86 Interesting Facts About Australia

Last updated on September 3rd, 2016

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is an Oceanian country. The term ‘Down Under’ which is used for Australia comes from the fact that the country is in the Southern Hemisphere, ‘below’ many other countries on the globe.

86 Interesting facts about Australia

These facts will give you insights about the country’s history, people, wildlife, culture, tourism, famous inventions and more…

1. The name Australia comes from the Latin, ‘Terra Australia Incognito’, which means the Unknown Southern Land.

2. It is astounding to note here that Australia is listed on the 58th spot in the index of internet download speeds. According to NetIndex, Australia is even behind Kazakhstan, Madagascar and Vanuatu. Australian’s may have the most venomous snakes but not the fastest internet.

3. Australia is also known as ‘the sports capital’ of the world. The reason is – more than 70% of its capital participates in a recreational activity or sports, at least once in a week.

australia on world map
Australia on world map

4. In land area; Australia is 32 times greater than that of the U.K, almost twice than that of the Europe, and almost equal to that of the United States of America.

5. Australia has the lowest population density in the world—two people per square kilometer.

6. Australia is the only continent-nation in the world. It means, it is a continent and an independent country as well. It is also the smallest, flattest, and driest inhabited continent in the world.

7. Australia day, the national day of the country is celebrated on 26th January every year. The day is a form of celebration of Australia’s diversity and tolerance of different sects of people.

8. Kangaroo is the national animal of Australia. There were 34,303,677 kangaroos in Australia in 2011 within the commercial harvest area. And they (kangaroos) are found only in Australia.

Kangaroo in Australia
Kangaroo in Australia. Image credit

9. If you know Australia’s total population, you can clearly see that the population of kangaroos in the country outnumbers that of the humans. And there are strict measures in place to check the population of the national animal.

10. In Australia, you can undergo a unique health treatment which is expected to be 40,000 years old. These Aboriginal culture and healing techniques are believed to be the oldest in the world. Difficulties and illnesses such as depression, cancer and substance abuse can be treated with these century’s old techniques.

11. The longest fence in the world is in Australia and it is 5,530 kilometers in length. It is called the ‘dingo fence’.

dingo fence australia
Interesting facts about Australia: Dingo fence. Image credit

12. The first cops in the country were all criminals. They were a band of eight of the most well-behaved convicts, formed in 1789 by Governor Arthur Philip.

Facts about Australian spiders, snakes, inventions, golf course, mammals that lay eggs …

13. If you are interested in the world’s deadliest spiders, you should definitely visit Australia. These spiders are available in the Australian Reptile Park, which is the only place in the world where these spiders are milked. These spiders are known as ‘the funnel web’. The venom is milked from these spiders and sent to a laboratory in the country where it is made into antivenom.

The funnel web spider. Image credit

14. Australia is the only country in the world where there are more species of venomous snakes than the non-venomous snakes. The inland Taipan is the most venomous snake, and with its one bite, it can kill at least 100 fully grown men or 2,50,000 mice.

15. The world’s highest steel arch bridge – the Harbor Bridge – is in Sydney, Australia. It spans 97.3 m and 134 m high above the mean sea level. It is recorded in the Guinness for its span.

16. Nullarbor Links is “the World’s Longest Golf course”, situated along 1,365 kilometers of the Eyre Highway that crosses the southern coast of Australia in two states (South Australia and Western Australia).

17. The platypus and echidna are the only two mammals in the world that lay egg. And you guessed it right; they are only found in Australia.

18. Australian’s invented a lot of things including the ultrasound, Vegemite, the tank, football, the refrigerator, the pre-paid postage, the BlackBox on aeroplanes, lawn mowers with engines, smoke alarms, asprin/aspirin, the pacemaker, and penicillin etc.

19. The world’s largest espresso machine is fitted in Australia. It can brew up to 18 cups of coffee at any given time, and at least 5 people are required to handle it while operating.

20. Australians eat 260 million meat pies every year, around 12 per head.

Facts about white whale, languages, obesity, wages …

21. They drink 83 liters of beer on an average per person in Australia.

22. The world’s only white whale – they call him – ‘Migaloo’ can be seen in Australia. If you are lucky, you could have a beautiful sight of this giant mammal, if you choose to visit Australia during spring and autumn seasons. Check this site for more information about this incredible whale – Migaloo.

