I grew up in Australia and worked in tourism for years. First-time visitors always make these 5 mistakes.

As someone who grew up in Australia and worked in tourism, I’ve seen many visitors make the same mistakes.

I grew up in Australia and worked in tourism for many years.I’ve seen many tourists make the same mistakes, like expecting warm weather year-round.I’ve also noticed that many tourists don’t sample the local cuisine.

I’m a born-and-bred Aussie who’s been fortunate enough to work in travel and tourism, promoting Australia to international visitors. For many years, I attended international conferences, gave presentations at colleges, and ran seminars about Australia.

Tourism is an important part of Australia’s economy and is expected to generate $265.5 billion this year. But it’s also an incredible way to introduce travelers to everything the country has to offer.

Unfortunately, though, while working in the industry, I’ve seen visitors believe the same misconceptions about Australia and make similar mistakes over and over again.

Here are the five most common mistakes I see when tourists visit the country for the first time.

Underestimating the size of Australia

Australia is the sixth-biggest country in the world and the only country that takes up a whole continent. Despite this, many travelers aim to cover all of it on a short vacation.

When tourists try to do too much in one trip, they end up spending more time at airports than enjoying the sites.

Focusing on Sydney and ignoring other parts of Australia

I recommend checking out other areas outside Sydney.

The first place most people think of when they hear Australia is Sydney. However, I believe Sydney lacks the depth and culture of other Australian cities.

For example, when traveling to Sydney, you’ll likely meet many fellow tourists. For a true Australian experience, I recommend checking out other cities, like Melbourne. After all, there’s a reason it was named one of the world’s most liveable cities.

Although I’m biased, I believe my home city of Melbourne offers far more to tourists and is always the surprise hit of any visitor I speak with. Here, tourists can expect lots of festivals and events throughout the year, a vibrant café culture, a famed art scene, and friendly people.

I also recommend taking a trip to the Outback before leaving Australia. Despite covering 81% of the country, few people visit this vast unpopulated region brimming with diverse wildlife and natural wonders like the stunning pink lakes. The crystal-clear skies are also magical for stargazing at night.

Visiting Uluru is also a must, as it offers an interesting insight into our history and Indigenous culture.

Thinking Australia is hot all the time

Another thing most tourists don’t realize is that Australia isn’t always hot. The southern half of Australia experiences a chilly winter, and in some mountainous areas, it snows.

Many tourists arrive in the middle of winter unprepared and are forced to buy warmer clothes because summer in the northern hemisphere is winter down under.

The good news is that if you live in the northern hemisphere, you can take advantage of end-of-season winter sales in your home country before your Australian vacation.

When the weather is warm, though, it’s important to wear sunscreen. The sun in Australia is harsher than anywhere else I’ve been, and it’s easy to get sunburned.

Even my Texan wife covers herself in lotion — and she’s used to the sun and extreme heat.

Not experiencing the local cuisine

I always recommend visitors sample local foods like Vegemite on toast.

Australia has a diverse range of great food, and tourists are doing themselves a disservice by not sampling the local cuisine.

For a true Australian experience, I recommend trying a meat pie at a sporting event, a “parma” (aka chicken Parmesan) at a pub, and, of course, Vegemite on toast.

Being overly paranoid about deadly animals

When I worked in tourism, a lot of prospective travelers asked me how I survived all the deadly animals in Australia. Although it’s true that Australia is known for having deadly snakes, sharks, and spiders, I’ve never seen one outside a zoo.

In fact, many animals are scared of humans and stay away from the big cities and places where humans are.

Of course, tourists should always exercise caution around wildlife. However, the chances of having an encounter with a deadly animal are quite slim.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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