Interesting facts about Australia
Australia is as wide as the distance between London to Moscow.
Australia is the world's largest island.
The biggest property in Australia is bigger than Belgium.
More than 85% of Australians live within 50km of the coast.
In 1880, Melbourne was the richest city in the world.
In 1892, a group of 200 Australians unhappy with the government tried to start an offshoot colony in Paraguay to be called ‘New Australia’.
The first photos from the 1969 moon landing were beamed to the rest of the world from Honeysuckle Tracking Station, near Canberra.
Australia was the second country in the world to allow women to vote (New Zealand was first).
In 1856, stonemasons took action to ensure a standard of 8-hour working days, which then became recognised worldwide.
Australia is very sparsely populated: The UK has 248.25 persons per square kilometre, while Australia has only 2.66 persons per square kilometre.
Australia’s first police force was made up of the most well-behaved convicts.
Australia has the highest electricity prices in the world.
There were over one million feral camels in outback Australia, until the government launched the $19m Feral Camel Management Program, which aims to keep the pest problem under control. Saudi Arabia imports camels from Australia (mostly for meat production).
Per capita, Australians spend more money on gambling than any other nation.
Australia is home to the longest fence in the world. It is 5,614 km long, and was originally built to keep dingoes (wild dogs) away from fertile land.
Australia was one of the founding members of the United Nations.
If you visited one new beach in Australia every day, it would take over 27 years to see them all.
Melbourne has the world’s largest Greek population outside of Athens.
The Great Barrier Reef is the planet’s largest living structure.
The male platypus has strong enough venom to kill a small dog.
Australia has a number of deadly animals including a number of spiders, snakes, the crocodile, box-jelly fish and a shark or two!
And when the platypus was first sent to England, it was believed the Australians had played a joke by sewing the bill of a duck onto a rat.
Before 1902, it was illegal to swim at the beach during the day.
Australia has three sheep per people, not as good as New Zealand with 20 sheep per person!
Wombat poop is cube shaped! This helps it mark its territory.
European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per capita than any other society in history.
The Australian Alps receive more snowfall than Switzerland.
The Box jellyfish has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.
Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world.
Australia is the only continent in the world without an active volcano.
91% of the country is covered by native vegetation.
There are 60 designated wine regions in Australia.
If all the sails of the Opera House roof were combined, they would create a perfect sphere. The architect was inspired while eating an orange.
Australia is home to 20% of the world’s poker machines.
No native Australian animals have hooves.
The wine cask is an Australian invention, so is the selfie.
The world’s first compulsory seat belt law was put into place in Victoria in 1970
Despite sharing the same verbal language, Australian, British and American sign language are all completely different languages.
In 1979, debris from NASA’s space station ‘Skylab’ crashed in Esperance, WA. The town then fined NASA $400 for littering.
There have been no deaths in Australia from a spider bite since 1979.
Chinese explorers travelled to Australia long before Europeans arrived. As early as the 1400s, sailors and fisherman came to Australia for sea-cucumbers and to trade with Indigenous peoples.
The first European to visit Australia was Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon, in 1606. More Dutch explorers visited the country over the next hundred years, plotting maps and naming it ‘New Holland’. Captain James Cook first landed on Australia’s east coast in 1770. In 1788, the British returned with eleven ships to establish a penal colony. Within days of The First Fleet’s arrival and the raising of the British flag, two French ships arrived, just too late to claim Australia for France.
~ Thanks to Buzzed for this fascinating information ~