Posted by: peterhact | July 31, 2012

Welcome to Australia! A guide for new arrivals.

New arrivals to Australia means that you chose to come here for a holiday, you are an immigrant, you are a refugee. Doesn’t matter why, you are here now.


There are a couple of things to be aware of, important things about this country, its flora, fauna and the people.

Lets start with the country.

1. Australia is a very big place. It is massive. There are wide expanses of nothing, no towns, no cities, just a road. Consequently, there is a distinct lack of water in the interior of this big country. Australia has deserts, mountain ranges and in these areas, things do grow here, but if you are new to Australia, eating any of the plants you find will probably kill you, so don’t bother.

Closer to the Ocean, there are cities, there are towns, there is an abundance of water and plants. Again, don’t eat the plants, if you don’t know what it is, it will probably kill you as well. That isn’t to say that there aren’t towns in the interior, but they are very widely spaced out.

Most new arrivals never go anywhere near the centre of Australia. For that matter, neither do the locals. Some older Australians become a strange nomad called the grey nomad, who travel in herds of caravan pulling cars, motor homes and set up camp where the view is good, and there are already signs of other grey nomads. These people have decided to see the bits of Australia that they read about in magazines. Unfortunately, those places disappeared when the magazines were published. many are friendly, but there is the odd few who don’t like change. By change, I mean anyone who is not like them. Steer clear of them. They will say all manner of nasty things about you, even though they have never seen you before.

2. The Flora of australia is designed by nature to survive in dry places, wet places like rainforests, and everything in between. Most of the australian native plants are going to hurt you in some way – either by being covered by prickly leaves or being toxic. Eucalypts are very toxic. Koalas can eat them, not humans.

3. The fauna of Australia falls into 2 distinct categories:

1. Things that can kill you

2. things that probably could kill you, but haven’t yet.

Australia has a large number of poisonous snakes. It has a large number of snakes, but there are some really nasty ones here. A python can bite, then leave you alone, but a King Brown keeps biting till you are dead. This snake is not very nice at all.

Some of the creatures found here look harmless, but they can hurt you. Kangaroos can kill with one kick. Wombats are made with steel reinforced bones and a layer of concrete for blood. Driving into a wombat is like running into a brick wall. They always survive encounters, but your car, your family or both will be wrecked. Platypus are funny looking, but have poisonous spurs on their back legs. Can you see the pattern emerging? everything here is dangerous.

There are two other natives to watch out for, they are:

Spiders – Australia has a large number of killer spiders. It has a couple of harmless ones, but the risk you take to identify the nice ones may end with a bite from the nasty ones. Avoid spiders.

Marine animals – We get great white sharks here. Nothing great about them. We get small poisonous octopus, jellyfish, strange fish that look like stones that can kill, stingrays, in fact, avoid the sea. It is easier.

There are apparently animals called the yowie, and the bunyip. Having never seen one, but have heard about them, they are equally dangerous.


So a pattern is emerging. There are things that can kill you, plants that can kill you, the land can kill you, it is a really dangerous place.

Now for the people.

Again, there are two types here:

The ones who are happy that you chose to visit / live here

These people are everywhere, They are helpful, they are kind and they make your stay if you are a tourist a fun one. If you have come here for a fresh start, they might be your neighbours. These people don’t care where you are from, They are happy that you are here.


The ones who aren’t.

These people are convinced that your arrival coincides with the lack of jobs, lack of housing, the economy is in trouble, you name it, it is all your fault. Don’t try to win arguments with them. You won’t. Don’t try to explain your reasons for coming here. They don’t listen.

Funnily enough, many of the people protesting that you have taken their jobs haven’t ever had one. But if they wanted one, it is gone. You have it now. It is all your fault.

Topics to steer clear of until you understand them are Politics and Sport. Politics is just too hard to understand, pointing out where they went wrong only gets you in more trouble. If you are living here now, you may need to vote. Here is the education that you never thought you needed. If anyone asks who you voted for, keep it to yourself. The correct answer is no answer.

Sport takes years to understand. Football is not always soccer, rugby is either union or league, and there is also Australian Rules football. (don’t worry if you don’t understand what it is all about, most australians don’t get it either)

One small but important tip is that you should either learn english (not australian – learning australian may get you into trouble as the catchphrases used by characters like Crocodile Dundee are usually never used in cities) before you arrive or after you arrive. (if you are a tourist, bit tricky) Speaking english allows you to converse with the locals.

You will hear a strange language. Australianisms were born here from the colonial and convict past. The language is pretty earthy, but there are people who use proper english – usually people who have moved here a while ago.

It is only a small introduction to Australia, but there are the key things to remember:

1. If you go to the deserts and remote areas, take plenty of water.

2. Most plants will kill you.

3. Most animals, insects, marine life will either kill or make you very sick.

4. Avoid or ignore certain people.

5. Learn english.

Good luck!


  1. Its excellent as your other content : D, regards for posting . “In the spider-web of facts, many a truth is strangled.” by Paul Eldridge.

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