8 Things That Could Only Happen in Australia

January 25, 2016 by Lauren Burvill

‘Unique’ is a word that comes naturally to Australia. It applies to the landscape which runs the gamut from tropical to desert, bustling cities to deserted beaches and even snow-capped mountains (yes, it snows in Australia). It describes the country’s humour and the inherent laid-back attitude, even in the face of adversity. It applies to its wildlife which is unlike anything you’ll ever see, and its culture which spans the dawn of time to the present day.

All in all, there are plenty of unique things to find in Australia; here are just a few of our favourites:

Vegemite Chocolate

People actually love Vegemite

Australian’s love Vegemite. So much so it’s not just a default spread for sandwiches, but also a beloved ingredient that can be used in everything from chocolate to our national cake – Lamingtons.

Jayne's swag (Image: Jayne Gorman)

Jayne’s swag (Image: Jayne Gorman)

You can sleep under the stars on the Great Barrier Reef…

With balmy weather and plenty of space, camping is a national past time in Australia. So leave it to the Aussies to take their favourite past time and put it on their favourite natural landmark. The Reefsleep experience by Cruise Whitsundays will see you not just spend two days on the Great Barrier Reef, but also spend the night there, under the stars, tucked up in a ‘swag’ on a floating pontoon. Read more about the Reefsleep.

…and climb the world’s highest steel-arch bridge

Nicknamed by Australians as ‘The Coathanger’ for its distinctive shape, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia’s most distinctive icons. Standing at 134 metres above sea level, it’s also the world’s highest steel-arch bridge. To climb it, you’ll need to walk up 1,332 steps! It’s worth the effort though: at the top you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views across Sydney. Experience it on our Sydney holidays.

There’s an Australian Prime Minister known for sculling pints…

Bob Hawke served as Australia’s Prime Minister from 1983 to 1991. But before he had the top job he was famed for his skill for sculling beer, previously holding the World Guinness Book of Record for downing 2.5 pints in 11 seconds.

via GIPHY

…and a Breakfast TV host known for being drunk

Karl Stefanovic is the host of Channel 9’s Today Show and is set to be your new favourite Australian. While he can demonstrate journalistic integrity, he’s also no stranger to TV antics. He’s been drunk on air after partying all night at a TV awards show, he’s interviewed Grumpy Cat, told the Dalai Lama a Dalai Lama joke, and once ate the hottest pie on live TV. #straya

“I asked for STILL water!” (Image: facebook.com/Qantas)

“I asked for STILL water!” (Image: facebook.com/Qantas)

Quokkas are selfie famous and koalas fly in Business Class

As an island, much of Australia’s wildlife can only be found in Australia. Like the sugar glider, a tiny possum with webbed sides that allow it to glide from tree to tree. Or the quokka – a small marsupial from Western Australia beloved for its cheery smile and being easy to take a selfie with. And then of course there’s the famous koala, a sleepy tree-living marsupial that’s no stranger to flying Business Class with Qantas.

Desert Cave Hotel

The Desert Cave Hotel

There’s a town that exists entirely underground…

We all dream of Australia’s warm weather but in some parts, like Coober Pedy in South Australia, it’s too warm to bear. Instead of leaving the region the town, which is rich with opals but can reach up to 40ᵒC, was set up completely underground. There’s an underground church, underground art gallery, underground homes and even an underground hotel.

Inner sanctum. #monamuseum Photo by @ffourie

A photo posted by Museum of Old and New Art (@monamuseum) on

…a prestigious art gallery carved into cliff…

There’s much more to Australian culture than the typical beer and barbecue. For instance, Australia is home to not one but two prestigious art galleries. The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane is a world-class museum which has hosted a number of notable exhibitions, including the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Valentino Retrospective and Andy Warhol. The other is the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania. Located within the Moorilla winery and carved three storeys down into the side of a cliff, the gallery is the largest privately-funded museum in Australia and thus has hosted a number of controversial exhibitions.

A boat race in the desert Image: Henley on Todd Regatta Facebook

A boat race in the desert (Image: Henley-on-Todd Regatta Facebook)

…and a regatta in the desert

In true Australian style, the event started out as a joke on the British and grew to become a famed tradition. The Henley-on-Todd Regatta is held annually in August in the remote, landlocked town of Henley. The Regatta involves a number of humorous boat-type races held on dry land, as well as a beach sprint, and sandskiing. Only in Australia…


Experience what makes Australia unique with our tailor-made Australia holidays which include flights, accommodation, transport and myriad unique and superior experiences.


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5 Ways to See the Great Barrier Reef

10 Foods You Have to Try in Australia

About Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.