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A-Z of Australia

Updated on May 31, 2010

The A-Z of Australia

Want to know as much information about Australia as possible, in a nice easy to read A-Z format? Well you've come to the right place - everything you ever needed to know and a lot of stuff you didnt'

What's Australia famous for?

What Australians are famous?

What have you always being dying to learn about Australia?

I even found an 'X'.... really!

A is for... AUSTRALIA

Australia - the wonderful country this lens is all about!

Australia was discovered in 1606 by Dutch explorers (well the West Coast anyway) and good old Captain James Cook discovered the rest in 1770.

The name Australia originally comes from the latin - terra australis incognita - "unknown southern land".

B is for... Beaches, BBQ's

Beaches in Australia are popular with locals, travellers and backpackers. Australians are very much outdoor people and spending time having barbies (BBQ's) on the beach or just surfing or swimming is a very popular pastime.

Bondi Beach, Sydney, New South Wales is probably the most well known Australian Beach and thousands of backpackers congregate their every Christmas Day to experience what is probably their first Christmas ever in a bikini!

C is for... Cairns, Cassowaries, Crocodiles

Cairns - the backpacker mecca of the world? Cairns has an unbelievable number of backpackers hostels because so many backpackers travel there to scuba dive for the first time but mainly just to party!

Cassowary - a what? A Cassowary is an extremely scary looking bird a bit like an emu but with a really hard horn like prorusion on it's head. They're very rare and can only be found in Northern Queensland (Daintree Rainforest). Be careful they're very strong and apart from the hard horn on their head, they have very sharp claws too!

Crocodiles - saltwater crocs (estuarine crocodile or "salties") and freshwater crocs are scarily quite common in Australia. Freshwater crocs are pretty much harmless probably because they're quite small, however saltwater crocs are pretty fierce and extremely dangerous.

People are killed by crocs in Australia (a few years back a German tourist was killed by one - stupidly this tourist had been swimming in an area that had a sign which clearly stated - DANGEROUS - DO NOT SWIM, CROCODILES LIVE HERE

Cassowary

Cassowary
Cassowary

D is for... Dingoes

Dingo - a dingo is a feral dog which is quite common in Australia especially on Fraser Island (where the purest breed of dingoes is found)

a dingo ate my baby

"Azaria Chantel Loren Chamberlain (born 11 June 1980 in Mount Isa, Queensland) was a ten-week-old Australian baby who disappeared on the night of 17 August 1980 on a camping trip to Ayers Rock (Uluru) with her family.

Her parents, Lindy and Michael Chamberlain, reported that she had been taken from their tent by a dingo. An initial inquest, highly critical of the police investigation, supported this assertion. The findings of the inquest were broadcast live on television - a first in Australia. Subsequently, after a further investigation and second inquest, Azaria's mother, Lindy Chamberlain, was tried and convicted of her murder, on 29 October 1982 and sentenced to life imprisonment. Azaria's father, Michael Chamberlain, was convicted as an accessory after the fact and given a suspended sentence.

The media focus for the trial was extraordinarily intense and sensational. The Chamberlains made several unsuccessful appeals, including the final High Court appeal. After all legal options had been exhausted, the chance discovery of a piece of Azaria's clothing in an area full of dingo lairs led to Lindy Chamberlain's release from prison, on "compassionate grounds." She was later exonerated of all charges."

* taken from Wikipedia.

E is for... Emu

There seem to be a lot of Emus around Australia, well in Wildlife parks anyway. One of the symbols of Australia and found on the Australia Coat of Arms - or commonly known as The Commonwealth Coat of Arms or Commonwealth Crest

Fraser My Way | Fraser Island Tours
Fraser My Way | Fraser Island Tours

F is for... Fraser Island

Fraser Island is one part of Australia that you just shouldn't miss out on. It's the largest Sand Island in the world and it's beautiful. Not only that you get to see some awesome wildlife here including wild dingoes.

A great way to experience Fraser Island, and possibly the most popular way, is to go on one of the self drive Fraser Island Tours available.

G is for... Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world and is also the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. So big in fact that it can be seen from outer space.

Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island

H is for... Hamilton Island, Hostels

Hamilton Island is part of the Whitsundays and is absolutely stunning. What a place to visit, you get to see the Great Barrier Reef and just enjoy the beauty of the Whitsundays at the same time. Hamilton Island seems to be where the richer travelers end up when they visit this part of Australia!

Hostels. There are hostels aplenty in Australia and that's because they house all the backpackers that come here from all over the world. Australia is still one of the most popular countries to visit on the backpacker trail!

