian nick-names stick and are often very insulting.

Porky (not nice, but Porky doesn't seem to mind. (My mate's pet pig)

"The singing budgie" Kyle Minogue. For those who don't know Kyle she is a very famous, if somewhat diminutive Australian singer/performer.

"The silver bodgie" Our prime minister Robert or "Bob" Hawk copped that one for pretending to be one of the boys too many times. Bodgies were a teenage group who followed a particular dress code and are way uncool today.

John Howard another prime minister got called a lot of unflattering nick names, like "Teflon John" because nothing stuck to him.

Anyone with "dodgy" in their nick name should be avoided.

Gunna. An old bushy I know who is always going to do or gunna do something, but never gets it done.People call him gunna to his face, he thinks it's a compliment!

Gyro. After Gyro Gearloose a Disney character who is a mad scientist.

Gyro is a local hero and can repair anything mechanical.

Nicknames are very different to America and other English speaking countries.

We have nicknames not just for all our mates, but for just about everything else, so learning the language can be harrowing even if your native tongue is English.

We have a big Agricultural output for a country that is tiny when it comes to arable land.We grow a lot of fruit like oranges, apples, peaches Apricots and a big range of nuts. Tasmania is also known as the apple state.

We have a lot of other nuts, so I will write more about the people later!

Australians as friends

If you have a real fair dinkum long term Aussie friend you have hit the jackpot.

Australians value loyalty, as we are used to not being able to visit each other all the time due to the distances we need to travel. That and the fact that we work pretty hard generally and are very productive.

Airplanes are great to reduce travel time but a bit hard if you want to take your pet kangaroo or the kids and dogs want to come.

It has to do with this big country teaching you that what works best in any one situation is not always obvious.


An Australian mate does not just mean female or male partner.

It has a specific meaning for each occasion.

My mate down at the hardware store can mean just about anything from I went there once, to the guy who owns it is a business friend of mine, but the implication is that he either has something that you want, or has an opinion you may want to hear.

If I say I am your best mate I mean that I will mortgage the house for you, share my last food and shelter with you, or lend you the Holden or let you babysit my kids, use my credit card, anything you need that I have is yours for the asking if you are in trouble.The whole family will join in supporting your best mate in a pinch.

F**k you too mate! is used frequently whenever someone gives you the bird and has a totally different meaning to "she'll be right mate" which is used to indicate all sorts of agreeable daily encounters.

Using "She'll be right mate" in an everyday conversation.

The delivery bloke may help you carry a heavy parcel he has delivered up the stairs without being asked.

We don't do tips for deliveries. He has given you a hand usually because he likes to be helpful. he gets paid pretty well, so we say "good on yer mate" with a friendly smile, he replies "she'll be right mate, which means you are most welcome!

Never make assumptions about the delivery bloke, or the bloke who comes out to demonstrate a new machine to you in Australia. He may own the company, or be a senior partner and you will not pick people by their flash clothes or apparent wealth either.

Many businessmen are hands on, like to meet the customers, and usually offer the same humility and respect that he asks his workers to.

Snobbery is not a part of the culture.

Although we do not tip for most deliveries and services, we do tip the franchised fast food delivery man as we know his pay stinks and it is a lousy part time job while he goes to uni.

Many races make up Australia, as I have said elsewhere in one suburb of Melbourne the people speak 180 languages.Yet the Australian's who have been here a while integrate and take up the way of life and strange language we call "strine" with great enthusiasm.

I adopted a boy from North west China in 1996 when he was six.

His most common phrase when he learnt English was "She'll be right mate!"

I trotted him off to a good Aussie school where he soon got the local input needed to indoctrinate him.

We do not always say things in ways that are intelligible to outsiders.

"Strine" is an elitist language. You have to pass through the humor to get to it!

If you understand the word strine, then you already have a glimpse of the self deprecating humor that is our trademark.

When an Australian says the word "Australian" it sounds like the word "Strine" we leave out any sounds that are unnecessary, and some wags would suggest it is because if you open your mouth to speak the flies will get in, so try saying Australian with you lips closed and almost still. See? You have a head start!

Now you will be able to read my hubs!

You will see Asian, African, European, American, Canadian, Greek, Italian, Dutch, German, Iranian, Iraqi Australian kids speaking with the same Australian style that is so entrenched in the whole culture of this country.

Within one generation many new Australians are pretty laconic and have soaked up the lay back lifestyle.It's not that we don't work hard, we just make sure we have some time to enjoy the wonderful outdoor life that the weather affords us.

We do not generally worry too much about what others think about us, we know who we are, we are a group of migrants who share a common culture that is irreverent, pliable, and easy going.

Those who have been here a generation or two wind up being uniquely Australian no matter what we look like or where we came from. The country itself seems to create a culture that is tolerant and fun to live in, no matter that your black, yellow, purple or boring old white like me.

I have, like many Australians lived and or worked in other countries and the word is this is the best country to live in on this little blue green planet, even if we do look like we are defying gravity hanging off the bottom of the globe.

We have strange looking animals, a pretty dense bush and a shipload of sand.

We have Nicole Kidman, a city named Darwin (who visited Australia as a young man) sun surf oodles of coastline and....sand.

Did I mention the desert? Sand, lots of sand.


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    • profile image

      Sakina 4 years ago

      She definitely IS smitehong special. I'm really looking forward to this show. Will definitely post some pics for you guys x^^^ No solo shows for me for a while. I had one back in Nov and then the tandem with Kelly T a few weeks ago.I'm taking a break for now :)

    • profile image

      Jane 4 years ago exciting...going to paris too? in lndoon those hotels near kings cross station are pretty good and not too expensive, ranging from 65 to 100 pounds if you not the type that has to have frills. they are quite basic but clean and safe. if you are going to paris..stay near st germain..plenty of lndoon, go for fortnum and mason for afternoon tea...that is a must. brits' scone and clotted cream..and generally pub food...sunday roast, toads-in-the-hole, fish and chips but after a while they are taste about the same.and both lndoon and paris shopping of course with euro and pounds so low..most branded goods will prob be at least 20 to 30 % cheaper if you also claim the 12% tax the best time to get hubby pay for any dream stuffs that you want and conveniently walked past harolds. hahaha...

    • profile image

      Tessica 4 years ago

      That's a nicely made answer to a chenlangilg question

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Done! Better?

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thanks Marisa, I will get a friend to help with the photo.

      I am not too good with photoshop. I had not viewed the slideshow.... till now.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 7 years ago from Sydney

      EH, I think the bikini has paid off - you're certainly getting the comments! I do think you should blur it though, in case you get your wrist slapped. It's not the nipples I worry about - but when you look at it on the slide show, you can tell she's had either a complete Brazilian, or one with a landing strip down the middle, if you know what I mean.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      That is hilarious! I am not surprised he was the only one laughing!

    • Lymond profile image

      Lymond 7 years ago from UK

      Thanks for explaining the Australian, though your comment on cricket is still just wrong. I knew an Aussie at uni who once said to me that Australia was the stick of cricket. Cue me a little puzzled said you mean the yardstick, the thing that every other team is measured against? he replied No mate, the stick that beats everybody else! and then fell over laughing. In an English pub, he was the only one :-)

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Hi logic me old china plate!

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, BP, Wrylilt and the other Aussies here are awesome I agree!

      I reckon St.Kilda Esplanade on a hot Sunday is where you need that GE pointed! :)

    • profile image

      logic,commonsense 7 years ago

      Thanks to salt for sending me here! The pic is great, but the insight is better! Course if you could send me the address where those bikinis are, that would be even better! Wanna see how good GoogleEarth is!

      Far as I'm concerned, Australia's greatest assets are BP, you, Wrylilt, and all the other Aussies here on Hubpages!

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Salt, thanks for the heads up on my hub. I think the pictures are great, but you're right I should show some of the green belt. I will add as you suggested, thanks again.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I can see a bikini like this any day of the week in my little town Misty. I have seen girls dressed very scantily in Chapel St Prahran on any hot day as well. Maybe some parts of Australia are a bit different, for example in Adelaide there is a fairly strong view on nudity apart from the excellent Maslins beach which is nude.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I missed me mate Keith! (attemptedhumor)

      Mate, the ashes are coming home soon, that was a bloody fluke! The English ratbags swiped it of us and we are having it returned shortly.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you Susan, I enjoyed writing this, it was fun to let off a few Austraianisms.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you salt. I reckon it depends on who they are with to some extent and how spectacular their bod is! You are right of course it is a bit skimpy, but she has a magnificent body. I could pull the pic and blur it a bit if you think I should.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      PS. The slight inference of 'nipples' shown in that same picture are actually far less visible than many photos I have seen of women in T-Shirts, thin jumpers or vest tops, so where is the problem exactly? Any woman can show this much on a cold day if she chooses not to wear a bra, which is not a crime after all!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL, the bikini referred to by 'Salt' is nothing compared to many I have seen. No biggie, we should be proud of our bodies and it is only the crazy world we live in that seems to 'teach us' that a body shown is 'shameful' causes problems. We were born wearing nothing, so what is the problem with showing off the beauty of natures creation?

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Really enjoyed your article!

    • salt profile image

      salt 7 years ago from australia

      Umm, needed to add more, that bikini shot looks a bit skimpy! Most australian girls are proud of their bodies, yet not really wanting to bear all.

