Koalas and Kangaroos, Crocodiles and cockatoos. Australia has all of this and much more. Keep reading to learn more about Australia facts and secrets.
Wave The flag
Britain affected Australia over the years. The British impact can be seen even on the Australian flag. On the left of the flag, you can see the British union flag. There is also a constellation called the Southern Cross. The constellation is a group of stars that form a picture in the sky. The Southern Cross can only be seen from the bottom half of the world! Under the British flag, there is a big star with seven points. These points represent the current six states of Australia and the seventh point is a symbol of future states of the country.
Austrians are known to be happy. It’s even written in the first line of their national anthem, “Australians all let us rejoice…..”.
The Australian’s national tune is called “Advance Australia Fair.” Peter Dodds McCormick wrote and composed the anthem in 1878. Since that time, the song was modified many times. The last change happened in 2021 when the beginning changed from “Australians all let us rejoice/For we are young and free,” to “For we are one and free”. This adjustment was made to recognize the history of the native groups.
Listen to the anthem
Pin on the map
Australia is one of the seven continents of the Earth. It’s also an island, (although some experts believe that a continent can’t be an island at the same time, Sorry Aussies). The big country lies south of the equator. That’s why it’s called “The land down under.”
Australia covers 7.692 million km² making it the sixth-largest country in the world. It lies on the Pacific and Indian oceans. The nation doesn’t share land borders with any other country. However, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand are Australia’s closest neighbors.
Most of Australia’s lands is flat. The peak of Mount Kosciuszko is the highest point in the country at is 2228m (7309 ft).
Uluru isn’t the tallest landmark in the nation but it’s definitely one of the most popular. The famous site is visited by thousands of tourists every year it is considered sacred to the native groups. Some experts believe that this huge sandstone started to form around 550 million years ago!
Flora and Fauna
Most of the wildlife in Australia can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Australia has a lot of endemic species. Those are the creatures that only exist in one region. The continent is home to around 3,000 endemic animals. This includes Koalas, kangaroos and Wombats. Besides, Australia has 18,000 endemic plant species, such as eremophila and melaleuca.
Look In The History Book
In contrast to what many believe, Australia isn’t a younger country. Native groups have been living in the area for thousands of years. These groups are also called Aboriginal people. They first emigrated from south East Asia. A new study showed that the first groups arrived in Australia more than 60.000 years ago! At one point, the population of the native groups in Australia may have reached around 1 million people!
The arrival of the Europeans
In the 17th century, the Dutch were the first Europeans to reach Australia by a ship called Duyfken. They named the area “New Holland.” However, The Dutch didn’t build any settlements in Australia. This changed on 1788 when the British arrived.
New British Prison
Let’s rewind a little, shall we? Britain lost control of its colonies in America in 1783. So, it needed a new Penal colony. A penal colony is a place where The British used to send criminals. Britain decided to send the convicts to Australia. They first started building one prison. Soon, the whole continent turned into a British colony. Over 150.000 prisoners were sent to Australia in the next 80 years.
The native groups were deeply affected by the British control. Thousands of the Aboriginal people were killed in battles with the Brits called “Frontier Wars.” The British also brought deadly diseases that nearly wiped out the entire population of native groups.
Gold and Freedom
In the mid of the 1800s, the British government spared the news that gold had been found in Australian lands. As a result, large groups of workers from China, North America and Europe moved to Australia. These “free” settlers changed Australia. They didn’t like how the British ruled the area and soon started the Eureka Rebellion. This event began the movement for independency. Finally, Australia became independent in the 1900s.
Australia is still part of the commonwealth nations. This means that Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the state and her face appears on the country’s money (the Australian Dollar) but she doesn’t have a real authority in the country.
Australian cities hosted the summer Olympics twice. The first one was in 1956 in Melbourne and the second one was in Sydney in 2000.
Take a walk
Sydney is one of the most popular cities in Australia. Its vibrant atmosphere and beautiful beaches make it a favorite destination for travellers from all over the world.
The Sydney Opera House
The famous art center is considered the most popular landmark in the city, and probably in Australia. Visitors come to the site, which lies on Sydney Harbor, to enjoy all kinds of shows. Such as Plays, concerts and talks.
