It is no secret that Australia is a popular country for people across the world to make their home. This is based on factors such as its riches, its level of education, health and overall well-being of its residents.
However, this country has had to face trying times too – the most recent being the horrifying Australian bushfires of 2019 to 2020 that affected large areas of this country, burning approximately 18,636,079 hectares and several buildings and homes. To date, the fires of New South Wales have been extinguished and the Victoria Fires are contained.
Here are some more facts about Australia.
1. Australia is one of the largest countries in the world
The Commonwealth of Australia, as it is officially known, includes the mainland of the Australian continent as well as 8,222 islands, including Tasmania and several smaller islands. Australia is the largest country in Oceania.
2. It doesn’t have an official language
Although English is considered the main language spoken in the country, the country doesn’t have an official language, a fun Australia fact. There are also several other languages spoken throughout the country, including Mandarin Chinese, Tasmanian languages, Aboriginal languages, Torres Strait Island languages, Italian, Arabic, Greek, Cantonese and sign languages.
3. The country is home to Anna Creek Station, the largest working cattle station in the world
Situated in South Australia, Anna Creek Station covers a massive 23,677 square kilometres. Should you compare its size to other landmarks in the world, the area that the cattle station covers is bigger than Israel, an interesting fact about Australia. Anna Creek has been in its current location since 1872. It was first used for sheep, but due to dingo attacks, the decision was made to switch to cattle.
4. Australia has 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
These sites include four cultural sites, 12 natural sites and four mixed sites. Some of the most famous landmarks on this list include the Sydney Opera House, the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites and the Australian Convicts Sites, to name a few.
5. Its famous Great Barrier Reef can be seen from space
The Great Barrier Reef, situated just off the Queensland coast in the Coral Sea, is not only the largest coral reef in the world – it can also be seen from outer space. This enormous UNESCO World Heritage Site has about 3,000 reefs as well as 600 islands.
6. The country’s Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world
Also located in Queensland, Fraser Island is approximately 123 kilometres long, making it the sixth-largest Australian island. Despite being a “sand island”, Fraser Island has rainforests, woodlands and forests, and animals, birds and reptiles too. An interesting fact about Australia is that the island’s sand was formed over 750, 000 years. Thanks to the sand’s mycorrhizal fungi and its nutrients, plants are able to grow in the sand of Fraser Island.
7. Perth’s Langley Park airstrip is the oldest airstrip in Western Australia
Located in Perth’s central business district, the Langley Park grass airstrip is truly one of a kind. It is the only airstrip in the world that is located in a city’s central business district and from where fixed-wing aircrafts can take off. Sir Norman Brearley, a commercial as well as military pilot, used Langley Park as an airstrip in the 1920s. Today, the strip is still used for “fly-ins”. Several events in the last couple of years have also made use of Langley Park, either as an airstrip or location for events, such as the Red Bull Air Race and Cirque du Soleil big top shows.
8. Its Mount Augustus and Uluru landmarks are some of the largest rock monoliths in the world
Also known as Ayers Rock, Uluru, a large sandstone formation is considered sacred to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu Aboriginal people. Situated in Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, it is one of Australia’s most well-known locations. Approximately 2.5 km of Uluru is underground and the rock itself is approximately 863 m above sea level. Mount Augustus, on the other hand, stands 1105 metres above sea level and has substantial vegetation on its slopes.
9. Australia’s Lake Hillier is known for its pink colour
Lake Hillier is situated in Australia’s Goldfields-Esperance region. It is a saline lake known for its pink colour, an interesting fact about Australia. This pink colour has been attributed to the micro-algae Dunaliella salina common to sea salt fields. These algae are known to have antioxidant properties and used in some dietary supplements and beauty products.
10. The country has approximately 140 land snake species
Together with these land snake species, there are also around 32 sea snake species. About 100 of Australia’s snake species are venomous, and some of the most dangerous snakes include the tiger snake, brown snake, death adder, mulga or king brown snake.
11. It is mandatory to vote in Australia’s elections
A fun fact about Australia is that all citizens who are 18 years of age or older obligated to vote, and failing to do so will result in a fine of about $72 dollars.
12. The Red Kangaroo and Emu that are depicted on the country’s coat of arms symbolise “forward-thinking”
Neither the Kangaroo nor the Emu can walk backwards and are seen as a symbol of progress. Both animals are unique to the Australian content. The golden wattle in the background of the coat of arms has significant meaning to – it is the nation’s floral emblem.
With a consistently high ranking in the Human Development Index, a renowned, thriving tourism profile, less pollution than other countries and overall healthy environment, Australia’s appeal to its citizens and travellers from across the globe is clear. Its exceptional infrastructure and the plentiful career opportunities it offers to its citizen and migrants make this country one of the most appealing locations in the world.
I hope that this article on Australia facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!