Australia is the smallest continent in the world with only three million square miles in its name. Yet whatever Australia lacks in size it makes up for in incredible things to do and see. Australia offers beautiful oceans, unique wildlife, fascinating landscapes and a rich history. Whatever your reasons for choosing Australia, you will appreciate a great deal about this fantastic destination. These facts about Australia should inspire your travels.
Interesting facts about Australia
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1. Australia is much bigger than you think
When planning your trip, it is important to consider the enormous size of Australia. Those three million square miles make it slightly larger than the neighboring states of the United States. Overall, Australia is the sixth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, China, the USA including Alaska and Hawaii as well as Brazil.
The country has three biomes, namely desert, grasslands and forests. These are further divided into tropical and temperate grasslands, subtropical, temperate and tropical forests, and Mediterranean forests. Australia has ten inland deserts so you can find most of the infrastructure and large cities along the coast that are 90% of the population. See how big this land is by seeing it from the air at Wilpena Pound.
2. People have lived in Australia for 65,000 years
When Willem Janszoon first landed in Australia in 1606, he was not the first person there. The Australian aborigines were already scattered far and wide across all areas of the continent.
The artistic, spiritual and musical traditions are among the longest preserved in the history of the earth. You can learn more about these Aboriginal people at the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Center in Melbourne and the Aboriginal Museum in Sydney.
The National Museum of Australia also pays homage to these interesting people and is the source of many other historical facts about Australia.
3. Australia has a huge wine route
Australia isn’t the first country that comes to mind when exploring lush wine regions. Nevertheless, the country has over 60 separate wine-growing regions. Together they produce over a trillion bottles of wine each year. We toured the Barossa Valley wine region and it was amazing. If you travel there check out this tour that takes you to 4 world class wineries and includes lunch.
Wine tours offer a variety of fun activities in this part of the world, including 4WD adventures, steam train rides, and truffle hunting. Of course, there is also a lot to try on the go, including cheese, sausages, picnic food and haute cuisine.
You can find most of Australia’s wine farms between Victoria and New South Wales. Around Victoria you can enjoy Pinot Noir, while New South Wales focuses on producing varieties with warm climates like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Some other types of wine you’ll encounter along the way are Chardonnay, Sémillon, Riesling, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Several Australian wines scored top marks at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020, winning 17 platinum medals and six best-in-show awards.
4. Uluru extends 15 miles underground
Uluru is certainly one of the most famous sights in Australia and a must see during your trip. It is recognized by UNESCO as an important natural and cultural area and a popular place for interesting tours and activities. The entire Uluru area is a holy place for the Aboriginal people and belongs to the local Anangu tribe.
One of the best ways to experience this magical place is on a sunrise or sunset tour, where you can enjoy breakfast or a barbecue as part of the package. As is well known, the rock glows red at dusk when the sun sinks behind the horizon. This 600 million year old landmark has more to offer than meets the eye.
According to geological studies, the rock formation continues out of sight for 15 miles. It curves down and back up to join the Olgas, another outstanding geological feature of Australia.
5. Australia has the longest war memorial in the world
The 250-mile Great Ocean Road is dedicated to the country’s soldiers who died in World War I. Many of these soldiers helped build this important thoroughfare that stretches along the south coast of Australia from Torquay to Allansford near Warrnambool. Read: Great Ocean Walk – A Great Way to Experience the Twelve Apostles
Today, the Great Ocean Road is similar to Route 66 in the USA and offers numerous tourist attractions and interesting sights. Some of the best stops are:
- The 12 apostles
- Griffiths Island Lighthouse
- The grotto
- Hole and gorge
- Beauchamp, Hopetoun, Erskine and Little Kalimna Falls
- Point Addis
Also, don’t miss the opportunity to stop at every charming seaside town you come across along the way. These hamlets are sure to reveal some interesting facts about Australia and its charming people. No matter where you are on this road, you will enjoy enchanting scenes of lakes, sea, coastal heather and scrub or swamps.