I is for... Indigenous Australians

Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders

Aboriginal People

Australian Aborigines have been identified as a group of people who share biological ancestry back to the original occupants of the Australian continent.

Justice Deane of the High Court famously described and defined an Australian Aboriginal person as:

"..a person of Aboriginal descent, albeit mixed, who identifies himself as such and who is recognised by the Aboriginal community as an Aboriginal.."

Indigenous Australians

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands, and these peoples' descendants. Indigenous Australians are distinguished as either Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders, who currently together make up about 2.7% of Australia's population.

The Torres Strait Islanders are indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands which are at the northern-most tip of Queensland near Papua New Guinea. The term "Aboriginal" has traditionally been applied to indigenous inhabitants of mainland Australia, Tasmania, and some of the other adjacent islands. The use of the term is becoming less common, with names preferred by the various groups becoming more common.

The earliest definite human remains found to date are that of Mungo Man which have been dated at about 40,000 years old, but the time of arrival of the ancestors of Indigenous Australians is a matter of debate among researchers, with estimates ranging as high as 125,000 years ago.

There is great diversity among different Indigenous communities and societies in Australia, each with its own unique mixture of cultures, customs and languages. In present day Australia these groups are further divided into local communities.

Although there were over 250-300 spoken languages with 600 dialects at the start of European settlement, fewer than 200 of these remain in use - and all but 20 are considered to be endangered. Aborigines today mostly speak English, with Aboriginal phrases and words being added to create Australian Aboriginal English.

The population of Indigenous Australians at the time of permanent European settlement has been estimated at between 318,000 and 750,000, with the distribution being similar to that of the current Australian population, with the majority living in the south-east, centred along the Murray River.

Read the full wikipedia article here

J is for.... Jellyfish

Beware the Deadly Jellyfish

Australian waters have many deadly creatures in them and none more scary than jellyfish. The Box Jellyfish may be one of the most well known Australia Jellyfish, however the Irukandji Jellyfish is possibly more frightening.

"The Irukandji jellyfish is a silent, mysterious, nearly invisible killer found in the seas off northern Australia. The Irukandji jellyfish, Carukua barnesi, inhabits the northern Australian waters in a wide sweeping arc from Exmouth in Western Australia to Gladstone in Queensland.

Filming stopped

The deadly Irukandji jellyfish was believed not to stray further south than Gladstone but was discovered in the waters of Hervey Bay in March 2007, when filming was stopped on a Warner Bros movie being shot in Australia.

The Irukandji jellyfish is found in north Queensland waters during the jellyfish season, roughly from the end of October to early May...."

Read More:

Irukandji Jellyfish Beware the Deadly Irukandji Jellyfish

K is for... Kangaroos, Koalas, Kookaburras

Kangaroos! One of the official symbols of Australia. They're cute to look at but can be a bit vicious if you annoy them!

Koala's. Make sure you never call a Koala a Koala Bear because you'll just upset an Aussie!

Kookaburra. In my opinion one of the oddest looking birds on the planet. They have really big heads, how on earth do they fly? Here's loads more information on Kookaburras

L is for... Lord Howe Island

Celebrating 25 years of World Heritage listing in December 2007

LORD HOWE ISLAND

Lord Howe Island - widely regarded as the most beautiful island in the Pacific - is the closest island getaway to Sydney, and a part of New South Wales. It's less than two hours flying from either Sydney or Brisbane off Australia's east coast. It is one of just four island groups to be inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list for the global significance of its natural beauty and heritage.

It's a timeless natural paradise, where the pace is relaxed but where there are plenty of activities and adventures to choose from. Unspoiled, uncrowded beaches - with perfect golden sands - entice surfers, swimmers and sybarites. Read More

N is for... Noosa

Noosa is the epitome of the Sunshine Coast and is as unique as it is beautiful. You will find Noosa pretty hard to leave once it has got its hands on your weary, partied out body and sent you in to pure relaxation and well-being. The beaches in Noosa are world class and when you don't fancy lazing about on one (unlikely) you can explore the surrounding rainforest and volcanic mountains of Glass House National Park and Great Sandy National Park. If you fancy combining the two, then Noosa can give you that as well, just take a wander into Noosa National Park and find yourself an isolated beach for the afternoon.

