Sunday, December 4, 2016

Facts about Australia

 Ask the question of what Australia is known for to Aussies and foreigners and you'll get answers like Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue, kangaroos, koalas, cricket, swimming, Sydney Harbor Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, Aborigines, Minerals, wine and vegemite. However, Australia is much more than these.

The name ‘Australia’ comes from the Latin word ‘australis’, meaning southern.

The flag of Australia is a defaced Blue Ensign: a blue field with the Union Jack in the canton (upper hoist quarter), and a large white seven-pointed star known as the  Commonwealth Star in the lower hoist quarter. The fly contains a representation of the Southern Cross constellation, made up of five white stars, one small five-pointed star and four, larger, seven-pointed stars.

As of 2012, Australia has an estimated population of over 22 million people.

Australia is Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II of  Great Britain.

Due to its large size and isolation from the rest of the world, Australia is sometimes known as the ‘island continent’.

The biggest cities in Australia are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.



Canberra was selected as the capital because Sydney and Melbourne could not stop arguing which city should be the capital of Australia.


A desert area known as the ‘outback’ covers much of the land.

Ayers Rock in the Outback

Waterfall and Lake in the Outback

It is estimated the humans have lived in Australia for around 45000 years.

The indigenous people of Australia are Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

Aboriginal Cave Painings

The highest mountain on mainland Australia is Mt Kosciuszko, standing 2228m (7310ft) above sea level.
Mt. Kosciuszko

The world's largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef, is found off the north-eastern coast of Australia.
Part of the Great Barrier Reef

Australia has a range of different landscapes, including urban areas, mountain ranges, deserts and rain forests.

Australia is home to a variety of unique animals, including the koala, kangaroo, emu, kookaburra and platypus.



Although they usually keep to themselves, there are a range of dangerous snakes in Australia, such as the Brown Snake, Tiger Snake and Taipan.

Western Brown Snake

Red Bellied Black Snake
Australia has over 750 different reptile species, more than any other country in the world.

Australia is a relatively wealthy country with a high life expectancy.

Australia hosted the 1956 (Melbourne) and 2000 (Sydney) Summer Olympics.

The 1956 Melbourne Olympics

Australia is the 6th largest country in the world occupying an entire continent of some 7.6 million square kilometers.

Australia has the world's third largest ocean territory spanning three oceans and covering around 12 million square kilometers.

Vegetation covers nearly 7 million square kilometers or 91 percent of Australia.

The largest Greek population in the world beside Athens in Greece can be found in Melbourne,Victoria.

Most of Australia's exotic flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Australian Native Flowers

The Indigenous 'Dream Time' is the foundation for tens of thousands of years of spiritual aboriginal art, traditions, legends, myths, folklore and culture.

Australia is only nation-continent in the world.

wattle was adopted as the national floral emblem in 1912.

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 kilometers of the coast making Australia one of the world's most urbanized coastal dwelling populations.

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.

The world's highest proportion of migrant settlers in a developed nation with over 25% of Australians born in another country.

Today's Australia is very multicultural with Indigenous peoples and migrants from some 200 countries.

Australia's first small step to a fully multicultural Australia was the result of immigrants from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean after 1945.

Australia contains an amazing ecosystem with unique flora and fauna including pristine rainforest, ancient rock formations and beautiful beaches.

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.

Professor Macfarlane Burnet 

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.

Australia has sixteen world heritage listed sites including historic townships, cities and landscapes.

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 kilometer march for "Freedom, Justice and Hope" in Sydney.

Australia used to be a beer-drinking nation but its quaffing plunged to a 65-year low in 2010-2011 with only 4.23 liters consumed per person.

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.

Lowitja O'Donoghue

It is believe that the Aboriginal game of Mangrook inspired the rules for Australian Football, while invented in Sydney became popular in Victoria.

Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1902.

The largest cattle station in the world is Anna Creek Station in South Australia at over 34,000 square kilometers is the world's largest cattle station. It is even larger than Belgium.

It has the highest rate of gambling in the world with over 80 percent of Australian adults engaging in gambling of some kind and 20 percent of the pokie machines in the world are found in Australia.

Australia Day today is a celebration of diversity and tolerance in Australian society, embracing all ethnic backgrounds, racial differences and political viewpoints.

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 1-2 percent fat content.

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.

Approximately 1.35 trillion bottles of wine are produced by Australia.

Former Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd's national apology to Indigenous Australians in 2007 is viewed by many as a major milestone in reconciliation.

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.

Australian TV networks love cooking shows, airing one after another upon viewership success of My Kitchen Rules and Master Chef.

Australians refer to English people as Pome, which is actually the acronym for Prisoners of Mother England.

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.

Ugg Boots

Melbourne topped 140 rivals to be crowned the world's most livable city 2 years in a row since 2011.

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.

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.

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.

Eighty percent of Australians believe Australia has a strong culture and identity characterized by being down to earth, honesty, sports and multiculturalism based on research organized by the Australia Day Council of NSW in 2008.

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