I lived in Adelaide for five years, as well as Melbourne and Sydney for shorter periods of time.
First things - The weather is great. I live in London and although it is a fantastic city, the weather is really demoralising.
Also, Aussies tend to be more optimistic and fun-loving than Brits in general - I guess this is the weather once more.
They are the greatest sporting nation on earth, no contest. Of their national sports (those played outside of Australia - meaning Aussie rules doesn't count) then they are the masters certainly of Cricket and probably rugby too (the forthcoming England (I mean Lions!) tour should settle whether England or Australia are number one - although it does concern me that England always manage to peak BETWEEN World Cups!). But, if you look at the ratio of olympic gold medals won compared with the number of people in Australia, then the Aussies are way ahead. In my opinion this is because their sporting academies are second to none.
I do find incredible similarities between Oz and the UK. If it wasn't for the weather, being in, say, Melbourne is like being in the UK at times. And yet many Aussies seem to take pride in the fact that they are so different, when the reality is that I can take a train from London to Paris in two hours and see people ten times different from us than those residing on the other side of the world.
Bad things about Australia - I think that the country gets a little too patriotic at times, (but this pales into insignificance compared to some of the verbal diahorroea I have seen emanating from some of our US members). However, Australia does have a lot of recent successes to be proud of, so to an extent this tubthumping is justified.
I think the country also suffers significantly from extremist views - my prediction is that within five years tere will be an escalation of violence against illegal/economic migrants in Australia. Also, Cathy Freeman winning a gold medal does NOT mean that the Aboriginal issue has been resolved (at least not as far as the Aboriginal people are concerned).
What needs to be considered is that the country is huuuuuggggge. There is a hell of a lot of diversity and that is why it is such an interesting place.
As an aside, my memories of OZ involve a plethora of man-made 'The World's largest' objects, such as 'The world's largest lobster', or 'the world's largest orange'. What is this obsession with huge objects?
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?