A – ADDER, DEATH
The panel clearly decided that a false sense of security won’t do us any favours. Apparently, seven of the world’s most venomous snakes call Australia home. The aptly-named Death Adder is only eight-inches long but delivers a neurotoxin which paralyses and/or kills, which is why it’s not called the ‘Nice, Friendly Adder’.
B – BLUE-TONGUED SKINK
Evolution has apparently decided that the more interesting an animal is to look at, the better its chances of having your leg off, and this 50cm long lizard is no exception. Dolly can’t remember if they do actually attack people, but “they certainly scare the crap out of you when you come across one in the bush”. Also BUSHFIRES - A bushfire moves very fast and wipes out everything in its path, much like an English football crowd. The penalty for lighting camp fires during bans is possible jail time, same goes for dropping cigarette butts.
C – CROCODILES
During the wet season crocodiles are known to enter the town of Darwin. The salt-water crocs are aggressive and may attack, while the fresh-water variety (‘freshies’) are more docile. Gareth says the locals tell the species apart by licking their backs (he’s joking. Don't).
D – DROPBEAR
According to Monika this is a mythical (“probably”) vampire koala that drops out of the trees onto unsuspecting outback trekkers and eats their flesh. As if Australians didn’t have enough real species with which to populate their children’s bedtime nightmares, they have to invent more!
E – EMUs
Dusk is feeding time for many desert animals, including the emu, which the panel tells me is the dumbest creature in the world. So dumb in fact that they just run around the desert roads until they get hit by motorists. Fortunately, they say, the older Australian cars favoured by backpackers are made of metal so you can just bang any dents out.
F – FOOTIE
Refers to Rugby Union, Rugby League, Aussie Rules Football and, very occasionally, soccer. Expat Gareth says that for his own sanity he just adopted a team from each postcode and swotted up on key players (but remember; nobody likes the Manly Sea Eagles). Amy adds that it’s unwise to start talking footie (soccer) with someone who’s a footie (Rugby League) fan, and risky to talk footie (Aussie Rules) to someone who prefers footie (Rugby Union). In fact, she suggests you steer clear of sports completely unless Australia has just won.
Introduction | A-F | G-L | M-S | T-Z