Facts About Australia
by Pranita D, Seek To Travel, June 3, 2019
Australian tourism is blooming and more and more people include Australia in their ‘places to visit before dying’ list. People are seeking to get more useful information about Australia and not only visit beautiful touristy places in the country.
Due to this reason, we had decided to create an informative post on Facts About Australia that will help you to learn more about Australia as a country and continent.
We have gathered useful information about famous places in Australia, history, and geography that every visitor should know.
Before starting the article on some serious Facts about Australia, let’s take a look at fun facts about Australia. You will definitely be surprised!
- Sydney population is almost 5 million that is even more than some countries in Europe.
- Australia has the world’s longest golf course (around 850 miles)
- It is estimated that each week at least 70 tourists overstay their visas.
- There are 10,685 beaches in Australia.
- In Canberra, it’s legal to film hardcore porn and sell the finished film on the streets.
- Australia exports its camels to the Middle East.
- Kangaroo meat is as common as pork and can be purchased in most Australian supermarket. It is believed that kangaroo meat is healthier than beef.
- You can taste a crocodile meat pizza or steak at some restaurants.
- Western Australia is a home of pink lakes.
- 21% of Australians don’t speak English at home.
- Australians are crazy about vegemite that was created using a leftover yeast used to make beer.
- There are 45 indigenous languages around Australia.
- 33% of Australians aren’t born in Australia.
- Australian Alps receives more snow than Switzerland Alps.
Have these facts made you amazed and more interested in Australia? If yes, look below and learn more things about the country!
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Interesting Facts About Australia
- What is Australia Known For
- History of Australia
- Australian History Facts
- Australian Geographical Features
- Countries in Australia
- Australia Day Facts
1. What is Australia Known For
There are numerous things that are unique to Australia such as Australian culture, wildlife, tons of art galleries and natural wonders including the most amazing hiking trails, extraordinary islands, clean beaches, and scenic national parks.
When you hear the word ‘Australia’, what comes first to your mind? Yes, the beaches. Australia is known for having the world’s best beaches that have crystal-clear water making them perfect for surfing. Also, according to Lonely Planet, Australia’s beaches are the best for photographing sunset and sunrise. Beyond, every beach in the country is unique and has different landscapes that attract locals and tourists.
Secondly, Australia is known for its extraordinary aboriginal culture that can be experienced through various guided walks, visiting cultural centers and participating in cultural festivals. Participation in various activities will allow you to learn interesting indigenous Australian facts, including aboriginal kids lifestyle, rock art, traditions, and spiritual values.
Beyond, Australia is well-known for its unique wildlife making your journey more interesting. One of the main reasons why tourists visit the country is a variety of Australian animals living in their natural habitats. While traveling around, you will be able to spot unique and rare animals such as wombats, fairy penguins, quokkas, wallabies, dingos, kangaroos, and koalas roaming around the roads, beaches, fields, and even gardens.
And, of course, a trip to Australia, can’t be imagined without whales and dolphins playing around in the sea. Those majestic creatures you will be able to see just offshore in WA and Queensland.
And the last but not least – Australia’s natural wonders. The country has always been included in the most beautiful landscapes lists as it has stunning islands, high beautiful mountains, coastal roads, and incredible national parks.
However, the most well known natural wonder is a Great Barrier Reef that is the largest coral reef system in the world. Millions of people every year come to Australia just to witness the beauty of the coral reef.
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2. History of Australia
After getting to know what is Australia known for, let‘s move on and focus on Australian history. It is very important to know the country’s, where you are travelling to, history as it will help you to learn more about culture and monuments around the cities. Australia is a country that has a very long history and had experienced colonization, war, and struggles of becoming a nation.
As it was mentioned before, Australia is known for its unique aboriginal culture those people have the longest continuous culture on Earth. It is believed that the first people arrived in Australia by boat around 50 000 years ago. They had established spiritual and artistic traditions that are still widely famous until this day. If you are interested in learning more about Australia’s aboriginal people, take a trip to northern Australia and take a Dreamtime walk (Kuku Yalanji people are guides) through the rainforest of Mossman Gorge.
