1. It’s constantly hot and sunny
Ok, so the majority of the time this is true but Australia is a really big place and as such the climate varies hugely. I live in Cairns and our winters are dry but our summers are our ‘wet season’ and it rains almost constantly. You can go skiing in the mountains down south and, despite what Neighbours would have you believe, Melbourne gets really horrid winters. Sure Uluru is in the middle of the desert but during winter the night time temperatures can drop below freezing! Sure, the weather is way better than at home but it’s far from perpetually perfect. If you’re planning a trip then look at the climatology of each place and plan accordingly.
2. Everything here can kill you
If you somehow manage to avoid a shark attack and being bitten by a snake there are plenty of spiders lurking under the toilet seat to give you a deadly bite…right? Nope. Yes there are crocodiles in places in the far north and, sure, lots of places have snakes but once again Australia is a big place. It’s not like all the animals decided to join forces and attempt to eradicate humans from the country. In three years I’ve seen three live snakes – all in a very, very isolated areas – and one dead one that had been living in my air conditioner. I honestly used to get more spiders in my house at home than I do over here because in the UK they’re all house spiders looking to get warm and snuggly when winter sets in. Great white sharks don’t hang out of the reef (it’s too warm) and all the deadly spiders live in the south east (and haven’t killed anyone since 1979 after they developed anti venom). In Australia it’s honestly the roads you have to watch out for. Oh, and the cassowary a giant dinosaur bird with talons on it’s toes. No I’m not joking.
3. Everyone is blonde, tanned and surfs.
Nope. Most of the gorgeous surfers I’ve met have been from other parts of the world (mostly France actually, who knew?) and you can’t actually surf on beaches north of 1770 thanks to the Barrier Reef protecting the land. It’s also pretty easy to spot the Aussie in most groups, because there are so many warnings about skin cancer they’re usually the palest of the bunch!
4. The opera house is amazing
It’s not. The bridge is amazing, but Australia’s most recognisable land mark is actually really ugly in real life. It’s windows are made from brown glass (really) and that lovely white colour? Very, very yellow up close. At night or lit by a sunset it can look pretty but nothing in my mind beats the ‘backbone of Sydney’ for shear colossal size. I may also be bitter about how much it costs to drink at the Opera Bar.
5. It’s ridiculously expensive to live here
If you look at things in pounds then, yes, you’d probably need to sell a kidney to afford your rent. However the moment you earn dollars everything looks a bit more affordable. Paying $7 for a pint isn’t so bad when the minimum wage is $20 an hour. With the UK minimum wage at £6.31 that’s like paying £2 for a pint, not so painful. And while food from the supermarket costs loads, eating out is weirdly cheap. If you’re lucky to live close to local markets then veggies tend to be very reasonable and because they’ve not come too far stay fresh for longer meaning less gets thrown. I also know that London isn’t representative of the entire country but if I paid the equivalent amount over here I could live in the most incredible house!