Come take a virtual trip to the land down under, and learn something about this fascinating country while you’re at it! It’s a special continent with a lot to offer. Here are some interesting facts about Australia.
In this text, we will present the land down under, Australia. Whatever you want to call it, you can’t deny that it’s a fascinating place with stunning beaches, good-looking people and amazing accents. For many people, Australia seems like a mystical place, a place so different from our own, whether we live in America, Europe or Asia.
Australia just stands out as a one-of-kind country. And there are many reasons for that, of course. Where it’s located, the history behind the great country, and the people, all play a role in making Australia an interesting place, one that almost seems too far off for most of us.
If you’re tired of the same-old, same-old, why not escape your reality for a few moments and learn some fun facts about Australia? After all, while it may be winter where you’re at right now, it’s summer in the land down under, and I can’t think of a better time to go there than now!
1. Most of Australia’s flora and fauna can’t be found anywhere else
91% of Australia is covered in vegetation, and of that vegetation the majority can’t be found anywhere else in the world. In fact, over 80% of Australia’s plants, reptiles, mammals and amphibians are unique to the country. Most of the fish and about half of the birds are also found nowhere else but the land down under.
2. Australia is very multicultural
Over 200 different languages are spoken in Australia, and immigrants from all over the world reside here. In fact, besides anywhere in Greece, Melbourne has the highest concentration of Greek people than anywhere else in the world. But it’s not just Greeks that are settling here.
Over 25% of Australians were born in other countries. Besides English, other common languages include Arabic, Greek, Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese.
3. Australia was once a part of a supercontinent named Gondwana
Gondwana had included Australia, South America, Africa, Antartica, and India until the continent split apart about 140 million years ago. However, it was only in the last 50 million years or so that Australia split from Antarctica, leaving the polar climate behind and becoming warmer and dryer, developing newer species of plants and animals along the way.
This is, of course, not the Australia we know today. While they look very different from Gondwana obviously, those places that have similar plants and animals as Australia were all once connected to it, making the supercontinent.
4. 80-90% of Australians live near the coast
We can’t say that we blame them, but Australia has one of the highest rates of coastal dwellers with over 80% of the population living on the coast and in urbanized areas. Part of the reason for this is that the inland areas, known as the outback, are arid, and they see very little rainfall. It’s no wonder people prefer to live in the more fertile coastal areas.
5. Australia was the second country to allow women to vote
You’re wrong, America wasn’t the first. That honor actually goes to New Zealand who gave women the right to vote in 1893, over 25 years ahead of America. Australia wasn’t too far behind their neighbors by granting women the right to vote in 1902. However, it wasn’t until 1962 that aboriginal women (and men) could legally vote in elections.
6. Swimming in the ocean used to be illegal!
It’s hard to imagine going to one of Australia’s many beaches and not be able to get into the water, but prior to 1902, it was illegal to swim at the beach during the day. Now, you can’t visit an Australian beach during the summer without seeing people swimming and enjoying the waves. And we can’t say that we blame them either.
Thanks to one man who defied the law in 1902 by entering Manly Beach in the middle of the day, swimming started to take off and became the popular pastime that it still is today.
7. The Dreamtime
Perhaps to many folks, visiting Australia is like a dream come true, but The Dreamtime is a spiritual belief of the aborigines of Australia. The aborigines are indigenous people that migrated to Australia at least 30,000 years ago. While there are anywhere from 500-600 distinct groups, there are some unifying links amongst them, including their spiritual ties to the land.
Aborigines call the beginning of the world “Dreaming” or “Dreamtime” where their ancestors formed the world around them, metamorphosing into nature such as rivers and rock formations. They don’t place humans on a higher level than nature; they believe we’re all a part of it.
8. Seeing Red: Traveling The Red Center Of Australia
The iconic monolith Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is located in the Northern Territory of Australia, in a region known as the Red Center because to the bright red sand that covers much of it. Uluru is also known as Ayers Rock.
The color of Uluru is an amazing burnished orange. Its high iron concentration, the terra cotta sand’s reflection in the water, or both combine to create a captivating and unique image.
While three to four days certainly won’t be long enough to fully appreciate its magnificence, they should be adequate to introduce you to this breathtaking terrain and the fascinating Anangu culture.
Wake up before sunrise for a tour of the outbacks on a camel’s humpback.
9. Australia has a lot of things that can kill you
We all heard the horror stories of poisonous snakes wrapped around toilet basins, waiting to attack and kill you during your nighttime potty run. We also know about spiders big enough to eat birds, that can end up in your house whether you like it or not.
To many people outside Australia, it can almost sound fearful to move there, especially when you hear things like: Out of the 25 deadliest snakes in the world, 20 are found in Australia. Then there’s the Sydney funnel-web spider which is considered one of the world’s most deadliest, and it can kill you in less than two hours. And yes, the deadliest jellyfish are also found off the coast there.
10. It’s actually very rare that the things that can kill you actually do
When you look at the statistics, it might surprise you how few people actually die from the critters inhabiting Australia. For instance, between 1980 and 2009, 41 deaths have been attributed to snake bites, only 41. That number comes out to less than two a year.
And spiders, well, the prognosis for a spider bite is even better considering there’s no record of anyone dying from one since 1979, after they introduced anti-venom for all native species. But what about those jellyfish I mentioned above! There’s the deadliest kind around, right? And they are deadly… in fact; they’ve killed 66 people since 1883.
That comes out to about half a death a year, if that were even possible. The sharks kill about two people a year, and crocodiles kill about one person a year. In all honesty, more people die from car accidents per year than all the deadly creatures of Australia combined.
11. Many good-looking people come from Australia
While we know a big star like Nicole Kidman is Australian, there are others that might surprise you. Did you know that the cutie Ryan Kwanten, True Blood’s own Jason Stackhouse, really has an Aussie accent? That’s because he’s Australian, not southern. He really had us fooled, didn’t he? But he isn’t the only one.
Portia De Rossi, best known for her role in Arrested Development and Ally McBeal is also Australian. She worked hard to replace her Australian accent with an American one. Of course, you also have the Hemsworth brothers, Chris and Liam. No, Thor isn’t really Nordic, he’s Australian.
And the fans of the hit show Fringe might be surprised to find out that Anna Torv, the actress who played agent Olivia Dunham, is also Australian. Though her accent has started to disappear over the years, something she’s a little sad about. And trust us, this is only the beginning…
Celebs are great when it comes to hiding their accents, and trust us when we say it makes us sad too. In all honesty, there’s nothing sexier than a good, old-fashioned, Australian accent.
What are some of your favorite things about Australia? Is it the weather? Maybe it’s the way it seems so far away from the rest of the world? Or could it be the beaches and cities full of culture drawing you in? Whatever it is, you can’t help but be a little envious of those who are lucky enough to live in such a gorgeous and fascinating country!