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Interesting Fun Facts About Australia

Updated on November 12, 2015

Australia is the sixth largest country and the smallest continent in the world. It is divided into 6 states and 2 territories. In this section we look at some of the interesting facts about the land Down Under.

  • Australia was first discovered by a Dutch explorer who named it ‘New Holland’. He didnot explore it any further as he thought the land uninteresting.
  • In 1770, Captain James Cook started exploring the land and named it ‘New England’.
  • In the early days the British used Australia as a convict colony.
  • Goldfields were discovered in Australia between 1851 and 1852.
  • The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia was started in 1901.
  • The Official name of Australia is ‘Commonwealth of Australia’.

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  • Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent.
  • It is the sixth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, China, USA and Brazil.
  • Australia is divided into 6 states and 2 territories.
  • Western Australia is the largest state in Australia and New South Wales is the most populous one.
  • Australia has the second lowest population density among all countries in the world. Its population is only around 21 million.
  • About 70 - 80% of the people live within 100kms of the coastline.
  • Australia has the world’s highest proportion of migrant labourers in a developed nation.
  • Australia is a multicultural country. The main language is English.
  • More than 200 languages and dialects are spoken in Australia. This includes 45 indigenous ones.

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  • The people from Queensland are called ‘Banana Benders’, from Western Australia are called ‘Sand Gropers’ and from New South Wales are called ‘Cockroaches’.
  • Kangaroo is the National Animal of Australia.
  • The Golden Wattle is the National Floral Emblem of Australia (adopted in 1912).
  • Canberra was made the capital of Australia after Sydney and Melbourne couldn’t stop arguing with each other.
  • Australia is referred to as (land) Down Under.

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  • Aboriginals don’t have a concept of time similar to the west. Their indigenous ‘Dream Time’ is the foundation for tens of thousands of years of spiritual aboriginal art, traditions, legends, myths, folklore and culture.
  • The year 1988 was named as the ‘Year of Mourning’ for the Aboriginals. It was also regarded as the celebration of survival of the Aboriginals.
  • Mt. Kosciusko is the highest peak in Australia.
  • The Great Barrier Reef, Bondi Beach, Surfers Paradise and Ayres Rock (Uluru) are some of the important tourist destinations in Australia.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is a result of the deposition of coral skeletons. It is the largest organic construction in the world.

A View Of The Great Barrier Reef.
A View Of The Great Barrier Reef.
  • Lake Eyre is the lowest point in Australia. It is 15m below mean sea level.
  • The Australian Alps receive more snow than Switzerland.
  • Rainforests can be found in Northern regions of Australia.
  • A good share of the flora and fauna present in Australia are exclusive to these parts.
  • Kangaroo, koala, wallaby, dingo, platypus, emu and kookaburra are some of the animals found in Australia.
  • Kangaroo meat is a leaner and healthier alternative to beef.
  • The lung fish dating back to the Triassic Period (350 million years ago) can be found in Australia.
  • Anna Creek Station in Southern Australia is the world’s largest cattle station.
  • Australia has more kangaroos and sheep than people.

An Adult And Baby Koala Bear.
An Adult And Baby Koala Bear.
  • The Box Jellyfish (one of the most deadly creatures in the world) is found off the Australian coast.
  • Most of Australia is arid land or desert.
  • Australia has the lowest precipitation among inhabited continents.
  • Australia is the second driest continent on earth, the first one being Antarctica.
  • Australia has 3 time zones – GMT+8hrs (Western), GMT+9.5hrs (Central), GMT+10hrs (Eastern).

The Box Jellyfish.
The Box Jellyfish.
  • Summer is from December to February, Autumn from March to May, Winter from June to August and Spring from September to November.
  • Melbourne has the second largest Greek population in the world.
  • Australia has 16 world heritage sites.
  • Australia is 3 times the size of Greenland (largest island in the world).
  • In 2012, Australia was rated the most obese country in the world.
  • Australians call the English ‘Pome’ (Prisoners of Mother England). This reference can be easily observed during cricket matches.
  • Australia is regarded as the sports capital of the world.

A View Of The Dingo Fence.
A View Of The Dingo Fence.
  • It has the third largest ocean territory.
  • Australia’s country telephone code is 61.
  • Australia was the second country (in 1902) to give women the right to vote.
  • Melbourne is rated the most liveable city in the world 2 years in a row (2011, 2012).
  • Dingo Fence in Australia is the longest fence in the world. It was built to protect sheep from the dingo dog. The fence extends 5,531kms through Queensland.
  • The longest straight road in the world is in Western Australia. It is 148kms long.
  • The Trans-continental Australian Railway includes the world’s longest stretch of dead-straight railway track (478km).

A Train Passing Over The Trans Australian Railway Line.
A Train Passing Over The Trans Australian Railway Line.

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