Interesting Facts About Australia: Beyond The Land Of Opera & ‘Roos

What are some interesting facts about Australia? Well, there's more than just kangaroos, koalas, and giant spiders. How often have you dreamt of hiking up the Uluru Rock? Or go on a wild safari at the Cravens Peak Reserve? Or spend an ethereal evening at the Sydney Opera House?

We all have our desires of a dream Australian Trip at least once in our lives, but without knowing a thing or two about the culture of the 'Aboriginal Land’, that desired trip will surely be a bland one. So read on to know some juicy tidbits of information about this vast and prosperous country.

HOW DID AUSTRALIA GET ITS NAME?

The country Australia gets its name from the Latin word ‘australis’ meaning ‘Southern’. For many centuries, geographers had hypothesized that a massive Southern continent, named ‘Terra Australis’ existed in the Southern Hemisphere, which was eventually proved correct when explorers like Abel Tasman and James Cook explored this region.

Though it was initially named New Holland by the Dutch, in 1804 the explorer Matthew Flinders proposed the name Australia for this land, which was made official in 1817.

The full official name of the country is the ‘Commonwealth of Australia’. Some other colloquial names for this land include ‘Oz’, ‘Straya’, and ‘The Land Down Under’.

WHAT IS AUSTRALIA BEST KNOWN FOR?

  • The Australian economy is also called the ‘miracle economy’ as it has gone 30 years without a recession. It has AAA-rated stable outlook by all 3 global credit rating agencies and some of the best living conditions in the world. Overall it is the 14th largest economy of the world.
  • Australia is also one of the most diverse and multicultural countries in the world. 49% of Australians have been born overseas or have at least one parent from abroad and moved to Australia. The different groups include Europeans, Aborigines, Africans, and Asians. This is why, if you are moving to Australia, make sure to get your documents translated from the country’s reputed Translation services Australia to avoid any future error.
  • Some of Australia’s most famous landmarks include the Ayers Rock (Uluru), Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Melbourne Cricket Ground. It is thus a major tourist destination.
  • Australia is rightly known as a sports-obsessed nation, with a majority of Australians playing sports at least once a week. Some of the popular sports in Australia include cricket, Aussie rules football, hockey, and water sports.
  • Having a vibrant and diverse culture, Australia has produced some world-famous personalities. These include Russel Crowe, Margot Robbie, Cate Blanchett, Chris & Liam Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger, Steve Irwin, the band ACDC, Kylie Minogue, Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Don Bradman, Les Murray, and Rupert Murdoch. Talent is obviously not in short supply in Australia.
  • The Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s northeast coast is the largest single structure created by living organisms in the world. It is so large it can be seen from space! It is home to an extraordinary amount of wildlife. However, it is now in danger of dying due to human activities.
  • Most of Australia's exotic flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else in the world. A selfie with cuddly marsupials like koalas, quokkas, wombats, and kangaroos are only possible in Australia. Though I would suggest a wide berth to dangerous (usually venomous) animals like the blue ring octopus, the stonefish, saltwater crocodile, and black widow spider. Another iconic animal is, of course, the platypus - one of the strangest animals ever.

WHAT ARE SOME FUN AND INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT AUSTRALIA?

  • Some famous inventions that the modern world couldn’t run without, that came from Australia include Black Box Flight Recorder, Google Maps, electronic pacemaker, ultrasound, Wi-Fi, refrigerator, feature films, notepads, and battle tanks! The world surely owes a considerable debt to Australia for these innovations.
  • Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke set the world record for drinking a yard of beer in 11 seconds. According to him, this was the reason for his political success!
  • The nation’s capital, Canberra, was originally a small village. It was eventually made the capital of Australia, as it lay exactly halfway between Australia’s two premier cities, Sydney and Melbourne, and Australia’s two premier cities, Sydney and Melbourne, were both vying to become the capital, and as a compromise, Canberra was chosen, as it lay precisely halfway between them. Canberra means ‘meeting place’ in a local Aboriginal language.
  • An Australian man once tried to sell New Zealand on eBay, with a starting price of A$0.01
  • Aboriginal culture is the oldest on earth, around 60,000 years old!! They are well known for the didgeridoo, boomerang, and belief in the Dreamtime.
  • The Emu and Kangaroo were chosen to be the two animals on the Australian Coat of Arms because they can't walk backward, reflecting a forward-thinking culture
  • Australians developed a fake animal to scare tourists further. The drop bear was said to drop from trees and attack tourists. As if Australian fauna isn’t scary enough already!
  • Voting in elections in Australia is compulsory for everyone 18 years of age and over, with an initial fine of $72 issued for non-voters. Despite this, only around 81% of eligible Aussie voters cast their vote.
  • One of the common words in Australian English is ‘mate’. In 2005, the government banned saying the word 'mate' in Parliament. The ban lasted only 24 hours before it was reversed.
  • Each year, the cockroach racing world championship is held in Brisbane.
  • It is a known fact that Wallabies like to break into Opium crops, get high and run around in circles to create a "crop circle".
  • The Australian Alps get more snow than the Swiss Alps.
  • Australia has three times more sheep than people.
  • Australia is the only continent which does not have an active volcano. Lucky them!
  • Australia has a cattle ranch larger than Belgium; the largest in the world
  • A cult may or may not have tested the first non-governmental nuclear weapon in Western Australia. Australia is so big, though no one is entirely sure!

Hopefully, you learned some interesting and fun facts about Australia after reading this article. Australia is so much more than its stereotypes! This article was just a small glimpse; there are many, many more interesting facts to learn about this magnificent country.

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