[Blog Post] General Australian Facts and Trivia

  • The first Australian Aboriginal word in the English language was “kangaroo” and was used by Captain James Cook. The original spelling was “kanguroo”.
  • The so-called ‘dingo fence’ in Australia is the longest fence in the world, and is about twice as long as the Great Wall of China. It has a gate every 19kms along it’s length.
  • When driving around Australia, make sure that you circum-navigate the continent anti-clockwise, as it’s about 900 metres shorter going this way than clockwise.
  • There are over 21,000,000 people in Australia, of which 85% live within 50km of the coast.
  • The Australian federation consists of six States and two Territories.
  • In land area, Australia is the sixth largest nation after Russia, Canada, China, the United States of America and Brazil. Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent and its outlying islands.
  • Australia has possibly the lowest population density of any country in the world, ie, 2 people per square km. Japan has 327 people/2km.
  • Australia has an area of about 7,600,0002km. This is large enough to swallow all of Europe and Turkey and Scandinavia. This gives up a coastline of about 36,700km.
  • Australia has more beaches than any other country, about 7,000 of them.
  • Apart from Antarctica, Australia is the driest continent.
  • Since 1945, over six million people from 200 countries have come to Australia as new settlers.
  • The mining town of Coober Pedy in Australia got it’s name from the local Aboriginals. It means something like “White fella down a hole”.
  • The original fifty cent piece in Australian decimal currency had around $2.00 worth of silver in it before it was replaced with a less expensive twelve sided coin.
  • The first Europeans to discover Australia were the Dutch. The first documented evidence is that in March 1606, the Dutch ship Duyfken, captained by Willem Janz, landed in far north Queensland, but left very quickly when one of the sailors was speared by an Aborigine. The next visit was in 1616, by Dirck Hartog, who landed in Western Australia. He nailed a pewter plate to a tree, which is now in a museum in Holland. Captain Hartog named the new country “Eendrachtsland”, which fortunately we don’t use these days.
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