Given below are a few helpful hints and unwritten rules that could get you closer to becoming the quintessential beach bum and also make the most out of the sandy beaches Down Under.
Etiquette at the Beach
One of the most important rules is to move to the edge of the water if you want to shake your towel.
Do not intrude into the neighbor’s beach space. Personal space that one has access to in Australia’s beaches is a little bigger when compared to what you can enjoy in Europe.
Never run on the sands, especially when there are sunbathers and towels lying around. This rule is strictly followed when you are wearing your thongs. The sand in Australian beaches is sticky.
A thong is always called a thong. You never call it a flip flop.
Sunbathing in the Australian beaches for long hours is not advised. Melanoma rates are higher in Australia compared to anywhere else in the world.
Do not smoke cigarettes while on the beaches. Do not leave behind the stubs in the sand either.
Australians do not prefer that you feed the seagulls while on their beaches. Do not blare out music on the beaches through iPod speakers or other music machines.
Do not wear ‘mankinis’ on the beach. This costume is not welcome. Sporting speedos is not preferred either. Board shorts made of cotton or ‘boardies’ are well accepted.
Beach costumes have different names in Australia and it is a good idea to be aware of them. The swimsuits or swimwear are known by names such as cozzie in New South Wales, bathers or togs in South Australia, Western Australia, and Victoria, and swimmers in Queensland.
Some Beach Games Played in Australia
The most popular beach sport is beach cricket. To join in a game that is being played, you need to know some rules.
Players of beach cricket use a tennis ball to play, never a cricket ball. Downplay fast bowling and keep big hits to a minimum. More emphasis is laid on strategy instead. Any keen enthusiast can join in for the game including six-year-olds. Try not to hog the bat; give chances to others playing the game as well. Every team member is given a bat and a bowl. Wickets made out of driftwood are used for the purpose. Genuine bails and wickets are mostly never used.
Make it a point to play in areas that are not crowded with people and on hard damp sand. Locate one player in the water to handle the water-bound catches. It is most dramatic when they leap sideways to catch the ball! Whereas screaming ‘Howzat’ is tolerated, chanting ‘Warnie’ is not.
For those of you who do not play cricket, you can try a hand at these games too.
Volleyball: It is a great sport through which you can make new friends. It is recommended that ladies stay away from using bikinis that are way too brief while playing the game; such bikinis are better worn during sunbathing.
Tennis Ball: Uses frayed to very-frayed tennis balls. However, one should be ready for the odd fly-ball from those bare-bodied young guys who want to get their tattoos and muscles noticed.
Totem Tennis: A game that was played by kids during the seventies, multiple versions of this one are still played on the beach.
Kites and frisbees are popular sports in the not-so-crowded beaches.
Some other general rules that you can follow to qualify as a typical Australian beach bum are to heed warnings and flags, swim only between red and yellow flags, and learn about conditions of the tides and rips from the lifeguards. Be extra careful when you are in a beach that is not patrolled.
You can garner more information from many websites that are available, and finally enjoy the Australian beach atmosphere to the hilt. There is no better way than just slipping on a shirt, slopping up loads of sunscreen and slapping on a hat.