36 Interesting Facts about Australia

interesting facts about australiaThe largest island in the world, Australia is home to a variety of breathtaking landscapes, ranging from parched deserts to lush rainforest, the massive Great Barrier Reef and some very unique animals. If you’ve not yet had the chance to travel this amazing country, check out this course and learn how you can do it for next to nothing.

These facts will give you an insight into what makes Australia a wonderful getaway, so dust off your backpack and start planning your next holiday today! Don’t worry if it’s been a while, this course takes you through all you need to do to travel with confidence.

  1. The original name “terra australis incognita” means unknown southern island, and is where the name Australia originates.
  2. The earliest visitor to Australia was a Spanish voyager called Luis Vaez de Torres, who happened to land on shore in 1606.
  3. Australia has a land mass over 7.6 million square kilometers, and is the 6th largest country in the world.
  4. It was declared illegal for Australians to go swimming in public beaches during the daytime, a law that was enforced from 1838 to 1902.
  5. The Great Barrier Reef is found in north eastern Australia, and is the longest coral reef in the world, over 2,000 km long.
  6. Bob Hawke entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1954 for drinking 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. In 1983 he became Prime Minister of Australia.
  7. The mining industry in Australia represents about 15% of the GDP, but only 0.02% of the country’s land mass is occupied with mines. There’s actually more land covered by pubs!
  8. While other countries usually calculate how many people they have per square kilometer, the population in Australia is so un-dense they do the opposite – how many square kilometers available per person.
  9. Vegetation covers 91 percent of Australia, which is about 7 million square kilometers.
  10. The largest population of Greeks in the world (after Athens in Greece) is found in Melbourne in Victoria.
  11. Most of the flora and fauna in Australia is exotic, and is not found anywhere else in the world.
  12. The local indigenous people are called Aboriginals.
  13. The Aboriginal beliefs center on the “Dream Time” and is the base of tens of thousands of years of tradition, legends, culture and art.
  14. Over 80% of Australians live within 100 kilometers of the beach.
  15. There are over 200 different languages spoken in Australia which includes 45 different indigenous languages. The most common after English are Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Arabic, Vietnamese and Mandarin.
  16. Australia has the highest percentage of migrant settlers in a developed country, more than 25% of Australians have been born overseas.
  17. Professor Macfarlane Burnet received the first Australian of the Year award in 1960 for his groundbreaking physiology research, receiving the Nobel Prize in the same year.
  18. There are 16 world heritage sites in Australia which include historic townships, landscapes and cities.
  19. 1988 was named the ‘Year of Mourning’ for the Aboriginals, but it was also a celebration of survival where the indigenous community hosted a 5 km march in Sydney for freedom, justice and hope.
  20. While considered one of the biggest beer-drinking nations in the world, its consumption dropped to a 65 year low in 2010-2011 with only 4.23 liters consumed per person.
  21. The rules for Australian Rules Football were inspired from an Aboriginal game called Mangrook, and despite being invented in Sydney it became most popular in Victoria.
  22. In 1902 Australia was the second country in the world that gave women the right to vote.
  23. Anna Creek Station is the largest cattle station in the world, and is over 34,000 square kilometers, making it larger than Belgium.
  24. Australia has the highest rate of gambling in the world, with over 80% of Australian adults doing some form of gambling. 20% of the worlds ‘pokie’ machines are found in Australia.
  25. Australia’s coat of arms features a kangaroo and an emu, two native animals that are rarely seen to walk backwards, representing a nation that is moving forward.
  26. Australians eat both the animals on their coat of arms.
  27. Kangaroo meat is readily available, and is considered a healthy alternative to beef, lamb and pork because it has less than 2 percent fat content.
  28. In 2012 Australia became the most obese country in the world, with a 26% obesity rate.
  29. Despite this Australia is the sports capital of the world, and 70% of the population partake in a particular sport or recreational activity at least once a week.
  30. Australians have a particular fondness for TV cooking shows, and they are aired one after another after the large success of My Kitchen Rules and Master Chef.
  31. Canberra was built as the capital to solve an argument between Melbourne and Sydney, and it is halfway between the two.
  32. The slang term Australians use for English people is “Pome”, which can be pronounced either “Pom” or “Pommy” and is an acronym for Prisoners of Mother England.
  33. Ugg boots are an Australian item that became internationally famous, and are basically just sheepskin turned inside out and into a boot. Ugg is a slang term for ugly, and despite being warm they are considered very ugly boots.
  34. Melbourne was crowned the world’s most livable city in 2011 and 2012.
  35. Australia is the only place in the world where you can find lung fish, living fossils from the Triassic period over 350 million years ago.
  36. Despite a history of being a convict colony, and 22% of the population able to trace their roots back to a convict ancestor the homicide rate is only 1.2 per 100,000 compared to 6.3 per 100,000 in the United States.

With all these exciting things waiting for you, you have to get out and see Australia at least once in your life. Check out this recent post for some ideas that can help you travel on the cheap, and don’t miss this course so you can capture every excellent moment with perfect travel photography. Writing a travel journal is another great way to remember everything about your trip, and this guide will take you through every step in putting together a journal that is fun to write – even during your trip! So what are you waiting for, stop putting off your next great vacation and get planning today!