Australia is an appealing country for many travelers. With its huge deserts, incredible wildlife and beautiful beaches, who wouldn’t want to visit this land down under? Well, I spent an entire year in Australia, and even though I did enjoy most of my time, there were a few things I disliked about OZ. So before you head down under, check out these 9 things I hate about Australia.
1. Harsh sun
The Australian summer is very harsh. Australia has one of the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. And for good reasons! The sun is extremely strong, and the UV index is higher in Australia and New Zealand than anywhere else in the world.
Always wear a hat and sunglasses, and use sunscreen. You will most likely get crazy sunburns in Australia if you don’t use the appropriate sun protection. But lucky for you, Australia also has very good sunscreens. The best one I found is the one from Cancer council.
2. Remote location
Australia is big. It’s even huge. If you’re coming from the United States or Europe, it’ll take you a crazy amount of flying time to get there. It took me 35 hours to get to Australia from France! Yes, that’s how long you’ll spend on planes and in airports before you reach down under.
And you know what the worst is? Once you’re there, there’s just nowhere to go! Unless you want to travel to New Zealand, which is ‘only’ 3 hours away, you’ll have to fly at least 7 to 8 hours to reach Southeast Asia.
Even traveling within Australia itself takes forever. Do you want to go from Sydney to Brisbane? It’s a 1h30 minutes flight or 10 hours drive with no stops.
3. Lack of uniform culture
Because most people living in Australia were born abroad, Australia doesn’t have one uniform culture. Obviously, you’ll find traces of the aboriginal culture in museums, arts, and exhibits.
The western culture of Australia is largely influenced by the British. But the country is very diverse, and you’ll find a lot of Europeans but also Asians and Africans.
Don’t expect to see any beautiful old monuments or castles in Australia. OZ is a very young country made of migrants, which is why you will find so many different cultures.
4. High cost of living
Before you travel down to OZ, you should know that Australia has one of the highest cost of living in the world. From the food to the clothes and the accommodation options, literally, everything is expensive.
When I backpacked around Australia, my daily budget was between $80 and $100 per day. Once you add a couple of activities, such as visiting the Whitsundays, your budget can quickly explode. So if you’re backpacking around, make sure to have a good budget, or you’ll blow up all your money in just a few weeks!
With that being said, Australia has very good wages! So if you’re lucky to be working there, you can really make good money. I personally managed to save around $7,000 in just a few months.
By the way, OZ is also the third most expensive country in the world to buy alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Actually, Australia even has the most expensive smokes in the world. A pack of 20 cigarettes is no less than $20. You might consider giving up those bad habits before heading down under!
5. Conservative people
Australians are really proud of their country, and they will let you know. I have never been less welcomed than in OZ. Let’s be honest, some Australians are clearly racist, and as a backpacker, you will probably notice that.
Immigrating to Australia has become extremely hard. I was told countless times that Australians don’t want anyone in their country, not even Europeans. Which is quite ironic considering that white Australians obviously come from Europe….Yet, they will tell you they are ‘real Australians’. But let’s face it, the real Australians are the Aboriginals. Sorry, mate.
Backpackers are probably one of the reasons why some Australians are racist. There is a huge number of young travelers in Australia. And unfortunately, some of them have the habit of stealing in shops, and just being straight disrespectful.
Before you throw any hate at me, let me be clear. I know only a minority of backpackers are being rude, but let’s face it, they are the ones giving us a bad reputation.
I was a backpacker myself, and I was shocked by the attitude of some other travelers. Clearly, some people do things abroad that they would never do at home. Respecting the country you’re traveling to is the least you can do.
So when going to Australia, be prepared to meet a lot of backpackers. Actually, OZ is probably one of the best countries to travel to alone. You won’t be alone very long, that’s for sure. Look at me, I met my boyfriend the day after I landed in Melbourne. I spent a total of 1 day alone in Australia. So you know, that could happen to you too!
7. Crazy wildlife
It is very well known that Australia is home to some of the most dangerous animals in the world. Between the venomous snakes, deathly spiders and killing birds, Australia definitely is another world. If you stay in the cities, you probably won’t have any encounter with dangerous animals. You will only get to see the beautiful parrots and the cool bats. However, as soon as you set foot outside of a city, there are high chances you’ll see snakes, spiders, koalas (yes, they can be dangerous!), kangaroos, crocodiles, and sharks.
If you do encounter some of these dangerous or poisonous animals, just use some common sense. Never try to touch a wild animal, they are wild for a reason! Don’t forget that animals are afraid of you, more than you are afraid of them. So they will most likely slither off when hearing or seeing you.
You will see signs at the beach to warn swimmers from sharks, jellyfish, and crocodiles. Read the signs, and stay safe.
Vegemite is a food paste made of yeast extract. It’s typically Australian and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or tea. It tastes bitter and salty. If you want to try Vegemite, do it the right way! Spread some butter on a toast, and put a small amount of Vegemite on top.
It can also be used for many other recipes, like Vegemite cheese scrolls or Vegemite and chocolate brownies.
I personally really don’t like the taste of this paste, and I will remember my whole life the day I tried it, that’s for sure. But if you’re going to OZ, trying Vegemite is a must-do!
9. Slow internet
The Australian internet will drive you nuts. If you’re lucky enough to even have some, it’ll probably be very slow. Australian’s broadband is clearly below global average, in fact, it’s even slower than in Kenya. Australia’s broadband technologies and infrastructures are undeveloped, which is why their internet is so slow. Obviously, this can be explained by the fact that the country is extremely big and with a population of only 25 million, upgrading the infrastructures is not really worth it.
To put it into perspective, the average speed limit in Australia is 8.5 Mbps. In Singapore, it’s 60 Mbps. If you stay in the major cities, you’ll most likely get decent internet, sometimes with limited data. However, be prepared to live without wifi in some remote places. Anyway, you’re going to Australia to visit, not to stay on Facebook. So, enjoy!
Despite these few things I disliked in Australia, I can only encourage you to visit this amazing country. Traveling Oz is an adventure like no other. You will surely make awesome friends, meet laid-back people and discover incredible natural wonders. Have you been to Australia? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Are you going to Australia? Don’t forget your travel insurance!
Travel insurance is the only thing I don’t go anywhere without. Your travel insurance covers you against travel risks such as lost or stolen luggage, trip cancellation, and most importantly, unexpected medical costs abroad. I like WorldNomads because they are backed by reputable insurers, have 24h assistance providers, and are affordable. Get a quote and read the policy details to ensure that it’s right for you. For more information, read my travel insurance page.
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