With beaches comes watersports and Noosa is an optimum location to get in on the action allowing visitors to explore Noosa and its everglades by water rather than your average, boring walking or bus tours. That's the thing about Noosa, you really cannot call it boring. Noosa's personality shines through its activities, atmosphere, surroundings and lifestyle and is loved by just about everyone who visits.

Read More | Noosa Destination & Travel Guide

O is for... Opera House

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House must be one of the most well known buildings in the world. It got off to a controversial start with tension between the designer Jørn Utzon and the local government.

The Sydney Opera House is one of a kind and instantly recognisable due it's magnificent 'shell' design for the roof. This is one building that on seeing it everyone takes a photo. Throughout the day the colour of The Sydney Opera House changes and it's remarkably intricate in it's design when you see it up close for the first time.

P is for... Phillip Island, Penguins

Who'd have thought it??? There are actually penguins to be found in Australia and these ones are probably the cutest out of the lot. Found mainly on Phillip Island (just a short trip from Melbourne) the penguins are small, cute and you can see them up close.

The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island is an absolute must see in Australia in my opinion!

Q is for... Queensland, Quokkas, Quolls

Queensland is a huge part of Australia and one of the most popular regions for people to visit. Backpackers tend to head to Cairns or Airlie beach for all their partying but there's so much more to Queensland from the beautiful Cape Tribulation to World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Forest to incredible cities like Brisbane.

Australia is home to two of the strangest named animals (and possibly the cutest too) Quokkas and Quolls. Quokkas are found in abundance on Rottnest island which is a short ferry ride from perth in Western Australia.

Quolls can be found in Queensland and are distant relatives of the Tasmanian Devil

S is for... Sharks

If you believe everything you read you probably think that hundreds of people are year are killed by sharks in Australia. This isn't true but the Australian waters do contain a lot of sharks, some deadly some not at all dangerous.

Pretty much the best advice is to be sensible and if you're at the beach and hear a siren - get out of the water fast!.

T is for... Thylacine, Tasmanian Devil

  • The Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger is sadly now extinct....

    "The thylacine was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger (because of its striped back), the Tasmanian wolf, and colloquially the Tassie (or Tazzy) tiger or simply the tiger.[6] Native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is thought to have become extinct in the 20th century. It was the last extant member of its genus, Thylacinus, although several related species have been found in the fossil record dating back to the early Miocene."

    Read the rest of the Wikipedia article here

  • The Tasmanian Devil is found in... wait for it, Tasmania!

    "The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial now found in the wild only in the Australian island state of Tasmania. The Tasmanian devil is the only extant member of the genus Sarcophilus. The size of a small dog, but stocky and muscular, the Tasmanian devil is now the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world after the extinction of the thylacine in 1936. It is characterized by its black fur, pungent odour when stressed, extremely loud and disturbing screech, and ferocity when feeding. It is known to both hunt prey and scavenge carrion and although it is usually solitary, it sometimes eats with other devils. The Tasmanian devil was extirpated on the Australian mainland at least 3000 years ago,[3] well before European settlement in 1788. Because they were seen as a threat to livestock in Tasmania, devils were hunted until 1941, when they became officially protected. Since the late 1990s, devil facial tumour disease has reduced the devil population significantly and now threatens the survival of the species, which in May 2009 was declared to be endangered. Programs are currently being undertaken by the Tasmanian government to reduce the impact of the disease."

    Read the rest of the Wikipedia article

Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Uluru (Ayers Rock)

X is for... Xantippe Mine

The Xantippe Mine is located in south Western Australia a distance of about 350km east from Perth. The Xantippe Mine is at an elevation of approximately 426m above sea level.

Read more here

Let me know what else should be included for a particular letter... Did I miss something really obvious?

Give me your feedback!

Your ideas for A - Z

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    • profile image

      iDroNeZz 10 months ago

      Why is there no y and z site is called A-Z of Australia

    • profile image

      Someone 20 months ago

      I need a y and z this is the only reason i'm in this website

    • profile image

      Sabrina Grimm 2 years ago

      I need an u people!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: what is Victoria

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      p is for penal colony

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      V is for Victoria

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      NO HELP AT ALL!!! I AM DOING AN ASIGNMENT THAT IS DUE TOMORROW PLEASE HELP!!! I NEED AUSTRALIAN ICONS BEGINNING WITH A, F, H, I, J, N, O, R, Y. THANKS!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      For P you can put pasture

    • profile image

      isaac-perez 5 years ago

      For Z you could put "Zebra Finch".

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      you missed abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You missed u,v,r,y,z and m.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      you missed the "m" "u""v""w""y" &"z"...think next time(: