Lonely Planet Writer

Alexa gets an Aussie accent as the Amazon assistant goes Down Under

The Amazon personal assistant Alexa is coming to Australia next month and is already in training to answer uniquely Aussie questions and speak in an Australian accent.

Now you can check in for your United flight on your Amazing Echo. Image by Amazon.com, Inc.

Businesses already using Aussie Alexa range from NextThere for public transport information; Virgin Australia and Qantas for flight information and status; Uber for booking rides; and Coastalwatch for surf updates.

Uniquely Australia questions will be answered such as, “What’s the UV Index today?” –  something most Australians want to know before heading to the beach in summer. In other words: “do I need to take a sun umbrella, full body protective swimming gear, as well as max SPF sunblock today to avoid sunburn or worse?”. If the answer is “the UV Index is an extreme 13” then it’s best to “stay under a tree from 11 til 3” as a classic Australian catchphrase goes.

Great Ocean Road national park in VIctoria, Australia - at sunrise. Panoramic view from lookout towards 2 apostles
Great Ocean Road national park in VIctoria. Image by ©Taras Vyshnya/500px

For travellers staying in Alexa-enabled accommodation you’ll be able to ask all that Australian trivia that has been perplexing you – “How long is the Sydney Harbour Bridge?” What’s a ‘democracy sausage’?”. And yes the classic “Alexa, tell me a joke” has reportedly been given the local Australian treatment.

The launch of Amazon Music Unlimited in Australia and New Zealand on 1 February also means Alexa will be able to stream a back catalogue of Australian classics to her customers. Just ask for ‘Australian Rock Royalty’ to indulge in five decades of Aussie rock legends, while ‘Top 50 Australia’ and ‘Top 40 New Zealand’ will set the playlist to local charts, updated weekly.

Naturally as a nation of sport-lovers, Alexa will be across Australian sport too. She will be able to give live scores, scores for completed games, and when a team plays their next game — though in the case of cricket fans in Australia, it may be best not to ask.