Interesting facts about Australia: The Worlds only white whale. Image credit

23. Australia has a vibrant multicultural community of people from close to 200 countries.

24. And over 200 different languages and dialects are also spoken in the country which is very rich in diversity.

25. Amazingly, during winter Australia has more snow than Switzerland.

26. In 1902, Australia became the second country in the world to allow women the right to vote.

27. In Australia, 16% of its population speaks a language which is other than English.

28. Out of its population of 23 million, at least 14 million are obese in Australia. And obesity is killing more people prematurely than smoking and illness in the country.

29. Australians have swimming pools in their oceans, too.

30. The minimum wages in Australia is $16.88 while that in Georgia in the U.S. is $5.5.

31. There is a lake known as ‘Pink Lake’ in Australia. The name of this lake, which is a salt lake is named after its color. It is in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. However, the color of this lake is not always pink, and changes as a result of change in salinity of the water and the concentration of brine prawn in the lake.

Pink Lake Aaustralia
Interesting facts about Australia: Pink Lake. Image credit

32. Lord Howe Island, a famous tourist destination in Australia, allows only 400 tourists at any time – no matter how many apply and want to get in there. Rules are rules!

33. In Australia they have a town named ‘1770’. Yeah, the name just contains digits. The town is a six-hour drive north from Brisbane along the coast of Central Queensland.

34. Spanning 2000 km from Halls Creek to Wiluna in outback WA, the Canning Stock Route is the longest and most remote stock route in the world.

Facts about vegetation, beaches, Wi-Fi, oldest fossil, gambling …

35. A whopping 91% of Australia is covered under vegetation.

36. With around 12 million square kilometers and spanning three oceans, Australia has the world’s 3rd largest ocean territory.

37. In Victoria, Australia, only a licensed electrician can change an electric bulb.

38. Australia has more than 10,000 beaches. And if you decide to visit a new beach every day, it will take more than 27 years of your lifetime.

39. Wi-Fi is claimed by the Australians as the invention of its National Science Agency.

Wi-Fi: An Australian Invention. Image credit

40. The last time a spider killed somebody in Australia was in 1981.

41. If you use the word ‘BARBIE’ (a plastic doll for kids) in Australia, you might be misunderstood to be referencing BBQ, or a party that usually takes place in the afternoon.

42. Gina Rinehart, the wealthiest Australian woman has a net worth of $29 billion. She is estimated to be making $600 every second.

43. The world’s oldest fossil, with 3.4-billion-year-old cells, was found in Australia. The discovery was made by Brasier and David Wacey, a geologist at the University of Western Australia in Crawley.

worlds oldest fossil cells
The worlds oldest fossil cells. Image credit

44. Australia exports camels to Saudi Arabia. The Arabs use the camel for meat.

45. Australians are very fond of gambling, which is why they spend more money per capita on gambling than any other country in the world.

Facts about Australian kangaroos, emus and sheep; poker machine, the Opera House …

46. Kangaroos and Emus cannot walk backward. Ironically, their’s this incapacity to move backwards symbolize a nation moving forward.

Emu in Australia
Emu in Australia. Image credit

47. As per 2011 census, there were 73 million sheep in Australia. And this surely outnumbers the total human population in Australia.

48. Australian sheep broke the world record for the heaviest wool haul from one shearing. It had 40 kg of wool removed from its body and it took 5 shearers to get the job done.

Interesting facts about Australia: Chris the sheep. Image credit
Wool blanket from Chris
Wool blanket withdrawn from Chris. Image credit

49. ‘God Save The King/Queen’ was the national anthem of Australia until 1984.

50. Melbourne, Australia has been ranked the world’s most livable city for the past 5 years.

51. Selfie, is an Australian slang term, which was named the international word of the year in 2013. It was first used in an online forum by a drunk from Australia in 2002. And today, as we all know, it is a widely used term all over the world.

52. The average poker player in Australia loses $380 every year and yet they still play the game very fondly.

53. They have 20% of the world’s poker machines and less than 1% of its total population.

54. If you want to play poker in Australia, remember that when playing slot machines, the payout percentage is less than 100%. This means that you will eventually lose all your money if you continue to play for a long time.

55. The Opera House is an architectural wonder. If you open the sails of the house and combine them, a perfect sphere would be formed. And the inspiration for this kind of design came to its architect while he was eating an orange. If this might interest you, note that its roof weighs a whopping 161,000 tons.

The Opera House, Sydney. Image credit

56. The world’s first seat belt law was put in place in 1970, in the state of Victoria, Australia, making the wearing of a seat belt compulsory for drivers and front-seat passengers.

57. Captain James Cook was the first to land in Australia’s east coast in 1770. And the British with an intention to establish penal colony returned with 11 ships in 1788. The French also tried to claim Australia but fell short of a few days as the British had already claimed their hold of the land.

