Coolest facts about Australia

Australia.facts

We’ve found you the coolest and little-known facts about the mighty Australia! Do you have any more to add?

  • Wow, Melbourne was given the prestigious title of richest city in the world in 1880!
  • Ever wondered where the 8 hour working day comes from? Well in 1856 in Australia the stonemasons demanded of the government that an 8 hour day should be written into law! And so it came to be that the rest of the world followed the example. Shout out to the Aussies, otherwise who knows how many hours we’d be working each day!
  • Ever think of Australia as a new continent? Well it’s really not…the world’s oldest fossil was found in this great continent. It was 3.4 million years old. That’s amazing.
  • You must have heard that Australia started as a place to send all the nasty convicts in the world. Well because of this the first police force ever on record was made up of the best-behaved criminals. Well done them.
  • Australians quite like to dabble in a bit of gambling; they spend more money per capita on this activity than anywhere else in the world. Hope they win big!
  • Long before humans settled in Australia, it was home to some pretty mega animals including nearly 10 foot (3 metre) tall kangaroos, 23 foot (7 metre) long goannas, horse-sized ducks and a marsupial lion that was the size of a leopard. Those are some massive animals!
  • Did you know that the platypus is poisonous enough to kill a small dog? The Australians sent a platypus to the queen of England many years ago, and do you know what they did? Well they played a prank on her and sewed a duck’s bill onto a rat! Wonder if she appreciated that prank?
  • If you’re not into snakes, then Australia is just not the place for you. 17 out of 26 of the world’s deadliest snakes can be found here.
  • In 2007 a survey was done and apparently about 22% of all Australians are descendants from the first convicts that lived there.
  • Traces of Aboriginal tribes can be dated back to about 40, 000 years ago.
  • No ways! The governor of Tasmania went on an official visit to Australia in 1832, now what happened is pretty unbelievable. Those Aussies were up to their tricks again…he was mass-mooned by 300 female prisoners during a chapel service. Wonder how he handled that little surprise!
  • This could surprise you. Australia, snow? Not a chance. Well actually yes…the Australian Alps get more snow in a year than the Swiss Alps.
  • Now this is lucky…Australia is the only continent in the world at the moment that is free from active volcanoes.
  • Australia can be proud of one of the largest victories in international football, ever! They played against Samoa and Australia whipped them with a 31-0 victory!
  • The name ‘Kylie’ actually comes from an Aboriginal word for boomerang. So now we know where Kylie Minogue got her name from…that’s pretty cool.
  • Alcohol was banned in Australia until the 1960’s. But things certainly turned around as today they’ve got more than 60 wine regions.
  • That famous Sydney Opera House ceiling has an interesting story behind it. Apparently the ceiling was designed, so that if you took all the pieces off and put them back together again, you could make a perfect sphere! And how did this idea come about? Well the architect was eating an orange at the time, and thought this was an awesome idea.
  • Australia are certainly into safety…the first law that made wearing a seatbelt compulsory was put into place in Victoria, Australia in 1970.
  • Australia, England and the US all share the same verbal language of English, but their sign languages are completely different.
  • That very scary funnel spider that we all hear about, that is seriously toxic; well you don’t really have to worry about it, as the last death from a spider bite in Australia was in 1979.
  • Chinese explorers were the first to travel to Australia; long before the Europeans arrived to stake their claim. Sailors and fisherman came here as early as the 1400s for sea cucumbers and to trade with the Aborigines.
  • Between 1838 and 1902 you would be seriously punished for swimming during the day…it was illegal.
  • Australia was the second nation in the world to give women the equal right to vote. Good on them!
  • Now you don’t normally hear this about Prime Ministers, but former Prime Minister Bob Hawke held a Guinness World Record! For what you might ask…well for drinking 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. That’s pretty fast.
  • Any guesses who drank a pint of rum every morning? Yes, a pint of rum! Well it was Sir John Robertson, five times premier of New South Wales. He later famously said: “None of the men who have left footprints in this country have been cold water men.”
  • Prime Minister Harold Holt once went for a swim at Cheviot Beach, near Portsea on 17th December 1967, and was never seen again. How strange is that? The event has often been called ‘the swim that needed no towel’.
  • The convicts sent to Australia, weren’t the big guns of crime so to speak. All the convicts that had been involved in major crimes were given the death penalty in England. The convicts sent to Australia, were the small fry and had probably only stolen stuff like bread and other small offences.
  • The Australian Lyre Bird is the world’s best imitator; even better than its human counterparts. It can mimic 15 different bird species calls and it creates a bit of a sing-song out of it. It’s even been heard making the sounds of chainsaws, alarms and ringing phones. Be careful what you say in front of it, it could be repeated!
  • Australia is the only country in the world that is also be a continent. In its massive expanse, 90% of it is dry, flat and desert like.
  • Emus and Kangaroos can’t walk backwards due to their strange legs. This is why they were included in the Australian coat of arms.
  • The Box Jellyfish, which is the most poisonous marine animal in the world, is found in the waters around Australia. It has killed more people than sharks and crocodiles all together. Well this is a country full of weird and wonderful creatures.
  • Australians created a myth about ‘dropbears’! Now apparently these creatures were a vicious species of Koala bears that liked to attack humans. But guess what? It didn’t actually exist; the Aussies made it up to trick or scare visitors! They are certainly a bunch of tricksters.

There are our top little-known facts about Australia. If you’ve got more to share, then please do, we’d love to hear them.

About the Author

Lisa Steyn (51 Posts)

I’m a marketer by profession and a writer by nature. I discovered writing as my passion years ago, and have loved every bit of it, particularly writing for families in order to help them have fun and improve their lives. I’ve travelled the world extensively, lucky me! To make me happy put me next to the raging sea, or the calming mountains, and to get me firing on all cylinders send me on a wildlife safari!


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