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Gap Year Australia :: australia facts

Amazing Facts about travelling in Australia

Amaze your new friends with your trivia powers! Memorize this collection of astonishing facts about Australia ready to regurgitate down the pub at will!! Be clever!! Be popular!!!

  • Australians LOVE sport so much that the day of the Melbourne Cup horse race is a public holiday in Melbourne.
  • In 1954, Bob Hawke was immortalised by the Guinness Book of Records for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob later became the Prime Minister of Australia.
  • The world's largest coral reef, The Great Barrier Reef, lies a short distance off the Northeast coast and extends for over 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles).
  • Australia is home to the largest number of venomous snakes in the world.
  • And home to 21% of the world’s gambling machines, despite being home to only 0.003% of the world’s people
  • The 'dingo fence' in Australia is the longest fence in the world, and is about twice as long as the Great Wall of China.
  • The Australian $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes are made out of plastic as it’s harder to fake and perfect for taking your money swimming.
  • 70% of the world's wool comes from Australia, with sheep outnumbering people 2 to 1.
  • There are only two egg-laying mammals (monotremes) in the world, both of which come from Australia - The echidna, or spiny anteater, and the platypus.
  • 95% of the world's opals are dug up in Australia, and also the biggest opals outright. The record holder is 6.8 kg! Serious bling!
  • Since 1945, over six million people from 200 countries have come to Australia as new settlers.
  • The practice of naming hurricanes began early this century when an Australian weather forecaster named tropical storms after politicians that he didn't like.
  • In 1838 it was declared illegal to swim at public beaches during the day! This law was enforced until 1902.
  • Sir John Robertson, five times premier of New South Wales, drank a pint of rum every morning for 35 years. Later he said: 'None of the men who have left footprints in this country have been cold water men.'
  • The Australian Lyre Bird is the world's best imitator; able to mimic the calls of 15 different species of birds in their locality and string the calls into a melody. Also been known to mimic the sound mobile phones. Crazy frog, anyone?
  • The Wombat deposits square poos on logs, rocks and even upright sticks that it uses to mark its territory.
  • A baby kangaroo at the time of its birth measures two centimetres.
  • When a specimen of 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.
  • The box jellyfish is considered the world's most venomous marine creature. The box jellyfish has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.
  • Dropbears are an evil species of koala that fall from trees and attack humans. This diabolical strain of koala doesn't actually exist. The story was created to fool Americans, or ‘sepos’ as the Aussies call them (septic tank = yank)
  • 20-30 thousand years ago, Australia was home to Megafauna; giant species of marsupials including a wombat the size of a rhino, meat eating kangaroos, kangaroos three meat tall and lizards seven meters long.
  • 15 percent of Australia's GDP is derived from mining, 2.3 percent from agriculture. Cannabis sales are the equivalent of 1 % of GDP.
  • Australia is the flattest continent, with the oldest and least fertile soils, and is the driest inhabited continent.
  • Because of the continent's low levels of fertility, its extremely variable weather patterns, and its long-term geographic isolation, much of Australia's flora and fauna are unique. About 85% of flowering plants, 84% of mammals, more than 45% of birds, and 89% of in-shore, temperate-zone fish are endemic. Australia has the greatest number of reptiles of any country, with 755 species.
  • Rabbits outnumber humans 16 to 1 in Australia. They were introduced in 1859 by one man who brought 24 wild rabbits from England in an effort to remind him of home.




    © Gap Year Travel Guide 2011