Australia, often referred to as the “Land Down Under,” is a captivating continent known for its unique wildlife, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. As one of the world’s most diverse and enchanting countries, Australia has much more to offer than just kangaroos and koalas.
In this article, we will dive into the heart of this vast and fascinating land, uncovering 20 facts about Australia that showcase its rich history, geography and lifestyle. From the iconic Sydney Opera House to the mysterious Outback, join us on a journey to unravel the wonders of Australia with 20 facts about Australia.”
20 Interesting Facts About Australia
1. Kangaroos and Emus Can’t Walk Backward
Kangaroos and emus can’t walk backward, so the Australian army includes them on their uniforms as symbols of always moving forward.
2. The Capital of Australia
Canberra became Australia’s capital to settle a disagreement between Sydney and Melbourne, both vying to be the country’s main hub. The choice aimed to end the dispute peacefully.
3. Only Continent Without Any Active Volcanoes
Australia stands as the sole continent without any active volcanoes. Perhaps, it’s a good thing considering the country already has its share of deadly creatures and challenging environments.
4. There are 1500 Species of Spider in Australia
Australia hosts about 1,500 spider species, with some being highly venomous while others pose no threat. Surprisingly, between 2000 and 2013, more people lost their lives due to horses than from all of the country’s deadliest animals combined. It goes to show that sometimes, unexpected dangers can be more prevalent than the ones we might be more wary of.
5. Australians are Among the Longest Living in the World
According to recent data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Australians rank fifth in the world for life expectancy, averaging 80.3 years. Only Japan (81.8 years), Iceland (80.7), Spain (80.5), and Switzerland (80.4) surpass Australia in longevity.
Comparatively, New Zealanders expect an average life of 78.7 years, Brits 78.5 years, and Americans 77.2 years. These figures highlight Australia’s impressive standing in global life expectancy, reflecting the nation’s commitment to health and well-being.
6. The Finding of Gold
The finding of Gold in Victoria brought a quick economic boost to Melbourne in the late 1800s. By 1861, it had more people than Sydney, and by 1880, it was considered the wealthiest city globally. Unfortunately, this prosperity took a hit in 1891 when Melbourne faced a severe economic downturn, marking the end of its golden era.
7. The World’s Sports Capital
Today, Melbourne is known as the world’s sports capital and has the most significant population of people with Greek roots outside of Greece.
8. Kangaroos Only Exist in Australia
Kangaroos are found only in the wild in Australia, making it their exclusive home. With a whopping population of over 50 million, the number of kangaroos is on the rise each year.
9. The Home To The Largest Coral Reef System Globally
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest coral reef system globally, with over 3,000 reefs and 900 islands. It houses more than 350 types of corals and over 1,500 fish species. Sadly, climate change is causing damage to the reef, leading to coral bleaching and loss of vibrant colors.
10. Australia Is Home to Some of the Most Dangerous Animals
Australia is home to some critters that can be risky. When folks imagine Australia, they usually think about the dangerous spiders and snakes there. Among them, the Inland Taipan is the world’s most venomous snake. Australia also has tarantulas, box jellyfish, and blue-ringed octopus, which can be pretty hazardous.
11. European Explorers Found Australia in the 17th Century
European explorers found Australia in the 17th century, around 1606. The word “discovered” is a bit old-fashioned because the Aboriginal people already knew about it. Europeans, however, hadn’t found it before 1606, and it only started showing up on maps after that time.
12. Indigenous Australians: A 65,000-Year Presence
Indigenous Australians have been living on the continent for more than 65,000 years. They’re known as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Even though they’ve been around for a very long time, today, they only make up a small part of the Australian population.
13. 90% of Australians Live on the Coast
Most people in Australia live near the edges because the big deserts in the middle make it hard to live there. Cities like Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne are famous and have busy downtowns and lots of beaches, like Bondi and Trigg.
Besides the big cities, there are many small beach towns along the coast. You can check out Port Macquarie in New South Wales to catch your dinner or go to Airlie Beach in Queensland for some great parties.
Australia has lots of surf towns and beaches all around, so it’s cool to follow everyone else and go to the coast.
