It's A Great Big World
Land of Oz
Working in the Travel Industry, I am often asked where my favourite place in the world is. Even though I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting places on each continent, the answer that just rolls off my tongue is Australia, the Land of Oz.
I went to Australia after I graduated from high school. Before our trip I read Bill Bryson’s Down Under, an extremely funny book that completely set the tone for my Australian Adventure. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially if they are visiting Australia in the near future.
Our adventure began in Perth where I immediately fell in love with the people and, perhaps more importantly, their pies. In addition to reading Bill Bryson’s book, I also read Lonely Planet’s Guidebook and so I knew that I must try an Aussie meat pie. It was delicious and the best part was that you could eat the whole pie with just your hands. No cutlery needed! The gravy is the perfect consistency that makes the pie so tasty, moist and so convenient to eat.
Just outside of Perth is the port city of Fremantle. We had heard about a pub called Little Creatures and wandered around the city to try and find a small, local pub. No such luck, although we still enjoyed wondering around the city, we headed back towards Perth. On the way back we saw what looked to be a huge airplane hangar with great big silos. Curious, we went to check out this building that looked like a warehouse and lo and behold it was Little Creatures! It was quite the experience seeing all of their own, locally brewed beers and ciders, which was definitely not what we were expecting!
On our way around the top of the country, we enjoyed Australia’s beautiful beaches and the incredible scenery. We also had opportunities to meet some of their wildlife (the kind that can’t kill you) at a wildlife sanctuary. Did you know that Australia has more animals that can kill you than anywhere else? And the world’s ten most poisonous snakes are all Australian? Yikes. Luckily my animal encounters only included a koala bear, a kangaroo and a wombat.
After visiting a number of those beautiful beaches, we learned that the Australians keep vinegar on the beach because of jellyfish, which is used to neutralize the acid in a jellyfish sting. They had to start dyeing the vinegar purple because the British would use the vinegar on their fish and chips!
Our Australian adventure ended in Sydney. It was a wonderful, clean city and the highlight for me was when we climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge. We were treated to a one of a kind view of the Sydney Opera House: a landmark that I had seen so many pictures of and now I can say I have seen it in person and also taken a look inside.
All along our adventure we met cheerful Australians whose humour was contagious and loved showing off their incredible and diverse country. I fell in love with the people, the culture, the sunny weather, the food and the wildlife (well, the cuddly wildlife and let’s say, an appreciation from afar of the deadly wildlife).
If you have always wanted to visit Australia, I encourage you to go! If Australia is not on your bucket list then I strongly urge you to find your own ‘Australia’ where your heart sings as soon as your feet hit the soil.
About the Author
Rhian Torontow is a Family Travel Consultant with Magical Family Adventures. Rhian creates travel experiences that foster connections in your family that will last a lifetime and transforms your children into open-minded, flexible, well-travelled people. During Rhian’s childhood, her father travelled for work constantly and it was always travel that brought her family back together. You can follow Rhian on Facebook at www.facebook.com/magicalfamilyadventures, Instagram @MagicalFamilyAdventures and you can also connect with her on LinkedIn ca.linkedin.com/in/rhiantorontow/