We’re a funny country Australia. If you ask us, we think we’re one of the most united countries in the world. We’re loyal, we’re funny and we just love to travel and see all the diverse and amazing things that our country has to offer, in a camper trailer of course!
Australians always have each other’s backs and will do what they can to help another Aussie in need. But there are just some things we can’t agree on to this day.
Even though you’re traveling in your own country and you may think you know it all, sometimes travelling to the opposite end of Australia or even the next state over can come with a brand-new set of challenges and differences and people can get pretty fired up passionate about what is right and wrong.
If you thought heading overseas and trying to get yourself accustomed to the cultural differences was tough, try travelling from Victoria to Far North Queensland without coming across your fair share of arguments about what to call a potato cake. (That’s the right way to say it, by the way).
We want your adventures in your camper to be as stress-free as possible, and so to avoid feeling like a stranger in your own country, it’s probably best to brush up on your state by state terminology.
If you can remember back to primary school and history class, you’ll know that Australia began as separate colonies, and each of these had different ways of life like laws and currencies. Even though we might all use the same five-dollar notes now and be one country, some just as pressing differences continue to divide Australians all around the country.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and unpack all the state and territory differences, (and we will try our very best and keep our bias to a minimum).
Ordering some dinner and a beer
Happy hour at your holiday park or camping ground can be one of the best ways to unwind after a long day of traveling or exploring. Happy hour is awesome when it comes to swapping stories and hot tips with your fellow campers, but heading out to the pub for a classic Aussie meal can also be a great way to end the day. This is where the trouble begins– how do you order it correctly in each state?
When it comes to ordering a beer, the safest way to make sure you avoid spit in your glass is to point to the glass and say, ‘beer please’. Just kidding about the spit, but it won’t hurt to brush up on the right terminology. While it might be much easier to just say small or large, there’s a bit more to it than that.
NSW/ACT– Middy or Schooner
Victoria– Pot or Pint
Queensland– Pot or Schooner
Western Australia– Middy or Schooner
South Australia– Schooner or Pint
Tasmania– Ten (just to be difficult) or Schooner
Northern Territory– Handle or Schooner
Once you’ve mastered the ordering part, it can also be handy to know which beer the go-to favourite in each state or territory is. We’ll leave you to decide which is better, we could go on all day.
When it comes to ordering your Australian pub meal staple, a Chicken Parmigiana, stick to calling it a Parma in Victoria and a Parmi everywhere else, or weirdly enough a schnitzel with Parma topping in Tassie.
Getting geared up for a day at the beach
A major chunk of Aussies were brought up with 12 hour days at the beach (and most likely without any sunscreen on), or perhaps you got to spend at least one summer holidaying at the beach in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. For many Australians, being a beach bum is now an embedded part of Australian culture.
A camper trailer holiday and the beach go together like peas and carrots. But after towing your camper along the sand and finding that perfect spot to get sorted and explore, what will you be wearing when you head down to the water’s edge? Bathers? Perhaps your togs, your cossie or your swimmers? It all depends on where you come from.
Bathers is mainly used around the south of Australia in Victoria, Tasmania, Adelaide, Perth and some scattered areas of Western Australia, while you’ll find swimmers being the main lingo all over New South Wales and slightly into the south of Queensland with a touch of cossie also being prominent. As for the rest of Queensland, they love to chuck on their togs.
Around the country, some good old slang such as budgie smugglers, boardies are like a countrywide language, so you’ll be safe with those, and might even score a laugh.
That deep-fried potato snack that we can’t agree on the name of
You know what we’re talking about, and we’re sure you’ve been subjected to an eye roll or two from the lady behind the counter at the fish and chips shop. So, let’s clear up where uses what terminology.
Let’s keep it simple. Victorians and Tasmanians go with potato cake, while Queenslanders and New South Welsh are certain the proper name is potato scallop. Anywhere else you go, there’s a real mix on what is right and even some editions such as potato fritter and hash brown. So, as long as you don’t find yourself in a Brisbane shop asking for a potato cake, you should be fine.
Chuck a Snag on the Barbie
We can almost guarantee that most Aussie campers will have indulged in a BBQ or 50 in their lives. They’re the perfect addition to a summer’s afternoon and an even better option for a meal when you’re away with your camper trailer.
Even when you’re not camping, a great Australian hobby is heading to the hardware store on the weekend and leaving with a snag. But did you know that a huger chunk of Aussies are divided on what they are called?
While most of the country go with the classic sausage in bread, those in New South Wales prefer sausage sandwich. Weird, but true. Our top tip is when in doubt, go with snag.
All Things Sport
We’re sorry to say it, but your sport may not be as loved in other states as you think it is. Let’s break this one down by the two most popular and divisive sports, AFL and Rugby League.
AFL Fans– yes, while it might be called Australian Rules, half the country couldn’t care less and don’t know the difference between Dusty and Daisy. In some areas like Melbourne, stadiums might be filled to the brim every weekend, but other states have more interest in the weather report than the match stats.
Rugby– you might call it Footy, or league, but others will have not one ounce of a clue that you’re actually referring to Rugby.
Check your ambulance and roadside assistance cover
Some covers may not include out of state call outs. So, it’s always best to check this before you head off to avoid being left with a hefty fee. While less serious, your roadside assistance also needs to be checked, making sure that if you were to breakdown in a remote place or say, somewhere in the outback, you’re covered and have extra cash in your pocket.
As a reminder, we have three regular time zones
•Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) is observed by QLD, NSW (except Broken Hill), ACT, VIC, and TAS.
•AEST is 30min ahead of Australian Central Standard Time (SA and NT and Broken Hill).
•AEST is two hours ahead of Australian Western Standard Time (WA).
Those who live in states with daylight savings, they will tell you that is the best thing since sliced bread. An extra hour to soak up the summer sunlight? Yes please. However, some states think that they get enough sunshine in the day are enough and we end up with a country full of varied time zones for a few months of the year.
Daylight saving is not observed in QLD, WA, or the NT, so put those clocks and watches back an hour during this period if travelling into those locations from somewhere that does hoard daylight. If you use your smartphone to tell the time, simply relax because those things are so intelligent that they’ll do it all for you.
When traveling, a lot of Aussies enjoy fishing and getting their hands, or hooks rather, on some of the local delicacies. Make sure you take note of the minimum sizes in each place, as well as checking that you don’t need a permit. You don’t want to end up with a hefty fine.
Now that you’re across each state’s unwritten laws, you’re ready to take your camper on the adventure of a lifetime. Take a look at our range to make the perfect choice and get in contact with Team Mars with any questions.