1. Only take 300ml of water on a day trip.
Nothing provides more amusement to locals than taking a small water bottle with you on a day trip. And they will soon tell you the story of a friend of a friend that got stranded in the Outback for a week with only a small water bottle — and had to drink their own urine to survive.
2. Deck yourself in head to toe cowboy clothes.
If you want to fit in, don’t wear shiny boots, crisp pressed moleskins and a brightly coloured checked shirt. Your clothes should look worn, not ironed.
3. Find yourself bogged in a sedan and then have to call for help.
There’s no shame in getting bogged in a 4 x 4 — well, maybe just a little. There is shame in taking a sedan on a dirt track clearly marked 4 x 4 only, then having to call the SES to rescue you.
4. Assume you will have phone service everywhere you go.
You won’t. Drive 5 km out of town and you are uncontactable for another 500 km.
5. Make obvious statements like “Gee it’s hot.”
Yes, we know it’s hot. We also know there are too many flies, everything is expensive, and the wildlife can kill you.
6. Quote Crocodile Dundee to every local you meet.
No, you aren’t the first person to say “That’s not a knife.” And please don’t wear an animal tooth around your neck or on your hat. Unless you actually escaped the death roll of a crocodile and pulled the tooth out yourself — it’s not cool.
7. Wash your car.
Mud is seen as another accessory for your car in the Outback. The more the better. A clean car is to be avoided at all costs; you will look like you bought the car for appearances only.
8. Bring two beers to a BBQ.
Not only will you never be invited to another BBQ, you’ll be seen as cheap, or even worse, a lightweight.
9. Not wear a hat.
For half the year, most days reach well over 40 degrees. If you spend most of your time outdoors without a hat on, the locals will just shake their head.
10. Or sunscreen.
For the same reasons above, if you don’t wear sunscreen your face will resemble a leather handbag in no time.