This fun facts about Australia page doesn't contain anything serious, just a bit of fun which, perhaps, might give our foreign visitors an insight into the rather 'different' Australian sense of humor.
Australia was actually Britain's first attempt at a penal colony. What isn't mentioned is that they stopped using it once they discovered that it was a lot cheaper to ship people off to Ireland and just steal their potatoes until the Irish got so depressed that they emigrated to America and became crooked cops.
Australia was originally a British penal colony for exiled thieves and murderers. It is not to be confused with France, which was originally a British penal colony for the cowardly and annoying.
Australia eventually outgrew its shady past and evolved into a modern civilized nation, France has yet to make that particular leap.
The basic units of Australian currency are giant cans of beer, which explains why Australian men have gargantuan arm muscles.
The central portion of Australia is a dry, barren wasteland containing nothing of interest. Think of it as the real-world equivalent of a soap opera.
The Prime Minister of Australia is Kevin Rudd, and not, as most Americans assume, the late Steve Irwin.
Australians are strong, loyal, trustworthy, and fierce fighters. If for some unimaginable reason you don't own a gun, consider carrying an Australian instead.
The following fun facts about Australia are from Lonely Planet’s Australia:
You’re Safe in Their Hands.
Australia has almost 112,600 Surf Life Savers, who collectively spend some 1.4 million hours patrolling Australian beaches, where they rescue approximately 10,000 people per year.
Fun facts about Australia: Sports.
Aussie Tug of War.
Wooli (pop. 600) hosts the Australian Goanna Pulling Championships over Easter. Rather than ripping the eponymous animal to shreds, participants squatting on all fours, attach leather harnesses to their heads and engage in cranial tug-of-war. This sport was all the rage in the 19th century, until it was replaced in popularity by sheep worrying and dunny dodging.
Note: if you don’t know what a goanna or a dunny is you haven’t lived, not in Oz at least. .
Fun facts about Australia: Patents.
Great Australian inventions include the half-car-half-truck utility vehicle, (known in Oz as a ‘ute’, every ‘bloke’ should own one), the bionic ear, the black box flight recorder, the notepad and, my very own favourite, the wine cask ( may The Almighty forever bless this man ).
Fun facts about Australia: Food.
The Australian fetish for meat pies is legendary: Australians eat 260 million of them a year, around 13 per citizen. (and ain’t they good......sometimes).
Fun facts about Australia: The Cane Toad.
Queenslanders have several nicknames, but perhaps the most curious one is ‘cane toad’, after the amphibious critters that were introduced to Australia in 1935 in an attempt to control the native cane beetle.
These creatures are not a pretty sight and have proved to be absolutely useless as they ignored the pesky cane grub and instead focused on reproducing.
From an original batch of just 101 toads, there are now over 200 million of these long-legged creatures hopping around Australia- an invasion that has seen the populations of native snakes and goanna lizards decline.
Indeed, the problem has gotten so bad that a millionare pub owner has introduced a beer-for-a-bag-of-toads bounty that’s even got the support of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
But it seems not everyone hates them; Queensland’s representative rugby league team (the best in the world) has chosen the cane toad as their unofficial mascot and they have even been listed by the National Trust of Queensland as a state icon, warts and all.
Even if you don’t normally like zoos, you must visit the Australia Zoo.
This isn’t your typical zoo- the animals aren’t in cages; instead they roam through semi-natural habitats spread over acres, many of which you can walk directly through.
This zoo is the life’s work and great love of the late Steve Irwin.
Profits from the zoo help endangered species and fund an on-site wildlife hospital.
Just be careful when you’re wandering through the crocodile enclosure... .
Fun facts about Australia: The Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to about 1500 species of fish, 400 types of coral, 4000 breeds of clams and other molluscs, 800 echinoderms, including sea cucumbers, 500 varieties of seaweed, 200 bird species, 1500 different sponges, and 6 types of turtle.
Fun facts about Australia: Souvenirs.
If you’re looking to do more than simply soak up the sun on your travels there are a number of ways you can leave your mark on the environment- in a good way.
The Tolga Bat Hospital, located just outside Atherton near Cairns, is always looking for volunteers to help look after the hundreds of bats that they rescue, rehabilitate and release every year.
The winged critters are surprising cute and work might include feeding the ‘bubs’ or looking after orphaned flying foxes.
Fun facts about Australia: Yellow Gold.
Prized for its rich golden hue, rot-resistant oils and fine grain, Tasmania’s Huon Pine is one of the slowest-growing and longest-living trees on the planet.
Individuals can take 2000 years to reach 30m in height and live to be 3000 years old.
Fun facts about Australia: Doo Town.
No one is really sure how it all started, but the raggedy collection of fishing shacks at Doo Town all contain the word “Doo” in their names.
