We live in a wonderfully multicultural country, with lots of interesting ‘international’ options when it comes to eating out and entertainment. But when it comes to introducing visiting friends or relatives to true-blue Aussie culture, here’s a few must dos.
Meet the Locals
Australia is home to a host of marsupial marvels and unique creatures, and for many visitors these guys are the stars of the show. Head to Serendip Sanctuary and wander the wetlands with Eastern Grey Kangaroos and over 150 species of native birdlife.
Jirrahlinga Sanctuary is a long-running refuge for injured animals that focuses on creating a welcoming environment for visitors with special needs. For those who want to walk a bit further afield, the award-winning Echidna Walkabout Tours introduce visitors to important environmental projects including the much-loved Koala Clancy Foundation.
We’re pretty sure pies aren’t an Aussie invention, but we’ve embraced them like they are (see also Pavlova and Crowded House), and Rolling Pin Pies are an award-winning option in Ocean Grove and Queenscliff.
Fish ‘n Chips are another not-quite-original cuisine that we love to call our own, and the region is packed with places where you can get your fix of fresh fish and (slightly) greasy goodness.
Australia’s Indigenous culture is the oldest living culture in the world, and Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre is a fantastic place to get an introduction to this remarkable heritage. Enjoy art galleries, interactive programs and eat lunch with the local emus and wallabies.
For something a bit more energetic, hit the beach for some surfing (it's kind of popular around these parts). World-class beaches and beginner breaks are everywhere, and Go Ride a Wave are the team to show you the ropes. Wetsuits very much included.
Sure, it may look like a bunch of burly blokes (and sheilas) chasing an odd-shaped ball (and each other) around a field. But Aussie Rules is a truly unique sporting code that started right here in Victoria. Head to the newly expanded Symonds Stadium and catch the Geelong Cats for the perfect introduction.
Wet your Whistle
After all that excitement, it’s time to try out another of Australia’s favourite pastimes. Settle in for a beer (or a cider) at one of the amazing local breweries or historic pubs. Pour yourself a pale ale at Little Creatures or sip the latest cider at Flying Brick Cider House, or pop in to a likely local - there’s plenty of refreshment to be found.