While countries such as China and South Korea have a whole range of sites that are unique to them and fill the same purposes as prominent western social media sites etc, Australia has for the most part gotten on board with the major global players.
(Almost) everybody in Australia has a Facebook, we have our own version of eBay, and we all pirate our favourite TV shows from the same places Americans and our English cousins do.
But there are a few sites that visitors – short term or expat – should be familiar with.
#5 – WhyGo Australia
Why it hasn’t been updated in some time, WhyGo Australia is still a pretty fantastic resource for those traveling in Australia. With a wealth of content ranging from engaging top ten lists to more mundane (but bloody useful) guides on certain facets of Aussie life, the page has content written by a number of bloggers including my sometime pie eating companion, Brooke vs. the World.
#4 – RSVP
While sites such as eHarmony, OK Cupid, and Plenty of Fish are all popular in Australia and Tinder is – like everywhere else – getting singles swiping in their downtime, RSVP is an Australian owned and run dating site that many lonely Aussies swear by. Their site claims that 69% of Aussie online daters use the site, so that’s promising for those wanting to find their bronzed Adonis with a heart of gold.
Me? I’ll always use the free OK Cupid rather than let a super rich, multinational entity profit from my crippling loneliness.
#3 – Whirlpool
If you’re a tech nerd like me, you’ll stumble across Whirlpool soon enough. It’s where internet users from across the country go to complain about their telecommunications providers or ask questions of the sagely nerds.
If you’re only in Australia for a short time, you’re unlikely to make use of the site – but if you’re temporarily putting down roots and need to know what ISP or mobile provider to go through, it’s a good place to stop in and do your research.
#2 – ABC News
Australia’s two largest news providers are News Limited (owned by cartoon super-villain and Fox owner Rupert Murdoch) and Fairfax Media Group (less evil). Together, they’re responsible for most of Australia’s print media and the associated news sites that people get their information from.
Of the two, Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald is the more popular, with News.com.au being every bit as alarmist and biased as Murdoch’s Fox News in the US.
If you want the straight dope (albeit with a bit of a left lean), try the ABC – who are one of Australia’s two non-commercial networks and the best when it comes to calling our politicians on their bullshit.
#1 – Gumtree
Owned by eBay, Gumtree is a mix of the aforementioned online auction site and classified sites like Craigslist. Originally started for Aussie expats in the UK to connect, it has since become a giant in Australia – with people using it for everything from used cars to textbooks and from finding roommates to looking for work.
It’s a great place not only for meeting new people, looking for work, and finding essentials upon your arrival, but also a good way to make some money at the end of the trip by selling your stuff. The site has recently launched a price checker app that you can use to ensure you’re selling your stuff for the right amount.
Did I miss any handy Aussie sites? What are some useful sites from your own country?