This month marks a whole year since I moved to Australia, so I’m celebrating the milestone with some posts all about what it’s really like living here. I’m starting out strong with some of the reasons I love living in Australia. This is by no means an exhaustive summary of everything I love about this country, so if you don’t see your favourite thing on the list don’t be outraged – I probably love it too! Just leave me a comment telling me what it is and we can coo over it together.
So without further ado*, let me tell you some great things about my new home.
You all knew this was coming first, didn’t you? It’s no secret that a large reason I moved here was for the weather. That sounds really shallow, but the weather does have a really big impact on me – particularly the cold. I am miserable when I’m cold; grumpy and just unpleasant to be around. The metal in my back seizes up and gives me grief, and no number of thermal layers is enough to make me feel warm.
Needless to say, I was cold for most of the year in the UK and it really took its toll. Unfortunately we arrived in Australia just in time for the start of winter, but even that wasn’t so bad – and spring and summer have been a joy. I’ve even forgotten where I put my umbrella! Now that’s freedom.
I love the birds here. They’re so fun! Of course you’ve got the cheeky kookaburras that everyone has heard of. And we definitely heard them when we moved here. But my personal favourite are the rainbow lorikeets, which I can’t believe just fly freely here. They’re so pretty, zipping around in a flash of colour and squawking loudly. My second favourite are the sulphur crested cockatoos, because they look so funny, and I also can’t believe they just hang out like you’d see a pigeon hanging out in London. Then there are the galahs of course, the magpies, mynah birds, and the infamous ibis aka bin chicken. The avian population here is so nuts and I love it.
It makes for an interesting morning chorus, too! Slightly more squawky than the one in the UK to say the least…
Actually, all the wildlife
Who am I kidding, I’m not stopping at just birds. I love ALL the weird and wonderful animals that live in Australia and it’s a trip to see them in person after reading so much about them. You may have seen that time I cuddled an echidna, the egg laying mammal. I’m keen to meet it’s cousin, the platypus, which also lays eggs, digs burrows, can sense insects with it’s hard bill, and has poisonous spurs on its rear legs. I also got to pat a wombat and a Tasmanian devil in Tasmania, and learned that they’re quite friendly until they turn into antisocial teenagers at about 18 months old. This has not helped my desire for a pet wombat in any way. Did you know their pouches face backwards, so they don’t fill with dirt when they dig their burrows? Or that they have square poo?
I’ve stroked a koala, which barely woke him from his snooze. I’ve seen fairy penguins toddling back to their giant chicks to give them some dinner. I also smelled the penguins, but that’s another story.
I’ve patted kangaroos and wallabies, and seen them roaming around in the wild. Watching them cover huge distances with a few effortless looking bounces is something I won’t forget in hurry. I discovered pademelons, an animal I’d never heard of before, and decided it’s probably cuter than kangaroos and wallabies combined. I’ve seen weird and wonderful insects, watched a possum tightrope the top of the fence at the back of our apartment block, listened to the nighttime squeals of our new fruit bat neighbour, and generally fallen in love with every animal I’ve met here. Apart from the cockroaches. Those I could happily do without.
With that said, I won’t leave the country until I get to cuddle one of all the following: a platypus (I understand they don’t like people so I’ll settle for seeing one in the wild), a goanna (ditto), a dingo, and maybe a few sea creatures. The list is ever growing.
The light here is different. It’s clearer, brighter (and yes, more burny). Coming from the endless grey of a British winter (and spring, and autumn…) it lifts my spirits to have such wonderful light even on a winter’s day. Even when it does get a bit cold, if it’s clear and bright, I’m ok.
Alright hear me out on this one. I’m talking about eucalyptus! All the trees here smell SO good, and when it rains I just love going outside and smelling the air. I also love driving through the National Parks (even those in the middle of Sydney!) with my windows down and smelling that amazing eucalyptus smell…
What’s also great is how readily available eucalyptus oil is, so you can also make your home smell like a forest for very little hassle! Basically always my goal.
The focus on food
Australians love their food, and they love it even more if it’s organic, local, artisan etc. For someone who likes their food, a nation that takes it seriously is a wonderful place to live. It’s not just found in fancy restaurants, either – your average home BBQ will be a cut above whatever you’ve experienced at home, guaranteed. Even if they feed you kangaroo steak.
This also applies to coffee, but I don’t care about that personally seeing as I (still) don’t like coffee. You won’t find a Starbucks on every corner here – in fact I can’t even think where my nearest is. Here, it’s all about individual coffee shops with proper barista coffee and people are very particular about the whole coffee scenario.
You want rugged mountains and canyons, Australia has them. You want red desert, green forests, blue ocean, Australia has them. And most likely, when you get there, there won’t be anyone else there cluttering up your view. It seems like everywhere I go, I find some kind of landscape that’s far more impressive than anywhere else I’ve been, and yet is far less famous. My camera has certainly had a workout these past 12 months.
Have you moved to Australia recently? What do you love – or hate?! – about living in Australia? Or wherever you are right now?
*I have an irrationally strong pet peeve for people who mis-spell this as no further adieu. Who’s French, please tell me?! And ‘without further goodbye’ makes absolutely no sense. Arg. Is this just me??
Pin me if you like good grammarrrrr: