Ask the question of what Australia is known for to Aussies and foreigners alike, and you’ll get answers like Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue, kangaroos, koalas, cricket, swimming, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, Aborigines, Minerals, wine and vegemite. Australia is much more than these. Here are some interesting facts to share about Australia. We have The longest everything: (lol) The longest section of straight railway track in the world at 478 kilometres crosses The Nullarbor Plain (South Australia to Western Australia) The longest straight section of road at 146 kilometres is also on the Nullarbor Plains.The longest fence in the world is known as The Dingo Fence, Wild Dog Fence and is approximately 5,400 kilometres long starting at Jimbour in Queensland and continuing on to the Great Australian Bight in South Australia
Sydney is the most popular city in the world for international university students, beating more than 83 cities including London, Paris and New York to the coveted spot, a new global ranking reveals.
Global consultancy firm A.T. Kearney put Sydney ahead of dozens of cities after studying the size of international student populations for its 2014 Global Cities Index.
Figures from the federal government show that Sydney is home to an estimated 50,000 international students studying at the city’s universities, with another 50,000 studying vocational and English courses. Read more:
1) It is the 6th largest country in the world, occupying an entire continent of some 7.6 million square kilometres.
Tasmania also has the cleanest air in the world.
5) Most of Australia’s exotic flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
6) The Indigenous ‘Dream Time’ is the foundation for tens of thousands of years of spiritual aboriginal art, traditions, legends, myths, folklore and culture.
7) The only nation-continent of 20 million people in the world.
8) The wattle was adopted as the national floral emblem in 1912.
9) The first Australian Friendly Society with the motto of ‘Advance Australia’ was the Australian Natives’ Association (ANA) formed in Victoria in 1871.
10) More than 80 percent of Australians live within 100 kilometres of the coast making Australia one of the world’s most urbanised coastal dwelling populations.
11) Over 200 different languages and dialects are spoken in Australia including 45 Indigenous languages. The most common non-English spoken languages are Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Arabic, Vietnamese and Mandarin.
12) The world’s highest proportion of migrant settlers in a developed nation with over 25% of Australians born in another country.
15) It contains an amazing ecosystem with unique flora and fauna including pristine rainforest, ancient rock formations and beautiful beaches.
16) The first Australian of the Year award was awarded to Professor Macfarlane Burnet who had won the Nobel Prize in the same year of 1960 for his groundbreaking physiology research.
17) Debate continues today on the calls to change the Australian flag because of the prominence of the British Union Jack, which does not reflect contemporary Australian society.
18) It has 16 world heritage listed sites including historic townships, cities and landscapes.
19) While 1988 was named a ‘Year of Mourning’ for Aboriginals, it was also regarded as a celebration of survival where the Aboriginal community staged a 5 kilometre march for “Freedom, Justice and Hope” in Sydney.
20) Australia used to be a beer-drinking nation but its quaffing plunged to a 65-year low in 2010-2011 with only 4.23 litres consumed per person.
21) Aboriginal leader, Lowitja O’Donoghue, a recipient of the Order of Australia in 1976 and Australian of the Year in 1984 delivered the first milestone national Australia Day address on 26 January 2000.
22) It is believe that the Aboriginal game of Mangrook inspired the rules for Australian Football, while invented in Sydney became popular in Victoria.
23) Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1902.
24) The largest cattle station in the world is Anna Creek Station in South Australia at over 34,000 square kilometres is the world’s largest cattle station. It is even larger than Belgium.
26) Australia Day today is a celebration of diversity and tolerance in Australian society, embracing all ethnic backgrounds, racial differences and political viewpoints.
27) Kangaroo meat can be purchased from the supermarket, butcher and available on restaurant menus as a leaner and healthier alternative to beef or lamb with a 1-percent fat content.
28) Surprisingly Australia is the most obese country in the world as of 2012 with a 26 percent obesity rate despite being a sport loving nation.
a major milestone in reconciliation.
31) The hold of the old White Australia Policy was broken by Gough Whitlam’s Labor Government which adopted a broader approach to citizenship and opening migration to Asia and the Middle East.32) Australian TV networks love cooking shows, airing one after another upon viewership success of My Kitchen Rules and MasterChef.33) Canberra was selected as the capital because Sydney and Melbourne could not stop arguing which city should be the capital of Australia.34) Australians refer to English people as Pome, which is actually the acronym for Prisoners of Mother England.35) Ugg boots or as local call them ‘very ugly boots’ are an Australian design where a sheepskin has been turned inside out and made into a boot.
37) The only place in the world where you can still find the lung fish which is a living fossil from the Triassic period 350 million years ago.
38) The sports capital of the world has 70 percent of its total population participating at least once a week in a particular recreational activity or sport.
39) Despite having a convict colony history, Australia’s homicide rate is 1.2 per 100,000 population compared to the 6.3 per 100,000 in the United States.
40) 80 percent of Australians believe Australia has a strong culture and identity characterised by being down to earth, mateship, honesty, sports and multiculturalism based on research organised by the Australia Day Council of NSW in 2008. See the full article here:
Most liveable cities:
- Melbourne, Australia 97.5
- Vienna, Austria 97.4
- Vancouver, Canada 97.3
- Toronto, Canada 97.2
- Adelaide, Australia 96.6
- Calgary, Canada 96.6
- Sydney, Australia 96.1
- Helsinki, Finland 96.0
- Perth, Australia 95.9
- Auckland, New Zealand 95.7
A list from Buzzfeed (more links within these points at their link) I found to be some fun.. not sure of its accuracy, but it seems pretty spot on.
1. Australia is as wide as the distance between London to Moscow.
2. The biggest property in Australia is bigger than Belgium.
3. More than 85% of Australians live within 50km of the coast.
4. In 1880, Melbourne was the richest city in the world.
5. Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman, earns $1 million every half hour, or $598 every second.
6. In 1892, a group of 200 Australians unhappy with the government tried to start an offshoot colony in Paraguay to be called ‘New Australia’.
7. The first photos from the 1969 moon landing were beamed to the rest of the world from Honeysuckle Tracking Station, near Canberra.
8. Australia was the second country in the world to allow women to vote (New Zealand was first).
9. Each week, 70 tourists overstay their visas.
10. In 1856, stonemasons took action to ensure a standard of 8-hour working days, which then became recognised worldwide.
11. Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a world record for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Hawke later suggested that this was the reason for his great political success.
12. The world’s oldest fossil, which is about 3.4 billion years old, was found in Australia.
13. Australia is very sparsely populated: The UK has 248.25 persons per square kilometre, while Australia has only 2.66 persons per square kilometre.
14. Australia’s first police force was made up of the most well-behaved convicts.
15. Australia has the highest electricity prices in the world.
16. There were over one million feral camels in outback Australia, until the government launched the $19m Feral Camel Management Program, which aims to keep the pest problem under control.
17. Saudi Arabia imports camels from Australia (mostly for meat production).
18. Qantas once powered an interstate flight with cooking oil.
19. Per capita, Australians spend more money on gambling than any other nation.
20. In 1832, 300 female convicts mooned the governor of Tasmania. It was said that in a “rare moment of collusion with the Convict women, the ladies in the Governor’s party could not control their laughter.”
21. Australia is home to the longest fence in the world. It is 5,614 km long, and was originally built to keep dingoes away from fertile land.
22. Australia was one of the founding members of the United Nations.
23. Melbourne is considered the sporting capital of the world, as it has more top level sport available for its citizens than anywhere else.
24. Before the arrival of humans, Australia was home to megafauna: three metre tall kangaroos, seven metre long goannas, horse-sized ducks, and a marsupial lion the size of a leopard.
25. Kangaroos and emus cannot walk backward, one of the reasons that they’re on the Australian coat of arms.
26. Speaking of, Australia is one of the only countries where we eat the animals on our coat of arms.
27. If you visited one new beach in Australia every day, it would take over 27 years to see them all.
28. Melbourne has the world’s largest Greek population outside of Athens.
29. The Great Barrier Reef is the planet’s largest living structure.
30. And it has it’s own postbox!
31. The male platypus has strong enough venom to kill a small dog.
32. And when the platypus was first sent to England, it was believed the Australians had played a joke by sewing the bill of a duck onto a rat.
33. Before 1902, it was illegal to swim at the beach during the day.
34. A retired cavalry officer, Francis De Grootstole the show when the Sydney Harbour Bridge officially opened. Just as the Premier was about to cut the ribbon, De Groot charged forward on his horse and cut it himself, with his sword. The ribbon had to be retied, and De Groot was carted off to a mental hospital. He was later charged for the cost of one ribbon.
35. Australia has 3.3x more sheep than people.
36. Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at Cheviot Beach, and was never seen again.
37. Australia’s national anthem was ‘God Save The King/Queen’ until 1984.
38. Wombat poop is cube shaped! This helps it mark its territory.
39. European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per capita than any other society in history.
40. The Australian Alps receive more snowfall than Switzerland.
41. A kangaroo is only one centimetre long when it is born.
42. Sir John Robertson, a five-time premier of NSW in the 1800s, began every morning with half a pint of rum. He said: “None of the men who in this country have left footprints behind them have been cold water men.”
