Aussie Lifestyle and Culture – synonymous for fun

Australia’s travel icons exert a pull so strong that we’re willing to travel halfway across the world – and sometimes more – just to tick off Sydney’s Opera House and Uluru from our bucket lists. But when you’re done sightseeing, what then? For those of us who’ve endured tough winters, short days and long hours at work, a trip to Oz offers escapism, sunshine and most important of all, the chance to experience Aussie lifestyle and culture and have fun.

Aussie Lifestyle and Culture: Fun in the Sun at Bronte Beach, Sydney
Fun in the Sun at Bronte Beach, Sydney: Photo on Flickr by Paul Carmona / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Aussie Lifestyle and Culture

If your plan is to emulate the Aussie lifestyle and culture, then you might be interested to learn that an estimated 80% of Australian adults gamble in some way, whether it’s a flutter on an Aussie Rules footie match or a spin on the pokies. For those without a firm grasp of Aussie slang, that’s poker machines to you: the one armed bandits that feature in their thousands along the country’s east coast. In fact, you don’t even have to wait until you arrive, or leave your hotel room. Sites like mansion.com have sprung up across the internet offering the chance to try your luck at classic games like online roulette or online poker for cash prizes. You won’t always win, of course, but stick to what you can afford and it can be a lot of fun.

Aussie Lifestyle and Culture: Job done (and a selfie) at the 2015 AFL Grand Final in Melbourne
Job done (and a selfie) at the 2015 AFL Grand Final in Melbourne: Photo on Flickr by David Brewster / CC BY-NC 2.0

Two-Up

But if you’re looking for the classic Australian gambling game, then a strong contender has got to be Two-up, most closely associated with the mining towns of Kalgoorlie and Broken Hill. In fact, while you can play countrywide on Anzac day, it’s only in these two towns where you can legally experience Two-up year-round. If you’re curious, the game involves betting on which way two pennies will land after being thrown by a spinner inside a ring. It’s considered such a part of Aussie culture that a game even featured as part of the Tin Symphony segment in the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games held in 2000.

Aussie Lifestyle and Culture: Two-up Anzac Day Australia
Playing Two-up on Anzac Day: Photo on Flickr by Chris Murray / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Melbourne Cup or Birdsville?

One of the best known events for those feeling lucky is the Melbourne Cup, a fixture on the city’s social calendar each November since 1861.

Aussie Lifestyle and Culture: Red Cadeaux 2013 Melbourne Cup
Red Cadeaux 2013 Melbourne Cup: Photo on Flickr by Henry Ruuskanen / CC BY 2.0

If you’re in search of a quirkier travel experience along the same lines, however, then head up to Queensland. Each September the tiny Outback town of Birdsville has held its own race meeting since 1882 with 6000 or so punters from across Australia swelling its tiny 100-strong resident population for the weekend. As well as the races themselves, there’s a truck load of entertainment scheduled with everything from a cocktail party to a fun run laid on.

Aussie Lifestyle and Culture: High Fashion on Birdsville Race Day South Australia
High Fashion on Birdsville Race Day: Photo on Flickr by Geoffrey Rhodes / CC BY 2.0

Henley on Todd or Cane Toad Racing?

If you can’t wait that long, then the Henley-on-Todd regatta, held in Alice Springs every August, sees competitors race homemade boats along the dried up river bed in what’s surely the epitome of daft Aussie humour and all in aid of charity.

Henley-on-Todd Boat Races Alice Springs Northern Territory Australia
Henley-on-Todd Boat Races in Alice Springs: Photo on Flickr by portengaround / CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s got competition, of course. Head up to Queensland and seek out the Iron Bar on Port Douglas’ main street. There you can participate in cane toad racing in between courses, a novel approach to dealing with what amounts to a feral pest. The food’s not half bad, but it will be the thrill of the racing you’ll remember.

Cane Toad Races in Queensland Australia
Cane Toad Races in Queensland: Photo on Flickr by ccdoh1 / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

About Richard Wolskel

Website: http://www.newzealand.com.au

Richard is a UK expat Sandgroper. As owner of Go New Zealand he has been a frequent traveller to New Zealand and the “Land of the Long White Cloud”. His love of travel has taken him to all points of the globe, and loves learning about new cultures, hiking on remote trails, meeting the locals, and experiencing life in other countries.

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar for Richard Wolskel

    Thomas

    I knew Aussies love to gamble but I didn’t think it was so much. Working in an events promotion company in London, I have attended some foreign culture events, and in one of those event I was told that Australian people lost 17 billions australian dollars in 2015! Australians are those who spend the most in a year gambling.

    Thomas @ Jorlio.com

    Reply
    • Avatar for Richard Wolskel

      Richard Wolskel

      The figure I had was 26 billion aussie dollars last year, or $1,000 for every person…including infants. That’s a staggering amount. Can’t say I am helping the national average though!

      Reply

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