Legalization of euthanasia, cartoonists, volcanoes, living fossil …

58. In the 1990s, the Northern Territory of Australia legalized euthanasia, but it was overturned by a bill passed at the federal level.

59. In Australia, between 1838 and 1902, it was illegal to swim at public beaches during the day.

60. Australia lost its Prime Minister Harold Hold in 1967 when he went for a swim and never returned back. The event was later referred as ‘the swim that needed no towel’.

61. It is interesting for the kids to know that on 17th July, 1924, the world’s first society of cartoonists was formed in Sydney, Australia. It was named “the Black and White Artists’ Society”.

Interesting facts about Australia
A black and white cartoon. Image credit

62. Australia is the third nation behind the U.S. and Russia to successfully launch a satellite into orbit.

63. Australia is the only continent without an active volcano.

64. Australia is also famous for an enormous depiction of an Indigenous man carved in the desert. The drawing which is over 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) long can be seen in Australia. It is a tourist spot for over a decade now.

65. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest organic construction on earth.

66. The length of a baby kangaroo at the time of its birth can be between 1 and 2 centimeters.

67. There are over 60 different species of kangaroos and 1500 plus species of Spiders in Australia.

68. And Kangaroos can survive without water for months. They can also dig wells for water, which can be 3-4 feet deep.

69. Ever heard of a living fossil? Queensland is home to ‘lung fish’, a living fossil from the Triassic period 350 million years ago.

70. Western Australia is currently the worlds largest producer of gold.

Facts about Australian sportsperson, Canberra, churches, railway track …

71. Over 40% of Australians are migrants or the first-generation children of migrants.

72. Sir Don Bradman, an Australian cricketer averaged 99.94 with his bat. The next highest average in the entire history of the game is 60.

73. Australia also has some of the greatest players of the game of tennis. Rod Laver is the only player in the history of the open era of the game of tennis to have won a calendar-year grand slam. He won the titles in 1962 and 1969.

74. Melbourne Victoria is the home to the second largest Greek population in the world after Athens in Greece.

75. The Australian Lyre Bird is the world’s best imitator. It can mimic the calls of 15 different species of birds in their locality.

The Australian Lyre Bird. Image credit

76. Did you know that ‘Canberra’ the capital city of Australia was built because there was a dispute between Sydney and Melbourne over becoming the capital of Australia? To settle this dispute, a new city was built between these two and was announced as the capital.

77. Australian servicemen are referred to as Diggers, the term from the miners on the Australian goldfields of the 1800s.

78. Australia, which was founded by Convicts has homicide rate of 1.8 per 100,000 people; whereas that of America is 3 per 100,000.

79. During the Vietnam War, the American soldier fired 7 times as many bullets as Australian soldiers.

80. Almost 80% of the Australian population is employed in service sector while 14% is employed in manufacturing.

81. Surprisingly, 50% of young Australians between the age of 14 and 19 years use cannabis.

82. In Australia, lazy people are referred to as ‘bludgers’.

83. Adelaide a city in Australia is famous because it has lots of churches.

84. The pictures of man’s first steps on the moon to the rest of the world in 1969 were broadcasted from Australia.

85. Australia has the longest section of straight railway track in the world at 478 kilometers.

86. The largest cattle station in the world is Anna Creek Station in South Australia at over 34,000 square kilometers.

Quick facts about Australia

Independence01 January 1901 (from the federation of UK colonies)
Capital CityCanberra
(35°18.48′S 149°7.47′E)
Largest CitySydney
Total area7,741,220 sq km
Population22,992,654 (July 2016 est.)
Official LanguageEnglish
DemonymAustralian and Aussie
BordersNo bordering countries of this continent nation. However, there are neighboring countries - New Zealand, Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.
CurrencyAustralian dollar (AUD)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Life expectancy82.2 Years (2016)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
National anthem"Advance Australia Fair"
Government typeparliamentary democracy (Federal Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull
Climategenerally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north
Terrainmostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
Natural resourcesbauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, rare earth elements, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum
Agricultural land53.4%
Birth rate12.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate7.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratio1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
National symbolsSouthern Cross constellation (five, seven-pointed stars), kangaroo, emu
National colorsgreen and gold
Industriesmining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel
Exports$184.3 billion (2016 est.)
coal, iron ore, gold, meat, wool, alumina, wheat, machinery and transport equipment
Imports$203.1 billion (2016 est.)
machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products
GDP - per capita (PPP)$48,800 (2016 est.)
Internet country code.au
Time ZoneUTC+8 to +10.5
Calling Code+61
Drives on theLeft
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedAugust 25, 2017