Where all the Australians are

It's Australia Day tomorrow, in case you didn't know. Time to celebrate our Australianess, to barbecue meat near a beach, paint flags on our cheeks, play a bit of cricket, listen to the Hottest 100 and sink a few stubbies. Or something like that.

For Australians overseas, however, it can be a slightly different story. The day will slip by completely unnoticed for some. Others will gather in their adopted town's dodgiest Australian theme pub and drink Fosters, sans irony. Some will have house parties; others will sit up listening to internet streams of the radio.

There are plenty of times you want to escape other Australians while you're travelling, and the 26th of January can occasionally be the ultimate example of that.

But some people don't mind the presence of their fellow ocker, and this list is for them. Because if you really want to find other Australians to hang out with overseas, there are certain destinations and festivals around the world that can guarantee their presence.

Oz-o-philes should flock there; everyone else has been warned.

Niseko, Japan

Australians are naturally drawn to activities we can't enjoy at home, and snow sports are one of those things. Hit the slopes in Niseko and you could swear you'd never left Thredbo if it wasn't for the weird powdery stuff beneath your feet. The whole town will be rocking tomorrow night.

Bali, Indonesia

Fairly obvious, I know, but it still has to be the world's number one spot-the-Aussie destination. Local bars play AFL and rugby matches instead of Indonesian sports, and the places are always overflowing with boardshort-wearing Westerners. Bali's close, cheap, and overrun.


Another favourite sun-and-surf destination for Aussie travellers, Fiji is family paradise, with a touch of backpacker heaven thrown in. And never mind the holidaymakers – check out the gated townhouses around Port Denarau. It might as well be annexed as our third territory.

Whistler, Canada

They don't call it "Whistralia" for nothing. I used to work at a ski resort in Colorado and I thought that was packed with Aussies, but it's got nothing on the huge Canadian resort. Get your skis fitted by an Australian. Get put on a chair lift by an Australian. Get medivac-ed off the mountain by an Australian. And get your beer poured and dinner served by an Australian. Where am I?

Edinburgh, Scotland

I've left out London, because that's taking statements of the obvious to a crazy degree (have fun tomorrow, London-dwellers). Slightly more surprising, however, is the huge amount of Australians all attempting to "do something different" by going up north to Edinburgh. That'd be fine if only one person had the idea, but... well, you'll see. G'day, mate.

Koh Pha-Ngan, Thailand

There's not much "Thailand" in Koh Pha-Ngan. There's a bunch of backpackers, predominantly Australian, sitting around eating toasted cheese sandwiches and banana pancakes, complaining about the Thai beer and deciding who to hit on that night. And that's about it. But hey, if that's what you're after there's nowhere better.

And at other times of year, check out these fesitivals...

Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

If there's one thing Australian travellers like more than a party, it's crashing someone else's party. And Oktoberfest is the ultimate. There are certain beer halls you can visit to get away from them, but if you stroll into the Hofbrau tent, prepare yourself for Aussie backpackers a-go-go. And, by about 7pm or so, gratuitous male nudity.

San Fermin Festival, Pamplona, Spain

Like I said, crashing other people's parties. Anywhere there's a mixture of daredevilry and alcohol, you're bound to find Australians joining in the fun. And the running of the bulls is no exception. They pour in from bases all over Europe (ie, London and Edinburgh) to go wild for a few days of animal avoidance and booze ingestion. Occasionally, you actually meet a Spaniard.

Where have you found the greatest concentration of Australians overseas?

Follow Ben Groundwater on Twitter @bengroundwater

Email: bengroundwater@gmail.com