Drinking billy tea by the campfire is an Australian tradition, often connected to the swagman and days gone by. Swagmen lived a nomadic life, searching for work. Offering billy tea was a symbol of bush hospitality. There is nothing like sitting around the camp fire during the winter months and sipping on a hot cup of billy tea to warm you up.
Banjo Paterson wrote about the swagman and his billy boiling in 1895 with the famous song Waltzing Matilda. This song is still well known today and it gives an insight into this great tradition of sitting around the campfire and waiting for the billy to boil.
While drinking billy tea is no longer something Australians do on a regular basis we still enjoy having a cuppa and a chat. We may even still spin a yarn or two!
At Day Tour Perth we visit a Perth farm stay, Boshack Outback (add link) and they have kept up this great Australian tradition of making billy tea and they also serve it will a delicious damper. Sip on your hot tea by the stunning lake, listening to the sounds of the Australian bush. You can almost imagine yourself living the life of a swagman with the peace and tranquillity.
HOW TO MAKE BILLY TEA
Fill the billy (metal container with a handle used for making tea over a fire) with water and either place on some hot coals, on a grill/hot plate or hang over a fire.
Once the water has boiled use a stick on the handle to remove the billy from the fire so that you do not burn yourself.
Tea leaves are placed into the water and left to absorb the flavours for another minute or so. If you wish to keep it in the traditional way you can also add a gum leaf for some extra flavour.
Use a tea towel to some sort of fabric hold the handle as it will be hot.
Now this is the fun part, swinging the billy. Keep your arm straight while you are holding the billy. Start with the billy hanging down near your knees and then swing your arm in a full circle with your arm going up past your ear. Complete a full circle about four or five times to get the tea leaves to the bottom of the billy.
The tea leaves should now be sitting on the bottom of the billy. Pour your tea carefully to not get any tea leaves into your cup.
If you prefer to have sugar or milk with your tea then you can make it to your personal preference.
Get out into the Aussie bush and make yourself a cup of billy tea over a campfire. Otherwise you can book one of our tours where we visit a Perth farm stay, Boshack Outback (add link) and let them do a demonstration for you.
If you are looking for a great day out to explore Perth attractions and it’s surrounds, Day Tour Perth can help you experience the real Australia. We offer small personalised tours that gives you a taste of the Australian bush, wildlife and natural wonders. There is something for everyone!