On the last night of my recent trip to Australia, I was in a French restaurant in Sydney, sipping Japanese whisky, and reading Robert Hughes’ international bestseller, The Fatal Shore. It’s about how the British settled Australia. When I recognized the cosmopolitan nature of my situation, I put down the book and began reflecting on my time.

“If you don’t like Australia, there’s something wrong with you.”

At least that’s what one Uber driver in Sydney told me. And he’s right. I’m unbelievably lucky because this marks my third visit Down Under and even though this is the country in which I’m most likely to die based on the per capita number of creatures that prey on humans I’m still an “Australophile.”

“No worries, mate!”

The sites are impressive, the wildlife remarkable, and the food fantastic. It’s everything I could want in a destination. It seems like everyone is worry-free, too. No matter what you ask or say, everyone’s response is always, “No worries!”

“Thank you!”
“No worries, mate.”

“Oh, I wanted this steak medium rare.”
“No worries, mate.”

“Would you jump off that bridge if I asked you to?”
“No worries, mate.”

I don’t know exactly what it means, but I like it and plan to start using it. Likely without the “mate” part. No matter how hard I try, it just doesn’t sound the same with my southern twang.

Anyway, on this trip, I wanted to hit up a few under-appreciated sites. Fortunately, I had a comrade who agreed to act as a guide. You might recall my friend Trevor from our previous adventures in Australia, Australia, and Fiji. He’s a Sydneysider and, on this visit, he and his 17-month-old son picked me up at the airport. After a quick exit, we were all ready for some coffee (well, not the 17-month-old).

Yet another thing in Australia that can kill you.

If you’ve never experienced Australian coffee, it’s not like anything else on the planet. It’s as strong as death, just not quite as permanent. After just a few sips, I’m on fire! This stuff isn’t like anything we have in the States.

Fueled by super-caffeine, we headed to the wildlife park. Australia is certainly known for its animals and it’s easy to find plenty of them safely behind bars throughout Sydney. The zoo is incredible, of course, but takes a full day to appreciate. The wildlife park, on the other hand, was designed for short attention spans. We were in and out in about thirty minutes. It seemed sufficient for two caffeine-filled “Type A’s.” And Trevor’s son was happy with the 90 seconds (and $20) Trevor spent in the gift shop.

Yet another thing in Australia that can kill you.

So, after the wildlife park, we began discussing our plans to see those “under-appreciated sites.”

We were going to Tasmania (Australia’s southernmost State), Canberra (Australia’s National Capital), and the Gold Coast (one of Australia’s most beautiful coastal regions).

It was a lot to take in, so I’m going to post each one separately. Don’t want to miss anything? Be sure to “like” GreenerGrass on Facebook by clicking here!