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 Australian 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 Australian trip will surely be a bland one. So read on to know some juicy tidbits of information about this vast and prosperous country.

WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING FACT ABOUT AUSTRALIA?

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 of the world, which was eventually proved correct when explorers like Abel Tasman and James Cook explored this region of the world.

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 FAMOUS FOR?

  • 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.
  • In Australia, there is a mountain known as Mount Disappointment. Apparently, the view from the top was so disappointing that there was no better name for it than this! The explorers wanted to see the ocean from the peak, but a group of trees blocked the view leading to the name.
  • The founder of Melbourne was John Batman. Before this city got its present name, it was known as Batmania!
  • The Government of Australia once banned the use of the word 'mate' in the Australian Parliament in 2005. However, this absurd ban lasted only 24 hours before being overturned!

WHAT ARE 10 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 Western 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 city, 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.
  • The biggest metropolises in Australia are Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide in descending order. These cities are all located right on the coast or close to the coast and are the only cities in Australia with more than one million inhabitants.
  • 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
  • English is considered to be the best language to learn in Australia
  • The Australian Alps get more snow than the Swiss Alps.
  • Australia has three times more sheep than people.
  • Vegemite is a brown spread invented by Dr Cyril Callister, a chemist and druggist. The texture of Vegemite is a little sticky with a salty, malty and bitter taste. Aussie parents feed their kids and toddlers on Vegemite. It's one of the primary foods that parents give to them because of the nutritional value. However, it is generally revealed in the rest of the world. Vegemite is a thick spread made from leftover brewers' yeast with various spice and vegetable additives. The people of Australia usually put the thing on bread, toast, biscuits and snacks as well as a filling for baked dishes.
  • Australian National Highway 1 is the longest highway of any in the world! This is due to the vast distances in Australia.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT AUSTRALIA'S ANIMALS

  • 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. 
  • 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".
  • Each year, the cockroach racing world championship is held in Brisbane.
  • Australia has three times more sheep than people.
  • Australia has a cattle ranch larger than Belgium; the largest in the world.
  • 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!
  • The Drop Bear is a fantasy animal that's told to be a carnivorous version of the Koala. It was created by the Aussies to frighten away tourists! But you can rest assured, the drop bear will not leap down from the foliage and attack you in real life!
  • The Emu and Kangaroo were chosen to be the two animals on the Australian Coat of Arms because they can't walk backwards, reflecting a forward-thinking culture.
  • The Great Barrier Reef off Australia's northeast coast is the most massive 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.
  • Australia has more camels than the Sahara Desert. This makes it the country with the most number of camels in the world. In fact, even the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia imports its camels from Australia!
  • Australia is home to six of the ten most poisonous animals on Earth! Better to go prepared!
  • Lake Hillier is a famous Australian lake which is pink in colour!

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT AUSTRALIA'S SOCIETY

  • The Australian economy is also called the 'miracle economy' as it has gone 30 years without a recession. It has a AAA-rated stable outlook by all three 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.
  • An Australian person tried to sell New Zealand on eBay once!
  • Australia was the second nation on Earth to enact women's suffrage and give women the right to vote!
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Melbourne, Australia has by far the largest Greek population outside of Greece - it is a Greece away from Greece!
  • Australia is one of the wine-producing destinations of the world, with more than 60 designated wine-producing regions, and making more than 1.35 trillion bottles of wine per year! That's enough to get the entire world's population drunk! This contributes to the economic diversity in Australia.
  • The official national day of Australia is 'Australia Day'. People celebrate it on the 26th of January. This particular day is a remembrance of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson in New South Wales. It also remembers the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Philip.
  • There have been cases of wallabies getting intoxicated after breaking into opium crops, then running about and making crop circles similar to the ones in the science fiction movie, Signs.
  • Australia is also the only continent out of 7 that does not have an active volcano.
  • Australia's first ever police squad was made up of 12 prisoners who were thought to be the best behaved in the colony.
  • The island of Tasmania south of Australia has the cleanest air in the world.
  • The Australian city of Gold Coast has the world's most extensive canal system, which is larger than the more famous canals of Venice and Amsterdam combined!

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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