Australia is home to some pretty unusual and unique wildlife, it’s outback and the Great Barrier Reef. Thinking of planning a visit ‘down-under’ or simply looking to boost your knowledge of the world? Here’s 31 interesting facts about Australia to whet your appetite!
Australia is pretty big! It’s estimated to be 2.967 million square miles (7.692 million square kilometres) in size, roughly the same size as Western Europe!
Australia has a relatively small population of only 24.99 million people, compared to the UK’s 66.65 million! (2019)
To put that into perspective, Australia is 5 times larger in total area than the UK!
Flag of Australia
This means Australia has a population density of around 3 people per square kilometre.
It is the 3rd least densely populated country in the world, behind Mongolia and Namibia.
If the whole of Australia was one big city, population wise, it would still only be the seventh largest city in the world (after Tokyo, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Jakarta, Seoul and Delhi).
Canberra is the capital of Australia; 395,790 people call this city their home. (2016)
The country is currently growing by 1 million every 2 years – in other words, that’s an additional Adelaide every 2.5 years!
This sun-drenched country was founded in 1788 as a British convict colony!
Until the gold strikes of 1851 which opened the floodgates of immigration, it was a place of banishment for naughty people!
The mid twentieth century right up until the beginning of the twenty first century saw an influx of immigrants flock to this country – six million of them arrived between 1945 and 2000! Who can blame them with the amount of sunshine it gets!
To make Australia even more desirable, it boasts being one of the world’s highest living standards with 85% of the population living in urban areas! Lucky them!
Australia has a varied industry, consisting of mining, chemicals, industrial and transportation equipment, steel and food processing.
Barley, wheat, sugarcane, fruits and cattle comprise its agricultural industry. It’s also a major exporter of some of these agricultural products, particularly wool, wheat, minerals such as iron-ore and gold, and energy in the forms of liquefied natural gas and coal.
Cities along the South East coast, such as Melbourne and Sydney, are a popular choice for residents because winds from the South East release rain there! They can have some of our rain too, if they like!
Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent and its outlying islands.
The mainland is the largest island and the smallest, flattest continent on Earth!
Uluru (Ayres Rock)
Unlike the UK, Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth. It has one of the lowest rainfalls in the world, less than 600 millimetres per year!
Approximately three-quarters of the land in Australia is arid or semi-arid
Australia’s indigenous people – the Aborigines – arrived more than 50,000 years ago!
When we’re freezing cold and wet in winter, spare a thought for the people of Australia because from December to February it’s their summer – poor things.
Australia boasts an incredible 65 different wine regions and is one of the biggest producers of wine in the world. Each year, they export 2 million bottles to 111 different countries. Do you have a favourite?
Australia has some amazing and varied wildlife; it has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal! Insane!
What’s more, more than 80% of these mammals, reptiles, frogs and even certain plants are unique to Australia and are found no-where else in the world. Beat that!
Some of the cutest animals in the world live in Australia – fact. For example the kangaroo, koala, echidna (a sort of hedgehog – a spiny ant eater), dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat.
We bet you didn’t know that in Australia the average street of 100 households has 10 children under 3, 27 cats and 45 dogs!
Oddly, swimming costumes in Queensland are known as ‘togs’, in New South Wales they’re called ‘cossies’, and in Victoria they’re called bathers. We don’t really care as long as we can wear some and have a dip in the sea too…