P is for Patriotic: 26 Reasons to ROCK Australia Day!

Outback near Blinman, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Outback near Blinman, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

As this FAAAABULOUS January 26 gets under way, the ozone layer prepares itself for a high carbon emission onslaught and the planet’s remaining trees breathe a sigh of relief.

Aussie Flag at Anzac Hill, Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Aussie Flag at Anzac Hill, Alice Springs, Northern Territory

It’s Australia Day and almost compulsory to have a barbecue and PROVE your Aussie pride with Aussie flags on every conceivable product from toothpicks to tablecloths; serviettes to stubby holders; picnic plates to paper cups.

For Aussies like me, there’s a LOT of things that make Australia so Australian.  So I’ve chosen 26 of those special Aussie things that top MY Australia Day Patriotic Aussie Pride list!

Australia Day!

Congratulations to 2014 Australians of the Year Adam Goodes (Australian of the Year); Fred Chaney (Senior Australian); Jacqueline Freney (Young Australian); and Tim Conolan (Australia’s Hero); and a BIG welcome to our newest citizens!

The BIG Miner - Map Kernow, or Son of Cornwall - Kapunda, South Australia

The BIG Miner – Map Kernow, or Son of Cornwall – Kapunda, South Australia

BIG Things!

Love ’em or LOATHE ’em, for us Aussies it’s quite normal to wander a landscape littered with BIG fruit, animals and other random objects!

Country Towns! 

Around 90% of Australia’s population live in urban areas. So I’m calling Country Towns the next BIG Thing in Aussie tourism.

Where else can you see the quirks, the oddities, the beauty and the colours of Australia?

Eucalypts in River Bed

Eucalypts in River Bed

Dry!

Australia is the driest continent on earth, and South Australia its driest state.

Eucalyptus!

Most of the 700 species in this genus are from Australia – and the only genus in the world with species across ALL habitats – Eucalyptusis a mini-masterclass in adaptation.

Even though down here we call them Gum Trees!

Floral Emblem!

Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is the famed Green and Gold that represents Australia. Although each Australian State and Territory has a unique floral emblem, not many Australians can name them all! Can you? Test your knowledge HERE!

Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), Australia's Floral Emblem - Green and Gold!

Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), Australia’s Floral Emblem – Green and Gold!

Gold!

Australia is home of the Welcome Stranger, at 71+kg the world’s biggest alluvial gold nugget found at Moliagul near Bendigo in the Victorian Goldfields. It’s tempting to see if Son of the Welcome Stranger is lurking nearby, right?!

Victorian Alps near Mt Hotham

Victorian Alps near Mt Hotham

High Country!

At 2228 metres, Mt Kosciuszko, highest mountain in OZ, isn’t that high by, say, Everest standards. But the OZ High Country around the New South Wales Snowy Mountains and Victoria’s Alps makes a HUGE change from the Coastal fringe and Outback that usually characterises OZ!

Indigenous Rock Art, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, South Australia

Indigenous Rock Art, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, South Australia

Indigenous Culture!

Australian colonial history started just over 200 years ago. Australian Indigenous history goes back for over 50,000 years meaning Australian Aborigines have occupied the same area continuously for longer than any other culture in the world!!

Jump Up!

In a land so (mostly) flat, sometimes the only feature for hundreds of kilometres is a small hill called a Jump Up. My favourite is Swanvale Jump-Up near Stonehenge … the Aussie version.

Kookaburra

Kookaburra

Kookaburra!

Nothing says ‘Australian Bush’ like the sound of the Kookaburra– largest Kingfisher species in the WORLD!

If you’re unsure why they were once called Laughing Jackass, click HERE for a Kookaburra Sound Clip!

Lingo!

Understanding Australian Slang Dictionary is the REAL citizenship test, as Google translate is a FAIL for true Aussie lingo.

See how you go with this Australia Day ‘conversation’:

‘G’day mate, ayagorn?’
‘Stone the crows, she’s a hot one, mate! Chuck another coupla snags on the barbie and pass the dead horse, whaddayareckon, eh mate?’
‘No worries, tinnies in the esky mate, go for your life!’
‘Orright mate, cheers’
Translation below …*

Rolling on the Murray River at Mannum, South OZ, Australia Day 2013

Rolling on the Murray River at Mannum, South OZ, Australia Day 2013

Murray River! 

