10 best things about living in Australia

Arrow sign with Australia nailed to a tree that has to branch forks at the top

I am an Australian born to Italian migrants who came here after World War Two. I love this country and I feel so grateful that we are generally a peaceful and happy nation. We still have our issues but as a democratic society with free speech, these issues are always discussed, debated and protested about in a safe environment.

When there is a natural disaster, and we have plenty of them, cyclones, bushfires and floods we band together as a community to support and help. When our farmers are experiencing drought we come together to lend a hand.

We love our sport, our beaches, our unique animals and plants and our diverse landscapes. We love to celebrate with family and friends, eat, drink and be merry.


We are laid back.

We are a pretty happy bunch.


We aren’t perfect and we have made some pretty bad decisions historically such as the treatment of our indigenous communities. That’s why the quote from Tom Dystra is included. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have looked after this land so majestically for 60, 000 years before Europeans settled here. As Australians, we need to ensure we protect and nourish this great land of ours too. Now and for our future generations.

And … it did take our Government a while to legislate same-sex marriages but we got there in the end.

As a nation we are still young but we are free. We are compassionate and we will help out another Aussie when it’s needed. We are multicultural and we acknowledge our first citizens. We have great sportsmen and women, amazing artists, gifted Scientists and health professionals, dedicated and talented teachers and thinkers and, we have had some amazing leaders.

To use the words out of our National Anthem, let’s Advance Australia Fair.

10 things I love about Australia


The light

Jacaranda Trees and blue sky
Jacaranda Trees

Every time I land in Australia after being overseas the one thing that always stands out is the light. It’s bright and clear. The Australian sunlight became the emblem of a burgeoning nationalism. It was a new style of art coming out of the late 19th Century artist and was the basis of the Heidelberg School (Art Gallery NSW). These artists new a good thing when they saw it.

Painintg by Arthur Merric called Shoalhaven No.9 - River bank and river with white ghost gums and a cockatoo about to land on a branch. Deep blue sky
Arthur Merric Boyd Bloomfield – Shoalhaven No. 9

The Weather

T

The twelve apostles. Cliffs and ocean
The Twelve Apostles Victoria Australia

The weather is perfect. Just perfect. Sunny days and blue skies most of the year. Summer brings balmy evenings. There is nothing more fabulous than sitting on the verandah watching the sun go down with a cold Pinot Gris or an icy cold beer. Add in some Antipasta with crusty bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic and you have the perfect wind down after work or a fun evening with friends.

The Indigenous culture

Aboriginal Dot painting circle in the middle and 4 wavy lines moving to the diaganol and thiner wavy lines moving to the side and a collection of  smaller dot images scattered around the painiting
Aboriginal dot painting

โ€œWe cultivated our land, but in a way different from the white man. We endeavoured to live with the land; they seemed to live off it.โ€

Tom Dystra

A wonderfully rich culture. Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders are true first people of this land. They have a special and spiritual connection to the land. Their commitment and kinship to family and community is strong, unique and precious.

Their rich culture is filled with song and Dreamtime stories that are vibrant and rich. The stories teach and explain about the natural wonders and the unique animals that exist in Australia. How they were created. The greatest is their creation story The Rainbow Serpent. As a young kid, I remember my beautiful Italian mother taking me to the library for the first time in Canterbury, an inner-city suburb of Sydney, for Storytime and to borrow books. The Rainbow Serpent was the story. From that moment one I was hooked. I have been mesmorised and fascinated about this wonderful indigenous culture that we are blessed to have as part of our cultural makeup.

Dreaming is more than a mythical past; it prescribes our connection as Aboriginal people with the spiritual essence of everything around us and beyond us. Dreaming stories are not in the past, they are outside of time โ€“ always present and giving meaning to all aspects of life.

http://www.shareourpride.org.au/sections/beyond-the-myths/


With a culture that is the oldest in the world, The Aboriginal people have occupied this land for over 60,000 years. Aboriginal peoples have coexisted with this beautiful land and have managed the land in a sustainable manner.

