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 Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, Aborigines, Minerals, wine and vegemite. Australia is much more than these. Here are 40 interesting facts to share with family, friends and visitors about Australia.
1) It is the 6th largest country in the world, occupying an entire continent of some 7.6 million square kilometres.
2) It has the world's 3rd largest ocean territory, spanning three oceans and covering around 12 million square kilometres.
3) Vegetation covers nearly 7 million square kilometres or 91 percent of Australia.
4) The largest Greek population in the world beside Athens in Greece can be found in Melbourne Victoria.
11) 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.
12) The world's highest proportion of migrant settlers in a developed nation with over 25% of Australians born in another country.
18) It has 16 world heritage listed sites including historic townships, cities and landscapes.
19) 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 kilometre march for "Freedom, Justice and Hope" in Sydney.
20) Australia used to be a beer-drinking nation but its quaffing plunged to a 65-year low in 2010-2011 with only 4.23 litres consumed per person.
21) 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.
22) It is believe that the Aboriginal game of Mangrook inspired the rules for Australian Football, while invented in Sydney became popular in Victoria.
23) Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1902.
24) The largest cattle station in the world is Anna Creek Station in South Australia at over 34,000 square kilometres is the world's largest cattle station. It is even larger than Belgium.
25) 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.
26) Australia Day today is a celebration of diversity and tolerance in Australian society, embracing all ethnic backgrounds, racial differences and political viewpoints.
27) 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.
28) 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.
36) Melbourne topped 140 rivals to be crowned the world's most liveable city 2 years in a row since 2011.
37) 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.
38) 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.
39) 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.
40) 80 percent of Australians believe Australia has a strong culture and identity characterised by being down to earth, mateship, honesty, sports and multiculturalism based on research organised by the Australia Day Council of NSW in 2008.
Interesting and fun list! I hope you don;t mind if I add a correction. Burnet won his Nobel Prize for physiology/medicine, not physics. I'm a physicist and wondered why I hadn't heard of him, so I looked him up...and found out. :)
Never knew the stats on our gambling and obesity - what a shame they are that high!
Everyone is always going on about convicts but one ancestor was a convict got 7years and sent to Australia all because she stole a watch which is a slight over reaction in my opinion but it's all good because I wouldn't like being born in England where is cold and wet!!
pome.. fact?? I always thought this was a Myth. when the real reason was to do with Pomegranates . A name given to new comers to Australia because of the red and sunburnt face , the majority of migrants to Australia were free men but still got referred to as poems. The general consensus is the name fits many different aspects. Please see Uk Qi programme for reference!