Some people might think of Australia as a place where people sit around playing didgeridoos and throw boomerangs around. Some might add that most living organisms could easily kill you with a tenth of its venom and that evolution has sparked most rat- like looking marsupials, ranging from the size of a 50 cent coin to the Red Kangaroo, to hop around on their hind legs. From what I have seen most of it is true, but I am yet to encounter a boomerang throwing didgeridoo-playing mate from Down under. Perhaps we have not ventured far enough into the desert like wilderness to meet some one like that. Then again, its probably hard doing both simultaneously. In all honesty, having had beers with folk all the way from Hobart in Tasmania to Brisbane in Queensland, the Ozzies are rad people.
For me it comes down to striking up casual conversations with strangers, and in our travels I have not found a place where this has been easier. From the guy in the camera shop to the customs official who helped me with a tax rebate, service is top notch and it feels good to have an Ozzie tell you it is a lekker day mate.
There is a definite camaraderie between South Africans and Australians. I have experienced it when I lived and worked in England and China and have observed it while surfing in Indonesia. We very much think the same way and want the same kind of things. We get along, as long as there is no rugby involved. I can totally understand why so many South Africans have made the pilgrimage across the Indian Ocean, but I have seen high fences here too and it makes me wonder about the other more invisible fence, such as the Rabbit Proof one… The systems in place lends to the country’s efficiency though while the GDP influences a strong $AU. It is clean, organized and has as many perfect surfing setups as it has good-looking people.
I like Australia. I would love to circumnavigate the continent in a 4×4 and camp out searching for waves. I would start in Byron bay and slowly make my way up to Cairns, making sure to get my fill at spots like Coolangatta and Snapper. From Broome to Perth to Melbourne catching some colder kegs at spots like Margaret River and maybe even see Taj shredding at Rabbits. To end off I will drop my always- South African- now- Australian mate back in Melbourne. In another life, as a big wave charger, I would then cross the Bass Straight and go look for a solid session at Shipsterns.
Despite the fires causing havoc in New South Wales, the sail away from Sydney Harbor is spectacular. The Opera House’s lights magnificently reflect on the water while Sydney Bridge connects the city. I think there was definitely a time, circa Pangaea, when Africa and Australia was one. Our continents might have drifted apart over millennia but I can feel a connection to this place, hearing and understanding the thunder the guy talks about in his song when he asks if you come from The Land of Under.
I think its because so many people surf that they decided to make them plastic
They really are just as cuddly as they look
Sydney, aesthetically most pleasing.