Who Do You Want to Visit in Australia?

February 8, 2010

“Every country is like a particular type of person. America is like a belligerent adolescent boy, Canada is like an intelligent thirty-five-year-old woman. Australia is like Jack Nicholson. It comes right up to you and laughs very hard in your face in a highly threatening and engaging manner.”

-Douglas Adams, “The Salmon of Doubt”

I love Douglas Adams (“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” guy) and find most of his observations to be pretty accurate, but I’m not so sure about this one.

For one thing, summing up all of Australia by comparing it to an American actor seems a bit off. There are plenty of strong Aussie personalities that you could use. For another thing, I don’t think Jack Nicholson would last a week in Australia on his own, so he doesn’t deserve to represent this fabulous place. Oh, sure, if he was holed up in some swanky hotel he’d be alright, but drop him off in Coober Pedy with a swag and no cell phone and he’d be toast.

I’m also not so sure about Australia being “threatening”. A bit scary maybe, with all the poisonous and carnivorous animals that would happily kill you, but overall I’d have to say it’s far more exciting and welcoming than anything else. Much more Baz Luhrmann than Jack Nicholson.

Each part of Australia is a little different though, so here’s my human map of the country:

The Gold Coast: This is Kylie Minogue territory. You’ve got sun and beaches, clubs, pubs, lots of opportunities to dance and party and have a great time.

Sydney: Like any big, metropolitan area, Sydney is a hub of culture but that doesn’t mean it’s hoity-toity. It’s approachable and playful, kind of like Portia de Rossi, but also edgy, like Silverchair’s Daniel Johns.

Melbourne: Clearly, this is Nicole Kidman. A little posher than Sydney, a little calmer, and a great place to shop.

Canberra: It’s important, being the capital and all, but nobody really wants to go there. I’d say Canberra is author Peter Carey – his books are well respected, probably something you should read, but not exactly fun.

Alice Springs: It’s rugged, it can be dangerous, and you have to pretty tough to make it here, but with sweeping views and massive skies Alice Springs also has a sexy, romantic side, like the American Old West. This is Hugh Jackman.

Brisbane/BrisVegas: Cheesy fun? Olivia Newton-John.

Northern Territory: This has to be Steve Irwin. Most of it is wild and untamed, but there’s a lot of heart in the people who live here and love it.

Perth: It’s the only major city in Australia I haven’t been to, so I have to speculate a little bit, but since it’s occupied by people who don’t mind living in the most remote part of an already remote country, I’d have to say Guy Pierce. He’s a great actor, but not one of the first names that springs to mind when I think about famous Aussies. He’s sort of out on the edges.

And now that I’ve got you all excited about the multiple personalities of the Land Down Under, are you ready to start planning your trip? Learn all about a SWAP working holiday in Australia.


  1. I am suprised there is no mention of yahoo serious or martin sharp. ha! I think this is a great post. We have lost a lot of good Australians in the last couple years. Cheers for their memories.

  2. […] original post here: Who Do You Want to Visit in Australia? « Student Travel: Cheap … Share and […]

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