Aussie slang is not the only thing that astounds tourists. Photo / Reddit
When tourists visit Australia for the first time, they’re usually left stunned by Aussie slang and unique way with words – but it’s not the only thing that shocks them.
A Reddit thread has blown up, attracting more 1200 comments from overseas travellers about the most surprising thing they’ve learned when visiting the country for the first time.
So far, the thing most talked about is the sheer size of Australia. It appears many have no concept of just how far the Outback extends or the time it takes to get from one city to another.
“I was doing fieldwork (catching lizards) near Mt Isa and had a Wicked camper with two Dutch tourists stop and ask me at about 3pm in the afternoon if they would make it to Broome by dark,” one person wrote.
“When I laughed and told them they were still in Queensland, they responded with a shocked, ‘That cannot be – we have been driving all day!’”
Another person wrote: “Holy hell, it must have been bizarre for them. In the same distance they could have travelled from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and end in Italy.”
An Aussie also chimed in on the discussion, saying: “Even as an Australian, I find the fact a Sydney to Uluru round trip is nearly 6000km amazing.”
Another person added: “I’ve had people ask about doing a day trip to the Outback. Yeah, it’s more than a day from Brissy.”
Some pointed out the bizarre fact that Melbourne is 20km closer to Antarctica than it is to Darwin – a piece of information that continues to leave many in disbelief.
“Melbourne is (about) the same distance from the equator as Bodrum, Turkey and Granada, Spain. Which is why you can fry an egg on centre court at the [Australian Open] in January,” one person wrote online.
“I don’t wanna be that guy, but the distance to Darwin is probably set in the middle (downtown) of the city rather than where it starts (closer city border), so it might be the same distance or less,” another argued.
Others continued comparing locations to show just how huge Australia really is, which according to Geoscience Australia,is 7,692,024sq km.
Australia is the planet’s sixth largest country after Russia, Canada, China, the US and Brazil.
“It accounts for just 5 per cent of the world’s land area of 149,450, 000sq km, and although it is the smallest continental land mass, [mainland Australia] is the world’s largest island,” Geoscience Australia explains on the government website.
“Yep, people think of Alice Springs and Uluru as being right next to each other, but they’re about 450km by road,” a Reddit user wrote.
“For perspective, 450km from London is into Germany; 450km from New York is into Canada; 450km from Switzerland includes 11 countries.”
Some of the other strange things discussed in the thread were how there are no polar bears in or around Bundaberg (despite the picture on the Bundaberg Rum logo), how unlike America, speed limits are actually the limit (not a guideline), and of course, how sarcastic Australian humour is.