    • salt profile image

      salt 7 years ago from australia

      Not bad! Like the lingo, good pictures for a global warming add, or maybe a pine gap advertisement! Lovely writing though, as always!

    • attemptedhumour profile image

      attemptedhumour 7 years ago from Australia

      They wasted millions on that "where the bloody hell are you?" Ad

      Your hub would say ten times more about the real essence of Oz. Brilliant Ern!

      Very funny and true to life, even the POME b's bit. PS the POME b's hold the ashes remember. The ashes being presented to the winner of the five match bi-annual cricket comp' between Australia and England. Cheers Ern loved it all.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thanks Leslie! I enjoyed writing it. Local knowledge is always best. When I travel I like to speak to the "natives"

      For example I got to know heaps about New York by talking to the down-towners as well as others from the inner and outer suburbs on my first time there..

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Dags if I were younger and a decent horseman, (which I am not) I would love to to just one return trip trip down the long paddock and back.I envy you! The experience must have been wonderful.

      I have been uncomfortable in the bush, so I know what the go is, but it matters little when you have that much nature around you every day. Thanks for looking in again mate!

    • LeslieAdrienne profile image

      Leslie A. Shields 7 years ago from Georgia

      Enjoyed the Hub Ernerst

      As I was reading it I was reminded that part of our 2nd grade curriculum is a surface study of Australia. Teachers always need additional information to accompany the mandated info. This is the kind of thing that could be very useful..She'll be right mate! (I like that)....Thanks

    • dags the drover profile image

      dags the drover 7 years ago from still lost in Western Australia

      Ah yes... it was all a bit of fun. I'm back on the road again, but I get to go rounding things up in a 500 hp Kenworth these days though. Cheers Dags

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I love the smell of the animals. I have crossed paths with a few herds on the long paddock up north and stopped for a yarn. A tough life, but wow! You would know you were alive that's for sure!

    • dags the drover profile image

      dags the drover 7 years ago from still lost in Western Australia

      Yes.... there's nothing like being out there on the "long paddock" with a mob, horses and dogs.... Though I should admit that my droving days are a fair way back these days!!

      Cheers Dags

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Cheere Dags! I never did any droving though mate!

      I would have enjoyed it.

    • dags the drover profile image

      dags the drover 7 years ago from still lost in Western Australia

      Good job Earnest. You've obviously spent a fair bit of time in the bush mate! Cheers Dags the Drover

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Loves ya Sandra! You would make another nice Aussie addition. I noticed some time ago that you actually read other peoples stuff properly and communicate extremely well. Gotta be a place for you here! :)

    • profile image

      sandra rinck 7 years ago

      Bloody fantastic mate. "Go home you pommy bastard." I love it! "She'll be right." I like that too. Nice tip on the trying saying it with your lips closed. Of course I cannot say anything with my lips actually closed so I read the rest of the hub with my teeth clinched so the flies don't get in. :)

      Amazin', Will be working on my aussie a bit. Thanks Earnest.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Yep! Thanks mate!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 8 years ago

      Fun hub - Australia has held up bloody well in the GFC - on ya mate :)

    • Davidsonofjesie profile image

      Davidsonofjesie 8 years ago

      HAY earnest I am very sorry for the way I acted the other day . PLEASE FORGIVE ME !!!

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Plenty of space here Jewel, and swarming like flies is good if they can chuck us a few tourist dollars! Poor old oz is feeling the pinch a bit.

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 9 years ago from Australia

      Strewth, you'll 'ave em swarming like flies fillin' up the place.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Bloody good idea Bluey!

    • R. Blue profile image

      R. Blue 9 years ago from Right here

      I'm hoarding my nickels for a trip to Oz.....gonna go shack up with the Blonde one. We'll get together and have a pint ...just to settle the dust.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you Blonde and beautiful one. I luv this sun-burnt country, how could we go wrong with sheila's like you here? I think over-all we are living in a pretty good place.

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 9 years ago from australia

      Hahah oh you did a great job of summing us all up. You do us proud dear Earnest.xox

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I hope you can come too. I would like to say "welcome to Australia" to you.

      It is a beautiful place.

    • efeglo profile image

      efeglo 9 years ago from Nigeria

      Thanks for sharing about this beautiful place, I hope to visit Australia someday with my family. Sure my dreams come true.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      hi laringo, I have been writing and not much else, it is so nice to hear from you.

      I don't know why I chose the boots.

      I love this place. Australia I mean. It is full of hope and bulldust.

      I hope I still love it in a years time when it is broke!

    • laringo profile image

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Hi Earnesthub, haven't heard from you for a while. It's nice for you to be back. What about those boot's as an avatar? Anyway, I learned something about Australia that only a native could explain. I like your kind of histroy lesson, and with a dry sense of humor, I suppose.


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