There’s the sexy “Doo Me”, the approving “We Doo”, the Beatle-esque “Love Me Doo”, and the melancholic “Doo Write”.
We’re a funny lot, us Aussies.
Beer Can Regatta.
Don’t miss this cheerfully odd event held in mid-July at Darwin’s Mindil Beach, featuring races for boats made entirely from beer cans.
Getting the building material can be a lot of fun.. .
Fun facts about Australia: Prince Leonard’s Land.
If you thought Australia was an island nation, you would be incorrect.
The Principality of Hutt River is Australia’s “second largest country” formed when Leonard Casley, appalled by new government quotas on wheat production, seceded from the Commonwealth in 1970.
The principality has around 13,000 citizens and is constitutionally valid.
It has a post office and gift shop and welcomes visitors.
PS you don’t need a passport to visit.
Staircase to the Moon.
The reflections of the rising full moon hitting the rippled mud flats at Roebuck Bay in Western Australia, exposed at low tide, create the optical illusion of a golden stairway leading to the moon.
The town is abuzz with everyone eager to see the spectacle.
At Town Beach there’s a lively evening market with food stalls and people bring their fold-up chairs and a bottle of something.
NB The original says ‘a bottle of something’ but the writer has obviously never been to Oz, no-one ever takes just ONE bottle...
No part of Australia is more than 1000 km from the ocean and a beach.
(The point in the world that's the furthest from any ocean would be in China.)
Australia has the world's largest cattle station (ranch).
At 30,028 km2 it is almost the same size as Belgium.
Australia is so big and sparsely populated that population density in Australia is usually calculated in square km per person, not people per square km.
Australians have 380,000 square metres per person available, yet well over 90 of Australia's GDP) cover 0.02% of Australia's land mass.
More land is occupied by pubs. (Can't find any statistics on the GDP here, my guess is: substantial).
In 1954 Bob Hawke made it into the Guinness Book of Records: he sculled 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds.
Bob Hawke went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia.
Says a lot for our politicians....
Who do you think was more scared? The Australian family camping in Kakadu National Park who woke up when a three metre crocodile tried climbing up on their tent, or the crocodile, when the family started screaming
The poor croc turned straight around and raced back towards the water, unfortunately overlooking the tree in its way.
The tree lost a fair bit of bark and there were two big wet circles where the croc's nose had slammed into the tree...
A tourist from New South Wales had to stop another vehicle to ask for directions to Ayers Rock.
Nothing strange or funny about that?
Well, Ayers Rock is huge (348 metres high), is the only significant feature along the only road in the area, and he was right in front of the rock with his headlights shining on it!
You'd think you'd notice, wouldn't you?
He pulled over the next car coming along, to ask for directions.
The car looked like a ranger's vehicle to him.
Well, they were cops instead and they immediately whipped out their breathalyser... 0.116.
Too bad... (if you don’t know, 0.05 is the legal limit for driving in Australia and if you drive with more alcohol in you than that you’re a bloody idiot...).
Fun Facts About Australia: Animals.
Rabbits are considered a pest in Australia. Although somewhat cute and fuzzy, they tend to wander the country in packs, destroying everything in sight, and pooping everywhere with no respect for property rights, much like American hippies.
There are 1500 hundred species of Australian spiders.
If you read about our spiders you might not like this: the average person swallows three spiders a year.
We have over 6000 species of flies, about 4000 species of ants, and there are about 350 species of termites in Australia.
The combined mass of all termites in the world is more than ten times the mass of all people.
Termites are also called white ants, but they're not ants, in fact not even closely related to ants.
Dingoes are wild dogs native to Australia, and shouldn't be confused with Ding-Dongs, which have less hair, and more cream filling.
A platypus is an odd-looking creature that appears to be a cross between a duck and a beaver. They live primarily in water and only exist to confuse biologists.
Australia has the world's largest population of wild camels with one hump.
The Tasmanian Devil does exist, it has the jaw strength of a crocodile and you can see it at Australia Zoo.
Sharks are immune to all known diseases.
There are more than 150 million sheep in Australia, and only some 20 million people.
Fun Facts About Australia: Geography.
Imagine if the fully welded rails of the Ghan train track weren't restrained properly, on a hot outback desert day they would expand and at the Darwin end they'd stick out 1.1 km into the ocean.
Star gazing: under ideal viewing conditions, like in the Australian Outback, the naked eye can detect about 5,780 stars, I counted them one night when I had nothing better to do.........???
The Sydney Opera House roof weighs more than 161,000 tons.
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest organic construction on earth.
Termite mounds are the tallest non-human constructions on earth.
Yulara, the Aboriginal name of the Ayers Rock Resort, means "crying", "weeping".
The cynics amongst us say it’s called that because that's what visitors do when they see their bill...