'They drink a lot': Eight things backpacker wished she'd known about Australia

Brooke Rolfe
News Reporter

A German tourist has rattled off a series of things she didn’t realise about Australia before travelling to the country over a year ago, including the fact it has seasons, lots of flies and complex slang.

Emely Myle detailed in a video posted to YouTube eight stand-out elements she was not aware of before arriving in October 2018, like its weather, cost of living, wages and large size.

The 20-year-old, who’s currently living in Queensland’s Airlie Beach, noted eight main culture shocks throughout her travels through Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

“I’ve been in Australia over one-and-a-half years now and I absolutely love it but there’s a couple of things I wish I knew before moving here,” she told viewers.

Myle was shocked by the cold weather in Australia. Source: Instagram/travelwithlille

The ‘freezing’ weather

Myle said her first major shock was when she arrived in NSW to chilly weather - prompting her to learn the hard way that Australia does in fact experience seasons and isn’t permanently hot.

“The only thing I brought was shorts and tops for really warm weather. I only had one pair of pants and one jacket, so when I arrived in Sydney in October it was still freezing cold,” she said.

“I literally didn’t think Australia would have seasons,” explaining it wasn’t until a few months ago that someone told her about the east coast’s ski fields.

“I wish someone had told me to pack at least two long pants and a couple jumpers.”

Emely Myle was not prepared for how big of a culture shock Australia would be. Source: YouTube/travelwithlille

‘Everything is really expensive’

Myle said that everything, with the exception of unhealthy food like takeaway pizza and lollies, is “really expensive”.

“If you want to buy a banana or any fruits or vegetables, or any healthy meal, it’s so expensive,” she said, claiming she had paid up to $7 for five bananas.

She struggled to understand the cost of bananas given Australia farmed them, saying the fruit was cheaper to buy in Germany which “doesn’t make sense”.

“I wish someone would have told me because then I would have brought a bit more money to start with.”

Alcohol prices were another thing Myle wasn’t quite prepared for, saying a bottle of vodka that would cost about A$7 in Germany, cost between “A$50 or $60” in Australia.

Snakes and spiders aren’t that bad

Despite Australia’s reputation for its abundance of deadly wildlife, Myle said she had not noticed them to be as much of a threat as she was expecting.

“I worked on over three farms and didn’t see that many snakes and spiders...it’s not like every day you see the biggest spider ever,” she said.

“It’s not a big deal and you get used to it and it’s not like they want to bite you, they’re so scared of you especially snakes.”

Travelling down the west coast revealed how annoying Australian flies are. Source: Instagram/travelwithlille

‘Flies are everywhere’

When travelling up the west coast for two months, Myle experience the wrath of Australia’s aggressive flies, which she had not been the slightest bit prepared for.

“They’re literally everywhere, they’re so annoying. We had to wear head nets all the time, they’re so annoying. The west coast is so beautiful and the flies destroy it a bit,” she said.

“Flies is a big, big issue in Australia.”

High wages for unskilled work

Myle said she knew the minimum wage in Australia was higher than in Germany, but she didn’t expect she would be able to be paid $24 an hour just for working on a pumpkin farm.

“If you have a qualification, you can get paid a lot of money here. So I wish I would have known that, just because I was stressing out loads before I came,” she said.

“Finding a job in Australia is fairly easy and you can get a lot of money.”

‘Australia is big’

The sheer size of the island continent was something that shocked Myle when she arrived.

“You have to drive at least half an hour when they say that,” she said, saying it was not always practical to meet with friends also travelling to Australia, given the time it takes to travel between states.

“It is huge. You don’t really realise until you come here and plan a road trip and you actually look at how long it takes to get from one city to the other.”

The annoying flies were one of the 20-year-old's least favourite things. Source: YouTube/travelwithlille

‘Australians drink a lot’

Myle had experienced a change in her opinion towards Australians after arriving and realising the scale of the country’s drinking culture.

“Australians drink a lot. They love their drinking and alcohol is so expensive. If you go out to a pub, you pay usually around A$10 for a pint,” she said.

Responsible Service of Alcohol rules were also not something Myle expected to be followed so strictly, having been refused service at a bottle shop when she was not carrying her ID.

‘They speak so fast and shorten everything’

Australia’s unique spin on the English language threw Myle off in a big way, with her admitting much of the Aussie humour had been lost on her.

“Sometimes they say jokes and you’re literally standing there like ‘I have no idea what you just said’.”

“The language is really hard to understand, especially if you’re talking to people from the outback or more from the countryside. It’s quite a big problem.”

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