English Across the Curriculum

Discover Australia

Australian Way of Life

More than 80 % of Australians live in cities or bigger towns. Most of them live in the suburbs and have their own schools, churches and shopping centres there. They live in bungalows with their own gardens. Older houses are made of wood and have verandas or porches. Some of them are built on poles . Most newer houses are made of brick or stone.

Country life in Australia is not like anywhere else in the world. The inner part of the continent is often called the outback (which means “ out in the back country ”). Farms in the outback are called stations. Farmers raise cattle and sheep and they grow wheat . These stations are very large, sometimes up to 2,000 or more square kilometres . The nearest town may be over one hundred km away.

Pub and hotel in the Australian outback
Image: www.gondwananet.com, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Life in the outback is very hard. There are not always paved roads , so travelling by car is difficult ,sometimes impossible. Many families have smaller airplanes which they use to get to the next town and back again. Because it is the driest region of Australia, the people in the outback must cope with natural disasters , like droughts or bush fires.

Many Australian children who live in the outback get their education at home. Students used to get their homework by two-way radio , today the internet has taken over as the main technology . Flying Doctors give medical treatment to people who live far away from doctors or hospitals.

"School of the Air" studio in Alice Springs
Image : Sven Tombers, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Planes of the Flying Doctor Service
Image : Cabrils, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Australians like to eat meat , especially beef , poultry and mutton . When Europeans from other countries started to come to Australia they brought their eating habits with them. Today, you can find Italian, Greek and other restaurants all over the county.

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink, but many Australians also like to drink wine that grows in the southern and south-eastern part of the continent. Older people still drink lots of tea - like in Great Britain - but younger ones drink more and more coffee.

Australians love sport because they spend a lot of their free time outdoors . Swimming, sailing and diving are some popular water sports. Many Australians also play golf and tennis.

The most popular team sports are cricket and rugby. Many world famous athletes come from Australia and the country has won many medals at Olympic Games and World Championships.

Sailing boats in Sydney harbour
Image: Vera & Jean-Christophe from Europe, CC BY-SA 2.0,
via Wikimedia Commons

Melbourne Cricket Ground
Image: Tourism Victoria from Australia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons