If you’re looking forward to planning your next spring break vacation, you’re in the right place. The first decision out of many is to decide where you and your family feel like going. The family-friendly destinations below are a great place to start gathering inspiration and ideas, so check them out.
Disney World, Orlando, FL
No matter what age your kids are, they wouldn’t turn down an offer to spend their spring break in the Disney theme park based near Orlando. With great events taking place in Disney World like the Flower and Garden Festival (March 4 – June 1, 2020), numerous new attractions, and park sites being open all the time, there is something for everyone.
Yosemite National Park
If your family loves spending time outdoors and you want a more adventurous getaway, Yosemite is going to welcome you with its lodges, campgrounds, and picturesque trails. Visiting one of the biggest national parks in spring will reveal its beauty through rushing rivers and waterfalls.
Although Cancun is a destination linked primarily with younger demographics, it offers some great vacation options for families with kids. Not to mention it’s beautiful all-year-round and it could be relatively cheap compared to other destinations. Some children-friendly activities you can explore include a stroll in Parque las Palapas, a visit to Croco Cun Zoo or the Ventura Park.
Florida Keys, FL
Just off the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, the keys and islands are a great escape for everyone who loves being around water. Key West is also the southernmost point of the country, and to drive there, you leave the mainland behind for what is one of the most scenic road trips you can have.
Lake Placid, NY
If you don’t feel like going abroad this Spring break, you can find some exciting destinations in the confines of the US too. It’s both affordable and filled with family activities to try. You can go ice skating, skiing, bobsledding, or exploring the downtown. The Winter Olympics have been hosted in Lake Placid, NY, twice and have made the area a popular location for winter sports.
45 Photos That Show Australia Is Truly a Land Like No Other
If you’ve never been there, you have no idea how different Australia is. From the snow-capped peaks of the Australian alps to the deserted bush, Australia has it all.
Lizards Get Everywhere
Australia has some big lizards, not like the little geckos we get here in America. These lizards have little to no fear of humans, so you’ll find them all over the place.
The one in this picture is a lace monitor lizard, and it can get up to 6 and a half feet long and weigh over 30 pounds.
Uluru, a Giant Rock
Uluru Rock, which is also referred to as Ayer’s Rock, is a single rock formation in the center of Australia, and it’s the largest monolith in the world. It also has the distinction of being sacred to the local Aboriginal tribe, the Pitjantjatjara, who call it Anangu.
Uluru is a historic site in Australia, with a status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s a popular tourist destination as well, since it’s such a recognizable landmark.
Australians Swear a Lot
Maybe it’s because they’re all alone on that giant island, but apparently, Australians swear a lot. It’s not uncommon to hear the worst of the worst swear words in normal conversation, and certain words that are very taboo in America are actually words that Australians use for friends.
If you ever get the chance to visit, don’t be surprised by the number of profanities you might hear. Even grannies sometimes get in on the action. It’s all part of the grand down-under!
It’s Macca’s, Not McDonald’s
In line with our theme of shortening words, Aussies won’t tell you where the closest McDonald’s is. Instead, they’ll point you towards the golden arches of Macca’s. Some of the signs even say Macca’s on them, so it’s not just local slang. It’s the real deal.
If you get the opportunity to visit Australia, you’ll probably get thrown for a loop with all the slang, shortened words, and profanities you hear thrown around. Don’t worry, you’ll pick it up very quickly!
Magpie Breeding Season
We’re going to take a turn from natural landmarks to a bizarre feature of Australia’s native pigeon, the magpie. These birds turn vicious during breeding season, and the locals refer to it as swooping season. If you’re outside, there’s a good chance a magpie will attack you.
As such, cyclists have taken some creative counter-measures, like putting deterring spikes on their bike helmets like this guy did. They’re just cable ties so they won’t injure the birds.
World Cockroach Racing Championship
Every country is known for some weird events and championships, and Australia is no exception. In the city of Brisbane, they host the annual World Cockroach Racing Championship. As you can see in this picture there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to it; just a bunch of cockroaches running around the floor.
It actually got its start as a gambling event at a casino in Brisbane. Cockroaches are very fast; their rate of speed in relation to their body length is the equivalent of a human running 200 mph.
Roos Are Everywhere
Perhaps the most beloved Australian animal is the kangaroo, the hopping marsupial that’s on its currency, its coat of arms, and is one of its national symbols. It’s well-known around the world, and there are millions of them that live in the wilds of Australia.
Kangaroos can often have humorous interactions with humans, but their powerful hind legs can be dangerous, which you can see by how this kangaroo somehow found itself on top of its house. Just another day in Australia.
29 Years of Beaches
Let’s take a quick break from what’s trying to kill you in Australia to one of its many draws. Australia is home to over 10,000 beautiful beaches, and if you visited one per day, it would take you around 29 years to visit them all.
Although Australia is renowned for its “outback,” its beaches are a huge tourist draw as well. If you decide to visit, don’t forget your sandwich made from the next entry on this list!
Of Course, a Stinging Tree
Only in Australia, it would seem, would they need a warning sign about a stinging tree. We don’t even need to say it at this point. This particular tree’s scientific name is Dendrocnide excelsa, but they just call it the Giant Stinging Tree.
The peptides in the tree’s tiny hairs closely resembles spider venom. It’s unknown why this particular tree injects unwary passers-by with venom, but it can be incredibly painful and linger for months.
They’re Obsessed with Vegemite
There’s a song called “Land Down Under”, where they mention a Vegemite sandwich. What’s that, you might be wondering? Well, Vegemite is basically the national food of Australia, and it’s a savory brown paste that’s made primarily from yeast extraction.
Aussies put it on toast, make sandwiches out of it, put it in soups, or some people even eat it straight out of the jar. It’s almost completely fat-free, it’s vegetarian, and it’s sugar-free, but it’s not gluten-free.
Guinness Record for Christmas Lights
They love going to the extreme in Australia, and one example of that is the fact that the Guinness World Record holder for most Christmas lights on a house was held by an Australian family back in 2013. The Richards family, who live in Canberra, used over 500,000 lights for their display.
Though it’s since been recaptured by a family in New York, Mr. Richards also helped set the record in 2014 for the largest LED light display as well. The dude loves him some Christmas!
The Widowmaker Pinecone
This one’s interesting. In the vein of everything in Australia trying to kill you, they have a giant pinecone there. It comes from a 120-year-old Bunya Pine, and these things weigh about 22 pounds. Since the pinecones are also very high up, they’d cause some serious damage.
It’s unclear whether this is a normal occurrence, but the town the pine is located in issued an official warning to keep your distance from this tree.
Mischievous Local Wildlife
Wallabies, wombats, and koalas are just some of the cute cuddly wildlife that has helped endear Australia to the rest of the world, but they’re known to get into mischief as well. Just ask the wallaby in this picture, who’s decided it’s time to TP the living room.
Australians often rescue injured wallabies from the wild, and some even keep them as pets. They can be a great family pet, actually, and they’ve even been introduced to the U.K., New Zealand, and France, where there are a few living in the wilds today.
Steven Irwin, Crocodile Hunter
In many ways, Steve Irwin was the embodiment of Australia. A brash guy with a killer accent who wasn’t afraid to roll in the mud with huge crocodiles, the Crocodile Hunter was everything the rest of the world imagined about what life was like in the great Down Under.
Sadly, Steve was taken before his time when he was stung by a sting-ray, but his memory lives on in his daughter, Bindi, who’s taken up his mantle as one of Australia’s foremost animal preservationists. Crikey!
The Great Barrier Reef
Another natural wonder Australia is known for is the Great Barrier Reef, a vast array of coral off the northeastern part of the continent, by Queensland. It’s the largest coral reef system in the world, and it’s home to thousands of different species of marine wildlife.
The Great Barrier Reef is almost completely protected as a national marine park, but it still faces several threats in the forms of pollution and climate change.
Don’t Forget Tasmania
Tasmania, a little island off the southeastern tip of Australia, is relatively unknown, and most people only know of it because of the Tasmanian Devil on The Looney Tunes. However, it’s actually a state of Australia, which it was admitted to in 1901.
Tasmania has a similar history to the rest of mainland Australia. Believe it or not, Australians have a nickname for Tasmania: Tassie. It fits with the rest of their nicknaming conventions.
More Animals to Kill You
If the snakes, venomous monotremes, and giant lizards weren’t enough, Australia is home to several other extremely deadly creatures. Two such creatures, the funnel-web spider and the blue-ringed octopus, are highly venomous and dangerous creatures, and they’re just a couple examples.
One thing you’ll notice about Australians is that they don’t seem to be too worried about all these dangerous animals. If we lived there, we’d probably never leave our house. Just saying.
Shrimp On the Barbie
Besides “g’day mate”, “throw another shrimp on the barbie” is one of the most oft-quoted sayings to have some history in Australia. Barbie is short for barbeque, but they actually call shrimp prawns. The saying originated in a series of tourism ads from the 1980s staring Paul Hogan, AKA Crocodile Dundee.
Many Australians cringe when they hear the saying, often because visiting Americans mangle the actual quote (he said “slip”, not throw), but it nevertheless has stuck in the American vernacular of Australian cliches.
The Dingo Fence
Because dingoes were getting so out of control, in the 1920s the Australian government started building the Dingo Fence in southern Australia. This fence was completed in 1946, and it still stands to this day. Its goal is to keep dingoes contained and out of lands populated by humans.
The fence is maintained by the land owners whose property abuts it, and they receive grants from the government to do so. The fence is designed to keep dingoes to the north, out of the farmlands in the south.
Huge Sheep Industry
One of the most widespread and popular livestock in Australia are sheep, and wool and sheep meat are one of their largest industries. There are 63.7 million sheep in Australia, where the wide-open spaces lend themselves to sheep farming.
Of course, farmers have to worry about the various dangerous wildlife that live in Australia, where pythons and dingoes have been known to eat sheep.
And They Use Slang, Too
You’ll also be struck by the sheer amount of slang Aussies uses, as well (like the word Aussie, for instance). Perhaps one of the most confusing is when they say “yeah, nah”, and its close neighbor, “nah, yeah”. Both of these mean the complete opposite (hint: the last word gives you your yes or no answer).
If you look at that picture and despair, have no fear. Australians don’t take themselves too seriously and, as such, will probably be happy to explain their lingo to you. Before you know it you’ll be speaking like an Aussie as well! She’ll be right, love.
Leaving the Door Unlocked
Even though it seems like everything in Australia is dangerous, a surprising thing outsiders find when they move or travel there is how trusting Australians are in general. Many of them will leave their doors completely unlocked, but we guess snakes can’t open doors so they’re ok.
Australians are very friendly in general, and they get along well with each other, so it follows that, especially in less populated areas, they might not see the need to lock their doors.
Shark On a Golf Course
Imagine you’re just out for a nice day on the links, and in between holes, you’re able to sit down next to one of the water hazards to enjoy a few minutes of rest. Suddenly, you glance at the water and notice a shark fin sticking out of it.
That’s just another day down under, and if you happen to see a shark fin in the water on a golf course, you might just consider it to be par for the course.
So Many Venomous Snakes
If you were wondering, Australia is home to a lot of dangerous animals. We’ll be discussing these more later, but first up are venomous snakes. Did you know that, out of the 25 most venomous snakes in the world, 21 of them are found in Australia?
Just a few of these are the Inland Taipan, the Mulga snake, and the Eastern Brown Snake. If these names don’t strike fear into you, they should. Snakes get everywhere in Australia, whether it’s in your toilet or even on the wing of a plane.
Akka Dakka, AKA AC/DC
If you’re a fan of classic rock, you’ll be right at home in Australia, which is the home of AC/DC. However, if you ever visit Australia, you probably won’t hear it referred to by its American name. Instead, Aussies call their foremost band “Akka Dakka,” which fits right in with their tendency to shorten the amount of syllables in their words.
Akka Dakka, as it’s called, was formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. No matter what you’ve heard, they simply call their music rock and roll, and that’s totally ok with us.
Beautiful Pink Lakes
The lake pictured below, Lake Hillier, is one of several beautiful pink lakes that give Australia’s land a pop of vibrant color. It’s recently been determined that the lakes are pink because of a unique combination of algae, halobacteria, and other microbes.
These lakes are also very salty, resembling the Dead Sea in terms of how much salt they have in them. Although Lake Hillier has recently lost its pinkish hue, scientists may be able to restore it.
Yeah, it Gets Really Hot
Some parts of Australia can get incredibly hot, particularly in the northwestern portion of the continent during the summer (which coincides with the northern hemisphere’s winter). As you can see from the image below, asphalt can melt and seatbelts can leave a burn on your arm in this extreme heat.
People have even been known to put their clothes and shoes in the fridge to cool them off before venturing out into the extreme heat. Now that’s hot!
The Signs Are Insane Here
Generally, signs are put in place to inform passersby or warn them of something ahead. They help to regulate traffic and make the relationship between pedestrians and drivers a whole lot easier. In Australia, it’s kind of different though.
Because of the vast array of poisonous life forms, both on land and in the water, signs need to be displayed to warn people of their presence. Take this sign, for example.
One of the only things you probably remember from science class in school is that there’s two mammals that lay eggs; the duck-billed platypus and the spiny echidna, both of which are native to Australia and its surrounding islands.
Studying these animals is an important component of evolutionary biology, as both are the only living examples of monotremes, mammals that lay eggs. Fascinating!
Dingoes, Australia’s Version of Wolves
In 1980, a family camped near Uluru rock and was met with tragedy when their two-month old infant was dragged from their tent by a dingo. Although they were eventually acquitted, several courts convicted her parents, saying the story of a dingo eating their child was far-fetched and impossible.
All that is to say that Australia is home to anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 of the feral canines, who’ve been on the continent for thousands of years. They can be a nuisance to farmers with livestock.
And Tons of Rabbits
One pretty significant part of Australia’s history, and now the current issues it’s facing, has been the introduction of foreign animals to its ecosystems. As an island, Australia was a delicate ecosystem for thousands of years. Another introduced species that has become invasive is rabbits.
There are billions of rabbits in Australia now, and they eat everything. As you can imagine, a significant effort by the country is in culling the population, and they are responsible for the extinction of several native species.
The Australian Bush
Just like “forest” in the U.S., much of Australia is uninhabited wilderness. Aussies usually refer to this vaguely as “the bush”, and you can assume they’re referring to areas with trees and plant life, instead of the desert, although it can apply to any uninhabited region.
The word bush is believed to be related to the Dutch term for forest, which is bosch. European immigrants from South Africa to Australia brought the term with them, and it spread from there.
Greeks in Melbourne
Australia is a land of immigrants, and one particularly large group of immigrants came from Greece in the 1850s during Australia’s gold rush. Now, Melbourne has the largest Greek population in any city outside of Greece or Cyprus (over 173,000)!
Greek culture still holds an important place in Australian Greeks’ hearts, and Australia also has a significant bilateral economic trade situation with Greece, which is worth over AUS $140 million.
The Only Country-Continent
Australia happens to be the only country that occupies an entire continent by itself, and Australians are pretty proud of that fact. The fact they’re an island in the middle of the ocean also helps, and it makes the Australian people pretty self-sufficient.
Even though it doesn’t look that big, Australia is about the same size as the continental United States, even though the vast majority of the landmass is unoccupied wilderness.
People Shop Barefoot
The first time you go grocery shopping in Australia, you might be shocked to see people out shopping without any shoes on. Australians have a different opinion about wearing shoes apparently, and they’ll often go into places barefoot that isn’t allowed in other places of the world.
This all feeds in to the image of Australians as a fun-loving, carefree people, who aren’t as uptight as people are in the rest of the world.
Giant Flying Bats
Imagine seeing this enormous bat staring at you through your bedroom window. This flying fox, or megabat, which can be the size of a small child, is one of four megabats that are native to Australia. Luckily, these huge bats eat fruit, nectar, and pollen; otherwise we don’t see how anyone could possibly decide to live there.
Megabats can weigh up to two pounds, and several of the species in Australia are considered endangered due to various reasons.
Tons of Camels
When you think of quintessential Australian wildlife, the camel may not come to mind, but Australia is crawling with them. Herds roam the bush, and there are so many that Australia actually exports camels to the Middle East! They were first brought to the continent in the 1800s and their population exploded.
Although the amount they export is relatively small, it’s still pretty impressive, and they export camel meat as well as live camels for use in dishes around the world.
Tolmer Falls, Another Natural Attraction
Australia has no shortage of natural landmarks and stunning locales, and one such popular tourist destination is Tolmer Falls, located in the Northern Territory. It’s a nice, easy hike up to the top of the falls, where there’s two viewing stations to see them.
While it’s not going to win any worldwide contests for tallest waterfall, Tolmer Falls is just one of many natural features that make Australia a unique and beautiful place.
The Sydney Opera House
Australia isn’t necessarily known for man-made places, but perhaps their most recognizable landmark is the Sydney Opera House, located in Sydney Australia. It’s unique clamshell architecture is certainly something that makes it very noticeable.
Originally estimated to cost a mere $7 million, the completed project actually took $102 million, which was largely funded by a State Lottery. Over 10.9 million visitors check it out each and every year.
It Gets Very Cold
In the southeastern portion of Australia there sits the Australian alps, so named because they get more snow than the Alps in Austria. Australia is actually, believe it or not, Australia is a popular skiing destination, with some of the best skiing in the world.
Australia is one of the few countries in the world that can get such a varied climate and terrain as to have both deserts, jungles, and snow-capped mountains all in the one place.
Even the People Are Wild
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the way that people behave down under can be just as, if not even more intriguing than the way that all of its wild creatures live. In some parts of the country, humans are just as wild as their animal counterparts.
Take this guy, for example, who seems to be just as crazy as the ostrich that he is riding. They work in a symbiotic kind of way to get from point A to B.
Some People Put Their Clothes in the Fridge
As previously established, Australia can get extremely hot and people try to come up with all kinds of ways to stay cool. But did you ever think that it might actually be a good idea to put one’s clothes in the fridge to make them feel fresh and cool before you go out?
Apparently, some people down under actually do this for about half an hour before they go out. Don’t be surprised to find some shorts and a T-shirt in your Aussie friend’s fridge.
The Original Fight Club
Even if you have never seen the movie Fight Club, the title is pretty self-explanatory. Guys get together and take their frustrations out on each other, creating some kind of brotherhood in the process. You could say that they were inspired by the kangaroos in Australia.
If you look up “Kangaroo” in an encyclopedia, you will learn the actual word means “large foot.” This should lend credence to the notion that they are natural-born fighters, who will kick to ensure their survival.
You might be thinking to yourself, “huh, that frost over the park looks kind of weird.” Well, that’s because it’s not technically frost. Apparently, during Australia’s rainy seasons, one should consider taking a lighter and some hairspray with them when going out.
This is to ensure that you don’t get tangled in any of these crazy fields of webs. Spiders will build these amazing clusters to get high up, in order to avoid drowning in puddles. Don’t worry, they’re just trying to survive!
Even Police Have a Sense of Humor
There is no denying that people have a complicated relationship with their police forces, depending on the country they live in. In Australia though, it seems like police officers know how to treat most situations in a light-hearted kind of way.
Take this situation, for example, which saw one of the “force” actually dressed up like they were from a galaxy far, far away. In reality, though, they were simply checking to see if any cars were speeding.
A Symbiotic Nation
When you’re a country blessed with as many animals as Australia is, you are bound to have some interesting and unexpected relationships develop between certain species. In this case, we are talking about human beings with the rest of the animal kingdom.
It’s not just cats and dogs that are kept as pets in these parts. More often than not, you will find people like this young lady taking selfies with little, welcoming animals.
Some Koalas Have “Jobs”
Trust us when we say this – koalas don’t just simply stick to a tree all day. They are very curious individuals and aren’t too shy to get stuck into some situations that involve human beings. Take this little guy, for example, who ended up intruding a news team.
They had specifically been visiting the Australian Reptile Park in New South Wales when one koala decided to hop on one of the cameras and look like he was shooting a scene.
Real-Life Snakes on a Plane
If you have seen the movie Snakes on a Plane, starring Samuel L. Jackson, you will know that it’s absolutely ridiculous and could never actually happen. Right? Well, we can confirm that this photo is actually real and happened on a plane flying over Australia.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that wild snakes can not just climb onto aircraft, but can stick onto it if their life depends on it. This python is a staggering three meters long!
Surf If You Dare
There is no denying that surfing is a past time that man Australians love to do. In fact, its many beaches and waters attract millions of surfers from around the world every year. However, these visitors are certainly putting a lot on the line, especially when these guys show up in the waves sometimes.
Every once in a while, a crocodile might get swept up on the shore. So if you are riding a wave and some teeth appear out of nowhere, you need to move fast.
All Kinds of Ways to Cool Down
If you have learned anything in this article, you will now know that in Australia, it can get very, very hot depending on what time of the year it is. With that said, you will be amazed by how many ridiculous ways people try to keep cool during the hottest times of the year.
These people took hilarious photos of their pets to demonstrate some of these left-field methods. These included a dog standing in front of a fan because he doesn’t have air-conditioning and a cat who iced up, literally.
World’s Longest Golf Course
Australia is home to the world’s longest golf course, Nullarbor Links, which is located along the 1,365 kilometer Eyre Highway that stretches across the Nullarbor Plains. Basically, each hole is located in a different town along the highway.
The course takes about four days to play through, and costs $70 to play through. If you go to Australia and you enjoy golfing, you have to check out this unique golfing experience!
An Unsavory Past
Australia has a bit of a reputation for having an unsavory past, which started when England started shipping its convicts there in the late 18th century after the Revolutionary War made it so that they couldn’t send them to America anymore.
This practice persisted in several British colonies across the world until 1868, when England officially stopped transporting convicts out of the country.
Life on the Coasts
Even though Australia is just about the size of the continental U.S., the vast majority of its landmass is uninhabited by humans. This could have something to do with the fact that everything in the interior seems to be designed specifically to kill humans.
Most Aussies live near the coasts, with over 67% of the population living in the largest coastal cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane. It’s one of the most sparsely populated countries on the planet!
Odd Australian Coins
A lot of the world has round coins, but not Australia. Their fifty cent piece is a dodecagon, or it has 12 sides. Their smallest coin is also the five cent piece, which we imagine makes it difficult to make change sometimes!
Australians also have a $1 and $2 coin for use, in addition to their paper currency. However, we still can’t get over their 12 sided 50 cent piece. That’s wild!
Did We Mention The Pythons?
If you weren’t already scared of the venomous snakes, Australia is also home to some truly humongous pythons. You should just assume that the entire continent is trying to kill you. Scrub pythons, which are the largest ones in the country, can grow up to 25 feet in some cases.
Australia is actually home to 14 of the world’s 31 species of python, so once again, it shows an incredible diversity of wildlife in a relatively small area.