Bangarra Dance Company

Multiculturalism

Multicultural spectators holding the Australian Flags
Australia Day Celebrations

I am from an Italian family. My parents migrated here after WW2. Growing up I had a rich Italian culture that folded into the Australian way of life. My friends were, and continue to be Greek, Maltese, Chinese, Hungarian, Croatian and Italian. Australia is richer because of its diversity. Our community is filled with a broad range of people from all walks of life and backgrounds, There is a richness in our communities and every major city will have its own Cultural Festivals. The restaurants are amazing and there is always an opportunity to learn another Language or perfect your own.

When I lived in Sydney I worked at a Catholic Girls School and I use to shop in this Deli!
Source: SBS News 13 July 2012 Reporter: Katrina Yu

It wasnโ€™t easy growing up as a kid in the 1970s. As an Italian kid, my life was rich. There was some Racism during my childhood, especially in the 1970s when we moved away from a Suburb filled with other migrants to a newly established Suburb north-west of Sydney. We were teased because our lunches were different and my Sicilian mother would converse passionately in her dialect to us. Over the past 45 years, I have watched Australia grow into a Nation that accepts all people and all cultures. We are a harmonious society filled with cultures from many lands.

Passata Day in January in Italian backyards with family and friends. An Italian tradition continued in Australia by Italian Migrants

The unique animals

Eastern Grey Kangaroos - Mother and  juvenile kangaroo
Eastern Grey Kangaroo

What more can I say. We have the cutest, the strangest and the deadliest animals in the world. I love that we have such unique animals. We have the echidna and platypus. Monotremes that are mammals that lay eggs but feed their babies with milk. Or the Marsupials that give birth to an embryo in their pouch and then grows and develops inside. Beautiful creatures such as Kangaroos, Koalas, Possums, Tasmanian Devils and Wombats.

I love when we take drives out of Brisbane and see the Wallabies at dusk feeding on the side of the road. On our honeymoon nearly 25 years ago we saw an echidna walk across the path in front of us in Cradle Mountain Tasmania. Here in Brisbane, Koalas are protected and supported in ensuring their numbers do not reduce drastically due to habitat loss at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Daisy Hill Koala Sanctuary.

I have seen and heard Tasmania Devils scream. They do sound like devils possessed. In my neighbourhood, Ringtail Possums wonder around at night. In fact, we have one who walks underneath our balcony on the overhang from one end of the building to the other. I have yet to see a Platypus. But these are very elusive.

If you want to see more and discover that we have a Tree Kangaroo then you must watch the Magical Land of Oz. It is a beautifully shot documentary about the unique wildlife of Australia. It is fabulous, interesting and narrated by another Australia icon, Barry Humphries.

Magical land of Oz – ABC & Iview 10 February 2019

โ€œA platypus is a duck designed by a committee.โ€

Anon

The natural environment

Coastal clifts and the sea entering from the middle and spanning wide. A sandy pure white sand sits on the beach in the foreground. The water is crystal clear and the sky is a bright blue trees gro on the clifftops

Travelling overseas is a pretty big thing for us Australians. Mainly because everything is so far away and it takes so long to get anywhere, especially to Europe and the United States. Well, not New Zealand. For us, it’s like popping over to visit a neighbour. But that’s okay because we have so many amazing places to visit that Mother Nature has provided for us.

We have rainforests in Queensland. The Rainforests in Australia are the oldest ones on earth. We have amazing beaches with the whitest, softest sand. We have the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Uluru and Katherine Gorge in the Northern Territory, the Blue Mountains in NSW, The Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Cradle Mountain and Franklin River in Tasmania just to name a few. We have beaches, and forests, rivers and sweeping plains.

Australian Sunset on a river with the poem:I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains,
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror โ€“
The wide brown land for me
Dorothea Mackellar (1904
Dorothea Mackellar “I Love a Sunburnt Country”

The people

Australians celebrating with a BBQ
Australians love to celebrate

Us Aussies are a friendly bunch. We love to socialise with friends and family. A BBQ, meet up at the pub, a picnic or brunch is the perfect excuse to enjoy the company of others.

When others are in trouble we band together to help them out. We are accepting and we give people a go.

