Potential visitors to these shores may have heard some myths and rumours about our great land – most of them originating from the Australian Tourist Commission. So if you’re thinking of coming for a visit, here are a few of the most common myths debunked.
Australia is a remote destination
In the early 21st century the tyranny of distance is no longer the impediment that it once was to Australia’s engagement with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, many Australians still think that we’re living in the early 20th century.
Australians use bad language
This may be a problem of perception. Many Australians often use what others might consider to be swear words just to cement the bonds of mateship. So a bushie might greet his cobber with the salutation ‘G’day you old bastard, how’s it going?’ Or a wife might greet her husband returning late from the office with the salutation ‘What time do you call this, asshole?’
We’re the world’s most sports mad nation
This has become part of our national identity, that Australians love sport. But if you’ve seen Nick Kyrgios, you know that we are not very sporting.
Australia is home to a lot of dangerous creatures
There are on average only two deaths in Australia each year from snake bites. And there hasn’t been a death from a spider bite since 1981. But each year Australians manage to kill about 200 other Australians.
We have five or six world class vintage whinge regions
Australians are justifiably proud of our vintage whinge industry, and if you asked anyone they’d easily be able to name the region where most of that whinge is produced – Far North Queensland. But as results in the recent election have shown, now everyone is getting in on the act.
Qantas keeps the best time in the world
Qantas is proud of the fact that its planes always leave on time. This unmatched record has become a source of national pride. However people are wondering, why it is that even though the planes leave on time, they always seem to arrive late?
Sydney built the Opera House because we’re all opera mad.
No. We’re not.
We have the world’s longest straight road
We used to, but not any longer. St Kilda Boulevard in Melbourne has more gay clubs on it than any other stretch of bitumen in the southern hemisphere.
Australia is welcoming to overseas migrants
‘Yeah mate, come on over, I’ll throw another shrimp on the barbie for ya.’ That was Paul Hogan’s famous phrase. But when you’re a refugee trying to get here on a leaky boat, you’ll end up being detained indefinitely on Manus Island. This is another source of national pride.