6. Amazing facts about animals about Australia
One of the most interesting facts about Australia is that 90% of its native species are not found anywhere else. Some of these are koala, kangaroo, dingo, echidna, wallaby, platypus, and wombat. Aside from their unique habitat, the platypus and the Echidna are the only egg-laying mammals in the world.
It is also home to some of the world’s most dangerous animals such as the jellyfish, taipan (snake), blue-ringed octopus, red-backed spider, and stone fish. Visit the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Sanctuarys
Discover more weird facts about Australia and its animal population by reading our article on 12 Amazing Wildlife Experiences.
7. The largest reef ecosystem in the world
The Great Barrier Reef stretches along the west coast of Australia and offers over 3,000 individual reefs. It is the only living being on earth that is visible from space.
It is home to a wide variety of creatures including 1,500 species of fish, 134 different species of sharks, most of the rarest species of turtles in the world, and 30 species of marine mammals. One third of the world’s soft corals and 411 species of hard corals are found on the Great Barrier Reef. Read more: Diving the Great Barrier Reef – Australia’s Ultimate Adventure
You can explore this natural treasure on numerous curated excursions including:
- Scuba diving
- Glass bottom boat trips
- Trips in semi-submersible boats
- Cruise ship tours
- Whale watching trips
- Swim with dolphins
Taking a helicopter ride over this beautiful and enigmatic place is one of the best things to do in Australia.
8. It’s snowing in Australia
Australia is famous for its record breaking high temperatures, but visiting the Australian Alps in winter will see another side of the country. These tall peaks receive about 35 inches of snow a year. If you come during these times, you can enjoy the full range of snowy activities such as skiing, bobsleigh and snowboarding.
Apres ski activities include fine dining, pub grub, and socializing by the fireplace, as well as a variety of activities that are fun all year round. The Australian Alps extend over 13 nature reserves and offer numerous opportunities for horse riding, hiking, mountain biking and photography.
9. The largest sand island in the world
Fraser Island, off the coast of Hervey Bay, Queensland, is the largest sand island in the world, but there’s a lot more to this landmark than just desert landscapes. In fact, it is covered in lush forests as far as the eye can see. Check out our time on Fraser Island: Fraser Island Tour, you will love this one of a kind 4WD adventure
The island has many notable attractions such as the serene Champagne Pools, beautiful Lake Mackenzie, and miles of pristine beaches. It’s also one of the best places to see some of the Australian dingoes, as 150 of these wild dogs live on Fraser Island.
Here you can drive along 75 Mile Beach, hike the Great Walk, stroll in the rainforest at Central Station, climb the dunes at Lake Wabby, or drift down Eli Creek. The Indian Head viewpoint offers beautiful panoramas over the island.
After your exertions, head to one of the island’s first-class restaurants to enjoy seafood with a view of the sea. For all of these reasons, it’s easy to see why Fraser Island made our list of 23 iconic places in Australia.
10. Sydney Opera House exceeds expectations
The Sydney Opera House is one of Australia’s most famous landmarks, attracting over 10 million visitors each year. The beautiful building looks like a sailing boat and is the brainchild of a Danish architect.
The original budget for the construction of the Sydney Opera House was $ 7 million over four years. Fourteen years and $ 102 million later, the opera house opened its doors. The building has 1 million roof tiles and is large enough for seven A380 aircraft.
Once, during a performance, a live chicken went off the stage and fell into the orchestra pit. A network has now been installed to protect the musicians.
The concert hall must be kept at a cool 72.5 ° F to ensure that the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s instruments remain in tune. Sea water is pumped from the surrounding ocean to supply the building’s heating and cooling systems.
You can take boat trips around Sydney Harbor for the best views of the Opera House, but it is showcased at its best during the annual New Year fireworks.
Explore more of Australia
We hope these facts about Australia have inspired your future trips to this exciting, diverse destination. With so much to see and do, it pays to start planning well in advance before planning a visit.
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