43. The Box jellyfish has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.
44. Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world.
45. The average Aussie drinks 96 litres of beer per year.
46. 63% of Australians are overweight.
47. Australia is ranked second on the Human Development Index (based on life expectancy, income and education).
48. In 2005, security guards at Canberra’s Parliament House were banned from calling people ‘mate’. It lasted one day.
49. In Australia, it is illegal to walk on the right-hand side of a footpath.
50. Australia is the only continent in the world without an active volcano.
51. Aussie Rules footy was originally designed to help cricketers to keep fit in the off-season.
52. The name ‘Kylie’ came from an Aboriginal hunting stick, similar to the boomerang.
53. 91% of the country is covered by native vegetation.
54. The largest-ever victory in an international football match was when Australia beat American Samoa 31-0 in 2001.
55. There are 60 designated wine regions in Australia.
56. Melbourne has been ranked the world’s most liveable city for the past three years.
57. If all the sails of the Opera House roof were combined, they would create a perfect sphere. The architect was inspired while eating an orange.
58. Australia is home to 20% of the world’s poker machines.
59. Half of these are found in New South Wales.
60. Moomba, Australia’s largest free festival, held in Melbourne, means ‘up your bum’ in many Aboriginal languages.
61. No native Australian animals have hooves.
62. The performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the 2000 Olympics opening ceremony was actually a prerecording- of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
63. The wine cask (goon sack) is an Australian invention
64. So is the selfie.
65. Durack, Australia’s biggest electorate, is larger in size than Mongolia.
66. The world’s first compulsory seat belt law was put into place in Victoria in 1970.
67. Each year, Brisbane hosts the world championships of cockroach racing.
68. In 1932, the Australian military waged war on the emu population of Western Australia. Embarrassingly, they lost.
69. Canberra was created in 1908 as a compromise when Sydney and Melbourne both wanted to be the capital city.
70. A gay bar in Melbourne won the right to ban women from the premises, because they made the men uncomfortable.
71. In 1992, an Australian gambling syndicatebought almost all the number combinations in a Virginia lottery, and won. They turned a $5m purchase into a $27m win.
72. Eucalyptus oil is highly flammable, meaning gum trees may explode if ignited, or in bushfires.
73. In 1975, Australia had a government shutdown, which ended with the Queen firing everyone and the government starting again.
74. A bearded Australian was removed from a darts match in the UK, after the audience started chanting ‘Jesus!’ at him, distracting the players.
75. There have been instances of wallabiesgetting high after breaking into opium crops, then running around and making what look like crop circles.
76. An Australian man once tried to sell New Zealand on eBay.
77. In 1940, two aircraft collided in midair, in NSW. Instead of crashing, the two planes became stuck together and made a safe landing.
78. The male lyrebird, which is native to Australia, can mimic the calls of over 20 other birds. If that’s not impressive enough, he can also perfectly imitate the sound of a camera, chainsaw and car alarm.
79. Some shopping centres and restaurants play classical music in their car park to deter teenagers from loitering at night.
80. Despite sharing the same verbal language, Australian, British and American sign languageare all completely different languages.
81. In 1979, debris from NASA’s space station ‘Skylab’ crashed in Esperance, WA. The town then fined NASA $400 for littering.
82. There have been no deaths in Australia from a spider bite since 1979.
83. There currently a chlamydia outbreak among koala species, which has led to a 15% drop in koala populations.
84. In NSW, there is a coal fire beneath the ground which has been burning for 5,500 years.
85. An Australian election TV debate was rescheduled so it didn’t conflict with the finale of reality cooking show Masterchef.
86. Chinese explorers travelled to Australia long before Europeans arrived. As early as the 1400s, sailors and fisherman came to Australia for sea-cucumbers and to trade with Indigenous peoples.
87. The first European to visit Australia was Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon, in 1606. More Dutch explorers visited the country over the next hundred years, plotting maps and naming it ‘New Holland’.
88. Captain James Cook first landed on Australia’s east coast in 1770. In 1788, the British returned with eleven ships to establish a penal colony. Within days of The First Fleet’s arrival and the raising of the British flag, two French ships arrived, just too late to claim Australia for France.
Next article will be devoted to Australian Inventions… apart from the ‘bikini (… yes we did) and the lawn mower, we’ve been first to a number of infamous ideas! 🙂
See more amazing Australian Facts at Quora