Australia is just so full of surprises

Bill Bryson

The road trips

I have spent my entire married life with my husband taking road trips around New South Wales. We have also taken memorable road trips around Tasmania during our honeymoon and when visiting again ten years later with our daughter. Now that we live in Queensland we have a whole new State to continue our love of road trips and visit new places. Australia has so many unique and exciting places to visit all of them unique to each other. We plan to visit the rest of this nation and still need to go to South Australia Northern Territory, Western Australia and Victoria. There is nothing better than driving through this majestic land of ours, stopping into towns on the way for lunch and Devonshire tea or a cold beer at a pub and meeting new people.

Australian countryside. Wooden fences and Wood Shed
The Australian countryside

The Arts

Australia is home to world-class theatre, film and art. We have been privileged to have and continue to have talented artists, musicians, actors, dancers, photographers and writers. In Australia, we find our cultural and political voice on our stages, our canvases, our studios and on in front of and behind the camera. When we have a point to make, to protest we use our art forms as a platform to extend our opinions and beliefs and values. We fight for justice, highlight adversities and champion for the minority through our novels, poems, scripts, paintings, photography. Through choreography, paint strokes, the pen and performance we extend our voices. The Art is always unique and strongly Australian.

Abstract Art on Beach Installation: a white chair cut in half and placed on the canvas that has a red desert with mulga bushes scattered across it and a deep bue sky.
Australia Abstract Art Installation

The States and Territories

Brighton Beach Bathing Huts
Brighton Beach Bathing Houses – Melbourne

I have been fortunate to visit most of NSW. Born and bred in Sydney it was my background and so road trips, weekends away and holidays were more accessible and cheaper. We toured most of Tasmania. On our Honeymoon and on a family holiday ten years later. Living in Brisbane we have a new State to explore. Australia has six states: Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia; and two Territories: ACT and Northern Territory. Each State and territory have a lot to offer. Places of interests, natural environments and cities that have their own characteristics and culture.

The brilliance of our  States and Territories 

Disclaimer … the following is only a small amount of some of the places, wildlife and people that are wonderful, unique and fabulous in our States and Territories!!

Queensland The Sunshine State

Queensland is just perfect. Perfect weather. Perfect places to visit. The people are the friendliness on the Eastern seaboard. It is home to The Great Barrier Reef one of the great wonders of the world. It has the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast with pristine clean beaches and fabulous surf. It is the food bowl of Australia. It is home to the oldest rainforests in the world. Luscious tropical islands frame the Northern subtropical coastline.

Source: DownUnderKid91 Published 28 February 2010
Top image: Koala
Left: Coocktown Orchid
Right: Brolga
Queensland State Animal: Koala
Flora: Cook Town orchid
Fauna: Brolga

New South Wales The First State

The first state to be settled by Europeans in 1788 it has both gorgeous natural and man-made icons. NSW has the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. In winter the world acclaimed Vivid Light and Music Festival illuminates the Sydney winter sky. You can play on the beaches on the Far North, Central and Southern Coasts or ski to your heart’s content in winter in the Snowy Mountains. Thredbo and Perisher welcome all ski bunnies and dudes. It has historical country towns in the West and Byron Bay with its alternative culture and the Blues Festival.

Source: matthew Vandeputte Published 12 July 2016
New South Wales State Animal: Platypus
Flora: Waratah
Fauna: Kookaburrs

VictoriaThe Garden State

Victoria is known and loved for its quaint country towns that are dotted across the State. You have the quintessential coffee and cafe culture. The iconic Laneway Festival was born in Melbourne. It is home to the protected Fairy Penguins that call Phillip Island their home. There’s the MCG and Aussie Rules Football and the majestic and beautiful Mornington Peninsula and The Great Ocean Road. It has historically been home to the highest Greek population outside of Greece.

