A locals knowledge for visiting the land down under
|Living in Australia, gives you a unique and unusual perspective on the world. For example, we look up to the rest of the world from "down under".
Let us look at how Australian's have learned to be so laid back and comfortable, alright we admit it we are all crazy. We have no borders, we are all one big happy family, you can get up in the morning and start driving and three days later still be in the same country, in one state you can drive for 2 days and still be in the same state. We are separated from our neighbours by sea and ocean, this is actually for their protection not ours. Lets face it, this whole continent is nuts.
What exactly is Australia, are we, are we the world's biggest island, or the world's smallest continent, yes to both.
Australia is home to over 80% of the world's most deadliest snakes, we have more poisonous spiders than any where else, matter of fact we only developed an anti-venom to one of our spider bites in the 1980's.
We are the 2nd driest continent on the planet, with very little freestanding water, only Antarctica has less.
Our animals are unique and a little mixed up as well, our wombats (we like to think of them as the world's largest gophers), are known to destroy cars, trucks and the occasional army tank. The Kangaroo is an animal that is too lazy to walk anywhere, so it just hops, even it's kids have learned to hop in the trunk and go for a ride.
We have the most mixed up animals in the world, one of our animals has the beak of a duck, the tail of a beaver, poison spurs, lays eggs and feeds it's young on milk. The other one has spikes all over its body, also lays eggs and feeds it young on milk.
Then we have one of the most dangerous animals on the planet, the Koala, this cute and cuddly creature, looks quiet and harmless. Don't believe it for an instant, this animal is the biggest stoner on the planet. It gets narced off it face on gum leaves and falls out of the trees, if you are unlucky enough to be under it, it will then wake from its drug induced coma and attack you with three inch claws.
If that's not enough, even our gum trees are designed to kill you. As Gum Trees grow taller, they drop their branches, (the idea is that lower branches aren't necessary as the forest grows), so these large branches drop off suddenly, more than one unlucky camper has pitched his tent under a tree and got a nasty awakening, or never woken up. This is not the end of the Gum Trees danger, the Gum Trees are all Eucallypts and one thing a Eucalypt loves is a drink, and as a byproduct of this drinking is the need to perfume the air with the smell of Eucalypts. Unfortunately the Eucalyptus is actually highy flammable turning the very air around gum trees into airborne incencdiary.
Now, let us suppose that as a young Australian, you have managed to avoid, being bitten by a snake, or a spider (little word of caution here, the outback toilet, or Dunny, is often the home of Redback Spiders, this little ladies loves to live under the toilet seat, so before you park your arse, just lift it up and make sure there are none there), you have managed to avoid being killed by hitting a wombat on the road, or have a kangaroo hop into the windscreen of your car a 60mph, and think you'll take a nice rest by the beach or a freshwater lake.
Nope, this country is not finished with you yet, just look at lakes, here by the cool edge of a billabong, we have the Freshwater Crocodile, (another of the worlds deadliest), ready and waiting for someone to take a paddle, if the freshie misses you, our snakes also love to swim.
So you decide to go to the beach, nice and safe there, you would think, but you are in Australia there is nowhere safe, in the oceans surrounding the world's largest beach, we have 23 different types of shark, 6 of them recorded man eaters (well woman eaters, too, our sharks are nothing if not equal opportunists), but don't be too alarmed our sharks are the friendliest sharks in the world, nothing they enjoy more than a little leg pull, and despite what you read in the papers, they are only fatal if they bite you.
If the sharks don't get you the Irikandji Jelly Fish waiting in the northern waters, their sting can be fatal if enough stingers get you, but whether fatal or not, it is extremetly painful. Hot water is the best thing for them, you could try urine, but the hot water is better.
So you decide to stick to the rock pools and shallows, safe bet anywhere else, but you are in Australia, in our rock pools we have cute little octopus called the Blue Ringed Octopus, looks cute and harmless, until the little blue rings appear, then its bite is so quick, painful and nasty that you only have a short time to find help, or its all over.
So now you know why Australians think of themselves as the lucky country, if you are lucky enough to survive to puberty, you are bloody lucky.