If you haven’t already heard, talk show host Oprah Winfrey is currently enjoying herself downunder.
While she has an official program of cocktail soirees, important meetings with the Prime Minister, is busy taping her two shows and seeing the usual sights such as Uluru, the reef and Sydney Opera House, there are some other things we think she should do also.
These are some of the classic Aussie experiences that all VIP Backpackers should include on their itinerary. They probably won’t be listed in your travel guide but they are must do’s because they are truly quintessential Aussie experiences.
1. Go country. You’ve already got your akubra Oprah so now it’s time to wrestle a steer, ride a poddy or even a camel, or at least get to a country show/rodeo and watch the action
2. Learn some good Aussie slang like barbie (barbecue), sunnies (sunglasses), cossies/togs (bathing costume), dunny (toilet), mozzies (mosquitoes) and sangers (sausages)
3. Try some good Aussie foods – eat a pavlova, ANZAC biscuit, meat/camel/crocodile pie or roo steak
4. Hang out at Bondi – get into a bikini Oprah and ride those waves and then spend a messy evening on the Cross (the happening district of Kings Cross)
5. Get into a frock and hat for the annual Melbourne Cup races and cheer yourself silly – and don’t forget to lay a punt too Oprah, you can sure afford it
6. Do an overland drive – forget your private jet Oprah, the best way to see this land is to travel it, kilometre by kilometre. Load up your campervan and hit the tracks, and for goodness sake make sure you spend some of that time off the East Coast!
7. Get into the Aussie sports – catch an AFL game, head to the Gabba/Wacca/MCG for the cricket, ride a few waves at the beach, join in a fun run or enjoy the brute and brawn of the rugby codes. We don’t just play or watch sports here, we live and breathe them
8. Forget the stars like Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman (even though we do love ’em) and meet some real down to earth Aussies that have made us proud that you might not have heard of like our favourite lady Dame Edna Everage, political comedians Bryan Dawe and John Clarke, Yothu Yindi Aboriginal singer Mandaway Yunupingu or athlete Cathy Freeman
9. Do it big downunder. See some of our “other” tourists sights such as the Big Pineapple (Nambour), Big Prawn (Ballina), Big Merino (Goulburn), Big Banana (Coffs Harbour), Big Beer Can (Cobar) and Big Wine Bottle (Polkobin)
10. Enjoy a steaming hot Aussie style Christmas at the beach with a bottle of Bundy rum (Bundaberg rum), Aussie Sav Blanc (sauvignon blanc) or a beer in hand
11. Mix it up at the annual Birdsville Races every September, a thousand miles from nowhere out in the desert this is one event not to miss
12. Down a few ales in an outback pub and chat to the bar flies – there’s the Daly Waters pub (NT), the Birdsville Hotel (Qld), Williams Creek Hotel (SA) and the Pub with no Beer (NSW) just to get you started
13. Catch up on your favourite Aussie telly episodes of Neighbours, Home and Away or McLeod’s Daughters – we know you love them Oprah!
14. Go native. Don’t just meet our Aboriginal people, learn their dreaming stories and taste their bush tucker – particularly those witchetty grubs!
15. Enjoy a fireworks show Aussie style – forget the Sydney New Year’s show and take in nature at its best with our regular summer thunderstorms
Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at firstname.lastname@example.org