Waking up to near-constant rainfall, kilometres of lush greenery and rocky alcoves isn’t something most Australians have experienced.
But for Niamh and Grace Kelly, living in a town which contains one shop, one church, and one pub is the norm.
No wonder the two received a culture shock unlike any other, when they went from living in their 200-strong village, to East Perth in Western Australia.
The Kelly sisters describe the landscape ‘like a dream,’ with Langley Park, the Swan River and Elizabeth Quay just a stone’s throw away.
And while they’ve been able to enjoy the foreign environment and all it entails, there are pangs of loneliness when they remember their family and friends back home.
“I think we both have ups and downs at different stages, we both have boyfriends at home so obviously that’s really, really tough,” Grace Kelly told SEN.
“They’re obviously on lockdown at home so it’s really hard. That’s probably the major drawback, we really miss them and we… not feel sorry for them, but wish they could experience something like this.
“We’re so lucky here in WA, you have no idea; we came from lockdown at home to this and it’s like two different worlds.
“And we’re going back to lockdown as well, so we’re going to have to adjust to that.”
The dynamic duo have taken Australia by storm, with one last trip to Port Hedland before they return to County Mayo in early May.
It’s been almost a year since they last saw their loved ones, but it doesn’t mean they haven’t been in constant contact.
“A lot of our friends have been tuning in at home, they’re playing one game each week on a channel at home,” Grace said.
“A lot of them are actually picking up the rules and asking us a lot of questions.
“They really want to know how we’re getting on in the club and what it’s like playing AFL, which is a completely different sport to Gaelic."
“(They also ask about) Kangaroos, snakes, you name it… koalas, sharks… there actually are a lot of those in the water so we have many stories to tell them about that," Grace laughed.
“They still can’t believe that, but they’re always asking about the beaches, and just the lifestyle here as well.
“Because obviously in Ireland we get a lot of rain, so that’s probably number one they ask about.”
And while the girls receive a consistent onslaught of messages pertaining to life in Australia, there’s also aspects of the culture the Kelly sisters are still adjusting to.
“Vegemite. I remember our first experience of that, one of the girls was like, right, you need to go down to the shops, get yourself some Vegemite,” Niamh laughed.
“We went to Coles, got us a big tub of Vegemite that would do us the year, put loads of it on a slice of toast, it was like eating sea salt.
“It was so salty,” Grace chimed in.
“I don’t know how you eat it, we’ve tried to adjust to it because the girls are like, ‘no, you haven’t done it right’.”
“You have to have a little bit of Vegemite then lather it with butter, and we tried it that way and it was probably worse,” Grace laughed.
“It was Mikayla Bowen who said, ‘right girls, I’m going to make it for you,’ she put loads of butter on it, and the tiniest scrape of Vegemite, but we still haven’t, ah-,” Niamh trailed off, laughing.
“It’s still in there (the cupboard) though, since day one,” Grace said.
Niamh and Grace Kelly now enter a short hiatus from AFL, returning to Gaelic for the next several months.
They are expected to touch down in Perth early in 2022, and are already looking forward to returning to sunny Western Australia.
“We can’t wait to go home and see our family and our friends because it’s been so long, we’re going to miss Perth but we know we’ll be back next year, we like both places for different reasons.
“If we could bring our family over here we’d had the best of both worlds,” Grace laughed.