Source Viator Published 3 March 2014

Victoria State Animal: Leadbeaters Possum
Flora: Common Heath
Fauna: Helmeted Honeyeater

TasmaniaThe Apple Isle

This island State off the southern coast of Australia is the country’s gem. Of all the States and Territories it has the largest protected wilderness areas. The Franklin River, Cradle Moutain and Wine Glass Bay are just the tip of the natural environment that takes your breath away. It has a rich Convict History and emerging world-class wine industry. The State is home to a rich arts culture with the Moma and its theatre culture. This is currently the fastest growing State economically. Australians are discovering a good thing when they see it. If you love sailing then there’s the annual Boxing Day Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. South of Hobart lies the Huon Valley filled with artisan food and crafts. The Historic Port Arthur is an important part of the Australiana Convict History and a world heritage listed site. A Place of contrast with the beauty of its location and violent history. When we visited we found it a ghostly mood about it.

Source: Matilda Published 12 February 2018

State Flower: Tasmanian Blue Gum
Unique Animals: Tasmanian Devil and Quolls

South AustraliaThe Festival State

The capital city of Adelaide was previously known as the City of Churches. South Australia is the only State settled by free settlers. This State has a lot of eclectic wilderness. There is the wacky town of Cooper Pedy found in the outback north of Adelaide. The majestic Kangaroo island in the Southern Ocean and the Barossa Valley where some of the best wines are produced for both the Australian and World markets. They have the world famous Fringe Festival. The arid and beautiful Lake Eyre whic is a great salt lake is found in the north of the State. It is normally dry but when it floods every eight to ten years it becomes a breathtaking oasis.

Source: Every Day is a Journey Published 22 November 2015
South Australia State Animal: Hairy-nosed Wombat
Flora: Stuarts Desert Pea
Fauna: Magpie

Western AustraliaThe Real Thing

Western Australia is a State that occupies the entire Western side of the Australian Continent. It is our largest State. Perth is considered the world’s most isolated city. Western Australian Gold Mine in the Pilbara Region is home to the purest Dingo population. In the north, there is Broome with the world famous Cable Beach and camel rides. The Swan River in Perth is home to the majestic Black Swan. Rottnest Island located off the coast of Perth in the Atlantic Ocean is home to the adorable Quokkas and home to Southern Fur Seas and the Australian Sea lions. This State also has a world-class wine region in the Margaret River. The coast line is home to some of the best surf in the world.

Source: World Wanderers Published 5 November 2017
Western Australian State Animal: Numbat
Flora Red and Green Kangaroo Paw
Fauna: Black Swan

Northern TerritoryOutback Australia

The most poignant and beautiful Territory. It has the youngest population in any Capital city in Australia. It is filled with breath-taking wilderness unique to Australia and the world. Everything in this Territory is big and majestic such as Katherine Gorge and Kakadu National Park. It is home to ancient Aboriginal rock paintings and has a rich Aboriginal culture. It is home to the sacred Aboriginal site of Uluru and the Alice Springs Camel races. Darwin was the only city that was affected by World War 2 when it was bombed by the Japanese. It is hot and humid in Summer and mild in Winter. The territory experiences Monsoon weather and cyclones along it’s northern coastline but expereinces loads of Sunshine.

Source: Australian Geographic Published 24 February 2014
Northern Territory Animal: Red Kangaroo
Flora: Stuarts Desert Rose
Fauna: Wedgetail Eagle

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)The Bush Capital

The home of our Nationโ€™s capital Canberra. This is where our Federal Government resides. The ACT was designed by American architect Walter Burley Griffith and has the widest, and most functional streets in any capital city in Australia or the world. Its layout is in the shape of a wheel spoke design rather than the traditional grid system. In the centre of the city is the man-made Lake Burley Griffith which was created in 1963 when the Molonglo River was damned. It was chosen as a site in the middle between Sydney and Melbourne. The most poignant place in ACT is the War Memorial. Surrounding Canberra is rich and viable rural farming lands. It is the only city in Australia that experience four distinct seasons due to its distance for the coastline.

Source: Jason Chami Published 19 June 2013
Australian Capital Territory Animal: Gang Gang Cockatoo
Flora: Royal Bluebell
The Nation’s Flag

If you are an Aussie, or are living in Australia, or have visited Australia what do you love about this wonderful country? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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