Danish architect Jørn Utzon designed the Sydney Opera House. Queen Elizabeth II opened the site on 20th October, 1973. The construction took 14 years and involved more than 10,000 workers. But it was worth it! In 2007, UNESCO added The Sydney Opera House to World Heritage List. It became the youngest cultural site to enter the List.
UNESCO stated that “Its significance is based on its unparalleled design and construction… it is a daring and visionary experiment that has had an enduring influence on the emergent architecture of the late 20th century.”
Want to know how it feels like to sit in the front row of Sydney Opera house? Enjoy this video
If you decided to go to Sydney, then you shouldn’t miss its -309 m (1,014 ft)- tower. This mind-blowing structure overlooks the city offering the visitors an unforgettable experience.
People can enjoy Sydney’s skyline from the observation deck. They can also treat their tasting buds while enjoying the view at Sydney tower restaurant buffet.
Taronga Zoo Sydney
Sydney is the home to the largest zoo in Australia. It’s Taronga Zoo. The site was officially opened in 1916 and covers an area of 28-hectare (69-acre). The huge zoo has 4,000 animals of 350 species. From Koalas to lizards, it’s almost impossible not to find your favorite creature at Taronga. With amazing views of Sydney Harbor and enjoyable bird and seal shows, fun is guaranteed.
Melbourne is often called “the cultural capital of Australia”. It’s easy to see why. The city is home to many museums, art exhibits and music centers.
The National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria or “the NGV” is the oldest and most visited art museum in Australia. The NGV was founded in 1861 at the time of the Gold rush. The museum has both Australian and international arts. The NGV has the first cast of the famous sculpture, The Thinker by Auguste Rodin. It’s also the home to the only portrait of Lucrezia Borgia. Borgia was the governor of the Italian city, Spoleto.
Speaking about the 1800s, Melbourne zoo was opened in 1862 as a home to animals arriving in Australia after their long journeys. The zoo covers an area of 55 acres. It has over 300 different kinds of species from gorillas and orangutans to kangaroos and tigers. The zoo didn’t forget seas animals. As it has various types of marine creatures, such as penguins to seals.
Brisbane is considered one of the oldest cities in the continent. In the past, the indigenous groups lived and built their homes by the snake-shaped Brisbane River.
Take a trip in history and learn how past tribes used the wetlands. A tour around Boondall wetlands is a must for bird lovers and those who enjoy doing activities in the wild. The amazing reserve has ironbark forests, woodlands, tidal flats and much more
The Caboolture Historical Village
If you want to move forward in time to the 19th century, you should pay a visit to The Caboolture Historical Village. The site has more than 110,000 items from the period between 1802 and 1985. It would give you a peak at the life of the grandparents and great grandparents of today’s Australians.
Meet the people
More than 25 million people call Australia home. Almost half of them live in 4 cities which are Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. Canberra is the capital city of Australia. Most people live by the seas while very few groups reside in the dry deserts.
Australia is home to foreigners and immigrants. More than 7 million people living in Australia were born in other countries. There are around 5 million descendants of the British convicts. In addition, there is also one million indigenous people. There aren’t any official languages in Australia. However, English is the most popular language in the nation.
Australians LOVE their sports. From rugby and soccer to rugby and Basketball, it’s hard not to watch a match when you turn on the TV. Don’t forget Australian football. This unique sport has rules of soccer, rugby and even basketball!
Every year, Melbourne hosts one of the four major tennis tournaments. It’s the Australian Open. The first edition of the tournament was played in 1905. The last one was played in 2021. Novak Djokovic has the most titles in men’s singles (9) and Margaret Court won the most titles in women’s singles (11).
Australia’s economy is one of the strongest in the world. The country sells many products to other countries. This includes copper, coal, natural gas and gold.
Take a bite
Australians are known for their summer BBQs. They simply love to put marinated mouth-watering meat on the rack over and watch it turns into tinder meals. Aussies barbecue pork and beef and flavor the meat with spices and herbs. After that, they roll the meat in a piece of bread and cover it with sauce and fried onions. Yummy 😋!
If you have a sweet tooth, you should definitely try the Lamington. This square-shaped cake is often called the “National Cake of Australia.” This flavorsome dessert has layers of chocolate, coconut, cream and jam. A lot of people prefer having it with a cup of tea or coffee.
Home of Koalas … camels
Australia is famous for its cute Koalas. However, the number of these lovely creatures is declining. In fact, the country has 10 times more camels than koalas!