· Native Aborigine people have been living in Australia for 30 thousand and perhaps 50 thousand years.
· The total size of Australia is almost exactly the size of the lower 48 US states. Since there are far fewer people for so much land, there is far less crowding and much of the land is national parks. There are 540 of them in Australia!
· Australians also drive on the left side (wrong side to us!) of the road, but their roads are generally a little wider than those in New Zealand, so you are not as scared when a two trailer 34 wheeled land truck goes by!. RVs are also called CamperVans and are small by American standards.
· The Australian dollar is worth about 53 cents (US) and, right now, that is a very good deal for us traveling there. Once your money is exchanged, things are about 15% cheaper than in the US.
· Tipping is done when service is particularly good at better restaurants. Otherwise, there is really no tipping necessary.
· ATMs are everywhere, just as they were in New Zealand, and they also have NO service charges.
· Weights are measured in kilograms and distances are in kilometers and temperatures are in Celsius.
· Nearly twenty million people now live in Australia, 95% of them on only 1% of the coastal land around continent. The entire middle parts of Australia are largely empty, so population density is calculated in square kilometers per person, not the number of people per square kilometer.
· Australia is the only nation to occupy an entire continent. It has a land mass of about 7.7 million square kilometers. It is the flattest of all continents and, after Antarctica, the driest of continents, yet it has extremes of climate and topography. There are rainforests and vast plains in the north, snowfields in the southeast, desert in the centre and fertile croplands in the east, south and southwest. About one third of the country lies in the tropics. Australia has a coastline of 36,735km.
· Because Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed to that of the northern hemisphere. Summer is from December to February, autumn from March to May, winter from June to August, spring from September through to November.
· In 1838 it was declared illegal to swim at public beaches during the day! This law was enforced until 1902.
· Female vote - Australia was the second country to give women the vote.
· In 1954, Bob Hawke was immortalized by the Guinness Book of Records for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob later became the Prime Minister of Australia.
bush. Country, as in the bush (the country) and go bush (leave the city).
bush telegraph. The local gossip network.
bushed. Extremely tired.
butt. Buttocks, bottom, also cigarette.
Captain Cook. Well, he's the bloke who came to (or discovered, although there will always be debate about that) Australia in 1770. His name's rhyming slang for look.
chinwag. A chat, conversation.
chuffed. Pleased, delighted, stoked.
chyack. Also chiack. Taunt, jeer.
cobber. Mate, friend.
codger. Bloke, man, especially elderly and a little odd, as in silly codger.
corker. Something striking or astonishing, or something very good of its kind.
corroboree. Aboriginal assembly or gathering of festive, sacred or warlike character.
crook. Sick, ill, as in He's crook. Also angry, as in Don't go crook on him.
dead-set. Certain, assured. Also used as an interjection (often voiced by Ginger Meggs in the cartoon strip of that name), meaning sure or certainly.
ding. A damaged section of a car, bike, surfboard, etc. There are other meanings.
dingbat. Someone odd, crazy.
dinki-di. Also dinky-di. True blue, fair dinkum, genuine.
dinkum. True blue, real, genuine. Quite often used in the phrase fair dinkum.
do one's lolly. Lose one's temper.
don't end up in a picnic. Don't be in an awkward situation.
doona. A quilted eiderdown with a down filling, a comforter.
drongo. Slow-witted or stupid person.
drover. One who drives cattle, sheep and like animals over long distances, usually to market.
ducks 'n' drakes. Rhyming slang for the shakes. Could also be taken to mean men and women.
dummy, as in spit the dummy. To spit the dummy is to baulk at, get angry about, or simply, obstinately refuse to do, something. A dummy is what some Americans call a pacifier, and when a baby spits the dummy it just can't be pacified.
dunny. An outside toilet, sanitary can.
bluey. Swag. Also blue heeler, a breed of dog.
bob's your uncle. Surprisingly this statement can have one of two diffferent, almost opposite, meanings: in expressing agreement, meaning right you are, or in response to a statement proving nothing as an expression of doubt.
bonzer. Excellent, attractive, really great.
boss cocky. The big boss. Usually used for farmer who employs workers.
bottlo, bottle shop. Liquor store.
bunny rug, bunny-rug. Baby's blanket.