Even though aboriginal people lived in Australia for a very long time, Australia was only discovered in 1770 by Captain James Cook and claimed it for Britain.
In 1788 the colonization started and the first fleet of 11 ships carrying 1 500 people (half of them were convicts) had arrived in Australia (today Sydney Harbour). In the 1820s most of the popular Australian cities were created: 1825 – Brisbane, 1829 – Perth, 1835 – Melbourne.
By 1868 more than 160 000 people had come to Australia as convicts. While free settlers were trying to get used to new homes, the life for prisoners wasn’t the best. Male could have been hanged for small crimes such as stealing and women were living in constant fear of sexual exploitation.
Also, colonization devastated aboriginal people’s lives as it was ruining their land and various diseases started to spread increasing the death rate. By 1820s a big part of aboriginal territories belonged to the new settlers.
Another big part of Australia’s history is ‘gold fewer’ that started in 1851 when gold was discovered in New South Wales and central Victoria. Not only new settlers were crazy about the gold but, also, other people from different continents were sailing to Australia to get a share of the gold.
In 1854 miners rose against British governor as he imposed mining licenses on goldfield workers. Even though miners lost the battle, they were granted more rights that included the right to vote and stand for a parliament as long as they had a miner’s license. This event can be marked as the beginning of Australia’s democracy.
Finally, after lots of struggles, at the beginning of 1901 Australia became a united nation under one constitution. After that Australia started to participate in the world’s event as a nation, lots of popular buildings were built and aboriginal people were granted laws for their protection.
Today, Australia is a booming country that protects its culture and has a very versatile community that consists of people from more than 200 countries. Also, it is said that more than 300 languages are spoken in Australian homes.
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3. Australian History Facts
As you had already read a brief history of Australia, let’s take a look at more fun things. In this section, you will be able to learn interesting and weird facts about Australia. Take a look at the list below and have fun!
- Australia was the second country that gave women the right to vote (1902 – Australia, 1893 – New Zealand).
- In 1838-1902 swimming in at the public beaches during the day was illegal.
- Sydney Opera House was built in 1959 and opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973.
- In 1901 (around September) the first Australian flag was hoisted above Parliament building.
- Australia has the strictest gun control laws in the world that were introduced in 1996 after the Port Arthur Massacre – the deadliest shooting rampage in Australian history (35 killed and 23 injured).
- Australia has hosted Summer Olympics twice: 1956 (Melbourne) and 2000 (Sydney).
- In 1975 commonwealth-funded universal healthcare scheme was introduced and covers all medical expenses for all Australian citizens and permanent residents. It is also considered as the best medical system in the world.
- In 2010 Julia Gillard became a first female prime minister.
- Sydney and Melbourne both wanted to have a title of the capital city of Australia, however, due to the cities ‘fight,’ it was decided to build a new city (Canberra) in the middle of them both and give it a capital city title.
- In 1967 the prime minister Harold Holt went for the swim at the beach and was never seen again. There are many theories of what happened to the prime minister such as he was eaten by the shark or kidnapped by a Russian submarine.
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4. Australia Geographical Features
Australia has a very interesting history, however, the country’s geography is also very interesting and is a must to know if you are planning a trip to this unique country.
This time we are going to take a look at interesting Australian geographic formations that are famous for its natural beauty and importance to the country’s ecology. Also, the country has some of the oldest geological features in the world.
Australia is the 6th largest country in the world and is the only one country-continent on our planet. It is located in Oceania and lies between the Indian and the South Pacific Ocean.
Australia is slightly smaller than the US mainland and four times the size of Mexico and Indonesia. If you look at the Australia map, you will notice that it has high mountains, dessert, rainforests and surrounded by the coast.
Now let’s take a look at the most famous geographical formations.
- Uluru Rock
You probably already know some interesting Uluru facts and it is already in your places to visit list. Basically, Uluru is the most popular rock in the world that is located in northern Australia. Its height is 345 meters and was laid down around 500 mln years ago in an inland sea. Uluru is the only one rock standing in the plains making it more majestic.
