Et kig på aussie slang, opera og fyrværkeri down under

2. april 2024

Tag med når vi udforsker hjertet af Sydney, Australien. Udforsk Sydneys levende kultur, speciel slang, kendte bygningsværker og historien og Hungry Jack’s.
Og slut så af med et fantastisk nytårsfyrværkeri fra en båd foran Sydney Opera House.

G’day mate! How ya going? Welcome to another adventure with The Radio Vagabond, where today, we’re setting our compass towards the vibrant shores of Sydney, Australia. A city, and a country that’s been high on my personal bucket list for as long as I can remember.  

As the sun kisses the horizon, and the waves dance against the sandy beaches, I’m ready to immerse myself in everything this lively city has to offer. 

Sydney – a name that brings to mind images of the iconic Opera House. A lively city with busy streets, and a culture as rich and diverse as its inhabitants. It’s a place where the local lingo is as colourful as the landmarks that dot its skyline. In Sydney, people talk in a unique way, using words like ‘Arvo’ for afternoon and ‘Zonked’ for tired. Each word feels like a piece of a puzzle, waiting for travellers like us to discover its meaning.

First let’s have a look at some fact about Australia. 

FACTS ABOUT Australia 

Australia is a continent and a country that boasts an array of captivating facts, from its geographical uniqueness to its rich cultural heritage.  

Size and Population

Australia is the world’s sixth-largest country by total area, spanning approximately 7.7 million square kilometres (2.97 million square miles) – About the size of the continental United States, nearly as big as Europe, and 32 times as big as the United Kingdom. Australia has a population of about 25 million people, making it one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. 


Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, containing the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and several smaller islands. It is surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans. 

The Flag

The Australian flag has a dark blue background with three main features: In the top left corner, there’s the Union Jack, showing Australia’s history with Britain. Right below it, there’s a large white seven-pointed star known as the Commonwealth Star, symbolizing the federation of the states and territories of Australia. It used to have 6 points – one for each state in Australia, but in 1908, this star was changed from 6 to 7 points, with the 7th point representing all territories. 

On the right side of the flag, there’s one small star and four larger stars. This is a representation of the Southern Cross, a prominent star constellation visible in the southern hemisphere, representing Australia’s geographic location. 

Good Local Beer 

Australia has a strong beer culture, with both large-scale breweries and several craft breweries. Some well-known Australian beers are Victoria Bitter (VB), Carlton Draught, and Coopers Pale Ale.  

Famous People from Here 

In entertainment, there are actors like Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, and Chris Hemsworth. In music, there’s AC/DC, INXS, Bee Gees, and Kylie Minogue.  

Expensive Beer with a View 

As I stepped into the Cruise Bar along the harbour to grab a beer, the sight that greeted me was nothing short of breathtaking: the Sydney Opera House standing tall against the backdrop of the shimmering waters.

Now, when it comes to beer in Australia, it’s not just about what’s in the glass but also about the size of that glass. Here, terms like ‘schooner’ and ‘pint’ can vary in volume depending on which part of the country you find yourself in. Let me break it down for you:

A schooner, a popular choice among locals, typically holds around 425 ml of beer. Now, you might think a pint is a pint no matter where you go, but not in Australia. Here, a pint is a generous 570 ml, slightly bigger than in the UK and quite a lot bigger than in the US, where it’s about 473 ml. 

On this warm summer’s day, I would normally go for a pint, but when I glanced at the prices, I decided to go for a Carlton Draught schooner instead, priced at around €10 ($11). Despite the cost, the unbeatable location and the talented singer entertaining us with loop pedals made every sip worth it.


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Meeting The Locals 

As I savoured my drink, I found myself in the company of Mark and John, two expats from the UK who had made Sydney their home for 11-12 years. Curious about their experiences, I asked them to complete the sentence: “You know you’re in Australia when…”

Their answers, like the views from the bar, were nothing short of enlightening.

And then we also talked a bit about things they say here. And just a fair warning… there might be a few words here that might offend you, so if you’re easily offended, you might want to skip ahead. Greetings like “G’day mate” and “How ya going” are as familiar as the sunshine, embodying the laid-back charm of the land down under. Here people say unique things like “yeah-no” where they mix yes and no, and they sometimes call each other “dog” as a friendly term. This in fact is just scratching the surface of the expressions here and it shows how diverse and interesting Australian culture is.

