If we go by what popular culture tells us about Australia, we are likely to imagine a land of poisonous creatures, weird accents, confusing sport rules, and an unhealthy obsession with vegemite. To be fair, Australia can be described in these terms by the casual observer, but there is more to the story than this. As one of the top tourist locations in the world, Australia has a lot to offer to adventurous travelers. If you are still unsure what to do on your Australian adventure, here are some suggestions on where you can start.

Delicacies to Try

Barbecue - Australia is known far and way to be the home of barbecue experts. The combination of quality ingredients, including exotic ones such as kangaroo meat, and sunny weather all year round has made barbecuing a national culinary pastime, along with drinking beer.

Pavlova - Named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this cake shares some of the elegance of the famous performer. With a meringue base, whipped cream body and fresh seasonal fruit on top, Pavlova will be sure to satisfy even the pickiest dessert connoisseurs.

ANZAC biscuits. These nutritious have a history of being used on long voyages by soldiers during the Great War. They are made of oats, flour, coconut, butter and golden syrup, ingredients which positively scream 'healthy living!'.

Vegemite. Last, but not least, visitors to Australia should try vegemite, if nothing else to see what all the buzz is about. This yeast-based spread has attained a veritable cult following around the world, possibly as a result of its quirky name and its origins as an industrial byproduct.

Experiences to Have

Learn to surf - With a seacoast of over 50000 km long, Australia is the world capital for surfing. People from all over the world visit beaches such as Bells Beach, Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast and Byron Bay to show off their skills in riding the waves. Since surfing is the quintessential national pastime in Australia, there are many places where visitors can learn this fun activity.

Go to a music festival - Australia is the proud home of over a hundred music festivals, encompassing all styles of music. The climate makes it so that ever festival has that summer vibe which makes people go wild and dance the night away. With the resurgence 60s inspired psychedelic rock bands in recent years such as Tame Impala, King Gizzard & Lizard Wizard, The Murlocs, and others, Australia became the successor of a festival tradition that was originally sparked by Woodstock.

Visit a brothel. - For those interested to have a more intimate look at Australia, hiring a companion for the evening might be the thrill they are looking for. Unlike in many countries, prostitution is legal in many jurisdictions in Australia, ensuring this line of business by strict government rules and regulations. Research has even shown that brothel employees have a higher health standard when it comes to sex-related diseases. Visiting a Sydney brothel is in all likelihood safer than hooking up with a stranger you've met at a party somewhere.

Places to Visit

Sydney - One of the largest port towns in the world, and the most populous city in the whole of Oceania, Sydney is the logical first step on a journey through Australia. Listing all the worthwhile sites you can visit in Sydney would take a long while, but some of the highlights include the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Bondi beach.

The Great Barrier Reef - Few places can match the Great Barrier Reef for the sheer sense of wonder it produces. Located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland and stretching over 2000 km, the Reef is the world's largest structure built by living organisms. Scuba diving among its many species of fish, mollusks, and plants is a unique opportunity to experience nature first hand. And it might be the last one, as coral bleaching caused by global warming threatens to destroy the Reef.

Uluru - Standing in the very heart of the continent, the sandstone rock formation known as Uluru is a sight to behold. Towering above the surrounding plains, its cracked, rust-colored surfaces tell tales of a bygone age. There is nothing quite like it in the world, a fact that Aboriginals know quite well, which is why they treat it as a sacred place.

Published by Victoria Lim