Australia’s longest river system, the Murray-Darling, stretches from it’s headwaters near Mt Kosciuszko to the sea at South Australia’s Goolwa.

National Parks!

Of Australia’s 516 National Parks, my most visited is the Grampians National Park in Victoria.

What’s yours?

Outback!

The huge and otherwise undefined ‘middle’ section of Australia, where there’s WAY more than the ‘nothing much’ of popular opinion. Don’t believe me? Have a look at my Outback adventures!

Outback near Bedourie, Queensland

Outback near Bedourie, Queensland

Poets!

The ultimate accolade to Australia’s poets is Scenic Public Toilet #8 at Gunnedah, NSW, home of Dorothea MacKellar author of My Country – a personal favourite.

Waltzing Matilda Centre, Winton, Queensland

Waltzing Matilda Centre, Winton, Queensland

Another is Clancy of the Overflow by the extraordinarily prolific A. B. Paterson. He also wrote Waltzing Matilda – one of the 10 most recorded songs in the world – the subject of the only museum in the world (the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton, QLD) dedicated to a song!

Quirky!

You don’t have to look very hard to find something strange and bizarre downunder. Like a singing, piano-playing dingo. Or a sign telling you exactly what the locals think of the government. Or a gilded church steeple in the middle of nowhere. Or the world’s first ride-on lawnmower. Or a Cane Toad Race! Or the World Moon-Rock Throwing Championships! Haven’t heard of these things before? They’re ALL on my blog!!

RED!

Well, what did you expect for ‘R’?? In my opinion, Australia’s REDDEST place is Karijini National Park, although you can find RED pretty much anywhere in Australia – both the colour AND the blogger! Me!!

Dales Gorge, Karijini National Park, Western Australia

Dales Gorge, Karijini National Park, Western Australia

Surf!

Yep, that’s what we’re known for! And a whole lot of other Coast-related ‘S’ words as well … like Swimming! Sun!! Sand!!! Sunsets!!!!

Hobart from Mt Wellington, Tasmania

Hobart from Mt Wellington, Tasmania

Tasmania!

Often forgotten as part of Australia, the ‘Apple Isle’ is the second-largest island in the Australia group. I’ve only been to Tasmania once, an oversight I hope to rectify soon!

Uluru!

Australia’s RED heart. Do I really need to give you a photo or link??

Vegemite!

Vegemite is an acquired taste … but who knows how much longer this Aussie icon will survive with the competition from Aussie legend Dick Smith’s OZEMITE? But whatever happens, the Vegemite TV commercial from the 1950’s is a classic!!

Whales! Stretches of Australia’s extensive coastline are perfect for whale-watching in the right season. The Southern Right Whale nursery in the Great Australian Bight is a good place to start, but there’s opportunities all around OZ … like this whale offshore from WA’s Quobba!

Grass Trees at Victoria Valley, Grampians

Grass Trees at Victoria Valley, Grampians

Xanthorrhoea!

A Xanthorrhoea by any other name is Australia’s most well known wildflower – the Grass Tree, able to withstand bushfires and live for hundreds of years!

Young and Free!

From the first stanza of Advance Australia Fair, the Australian National Anthem – ‘Australians all let us rejoice/for we are young and free’ Nicely ironic, considering the longevity of the Aboriginal race (see above) … but I’d like to think I was young and free – however old I become!

Zoo!

Yeah … this is the lazy person’s Z-word. So sue me. Australia’s Zoos are pretty good though – Adelaide’s Monarto Zoo, Dubbo’s Great Western Plains Zoo and Sydney’s Taronga Park Zoo. But my all time favourite Zoo-like place is the Alice Springs Desert Park!

That’s just some of what makes Australia so Australian, and ME patriotic. But what have I missed?? What’s YOUR favourite Australiana??

Want MORE?

*Lingo Translation:

‘Hi, how are you going?’

‘Gosh it’s hot! Can you put a couple of sausages on the barbecue and pass the sauce? What do you think?’

‘OK, help yourself to a can (of beer) in the portable cold bin.

‘All right, thanks!’

Mt Sturgeon from Dunkeld Arboretum Lake, Grampians, Victoria

Mt Sturgeon from Dunkeld Arboretum Lake, Grampians, Victoria

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55 comments

  • The Lingo and it’s subsequent translation still has me chuckling……

  • LOVE that you included Xanthorrhoea! My all-time favourite Aussie plant.
    Happy Australia Day and thanks for joining the party!

  • Hope all is well Red – haven’t seen nor heard of you in a bit buddy.

  • The last photo is stunning! What a beautiful land Australia.

  • Love the way you managed to structure this post around Australia Day. Like TMW, I’m impressed by your x-y-z. As for the kookaburra – along with the warbling of the magpie, their call is the ONLY thing that can make a grumpy bum like me smile early in the morning. Well, if a person must be laughed at, better it should be by a bird.
    Of course, now you have challenged my memory to find the most appropriate verse [of less than or more than 5 lines] to play in a dunny. Our laundry cupboard is known as “Clancy”, because it takes the overflow of unopened grocery items, like stockpiled jars of vegemite, that simply won’t fit into the kitchen pantry.

    • Haha, XYZ will be a BIG problem next year … unless I rely on my readers having short memories??!! I’m with you on the Kookaburra thing … although people bearing gifts has been known to bring on a smile!! I am immediately adopting your ‘Clancy’ cupboard naming convention for our side room cupboard. It already fills the bill!! Have a great weekend!

  • Gorgeous shots – love the stillness of that last one!

  • I hope you had a wonderful Australia Day — just looking at any of those pictures and remembering your trips there would be wonderful!

    • That’s why I LOVE doing these ’round-up’ posts!! It’s a chance to show off and a nostalgia hit all in one!

  • Thanks for great photos and… Kookaburra! I love Cockatoo as well. When I stayed in Sydney, I was so impressed that those birds were living near, among humans!

    • Thank you for visiting! The birds are even more common out in the country areas!! I hope you get to come back one day!

  • Cathy at Wives with Knives

    As always, your pictures are wonderful and truly inspire me to come visit one day.

    • Well … I’ll just have to keep up your inspiration level!! Luckily, there’s so much going on down here that shouldn’t be too much of a challenge …!!!

  • My goodness–I had no idea the Kookaburra was of the Kingfisher family. See, your blog is educational AND visually gorgeous!

    • Thank you! Now, if we could only add ‘lucrative’, I’d have a winning trifecta!!! Have a good weekend 🙂

  • A wonderful Patriotic post Red and here was me wondering how you’d fill in the x – y – z but you done it perfectly. Love that last pic taken of Mt Sturgeon – stunning!!

    • Something tells me that X, Y and Z are going to be a LOT more difficult next year!! I was lucky to find a perfectly reflecting pool in Dunkeld – it’s an awesome way to start the day!

  • Quite a country to be proud of. I’m guessing you are one of the rare people who have seen so much of it. I would likely see none of it if you were not bringing it to me on at regular basis. I salute you for your efforts.

    • Haha … why oh WHY don’t you work for the Australian Tourism Commission?!?!?! I’d be able to see a helluva LOT more of it if I was sponsored!!!!! But it’s worth it just to bring a smile to your face 🙂

  • Vegemite! An Australian friend 25 years ago had to order Vegemite from Australia by phone, as the on-line capabilities weren’t up and running smoothly!

    Loved you A-Z tour of Australia.

    • Hahaha, just between us, I don’t know why she bothered!! I’m a big fan of the TV ad & jingle, but not so much the product! It’s an acquired taste!! Have a great weekend!

  • What a fun post this is. Very creative and educational to boot! You even have a legitimate word for “X”. Simply amazing.

  • Hi Red, I LOVE this post, well done… er do I say good on ya? 🙂

    It took me a bit of time when I was in your beautiful country to understand most of what was being said, but me being… well me… I would ask when I didn’t know. I was told, meet you in the arvo, I had no idea what an arvo was til I asked and good thing I asked or I would have been out asking people on the street where the ‘arvo’ was! lol

    I really enjoyed your post! Cheers.

    • Good onya MATE!!!! That’s the REAL Aussie response!!! Glad you understand the lingo now – it’s like riding a bike: once you know it, you’ll ALWAYS know it!! Have a great weekend!