Want to know more Aussie slang here are a few common phrases:  

The Radio Vagabond Language School

Today Australian

It will be okay: “She’ll be right” 
Very nice: “Good on ya”
I’m exhausted: “I’m cactus”
I’m tired: “I’m zonked”
I’m very tired: “I’m buggered”
I’m sick: “I’m crook”
Afternoon: “Arvo”
I’m very happy: “I’m chuffed”
I’m telling the truth: “I’m fair dinkum”

Circular Quay

Let me describe the Sydney Harbour area for you. It’s like a U-shape with the Opera House on the other side of the water from where I am. I’m at the side where the cruise ships dock in the area called The Rock, and in between is Circular Quay; it’s the beating heart of Sydney.  

As I made my way to take the train back and unpack in my Airbnb. I couldn’t help but admire the iconic Opera House on the left and the majestic Harbour Bridge on the right. Both serving as the backdrop to a lively waterfront scene.  The steel tracks of the Sydney Train network above me, with the Circular Quay station suspended like a watchful guardian over the quay. Downstairs there’s a mix of shops and fast-food outlets added to the lively atmosphere.  

In the middle of this the legendary Aboriginal known as The Didgeridoo Man breathes life into his instrument, filling the air with the soulful, haunting sounds that have become a symbol of Australia’s rich indigenous heritage. For years, he has been here with his 3-meter-long didgeridoo and his painted face, and a fixture at Circular Quay. His music echoes against the concrete and water, a reminder of the land’s deep history and the timeless stories that have shaped it. 

As I glanced around, I noticed a variety of boats docked at Circular Quay, from the iconic green and yellow ferries shuttling commuters across the harbour to Manly and other parts of the city.

Just before I get on the train, I notice a fast-food restaurant with a logo looking very much like Burger King’s. Except it’s called Hungry Jacks. I think “wow they’ve got a nerve, creating something that close” – and even more so, when I look inside and see that there’s a sign on the wall where it says, “Home of the Whopper.” So, I thought,” hmm… that’s interesting” and on the way back, I got on my phone to do a bit of research. And when we come back, I’ll tell you what I found out. 

The Saga of Hungry Jacks 

Oh, the saga of Burger King’s Australian escapade – a story flavoured with drama, legal spice, and a generous serving of branding sauce. Let’s take a cheeky look at how Burger King ended up playing a game of identity swap and became Hungry Jack’s down under. 

Back in the early 1970s, Burger King had its eyes set on Australia, only to discover that the name had already been claimed by a small shop in Adelaide. Talk about a plot twist! Jack Cowin, the man with a plan, who thought, “No worries, mate,” and stepped in with a clever solution, opting for the name “Hungry Jack’s” for the Australian franchise, drawing inspiration from a pancake mix brand. A fun fact, but straightforward enough, right? 

For years, Hungry Jack’s sizzled on the Australian culinary scene, flipping burgers and winning hearts. However, Burger King in America managed to secure the rights to the Burger King name in Australia, leading to a bit of a legal spat. Despite a handshake deal with Cowin, Burger King attempted to muscle its way into the Australian market.

This legal showdown resulted in a victory for Cowin, granting Hungry Jack’s exclusive rights to the Burger King brand in Australia. With the legal battle settled, one might expect Hungry Jack’s to embrace the iconic Burger King name. But instead, they chose to stick with what was already beloved by Australians.

After winning the rights to use the Burger King name, and Cowen winning the rights to use the world-famous name, you’d think Hungry Jack’s would jump at the chance. But nope, they decided to stick with Hungry Jack’s. Because by then, everyone in Australia knew and loved Hungry Jack’s. Changing the name to Burger King might have just confused everyone. 

So, a bit of a mix-up with names, a legal battle for the ages, and a decision to stick with what works, is why you won’t find Burger King in Australia. Instead, Hungry Jack’s with the same menu, the same slogan, and a very similar logo. 

My Nomad Cruise Friend

In front of The Sydney Opera House, I meet my friend Filip. We know each other from The Nomad Cruise when we met back in 2018. Since then, have become close friends, as I have with so many other Nomad Cruisers. I’ve done four of their cruises, two of their other event Nomad Base, and a Nomad Safari in Africa that they also organized. In many of these I’ve shared a room with Filip, and we’re actually also booked to share a cabin on the next Nomad Cruise in September/October 2024 from Vancouver to Alaska ending up in Tokyo. It’s going to be an amazing adventure. 

One of the great aspects of the Nomad Cruise is its inclusivity. You don’t have to be a full-time nomad to join the adventure – Filip, for instance isn’t a full-time nomad, He lives here, but still travels a lot and identifies himself as a part-time nomad. Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or just dipping your toes into the world of location-independent living, the Nomad Cruise welcomes all.

And here’s a little tip for you: if you’re ready to set sail on your own Nomad Cruise adventure, use the promocode “Radiovagabond” to save €100 on your ticket. Visit to learn more about upcoming voyages and join the global community of nomads charting their own course across the seas.

Inside Sydney Opera House 

Watching “Amadeus” at the Sydney Opera House with Filip was an experience I won’t soon forget.

Walking into the building before the show felt like stepping into a whole new world. Climbing the stairs, I was buzzing with excitement, not just for the performance but to see the inside of this famous place. It’s huge and impressive. The ceilings are really high – and curved as you would expect. Before the show, we went to the bar with big windows that showcased panoramic views of Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was a moment of perfection to see the bridge and the shimmering water, with boats moving around. It felt like a picture-perfect moment, making the night even more exciting. 

Then, we went into the biggest theatre in the Opera House to find our seats. We sat on the balcony on the left side, and the view of the whole place from there was incredible. The room was designed to accommodate over 2,000 spectators, and everyone can hear the music really well in any corner of the room.  The show itself, like a movie, dives into the relationship between Mozart and Salieri a blend of humour and tragedy, each note resonating with profound emotion. The live classical music, performed by the orchestra right there on stage, added a layer of authenticity and power to the narrative. Filip and I were amazed at the production and left in awe of artistry and the flawless acoustics that surrounded us in a symphony of sound. This wasn’t just a night at the opera; it was an experience that stayed with me long after the final curtain call. 

New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Sydney Harbour 

For the New Year’s Eve fireworks that is legendary in Sydney, we decided to splurge and go on a boat. I thought it’s rare that I get the opportunity and even though it was quite expensive we decided to do it. Imagine being right in the middle of the action, surrounded by water, with the night sky lighting up above you. The fireworks are a big deal in Sydney, with two main shows: one at 9 pm for families and another big one at midnight to officially welcome the new year. It’s known to be a spectacular display that costs millions of dollars and includes thousands of fireworks. 

It’s famous for the incredible setup, with some of the fireworks launched from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, creating a stunning effect that looks like a waterfall of lights cascading down into the water. And also fired from the top of ”the coat hanger” – why it’s been closed for the Bridge Climb. 

They also set off fireworks from the Opera House and several other points around the harbour, making sure that the sky is filled with colour from all directions and reflecting beautifully on the water, making the whole harbour sparkle. Being on a boat gives you a front-row seat to the show, especially the “waterfall” effect under the bridge, which is truly unique. It’s also a big party on the boat with a DJ and we made a ton of friends as we were dancing on the deck.

For those watching from the shore, it gets super crowded. People start grabbing spots early in the day to get a good view. If you’re planning to join them, getting there in the afternoon is a good idea. Bring something to sit on and maybe some snacks because you’ll be waiting a while for the show to start. But it’s worth it for the incredible view and the immersive vibe. Watching from a boat might be pricier, but the experience is truly incomparable. Whether on land or sea, Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are something everyone should see at least once. It’s a magical start to the year. 

More from Sydney Next Week

Sydney, with its vibrant culture, unique lingo, iconic landmarks, and even a quirky fast-food saga, has truly captured my heart. So, come along on this adventure as I continue to unravel the mysteries and delights of this remarkable city. I’m fair dinkum (telling the truth) when I say it’s been an unforgettable experience so far!

My name is Palle Bo, and I gotta keep moving. See you.  


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