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14 Things They Should Tell You Before Coming To Australia

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Coming to Australia and wondering what to expect? Luckily for you, Jordana Grace, also known as That British Girl is sharing her tips to help you become a proper Australian in no time!

If you’ve not heard of her yet, you must have been living under a rock! Her viral social media content and storytelling has seen her build a strong and loyal community of fans who love her comedy videos all about ‘things you should know before coming to Australia’. Make sure you follow her TikTok at @thejordanagrace and her Instagram at the same handle.

How I ended up moving to Australia from the UK


Not many people know this but I was actually born in Australia and have dual nationality. My Dad is Aussie and my Mum is British, although they divorced when I was three and my mum brought me and my sister back to the UK. My Dad has always lived in Australia, so we would come and visit him in six month blocks when I was growing up, which means I even went to an Australian school!

Then back in Feb 2020, I was burnt out from working in TV in London, and decided have a holiday in Australia and do the Great Ocean Road Trip in Victoria! But, Covid happened and I got stuck here! I ended up getting a job on the Sunshine Coast and I’ve been living here ever since. I LOVE my life here and although I never thought I’d end up here, I never want to leave, and… I rarely wear shoes now! 

Building a following on social media


Even though I am half-Aussie, it turns out I knew very little about the country! What’s a ‘servo’? Why isn’t wine sold in supermarkets? And who knew magpies would scare me more than spiders?!

Back in July 2020, I made my first video called ‘Things they should tell you before coming to Australia’, and it just kicked off from there. People from around the world loved hearing the differences – especially Australians! In fact, I think I became a sort of pet to them. The weirdest thing is, I didn’t even know how to use TikTok! In fact, my first Tik Tok video was in landscape! So if I can do it, anyone can!

Things to know before moving to Australia

There are a few things you should know about moving to Australia, so I’m going to share some of my viral social media content, and also, just a few funny things you might laugh along to as well!

 1. Buying Milk in Australia is complicated

@thejordanagrace What does it all mean?! 🥛 #question #answer #adulting #australia #movingtoaustralia ♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists

Who knew buying milk in Australia could be so complicated? In the UK it’s pretty simple. We have a rule; Blue = full fat, Green = semi-skimmed, and Red = skimmed.
But in Australia, pink, red and blue can trim, skim or light, but Blue can also be full fat. Then theres yellow, purple, black and gold and nosebleed. Funnily enough, I now drink oat milk. 

2. Embrace the lingo and speak ‘Strayan!

@thejordanagrace Fab Aussie sayings #aussie #australia #australian #sayings #lingo #slang #british #uk #funny #drama #men #fyp #foryou #love #favorite ♬ original sound – That British Girl

Aussies will shorten most words and add an ‘o’ to it – just in case this helps with translation! You can have an entire conversation just using the word ‘mate’. Before you know it, your life will be ‘cruisy’, and you’ll be on the way to the servo before going to the bottle-o.
AND, just to add more chaos to the mix, every state can have slightly different nicknames for everything and will correct you if you get it wrong. Have fun!

3. Get ready for this – you may get a laundry room

@thejordanagrace Culture Shocks for Aussies in the UK 😂 #uk 🇬🇧 #australia 🇦🇺 #aussie #shock #livinginuk ♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists

The washing machine may not be in the kitchen! It may not even be in the bathroom! You may be lucky enough to have a SEPERATE room just for laundry. You know you’ve peaked as an adult when you have a seperate laundry room – it’s amazing. And it means no more dirty socks in the kitchen. Hazzah!

4. Aussies are a bunch of tricksters, and we love them for it

Watch this hilarious video about a British journalist who was tricked into believing drop bears exist.

Nothing brings greater joy to an Aussie, than tricking a tourist. It fuels them. (Made-up) science has proved Aussies can telepathically communicate, and corroborate on lies (think drop bears like in the video above). So if you are tricked, just know it has brought them great joy, and laugh with them.

5. Distance is not a thing Australians understand

@thejordanagrace Things they should tell you before moving to #Australia PART 9 #distance #travel #aussie #fyp #foryou #drama #friends #coffee #viral #funny #christian ♬ original sound – That British Girl

When you ask an Australian how far something is, get it in kilometres! Because when they reply ‘just down the road’, that could equal an eight hour drive. Australia is so vast, driving three hours for a doughnut is nothing to them. So be prepared for long car journeys. 

6. Coffee is life, and delicious

Read our Best Coffee Spots In Sydney.

Thanks to the Italian and Greek immigrants, Australian coffee is renowned for being awesome! If you’re American, there is no creamer, and lattes are boring. Order yourself an oat flat white with confidence and blend in with the locals.

7. Ordering a beer…you may need help

@thejordanagrace AUSSIE BEER!! #beer #drink #aussie #british #australia #why #help ♬ original sound – That British Girl

In the UK, you’d order a pint, or half pint or a shandy or so on. Simple. But in Australia, you’ve got schooners, middys, pots, pints, ponys, jugs…just grunt and point and you’ll be right. 

8. The TimTam Slam and all the goodies!


If you come to Australia and didn’t try a snag at Bunnings obviously – did you even visit Australia? Here are some classic Aussie snacks to try:

  • A meat pie
  • Fairy bread: cheap white bread & butter, sprinkled with 100s & 1000s’
  • Toast and Vegemite. Obviously.
  • The Tim Tam Slam! (The ultimate tea/biscuit dunking)
  • Lamingtons
  • Snag. A sausage in a slice of white bread. It’s classic to get one at Bunnings, the local hardware store. Because, why not. 
  • Pavlova. Or Pav – which one do you call it?
  • Chicken Parmigiana. There is a massive debate amongst Australians as to whether this is referred to as a ‘parmi’ or ‘parma’. Do not enter this debate. There are no winners!

9. Be prepared to slip, slap and slop, seek and slide!


Wear sunscreen because you are not tougher than the sun! In the UK, whenever I saw the sun, I would slap on the olive oil and be ready to burn. But in Australia, there’s a hole in the ozone layer and you can burn inside your car. Wear 50+ SPF and reapply every few hours. No one likes a raisin! Remember to slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade midday and slide on UV-sunglasses. You can thank me later!

10. Swim between the flags


Aussies are taught from a young age about beach safety & lifeguards set up flags on the beach to show where’s safe to swim & where they’ll be watching. But, tourists tend to underestimate the powerful currents & rips (a powerful current). Sadly most beach-related deaths happen outside the flags. So, swim between the flags! Don’t make the lifeguards yell at you through the speakers, it’s embarrassing. 

11. Be afraid. Be very afraid!

@thejordanagrace Things they should tell you before coming to #australia #aussie #british #travel #birds #magpie #danger #fear #fyp #comedy #warning #safety #joke #fun ♬ original sound – That British Girl

Everyone thinks it’s the snakes and spiders you need to worry about. WRONG. (Well yes be on the look out…) But what you should fear – are the birds.

Every Spring is magpie mating season and they get super aggressive and will ‘swoop’ you. There’ll be signs to alert you if you are about to enter magpie territory (as they are a protected species) so walk slowly and calmly.

Magpies are also super smart and will remember your face…so if you upset one, it will find you. BUT, you can also befriend them, and if you do, you’re friends for life and they will even protect your house! You will even see cyclists attach cable ties or googly eyes to their helmets to avoid being attacked. 

12. Driving Barefoot. Get those toes out!


I can’t remember when I last wore shoes! A year ago I would have been horrified at the idea of driving barefoot. In the UK my feet were always in shoes or snuggled in socks. But then one day I was forced too to drive barefoot from the beach… and I haven’t looked back! It’s not illegal (as long as you drive responsibly), and so utterly freeing. My feet are healthier than they’ve ever been and Aussies love it. (Although not so much in the city, ew.)

13. Its ‘Aus’, not OZ


That’s how they can tell you’re a tourist.

14. Naughty sing-a-longs


When the Aussies love something, they claim it with style. Here is a list of all the songs Aussies have adopted and added their own little…flair…

  • AC/DC : It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Sausage Roll)
  • The Angels : Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again 9No Way, Get F*cked, F*ck Off’)
  • Smoke : Living Next Door to Alice (Alice? Who the f*ck is Alice!)

Before you go, embrace the Aussie way of life! Don’t be the ‘whinging pom’. Once you embrace the Aussie way of life, they will embrace you back. Oh, and be prepared for the swearing lol. 

Big thanks to Jordana for sharing her tips for ‘Things They Should Tell You Before Moving to Australia’. If you would like to share your favourite places, or things to do in Australia, simply fill out our Write For Us form.

14 Tips For Things They Should Tell You Before Moving To Australia