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Funny Stories About Tourists Who Can’t Quite Grasp How Big Australia Is

Of all the weird and wonderful misconceptions tourists have about Australia, one of the things that they most often fail to comprehend is its sheer vastness. This can result in them having unrealistic expectations when they get here about how they’ll get around, and how much of the country they’ll be able to fit into their visit.

We’ve compiled some of the funniest examples of people not comprehending how big Australia is that people recently shared on Reddit.

My Mum’s family is Irish, and a couple of her Aunts came out to visit back in the 90s. We were living about 100km south west of Sydney at the time. Mum asked them what would they like to do the next day, and they said “We’ve heard that Cairns is a nice place, perhaps we could go there for lunch?” lol bless them. (kmm88)

I’ll never forget the 2000 Olympics tourists who asked if they could bike to Perth for a day trip. (DickieGreenleaf84)


I saw one of those where they wanted to drive between Perth and Brisbane or some similarly insane distance and wanted to know “what time should we leave so we aren’t driving with the sun in our eyes” (Needmoresnakes)

Japanese couple ask for a hotel room with a view of Ayer’s Rock. They were in Sydney CBD. (NoiseyMiner)

My grandmother had friends from Europe over in the late 90s and they pulled out one of those large fold out maps of the east coast and thought that driving from Sydney to Brisbane should take 2 hours. (Retro-dagger)

UK aunt and uncle came out to visit us in Brisbane, wanted to drive down to the grandparents in Melbourne. Told her it was easier to fly.

Anyway we get a phone call six hours into her journey, panicking about how empty everything is and wondering how far she had to go. We informed her she hadn’t even reached Sydney yet (mad_dogtor)


I had a supplier once tell me that they copped shit from their global head office about the amount of time it took to get parts from Sydney to Perth. They were so annoyed they were coming out to “see why it took so long” by doing the trip himself.

So when he got to Sydney, they stuck him in a truck out of Botany to do the trip with a driver. The guy was so happy to have some company for once that he wouldn’t shut up.

The exec made it as far as Goulburn before he got out, hired a car and drove back to Sydney.

No further complaints were apparently received from global. (Ok-Geologist8387)

Even Aussies don’t understand. I’ve had friends message me from Melbourne, I’m in Brisbane , when there have been storms in Cairns and telling me to keep safe. I tell them I’m closer to them than Cairns. (Dustymartinsdad)

Had some friends of friends coming from the UK to Sydney to meet up. They asked if it was OK to pick them up from Perth Airport instead of Sydney because the flights were cheaper. (cruiserman_80)


Years ago I was in New York visiting some collegues over there before meetings in San Francisco on the way back to Sydney. This led to discussions on trans-continental flights and they asked how long the Sydney to Perth flight took compared to flying between US coasts. When I said it was about the same, maybe a little shorter but atill around 5 hours, one guy refused to accept it and said I was wrong, Australia isn’t that big etc. Years later that same guy was reporting to me and was talking about visiting his daughter in Copenhagen for Christmas. He said “Denmark is a big place, it’s bigger than Queensland.” There was just no getting through to him. (Notbadlurking)

Was in the Canberra CBD and a some tourists came up and asked which way to Brisbane. I just pointed down Northborne Avenue and said drive down that road for 10-12 hours.

They thought I was joking and seemed a bit distressed when I said I wasn’t. (duff_moss)

A friend worked at the information booth at Syd airport. A US couple asked the best way to get to Perth, she recommended flying but mentioned train and car are also an option if they had time, as they’d need a week to drive comfortably. They freaked out and said that they had a wedding to attend at midday. It was 9am. She just replied if you’re lucky you might attend the dinner, it’s a similar distance as NY to LA. (groovtmonkeysmoothy)

My mum used to run a tourist information centre on the East Coast. One day 2 American couples came in asking where they could rent a car for the day to drive across the island and back. (LifeExit4353)

Have you ever met anyone who couldn’t quite grasp the size of Australia?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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