5 Things I Think I Know About Australia

by Isaac Lai

Spoiler alert: I definitely don’t know the second verse of the national anthem. I know the first line (beneath the radiant southern cross), which already puts me in the upper echelon of patriotic Australians even though I look like a waiter at a Chinese restaurant.

I was born in Australia and have lived in Sydney for the past twenty-three years. I’ve travelled interstate numerous times and I think every state has something unique to offer. I’ve garnered some first hand knowledge of the country and feel that it is within my power to write this post.

It is also within your power to send me angry tweets and call me a certain word starting with C that all Australians use liberally.

Australian Cuisine is a made up term

Think outside of the box (the box being Australia in this case) for a minute. How many people do you think travel to Australia to sample our cuisine?  The best example of this is the plethora of YouTube videos of international guests trying  Vegemite and recoiling in horror.

‘Modern’ Australian is a term a lot of high end restaurants are implementing these days but its mostly chefs using foreign techniques with Australian produce. That would be like me making a Chicken Schnitzel sandwich and calling it an AFC Saga.

In fairness, some of these modern Australian restaurants are pretty sweet.

Sydney is the Capital of Australia

Sorry, not sorry, Canberra.

I visited New York earlier in the year and spoke to a handful of locals. Every time I remarked that I was from Sydney they exclaimed that they had always wanted to go.

Not one person said that they were saving up to go to Questacon.

Look, Sydney has the largest population. We look awesome at night, we have the freaking Opera House and a NYE party that causes Leonardo Dicaprio to transform into Jay Gatsby.

We’re its most famous city and Canberra just has to deal with it.

In saying all of that…

The Gold Coast is the ultimate holiday destination.

Yes, Sydney should be the capital but don’t sleep on all the shenanigans one can get up to in Brisvegas. First of all, every other state in the nation is severely lacking in the theme park sphere and the Gold Coast is single handedly keeping us afloat with Warner Bros Movie World and Dreamworld.

You can’t go to the Gold Coast without visiting Surfer’s Paradise. Even if you’re like me and not a fan of the beach; you can still head on over and take a mental image on one of the most picturesque beaches in the world.

I think Tasmanians hate the Mainland

This is a huge guess and I hope I don’t incite an interstate war because I imagine that all Tasmanians are like Ricky Ponting and capable of beheading me with a cricket bat.

Officially, I know one guy that hails from the emerald state but I’m convinced some of my friends are secretly undercover agents who are here to take over the East coast. This is because they are literally the butt of the country and the butt of a tonne of jokes.

Honestly though, I’ve always wanted to visit Tasmania and see what its like. It’s only two hours fly from Sydney to Hobart and I’ve been wanting to trade Shane Watson back to them but that’s for my upcoming cricket blog that only my mother and maybe my youngest cousin will read.

We are the world’s elite multicultural state

Go have a look at the official Sydney website and what it lists under its destinations. A quick skim through it and nothing might pop out. However, a more thorough read might have you scratching your head a bit if you’re unfamiliar with the diversity in Australia: Chinese Garden of Friendship

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that China doesn’t have an Australian garden of friendship. The garden is only a ten minute walk from Chinatown which does a really good job of mimicking the hustle and bustle you’ll encounter in the marketplace of China. Another ten minutes away is Thai Town where you’ll find all the ingredients necessary to make incredibly tasty Thai boba milk tea and get some duck pad see ew to go.

The reason that Australia doesn’t really have a cuisine is because we’ve embraced everyone else’s. Tetsuya’s is one of the best Japanese restaurants in the world, describing Fratelli Fresh’s Italian food as merely ‘fresh’ is a colossal understatement and can we please stop being known as the Vegemite state?


If this is somehow convinced you to visit the land of drop bears and Hugh Jackman, there are a tonne of cheap flight deals to Australia.

See you soon.

Unless you’re going to Tasmania, then I’ll probably see you never.