Considering it's so isolated from the rest of the world, a trip to the sunny Land Down Under isn't always the most viable or budget-friendly option. Anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to visit or live in Australia, however, will argue with passion that not only is it worth the mind-numbing plane journey, but that once you arrive you'll simply never want to leave.

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As with any travel destination, there are long lists of things we know before we arrive, and things we thought we knew but were actually completely wrong about. Are there snakes and spiders in every Sydney garage? Do people actually not tip waiters in Brisbane? Wait, which side of the road do the Melbournians drive on?! There are some Aussie things we just can't know for sure until we get there.

10 Football is not football

Whether your main association with the term football is through the NFL or through soccer, there’s something totally out of left-field in store upon visiting Australia.

Down Under, they play their own unique brand of football called Aussie Rules football, or "footy." It’s by and large the most popular sport across the nation, boasting 18 teams from five states and some of the most die-hard, loyal, and passionate supports that have ever existed.

Visitors should note, however, that depending on which state they’re visiting (usually Queensland and New South Wales), football can also mean rugby, so it can become slightly confusing.

9 There are *NOT* snakes and spiders around every corner

In typical stereotype and generalization fashion, first-time visitors to the land of Aus expect to find pythons climbing out of toilets and bird-sized spiders crawling under cars. While there have been plenty of intimidating wildlife encounters over the years, generally it’s nothing more than an over-exaggeration. Just like polar bears don’t live in Canadian folks’ backyards and not everyone in Los Angeles drives a Prius.

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While some Australian animals can be intimidating and potentially fatal if crossed (looking at you, Mr. Box Jellyfish), seldom is anything noteworthy found anywhere near built-up areas and major cities. The Aussie children do ride kangaroos to school, however...

8 Wait, what’s the capital?

In the international eye, Sydney and Melbourne are the frontrunners for the title of Australia’s most popular and desirable city. Sydney has pristine beaches, the Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge. On the flipside, Melbourne showcases world-leading art, sporting, and coffee cultures. So, you’d think that one of the two big guns would be the official nation’s capital, right?

Well, not quite. Back in the day, the country’s leaders couldn’t quite decide which up-and-coming city deserved the top rank. While there’s a little more to the story, in essence, they just picked a spot somewhere in the middle, called in Canberra, and declared it the City of Parliament because Melbourne and Sydney were deemed too hot in summer.

7 It's really, really, really big

Until we’ve actually sat on a plane for what feels like three and a half years, we arrive to realize that the two weeks allocated to see the ENTIRE country just won’t cut it. Most people are completely ignorant of the incredibly vast size of the Land Down Under.

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It’s almost a cookie-cutter replica of the USA, and with a width equal to that of the distance between London to Moscow, the entire European continent can fit in Australia. Despite its massive landmass, most people live by the coasts and therefore the population is a rather small 25 million.

6 Locals speak an (almost) entirely new language

“Oi mate, chuck us a sanga and a snag, then let’s do a bottle-o run s’arvo.” Believe it or not, that is actually English. Well, it’s Australian English, which is jam-packed with slang and can be argued to almost be another language entirely.

The Aussies, whether out of laziness or convenience, tend to shorten the majority of their words. In understandable English, that earlier sentence roughly translates to “Hello, friend, could you please pass me a sandwich and a sausage? Then, this afternoon, let’s stop at the local liquor store.” You’ll get the hang of it eventually, or maybe not.

5 People don’t tip

Over in the USA and Canada, if you order a meal at a restaurant, you need to tip for service. If you order a drink at a bar, you need to tip. If you opt for valet parking, you need to tip. See where we’re going here?

In stark comparison, down in the Vegemite-shoveling land of Australia, the concept of tipping is as entirely foreign. The minimum wage is usually higher, so hospitality and service-industry workers can make a respectable living without relying on the forced generosity of customers. If you truly do think the service was exceptional, then a couple of extra buckaroos is always appreciated.

4 Tax is included in the prices

Australia might seem like a rather expensive destination, and it certainly is compared to some countries in Asia and South America, for example, but visitors find comfort upon arrival knowing that they’ll never pay more than what they see on the menu.

While USA folk might order a $15 sandwich only to end up paying $19.57 when tax and tip are factored in, what you see in Australia is what you get — no sneaky hidden costs. While it's a slight adjustment for some, it's very helpful for tourists and backpackers who want to budget their spending during their journey.

3 The Great Barrier Reef is almost gone

It's awfully sad but unfortunately, it is true. The UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world's largest coral reef system is rapidly disappearing. Plenty of tourists flock to Far North Queensland with the desire to snap an underwater selfie with a turtle or swim amongst a school of colorful fish atop dazzlingly unique coral, only to find that large parts of the reef have turned grey and somber.

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The ecosystem which boasts 1,500 species of fish, 134 species of sharks and rays, and six species of marine turtles, has fallen victim to two separate bleaching events which caused half of all the coral in the Great Barrier Reef to die within a year.

2 Driving on the other side of the road isn’t actually *that* hard

Over in North America, cars have their steering wheels on the left side of the vehicle and drive on the right-hand side of the road. But over a 15-hour flight away in the sunny Land Down Under, the Aussies decided to flip that all together and drive on the left instead.

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Plenty of visitors arrive feeling extremely apprehensive to drive under these new conditions, with some forgoing it entirely in favor of public transport and tour buses. But in a nation so incredibly massive, it’s impossible to see all of it without a car (and even then, you still won’t see all of it). Contrary to expectation, it’s not actually too hard to drive on the left. It might take a day or so to adjust, but you’ll be cruising top-down along the Great Ocean Road in no time.

1 Melbourne is a coffee lover's paradise

With a booming arts scene, bustling nightlife, and historical tram transport system, Melbourne has plenty to brag about. And since 95% of all trips Down Under include a stop in the Victorian capital city, it's worth giving it a special mention.

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Plenty of eager visitors already know about Melbourne's world-renowned sports culture, its award-winning restaurants, and its proximity to stunning natural landscapes, but people seldom realize how good the coffee scene is until they actually arrive. Hipster, high-quality cafes can be found around every corner and Melbournians are darn proud of it too. Once you've figured out the difference between a strong, soy flat white and a three-quarter, weak latte, you'll be on your way.