Australians are well-known for their easy-going attitude, living life to the fullest. They are a fun-loving, courageous, talented, devoted and adventurous people. Australians are also known for their patriotism. Almost one in four of Australia's residents were born outside of the country, and many more are first or second generation Australians. This, together with the culture of the Indigenous Australians, has helped to create the uniquely Australian identity and spirit.
English is the main language spoken throughout Australia. Australian English is closer to British English than American.
The majority of the Australians are Christian, with different worldwide religions represented in smaller numbers.
Australia's customs come from the native Aborigines and the British colonists who settled there in the late 1700s/early 1800s. The Aborginal population has maintained their own traditions, and they live harmoniously with the land. When speaking with an Aborigine, averting the eyes is a sign of respect.
Most Aussies are very casual and laid back. They greet each other as Americans do, with a handshake, hug or kiss. The majority live in the major cities, Sydney and Melbourne the largest of these. A smile and friendly "g'day!" will soon have you feeling the warm welcome extended by our neighbors down under.
Australian cuisine is a mix of British traditions, local products and worldwide influences. You'll find meat pies and fish & chips alongside an array of fresh seafood, a variety of locally-grown fruits and vegetables, and the traditional Aussie barbecue. For a real taste of Australia, sample some Vegemite, grab a Violet Crumble (chocolate bar), bite into a Chiko Roll or open a package of Tim Tams.
Home to some excellent vineyards, you'll want to try some of Australia's fine wines during your stay. Another local favorite is beer, with Fosters being the best known globally. And if it's coffee you're after, you'll be happily surprised to find that Australia has one of the most distinct coffee cultures in the world! They were sipping espressos long before the American coffee chains brewed their first cups.
For the really adventurous foodie, bush tucker is the food of the indigenous Australians. They lived on the unique native flora and fauna, including kangaroo, wallaby and emu meat, bogong moths, witchetty grubs, lizards, snakes, fish, bush berries and honey.