This one is hard to beat. In January, this male swamp wallaby went viral for hopping across one of Australia’s most famous icons, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. New South Wales Police caught the footage and did not appear to make an arrest, as the rebellious marsupial hopped across lanes without indicating. He was carefully captured and taken to Taronga Zoo for examination. Thankfully, he had no major injuries and has since been released back into the wild. It remains a mystery how the wallaby ended up in the middle of the city, but one thing's for sure - that's Australia for you.
No, we're not kidding. In November, a University of New South Wales project dubbed "Pie in the Sky" saw this Aussie delicacy fly 28 kilometres into the sky attached to a helium balloon. It gets better - the launch took place at Merriwa Sports Club - a pub in country New South Wales. Apparently, the point of this ridiculous(ly amazing) project was to raise awareness of Australia's bright future in space technology. We think they're definitely on the right track, but we are just a little disappointed the pie didn't have tomato sauce.
The madness is neverending. In November, a country town in Queensland unveiled the Big Melon, which beat out a Big Peanut to become Australia's next Big Thing. Weighing in at 4 tonnes and 4 metres long, the Big Melon is a symbol of Chinchilla's famous watermelon industry. The Big Melon has joined the ranks of approximately 150 oversized, bizarre sculptures around the country. You can read about our ten favourites here!
In August, the governing party of Australia dumped Malcolm Turnbull for Scott Morrison, our fifth Prime Minister in six years. But, us Aussies have come to appreciate the semi-annual leadership spill, as it serves as a reminder for us to change our smoke alarms, get our car serviced etc. There's even a Twitter account dedicated to providing regular updates on who the current leader of our country is, since it's just so bloody hard to keep up with.
For those not familiar with the "Bunnings sausage sizzle," it refers to the regular weekend BBQs held at the stores of hardware chain Bunnings. Picking up a Bunnings snag before or after a day of shopping for DIY materials is a sacred tradition in our country. Chaos ensued in November when a customer slipped over a dropped bit of onion, leading to Bunnings announcing they would be changing the arrangement of the sandwich so that the onion goes beneath the sausage and not on top. Angry Aussies took to Facebook to join an event called "Throwing your onion on the ground and then slipping" to protest the changes. But as far as we know, Bunnings are still getting the same turnout to their famous 'dos, regardless of onion placement.
Australia is famous for elaborate cafes - and we love fancy brunches, we do. But some things really ought to stay sacred. In April, the above post sparked outrage across the country as Australians decried the jazzing up of a timeless Aussie treat, Vegemite on toast. Comments ranged from "just put it on the toast, d***heads," to "looks like a massive skid mark if you ask me." But no matter how much indie cafes experiment with food, nothing can change the fact that Veggie toast goes down an absolute treat for breakast, lunch or dinner.
The Hemsworths. The outback. Crocodile Dundee. It doesn’t get much more Aussie than this. In February, Tourism Australia broke the internet when they dropped a trailer for an apparent sequel to Paul Hogan’s smash hit Crocodile Dundee, starring Australian treasures the Hemsworths, Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Jessica Mauboy and more. There was even an ad during the Super Bowl with over one billion views, and the movie looked like a sure thing. Hearts broke around the country when it was announced as an extremely clever marketing campaign. But hey, we can dream.
So this year, Nick Cummins was announced as the Bachelor – a former rugby player who just so happens to be the most Australian guy in the world. It was a change from the cookie-cutter Bachelors of the past, so naturally all of Australia watched him navigate the trials and tribulations of finding love. Come grand finale in October – the day where he must choose which of two girls he wants to enter in a relationship with – he chose…nobody. It really doesn’t get much more Australian than the Honey Badger saying “Yeah, Nah” on what was supposed to be one of the biggest days of his life.
Photo: Bryan Fry, University of Queensland
Is anyone really surprised about this? As if Australia didn't have enough venomous snakes, in July, researchers at the University of Queensland discovered one more. Named Vermicella Parscauda, the snake was found at Weipa on Cape York Peninsula, near Rio Tinto's mining operations. Unfortunately, scientists fear the snake may be at risk of extinction, as only six speciments were found. We hope our amazing researchers can find a way to save the snake...just please, keep them away from our shoes.
One of the biggest Australian values is mateship and looking out for one another. This year, Australia suffered a terrible drought that saw many farmers struggle to make ends meet. The entire country stepped up to help out, and in August, #parma4afarmer parma was launched. Participating pubs all around the country donated $1 for every chicken or veal parmigiana sold to the Buy a Bale campaign. Classic pub food to help farmers? It doesn't get much more Aussie than that.