4 Things You Didn’t Know About Travel in Australia
Here are a few Australian surprises covering food, transport and Australia's environment that you might not have known about, but can experience on a trip down under.
Travelling to a new land can throw up all sorts of surprises. It's often interesting to see how one's preconceptions of a place differ from the reality, once one arrives. Here are a few Australian surprises covering food, transport and Australia's environment that you might not have known about, but can experience on a trip down under. Whatever surprises Australia may throw at you, Travel Insurance will be your safety net.
The Australian Outback Can Be Very Remote
Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, but its interior is very sparsely populated. This is great for finding some space to yourself, but not so great should you encounter difficulties. Sometimes there are hundreds of kilometres from one town to the next. What this means is that one needs to be prepared before venturing into the great unknown.
Cars should be in good working order, with spare tyres. An extra fuel tank is also a good idea. Extra food and drink for travellers is also wise. If one does happen to break down, stay with your vehicle in the shade and wait for someone to pass. One can quickly dehydrate if walking out under the outback sun.
An easier way to cut through the heart of Australia is via railways. Railroads opened up continents overseas a century or more ago. Amazingly, Adelaide and Darwin have only just recently been connected by rail. Regions between these two cities are fairly remote and have low populations, so there hasn't been an urgent need for a railway connection from north to south until now.
The Ghan is named after Afghan camel drivers that used to ply this route. It is hoped that the Ghan will increase freight traffic and help service Darwin's trade with Asia.
Your Skin Needs Protecting
Australia receives a lot of sunshine, and locals enjoy soaking this up in the great outdoors. A major downside of this is the fact that Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. This is mentioned, not to put a downer on travel in Australia, but to help visitors be prepared. Remember a commonly known local slogan of "slip, slop, slap" (slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat) to stay safe under the Aussie sun.
An important part of any trip to Australia is learning about the native Aboriginal people, who have occupied this land for an estimated 40,000 years. There are many things to learn about Aborigines, but one thing that tourists can readily sample is their unique food. Aborigines have traditionally eaten a range of berries, nuts and grubs.
Brave travellers can try a witchetty grub, a thick type of worm that aborigines may eat raw!
Aborigines also traditionally hunted kangaroos. This native food has crossed over into the mainstream, and one can enjoy a nice kangaroo steak in an Aussie restaurant or cooked yourself on the barbecue. Kangaroo meat is very lean and can get a little tough if overcooked, so be careful. Other local animals worth sampling are the emu and the crocodile.
Australia is a huge country. While most inhabitants live close to the coasts, there is plenty to explore in the middle of Australia.
Being prepared with Cheap Travel Insurance is worthwhile, but knowing about the items listed above will also help you make the most of travelling through the heart of Australia.
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Wildlife Of The Australian Outback
The Australian Outback is full of very well-adapted wildlife, although much of it may not be immediately visible to the casual observer. Many animals, such as kangaroos and dingoes, hide in bushes to rest and keep cool during the heat of the day.
Birdlife is prolific, most often seen at waterholes at dawn and dusk. Huge flocks of budgerigars, cockatoos, corellas and galahs are often sighted. On bare ground or roads during the winter, various species of snakes and lizards bask in the sun, but they are rarely seen during the summer months.
Feral animals such as camels thrive in central Australia, brought to Australia by the early Afghan drivers. Wild horses known as 'brumbies' are station horses that have run wild. Feral pigs, foxes, cats and rabbits are also imported animals that degrade the environment, so time and money is spent eradicating them in an attempt to help protect fragile rangelands.
Australian Environs Serviced By The Ghan
Darwin - Katherine - Tennant Creek - Alice Springs - Kulgera - Northern Territory / South Australia border - Chandler - Marla - Coober Pedy (Manguri) - Tarcoola - Kingoonya - Pimba - Port Augusta - Coonamia near Port Pirie - Adelaide (Parklands Terminal)
Slip-Slop-Slap is the name of a health campaign in Australia exhorting people to "slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat" when they go out into the sun, in order to protect themselves against an increased risk of skin cancer. It is probably Australia's most recognizable health message.
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