Crikey! Are you feeling like it will be an eternity until you’ll hop on a plane to Oz for a quick getaway? Cheer up, mate. Here’s how to visit Australia without leaving your couch. And the best part? You won’t have to choose between the destinations you wish to experience in the vast, adventure-filled country. You can do it all!
Synonymous with the unexpected, Oz is a land where the ancient culture of the Aboriginal Australians provides a unique history of volatile desert plains, impossibly blue waters, and rich wine regions.
Can’t decide if you want to wander the deserted beaches and star-gaze in a caravan at one of the national parks in the vast expanse of Western Australia? Or wander remote hiking trails in the beautiful untamed heartland, enjoy the heat of Southern Australia’s wine scene, food and art festivals? Perhaps you want to lose yourself in the frenzy of the East Coast’s Great Barrier Reef, surfing, enchanting road-tripping, walking endless beaches, and experiencing the thrill of trendy cities?
Don’t worry, from Sydney Opera House tours to Koala cuddles, from Coral Coast to Uluru to The Great Barrier Reef you can do it all. There are a few things we’ll have to take care of before we do it all and go everywhere, though.
First off, let’s learn to speak the language. It’s best to just drop the ends of words. Like if you’re going to the barber, drop the ‘r’ and replace it with a short ‘a’, and hey! You’re speaking Australian. Don’t forget to add lots of vowels too. For example, the word ‘future’ becomes fee-you-cha! Make those vowels dance, too––a’s become ‘eh’s’ and e’s become ‘i’s’.
Here’s What To Read & Watch
Read Liane Moriarty’s best-selling novel Big Little Lies then binge-watch the eight Emmy and four Golden Globe-winning series on Netflix. The series (produced by Reese Witherspoon) brought her beautiful Ozzie sister, Nicole Kidman, onboard and helped Liana gain recognition in her home country of Australia.
Anything written by Margo Lanagan will enchant, especially Singing My Sister Down, a collection of hard-hitting short stories including ones about how a piece of the moon is buried and how Wee Willie Winkie brings a walking nightmare. Her stories are guarantee to stay with you.
But don’t be scared! How about a virtual cuddle with a cute koala on a Livestream or hand-feed some kangaroos in the gorgeous natural setting of Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. You’ll enjoy being able to support their conservation efforts with giggles and smiles that transcend travel.
If you like your adventure under the sea, check out David Attenborough’s virtual tour of the Great Barrier Reef. You won’t even have to get wet! See and even hear the reef, and watch as it changes hour-by-hour. Discover its beauty and uncertain future while learning the crucial steps that can be taken to save this unique underwater world, home to tens of thousands of different species––a living network of incredible complexity, and unique relationships.
Landlubbers will enjoy a virtual trek at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, one of the most sacred hikes in all of Australia. The virtual tour is led by indigenous Australians and will help you discover the cultural history of the parks as you deep dive into your own journey.
Music lovers will enjoy checking out some virtual experiences at the Sydney Opera House. This tour is entitled “The Unseen House” and will provide a provocative, behind-the-scenes look you would never have experienced had you not been able to travel, featuring a performance by soprano Nicole Car.
What To Listen To
Flight of Fancy on iTunes (Traveller.com.au) is produced by a bunch of Ozzies dishing travel from their “little isolation pods”. Lately, they’ve been reflecting on travel in this new world and how it might mean that travel may never be the same again, and that’s actually a good thing. We’ve become comfortable with open borders. Now that they are closed we have time to reflect on the treasure and fragility of travel and how we can now dream and feel more grateful for the travels we have made and the ones that will be coming in the future.
Australian Histories podcast latest chronicles talk about an aboriginal warrior. Usually humorous and filled with quirky humour, this episode is a little more hard-hitting. “Jandamarra was a Bunuba man, from the Kimberly region in Western Australia, who has been called both an outlaw and a hero. It’s a story of the conflict between the indigenous peoples, and the newcomers to Australia; a chapter in what we more lately call the Frontier Wars.” ––show notes.
What To Eat And Drink
Vegemite might be in short supply where you live, but you could always throw some shrimp on the barbie! But don’t stop at Vegemite, there’s a whole world of weird and wonderful food to digest before your next flight or sail to OZ. We have lots of work to do here. (Explore all you like, virtual food doesn’t have any calories!)
Well, you’ve undoubtedly heard of beer! Okay, so beer isn’t really that weird, but the sheer quantity in which they guzzle and play some of their favourite drinking games means you need to do your research here. You can perfect their tradition of pouring a cold Fosters in a ‘stubby’, a short glass designed to be able to drink fast enough to keep the brew out of the room-temperature danger zone.
But you’re really in it for the wine. Enjoy your favourite Australian blend whilst taking a virtual walk in the famous Margaret River Wine region, then splash with stingrays in Hamelin Bay, Western Australia. Our picks for best sips of the year include 2020 Australian award winners including Tasmania’s House of Arras sparkling, at 99 points; McLaren Vale’s Grenache and Shiraz, and 97-point Yara Valley Pinot Noirs that stand up to any of the complex red wines of the world at a fraction of the price.
Top it all off with a Lamington, the national dessert of Australia. This square-shaped sponge cake, layered in chocolate icing and coconut shavings is the perfect afternoon tea treat. Or maybe try a Fantale, a sticky chewy caramel sweet from Nestle that’s coated in milk chocolate. The wrapper always has a bit of movie trivia inside too. A great treat for movie nights! ◼