  • A great post, Red! Had heaps fun reading it!
    And, awww, the Kookaburra!
    National park… so many beautiful ones, guess Yuraygir was one of my favs. But nothing is like the Outback!
    Go Quirky 🙂

    • I haven’t been to Yuraygir … but it’s on the list!! The quirky stuff is one reason I set up my blog – but there’s so much awesome UN-quirky stuff I had to put that in too!! Have a great weekend – I could do with your COLD today – it’s 40+ C!

  • A great alphabetic accolade to Aus. Many belated greetings for Australia day.

    • Absolutely AWESOME alliteration! I hope you had a great Australia Day too – you don’t have to live here to celebrate!

  • love your A-Z of Australia Red. You nailed it. Goodonya! and happy Aussie Day to you!

    • Thanx mate!! Actually there was a LOT I left out … but at least this way I got away with 26 things!! Have a great weekend!

  • ♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys

    Awesome idea. Glorious photos.

  • While not quite so location based, very occasionally you will hear of someone falling down in the street and no one helped them. It may be via the newspaper or on a tabloid tv current affairs show or talkback radio. We feel sad that such a thing happens in Australia, but we need to remember that this is rare and is a big media story because it is rare. We generally don’t step over or around someone who has fallen down.

    • Bad things can happen anywhere. I’m not sure of the story to which you refer, but agree that most Australians will lend a hand and help others out. That’s what mateship is all about! Maybe I should have made M for Mateship!!

  • A bonza post Red. Sent goosebumps down my spine. Aren’t we the luckiest people on this earth. Hope you have had a great Australia Day.

    • It’s funny … I never used to be patriotic. Maybe the older I get, the more I appreciate what Australia has!! Have a great weekend!!

  • I hear your loved Grampians suffered badly in the bush fires,Very sad.Love your alphabet Loved your L for lingo. My favourite 26 shots of Oz are on my post.

    • Yes, it’s a bummer … fire, then floods, then fire, it just never stops for the Grampians!! If you liked MY lingo, check out River’s comment above!!

  • geweldig wat een land en een geweldige natuur.het is genieten om dit te zien.

    • Het is een prachtig land! Ik ben trots om deel van uit te maken! Kijk uit voor mijn Nederlandse aansluiting na coming soon!

  • Lovely scenes of Australia. Happy belated Australia Day. Wonderful photos and post. Have a happy week ahead!

    • It’s NEVER too late to celebrate Australia Day!! Us Aussies are always looking for an excuse for another barbie!! Have a great weekend, my friend!

  • G’day Red, “I’m a happy little vegemite as happy as can be…..etc etc” happy Oz’tralia day!
    Well mate gotta go and chuck another snag on the barbie, great post!

    • Hahaha! The jury’s out as to whether the Vegemite jingle or the Aeroplane Jelly jingle is more ‘Australian’!!! Whaddayareckon, eh mate??!!

  • “ayagorn”? tsk tsk Red. It’s “ayagArn” sometimes aygarn- aygarn mate! chuckusacoldie!
    Love that glorious green and gold wattle and of course I had to listen to the kookaburra a coupla times.
    I could add the camel races at Alice springs to the quirky list, although I’ve never seen them in person. But my brother in law once rode a camel in a race I’m told. Poor camel, R is 6’3″ in all directions.
    For S, we also see a lot of Sunburn (sadly) which incidentally is quite RED.

    • Hahaha, this is the TOP comment of this post!! Your last line made me laugh out loud! I’ve only done camel races at Bedourie, but one day I’ll see them in Alice!! Sorry about my poor Aussie pronunciation – and hope you’ve got a coupla coldies up your sleeve for this KILLER heatwave!

  • What a gorgeously patriotic Australia Day post. So many of my fave. places. What a pity I have missed out on the Gunnedah dunnies. Boulia and Badourie we saw when they were much drier and jeez, I missed out on Tassie’s State flower although I have a whole plantation of them. If I had thought of a tree as a flower, I would have chosen the Leatherwood that has beautiful perfumed flowers that produce the most aromatic honey in the world. See, another ‘greatest in the world’!

    • Glad you liked it Arija! The trouble was narrowing it down for some of them … the Gunnedah dunny was most refined – poetry recitations instead of piped music while one does ones business!! I like your ‘greatest’ Leatherwood claim – and Kangaroo Island also has the purest strain of Ligurian bees in the world! What’s not to love, huh?!?!

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