14. Tasmania Has The Cleanest Air in the World
Tasmania has the world’s cleanest air. This island is perfect for nature lovers, with about one-third of it being a national park or World Heritage protected. You can explore the whole island on foot, with trails offering beautiful views of places like Wineglass Bay and the Bay of Fires.
If walking isn’t your thing, you can try kayaking, mountain biking, or exploring caves. Tasmania is home to special animals, like the Eastern Quoll, which are now rare on the mainland but are often seen in Tasmania’s fertile farmlands.
15. Fraser Island is the Largest Sand Island in the World
Fraser Island is the biggest sand island globally, and its sandy shores are a must-see in Queensland. To start your adventure, head to Hervey Bay and take a boat to explore this island paradise.
Enjoy the crystal-clear blue waters of Lake MacKenzie, with its white sandy shores, and experience the peaceful Champagne Pools, where you can swim in shallow pools by the ocean.
Keep an eye out for dingoes, Australia’s famous wild dogs; there are around 150 on the island. Remember to keep a safe distance, as they are wild animals and can be aggressive if approached.
16. Longest Straight Section of Train Track
The Indian Pacific train has the world’s longest straight train track. Australia has some amazing train rides, and one of the best is the Indian Pacific. It travels from Sydney to Perth, going through the beautiful Blue Mountains, then into the outback, and finally reaching the mountainous Flinders Ranges.
17. The World’s Largest War Memorial
The Great Ocean Road is a very famous drive in Australia, offering breathtaking views and beautiful scenery along the way. It was built by soldiers returning from World War One to honor those who died in the war. The road was also meant to connect small communities along Victoria’s rugged coastline.
While the Twelve Apostles are a well-known attraction on this road, don’t miss the Split Point Lighthouse, the charming towns of Port Fairy, and the surf coast of Apollo Bay—they are all equally beautiful. From June to September, you can even see Southern Right Whales migrating along the coast. The road stretches from Torquay to Allansford, making it a perfect road trip between Melbourne and Adelaide.
18. 80% of the Animals are Unique to Australia
Australia is home to animals that you can’t find anywhere else—about 80% of them are unique to the country. From cute marsupials to a wide variety of birds, the wildlife in Australia is super interesting. You can see these unique creatures in different ways, like visiting zoos and parks or spotting them in the wild.
While it’s easy to spot kangaroos in the fields of New South Wales, finding koalas and platypuses can be a bit tricky. Having a guide to show you where they usually hide in the wild is helpful. If you miss anything, you can always visit Sydney Wildlife World in the city center—it’s a great place to see these animals up close.
19. Uluru, a huge rock, is in the Middle of Australia
Uluru, a huge rock, is in the middle of Australia surrounded by red land and is special to different Aboriginal tribes. It’s unique because it’s on the UNESCO World Heritage list for both its cultural and natural importance. Surprisingly, about 2.5km of Uluru is underground, connected to the Olgas, and reappears 16 miles away.
Seeing Uluru during sunset is the best time to see its stark beauty, and at night, the dark skies reveal lots of sparkling stars. You can easily visit Uluru from Alice Springs, either by plane or as a stop on the Ghan, the railway from Adelaide to Darwin.
20. The Most Iconic Buildings in the World
The Sydney Opera House is a famous building in Sydney Harbour. It’s known all around the world. The Opera House looks super unique with its shell-like shapes. People go there to watch performances like plays, concerts, and more.
It’s not just a building; it’s like a symbol of Sydney and Australia. The harbor around it makes the view even more beautiful. Many tourists visit to see this special place, and it’s also a cool spot for locals. So, the Sydney Opera House is not just a building; it’s a big part of what makes Sydney famous and awesome.
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So there you have it – 20 facts about Australia that make it an awesome place! From kangaroos and koalas to famous places like the Sydney Opera House, Australia is full of surprises. Whether you’re interested in the Outback or the beautiful beaches, this country has something for everyone. We’ve only scratched the surface, but we hope these facts gave you a taste of the incredible and diverse world of Australia!
How many of these facts about Australia did you already know? Put them in the comment section below.