Reasons to celebrate Australia

Today – January 26 – is Australia Day, aka Aussie National Day. With this in mind, Kaye Holland reveals eight reasons why she loves the country that introduced her to backpacking

Vegemite
The brown stuff might look dodgy in the jar but the taste is so strong and salty, how could you not love it?! Here at JAT HQ we’re huge fans of vegemite which launched back in 1922, and believe that the Aussie invention is infinitely superior to its stable mate, marmite. Don’t believe us? Just taste…

Kylie
Much like Marilyn, Ms Minogue is famous enough to be known by only her first name and righty so: from her sartorial style and sensational singing career to her turn as TV judge onThe Voice, the adorable Aussie has got star quality in spades. Kylie may have been around for more than 25 years but, to paraphrase one of her greatest hits, we can’t get her out of our heads…

The weather
Britain may be battling the big freeze but in Australia it’s hot, hot, hot! And the good weather isn’t solely reserved for summer. The Land Down Under enjoys sunshine 360 days of the year. Jealous, us? Guilty as charged.

The beaches
Oz is blessed with beautiful, bounty advert beaches from Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach to Byron Bay and the spectacular Whitsunday Islands – where the fine white sand looks like the kind of place you’d see Bond wading ashore in his Speedos – to Western Australia’s lovely Rottnest Island. Got your passport?

 

Tim Tams
Hands up if you’ve tried a Tim Tam? If not, you’re missing out my friend for Tim Tams are a one-way ticket to bliss. This chocolate treat (think two chocolate biscuits sandwiched together with – what else – chocolate) is to Australia what Victoria Sponge is to Britain or Apple pie is to America. The stats say it all: one in every two Aussie households contains a packet of Tim Tams and around 35 million packs are sold each year!

Soaps
Let’s face it: Aussie soaps such as Neighbours and Home and Away are utterly addictive. Summer Bay and Ramsay Street are responsible for the likes of Liam and Chris Hemsworth, Isla Fisher and Margot Robbie who recently swapped Melbourne’s most famous street for a role in the Martin Scorsese Oscar nominated film, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Fosters
The second best selling beer in the UK is – rather bizarrely – not particularly popular Down Under. The Aussies love their lager but tend to choose Tooheys New and Victoria Bitter. All of which means that there are more cans of cold Fosters for us poms to enjoy today. Dry January? We seem to have missed the memo…

Hugh Jackman
Whether he is showing off his vocal range in Les Misérables or his biceps as Wolverine, the Aussie actor never fails to impress. He’s also a hands on Dad to his two adopted children and an adoring husband (“From day one, we were best mates,” he says of his 58 year old wife, Deborra-Lee Furness). It’s official: we’ve got a crush.