Cue the Kylie, chill a Victoria Bitter and line up a cricket match. But it's not Australia Day you say? No worries, mate! It's Hug an Aussie Day!
Find your nearest Australian mate for a big koala bear hug today. It's official, April 26 is Hug an Aussie Day!
Flight Centre Canada's Dave Emilio hugs his furry new Aussie friend in Brisbane, Australia.
Call us biased, seeing as Flight Centre originated Down Under, but we’re rather fond of Aussies. Even here in Canada, our Vancouver and Toronto head offices, as well as our shops across Canada, boast well-travelled Australians.
I've had my arms outstretched, anticipating a fine Aussie might pass my ajar door or step onto the FC floor.
The blog author gets really into the day with her arms outstretched for her Aussie colleagues. Pictured from left, Flight Centre's Jo Coleiro, Chris March, Aaron Stubbings, Andrew Jones & Troy Vigushin.
So where did this quirky holiday come from, you ask?
Hug an Aussie Day was created by Americans Tom and Ruth Roy. It's an actual, copyrighted holiday which gained momentum in recent years. Some websites say the origins of Hug an Aussie Day are unknown. With a little digging, we discovered the Roys created it in appreciation of the many Aussies who supported their online herbal supplement business, www.wellcat.com. On it, you’ll find other whimsical holidays the witty Roys conceived to “celebrate the little, happy details of life.”
Have you hugged an Aussie today?
To honour this Aus-ome day, I complied these hopefully helpful hug lists for you. ( Since there's six of us in the group hug, I went for that nice round number.)
Top 6 Huggable Aussies
These cuddly creatures are synonymous with the Land Down Under. They're also true tree huggers, the way they cling to tree trunks and carry their young.
These chubby critters are indigenous to Australia and among its most huggable. Just be careful, they still have long claws for burrowing and like to keep a low (literally!) profile.
3. Moira Kelly
One of Australia's most recognized humanitarian aid workers, she holds the distinguished honour of The Order of Australia, as well as other awards for her service to her country and the international community.
4. Graham "Skroo" Turner
The founder of Flight Centre is not only a fair dinkum, down to earth Aussie, but a prolific philanthropist, with a focus on conservation and the environment.
5. Robert Piper
Born in the capital city of Canberra, Mr. Piper is the United Nations Assistant Secretary General. His extensive work in developmental aid currently includes e Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Not many of us outside of Oz are familiar with this little guy, but the cutesy quokka has been called "the world's happiest animal." We can't help but smile when we look at that sweet face (that's the adorable quokka pictured here. You're welcome.)
Top 6 Least Huggable Aussies
1. Funnel Web Spider
This not so itsy-bitsy spider is among the world's deadliest. One bite can leave its victim dead within 15 minutes. It gets its name from the funnel-shaped web its spins. So if you see one, we say make a run for it-- well, away from it. (We're not showing you a photo. Again, you're welcome.)
2. Blue-ringed Octopus
Another one of the world's most deadly sea animals, living none other than Australia again. Although tiny (about the length of a pen-- blue inked of course, haha) one nip from its parrot-like beak will numb whatever-- or whoever-- gets in its way and although unusual in humans, will lead to death if untreated.
3. Eastern Brown Snake
Of the 170-plus species of snakes in Oz, one of the most dangerous is the Eastern Brown Snake. The good news is, most people do not die from snake bites and statistically speaking, they are uncommon.
4. Bull Shark
While Great Whites get the bad rap, many experts agree, it's the bull shark you want to watch out for. Or rather, avoid. While humans aren't part of their diet, if they're hungry, let's put it this way-- they aren't picky.
5. Nicole Kidman
Sorry, but she seriously seems like an ice queen to some to me. Ergo, not very huggable.
Find a Friendly Flightie
Aussie "IT" guy Simon O'Connell.
Of course, when it comes to the Aussies at Flight Centre, they're all great at hugging! (As I discovered first hand.)
Aussie hugs in YYZ.
Don't have an Aussie mate to squeeze? You can always embrace the Australian culture!
This beautiful land offers a variety of experiences for all travel tastes. From world-class diving in the Great Barrier Reef, to great vineyards and internationally-acclaimed wineries. Sophisticated cities like Sydney and Melbourne, to the rugged outback and iconic Uluru. Don't forget the sun-drenched beaches of Western Australia and natural splendour of Tasmania.
There's no place better than Flight Centre to book travel to Australia.
Say "G'day!" to one of our Australia Experts! Heck, they'll even dole out some hugs.