Travelling around Australia by road is a fabulous way to see all parts of country from the large, coastal cities to the small, remote, inland country towns. After 11 months and a full lap around Australia by road, the strong conclusion is that there is so very much to be grateful for in this great, vast country.
Here are 10 reasons why Australia really is the “lucky country”.
The whole place is exceptionally clean! There is loads of clean, fresh air everywhere. The water, whether it is sea water or river water is clean! Australia is one of the few places where you can stand at the water’s edge and see signs of big industry like a coal ship loading jetty and look down to see crystal clear, clean water. We have even seen a pod of rare dolphins frolicking alongside these ships in the industrial city of Gladstone. The towns and cities are “neat as a pin”, especially country towns which seem to take pride keeping up a high standard of housekeeping and garden beauty. There is no rubbish about and the water out of the taps is potable.
This is a generalization. Of course, there are the odd bits of rubbish about in the city and some people have hoarding tendencies that spill out into their yard but by and large, Australia is super clean and tidy. It is very easy to forget (especially when it is hard to travel overseas) that this is not the case in so many other places.
Australia is an affluent and prosperous place. As we travel around Australia, there are so many beautiful, upscale, well-to-do, fancy houses especially by the waterfront. These are clearly expensive and many of them are only vacation houses. In our travels, we have not seen any ghettoes or signs of extreme, dire poverty as is apparent in other countries. People are (in general), living very well in very comfortable homes.
Whilst the inequality gap does exist, it does seem smaller in Australia than in other places, as the less fortunate are better looked after in Australia.
Australia is a diverse country both in landscape and in people. Any type of landscape that tickles your fancy can be found in Australia. From wild, rugged coastlines to calm, paddling beaches, from lakes and rivers to the dusty inland desert, the lush, fertile greenery of the north to the cool, fresh mornings of the high country, there is something for everyone on this vast land.
The people of Australia are also very diverse in heritage. This is particularly apparent in the big cities but unfortunately not so much in regional areas. Despite this, in general, language and values are more homogenous in the Australia than in other places which helps national unity. In general, Australians are an egalitarian lot, who want and will give each other a fair go and have great love and pride in their families.
The diversity in the population is also reflected in the Australia food scene. The food culture in the Australian cities has become more diverse, authentic and dynamic with each passing year. This is less so in remote country areas, understandably, with the long standing favourite of Chicken Parmy on every pub menu!
Despite being a relatively young country, many of Australia’s oldest and historic buildings are very well preserved and looked after. In the big cities, modernist glass towers sit shoulder to shoulder to historic heritage listed buildings. The prosperity of the country can be seen in their buildings with beautiful, striking skyscrapers being built and architecturally designed, affluent residential homes slowly gentrifying the suburbs. Interestingly, when a striking building catches the eye, it is often a government building or RSL! Whilst it’s not ideal that taxpayer’s money is being used to build expensive, striking architectural hospitals, at least the money is not being funneled away due to corruption.
5. Valuing what’s important
Australia and Australians value what’s important about having a good life. The cities and towns clearly recognise the importance of having green spaces for health as there are parks, botanic gardens and tree lined streets everywhere. There are always public playgrounds with really fun looking playground equipment for the kids and water features for kids to play and cool off in on sweltering days.
There are good roads countrywide, safe foot paths, ramps up onto the curbs for bikes and wheelchairs, public sporting grounds, public toilets and tactile paving on the foot paths for the vision impaired. Here is a country that has put in place (and in general, maintains) good infrastructure to facilitate a safe, healthy and good quality life for the population. What’s not to love about that?
6. Safe, consistent and orderly
It is very safe in Australia. It is extremely unlikely that you will be caught up in any type of crime. Your property and your person will be almost certainly safe from harm in the vast majority of situations. In the cases where there is an issue, the police force and justice system are reasonable and fair. When driving, there is consistent road signage and life is orderly. It is so easy to feel entitled and forget that this type of boring orderliness is not the norm in other places. In Australia, it can be taken for granted.
7. Good people
Australians are good people. They are friendly and open. In general, they are egalitarian and don’t look down on people based on apparent wealth e.g. clothes and cars or their heritage. They openly speak proudly of their children. You can be reasonably assured that if you have accident or incident, someone will come to your aid.
8. Community Pride
Community pride and spirit is alive and strong in Australia. In the small towns, this is particularly apparent.
In the small town of Nannup, Western Australia, the whole place is planted with beautiful roses which bloom in a riot of strong colours to welcome travelers. They have also organised a free app that tourists can download to guide them to all their regional attractions.
These small towns make the best use of what they have. For example, the tiny town of Karoonda, South Australia has painted a really cool mural on their silo and this silo becomes the backdrop for a nightly light projection show. What a smart idea to attract travelers through this tiny town of only 500 residents!
The city of Cairns has council initiated program of fitness classes all week to keep the community moving and healthy. These are really well attended by both locals and visitors and as they are free, a wide demographic of people are encouraged to get active! What a great idea for health and community spirit!
The community of Denmark in Western Australia banded together to install a couple of wind turbines to supply the town with green energy. This is a massive achievement for a small community to turn an idea of this scale and complexity into a working reality.
9. So Much Natural Beauty
There is so much varied natural beauty in Australia. In particular, are the geological features which makes a person feel small and insignificant in the face of geological time! Here are a few pictures but these are just a minute subset of the many wondrous places that exist in Australia.
10. Best Beaches
The mainland of Australia is an island and I would challenge any country that claims to have better beaches than Australia. Australia has hands-down the best beaches of any country in the world (and a beautiful climate to go with it.) My words cannot do this claim justice but maybe these following pictures will have you convinced!
Not everything in Australia is perfect. That is definitely true overall, it’s a pretty good place to make a happy life.
In conclusion, here we are on the last of 2021 and yes, the last two years has been Covid crazy and yes, the Covid case numbers are surging exponentially upwards with Omicron. Despite this, Australia IS the lucky country and there is a lot to be grateful for.
I wish you and your loved ones good health, safety and comfort for 2022. Thanks for your support and reading this blog!