- The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is another very popular and iconic geographical feature of Australia. It lies off the northeastern coast of Australia in the Coral Sea and is the largest reef formation in the world. These coral formations (formed from skeletons of small sea creatures) have piled up for million years and now reef stretches around 1 250 miles.
Deserts cover about 18% of the country: Great Victoria, Great Sandy, Tanami, Gibson, Little Sandy, Sturt Stony, and Tirari desert. However, about 35% of Australia receive so little rainfall that can be easily considered as a desert. In the past, the desert parts of the country were ignored, but these days deserts are popular among locals and tourists as people come to take a look at beautifully coloured sand, gorges, and rocks.
If you are interested, take a look below at some Australian desert facts.
- Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world (Antarctica is drier).
- 70% of the country is considered as arid or semi-arid – gets less than 500 mm of rain per year.
- 3% of Australia’s population live in those very dry places.
- Due to climate change, the rainfall in the deserts is increasing and there are guesses that one-day deserts will turn green.
- Australian deserts are known as ‘the Outback desert of Australia’.
- ‘Outback roads’ leading through the deserts are becoming more and more popular among adventure seekers.
- Highest Mountains
Mount Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest peak on the mainland. It is 2 228 meters above sea level and is located in the Snowy Mountain region (New South Wales). However, the actual highest mountains lie in the Australian Antarctic Territory: McClintock (3 490 meters) and Menzies (3 355 meters). Another mountain that is higher than Kosciuszko, is Mawson’s Peak (2 745) located on Heard Island.
3% of Australia’s forest area is covered in rainforests that are very important to the country’s ecological system as it is the home of various rare plants and animals that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world.
The most famous rainforest is called Daintree that is located on the northeast coast of Queensland. Daintree is a part of the Wet Tropics Rainforest system – the oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest in the world.
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5. Countries in Australia
Everyone knows that Australia is one of seven continents on the Earth. It is, actually, the smallest continent that is completely surrounded by water. Strangely, lots of people still ask the question: Is Australia a country? Yes, Australia is not only a continent but also a country making it the only one country-continent in the world.
Technically, Australia continent has only one country (Australia) and several islands around the continent such as Tasmania.
There are people who tend to argue and say that New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and several small islands in Oceania belong to Australia.
However, don’t get confused as these islands together with Australia just belong to the Oceanian sub-region that is also known as Australasia and Melanesia. Actually, the term Oceania is used for Pacific Ocean islands that aren’t included in any of the continents.
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6. Australia Day Facts
Australia Day is Australia’s national day that is celebrated on 26th January every year. This day marks the anniversary of the arrival of first British ships in New South Wales at Port Jackson in 1788. At that day the British flag was raised at the Port Jackson for the first time.
Some people refer 26th January as Invasion Day, Anniversary Day or Foundation Day. Today, it is the largest civic event held in Australia and celebrates multicultural society and equality.
Australia Day information that you haven’t heard before:
- Australia Day first was celebrated on 30th July 1915 to raise funds for World War I.
- Only in 1935, all of Australia’s states recognized it as a public holiday.
- New South Wales was the first state to declare Australia Day as a public holiday (1838).
- By 1888 Adelaide was only one colony that didn’t celebrate Australia Day.
- Until 1946 Australia Day was called Anniversary Day.
- About 10.5 mln of Australia’s 21 mln citizens participate in Australia Day celebrations.
- Australia’s aboriginal people aren’t happy about Australia Day and call it Invasion Day as it marks the beginning of the country’s colonization.
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Australia is a country that you can’t dislike as it is very multicultural and relaxed. It might have strict laws, unhappy and controversial history, but it is very welcoming and beautiful.
You can find everything in Australia and everyone will find their places while travelling. It is impossible to fit every interesting fact about Australia and its culture in one article.
However, we do hope that this article helped you to get to know this incredible country where everything is a little bit different from the rest of the world. Don’t be afraid to explore and learn more! Have a great upcoming trip!
Have you enjoyed the article? Have you got to know something that you haven’t known before? What was the most interesting or weirdest fact about Australia? Let us know your answers, thoughts or questions. Please, leave us a comment below.