Skip To Content

    17 Common Misconceptions About Australia That Still Get Believed To This Day

    Drop bears? Oh, those are definitely real.

    Australia is an incredible place — but if you don't live here or have never visited, then your perception of ~Down Under~ may be pretty warped thanks to movies like Crocodile Dundee and that one episode of The Simpsons.


    So, Reddit user u/PeevesPoltergist called on Aussies to clear up any misconceptions about Australia that the rest of the world still believes. Here are the responses!

    Note: Not all submissions in this post are from the Reddit thread. We've added some of our own in, too! Oh and FYI — in case you didn't know, a lot of these answers are tongue in cheek, because us Aussies love to play a joke or two on the rest of the world.

    1. That Vegemite is meant to be spread on toast as generously as Nutella.

    listen americans if this is how much vegemite yall are putting on your toast its no wonder yall dont like it

    Ooft, nothing grinds an Australian's gears like seeing someone spread a huge portion of Vegemite on toast, trying it and then calling it disgusting. That's NOT the way you eat Vegemite. You've got to do it sparingly, add a little butter and then it's beautiful.

    2. That Australia is filled with deadly animals — left, right and centre.

    Ken Kiefer 2 / Getty Images/ Cultura RF

    "Not every animal here will kill you. Don't get me wrong, they want to, but they just can't."


    3. Including fuck-off-huge-spiders that constantly invade our homes.

    Flickr: MomentsForZen / Via Flickr: momentsforzen

    "Most spiders are pretty chill, unless you live in Sydney — fuck funnel webs. With most spiders though, even though they're venomous they don’t actually want to bite you. Making venom takes effort and we’re too big to eat. Same with snakes, but I don’t see them in the city anyway."


    4. And that we're all Steve Irwin types, ready to fend them off at any moment.

    Animal Planet

    "The idea that Australia is a wild land consisting of deadly animals and people tough enough to handle them. Most people live in the major cities, which are pretty safe."


    5. That we're upside down because we're located in the southern hemisphere.

    Reddit: u/BanditRaccoon / Via

    Our maps actually look like this in Australia, so we're not upside down? Looks like those in the Northern Hemisphere got their wires crossed. 

    In all seriousness though, I consider myself quite skilled in reading upside down because of all those jokes.

    6. That our mode of transportation in the 21st century is one of Australia's most well-known animals.

    Raimund Linke / Getty Images

    "We all don't ride kangaroos to school. Everyone knows that the cool kids ride emus."


    7. That Australian toilets flush counter-clockwise.

    Suman Bhaumik / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Contrary to what The Simpsons might have you believe, our toilets flush exactly the way yours do. Unless there's a snake hiding in the toilet bowl — then it might flush a little differently.

    8. That we can't say two words without having to swear.

    Nine Network

    "We don’t fuckin' swear all the time cunt."


    9. That Australians actually eat bloomin' onions — a signature dish sold at Outback Steakhouse.

    Lauripatterson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    It is the most hilarious thing in the world to me that an Australian-themed restaurant exists in the States — that doesn't accurately reflect Australian culture. Like, I don't think I've ever even heard of Outback Steakhouse (although a quick Google does suggest that a couple locations exist in Australia). 

    Bloomin' onions look and sound delicious, but you'll be hard pressed to find them here. Try potato cakes instead. 

    10. As well as Foster's beer — apparently we consume this as much as water.

    Flickr: Ricardo Bernado / Via Flickr: zone41

    Despite it having the slogan "Australian for beer", the reality is that Aussies are far more likely to be sipping on a VB than a can of Foster's. 

    11. That the word "shrimp" exists in the Australian vernacular.

    Mojo Advertising / Via

    "We don't call prawns shrimp."


    12. And that all of us have the same, stereotypical accent that many associate with being "Australian".

    Nine Network

    "That all Australians speak with a thick ocker accent."


    13. That the entire country either looks like the beach or something straight out of the scenes of Mad Max — there's no in-between.

    Matteo Colombo / Getty Images, Village Roadshow Pictures

    A lot of Australia is actually very lush and green — we've got rainforests galore, as well as mountain peaks and all that. It even snows!

    14. That drop bears are a huge hoax told by Australians to scare naive tourists.

    Yamavu / Creative Commons / Via

    "Australians keep trying to pretend that drop bears aren't real and I don't know why they want to keep them secret."


    15. That every Australian citizen immediately knows how to surf when they're born.


    Yeah, didn't you know we just chucked babies into the nearest beach to teach them?

    We don't, we're not Spartans. Every Australian doesn't know how to surf though because a) not all of us are located near a beach and b) we're simply not interested in learning how to. Although, I can appreciate the skill it takes to do it!

    16. Oh, and that we're all fit, tan and blonde — like Chris Hemsworth and Margot Robbie.

    @chrishemsworth / Via, @margotrobbie / Via

    Look, I'll concede that you'll find a lot of Chris Hemsworth-esque lads in Byron Bay and a lot of Margot Robbie-esque "influencers" in Sydney and Melbourne. But Australia is actually very multicultural, so a lot of us (me included!) don't look like that. 

    It's just a stereotype because our most popular exports fit those traits, tbh. Luckily, that's slowly changing.

    17. And lastly, that it's one, big endless summer in Australia — the seasons don't change.

    Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

    Wrong! Our summers are blisteringly hot, but our winters are a lot cooler, we get a lot of rain in Spring and in some areas, it snows. Plus, there's tropical regions like Darwin.

    Note: Reddit Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    What are some other myths about Australia you want dispelled? Drop them in the comments below and perhaps some helpful Aussies can answer them.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form