Australian Travel - Dispelling Myths About Australia
People around the world share some common misconceptions about Australia. This country of more than 22 million people can be a great place to visit, but before you do, be sure to get your facts straight.
Myths About Australia - Busted!
- Koalas are Bears. Koalas, although cute and cuddly looking are actual marsupials, which puts them more closely related to kangaroo and sugar gliders than bears. Of the 334 species of marsupial, about 70% of them are indigenous to Australia and the nearby islands such as Tasmania.
- Australia is entirely Outback. Only about 10% of the population of Australia lives in "The Outback," with the majority of people living in large, metropolitan cities such as Sydney.
- Sydney is the Capital. Although Sydney is the largest city in Australia, with about 4.6 million people, Canberra is actually the capital of the country. Sydney IS however the capital of the New South Wales province in Southwestern Australia and it IS considered an "Alpha + World City" for its influence not only in Australia but around the world.
- Shrimp go on the "Barbie" - When Paul Hogan (from the movie Crocodile Dundee) did a TV ad in 1984, he's famous for saying "put another shrimp on the barbie." Although Australians may indeed barbeque shrimp, they don't actually call them "shrimp," they call them "prawns."
- Australians Love Kangaroos. Actually, farmers in Australia consider kangaroos a menace. Although these large marsupials may seem cute, they can actually be violent and destructive. Kangaroos are increasingly used for commercial hunting in Australia.
- The Wildlife is Dangerous. While Australia is home to a many varieties of venomous spiders and snakes, very few people actually die from being bitten.
- Australia was Discovered by the British. Actually, it was first discovered by the Chinese and then the Dutch.
- Australians are British. Actually, Australia is home to increasing numbers of Asian and Oceanic people and more than 37% of the population is native Australian. Those of English ancestry account for about 32% of the population.
Now that we've cleared away a few of the common misconceptions about Australia and Australian people, it's important to note that this lovely country has a lot to offer tourists and residents alike. Rich culture, diverse climate and weather, and delicious food await travelers to "down under."