Fun Facts about Australia
The continent of Australia is :
● the only nation that is a continent
● the smallest continent
● the flattest
● the driest (except for Antarctica)
Which explains why :
● less than 10% of the land is arable
● the largest lake, Eyre (3,600 square miles) is usually bone dry
● Aussies are some of the greatest consumers of alcohol in the English speaking world
Although roughly the size of the United States in land mass, Australia is one of the world's least densely populated countries averaging only five people per square mile. Thus :
● there are ten times as many sheep as there are people
● in the arid outback, where it takes 40 acres to graze a single sheep, are the world's largest sheep stations, including Anna Creek cattle station at 12,000 square miles.
● Australia leads the world in the export of beef and veal – and is second, after New Zealand, in mutton and lamb
● wool production equals 30% of the worlds total output.
Australia is flat – the highest peak, Kosciusko, being only 7,310'
Australia has lots of rocks, including :
● the oldest know fragments of the earth's crust, at 1.9 billion years.
● 28% of the free world's uranium, along with coal reserves matching Saudi Arabia' s oil in potential energy
● formations that supply nearly 90% of Australia's oil needs
● almost all the world's opals
Small wonder that 80% of Australia's 18 million people live in the top 10 cities, mainly along the coast between Brisbane and Adelaide. Sydney leads with just over 4 million, Melbourne 3.2 million and Brisbane 1.2 million. Perth 1 million, Adelaide 978,000 and Canberra, the capital city, 300,000.
● life expectancy averages 76 years – one of the world's longest
● workers earn from four to six weeks of vacation annually
● some 70% own their homes
● voting is compulsory
● Australians spent twice as much on gambling as on national defense
Australia (a world meaning “South Land”) is :
Multi-Cultural…representing close to 200 nations…4 out of 10 Australians are migrants or the first generation children of migrants.
Growing – 18 million population is more than double the figure of 50 years ago.
Crazy about Magazines – Australia has the highest per capital readership of magazines in the world – there are more than 1,200 titles to choose from.
Surrounded by Water – This island continent separates 2 great oceans – the Pacific to the east and the Indian to the west.
Full of Good Stuff – Australia is the world's largest producer of gold, diamonds, opals and South Sea pearls.
occupies a lonely place on the globe. Apart form the frozen Antarctic, it is the only continent to lie wholly within the southern hemisphere; though Papua New Guinea is only just over the horizon on the far side of the shallow Timor Sea, the Asian mainland at Singapore is nearly 1,865 miles distant, and New Zealand is more than 1,240 miles across the Tasman Sea.
The uniqueness of Australia's plants and animals is the result of the continent's 40 million years of isolation from the rest of the world.
The richest habitat in Australia is that of the rain forest. Tropical rain forest is best seen in northern Queensland and Western Australia where rainfall is sufficient. However, Australia's woodland has suffered at hands of the timber cutters.
The majority of the country's trees are Eucalyptus, also referred to as eucalypts and gum trees.
Of all the marsupials that inhabit the island continent, the macro pods – kangaroos and wallabies - don't need an introduction. They have long been the country's best known emblems. After the kangaroo there are koalas that every visitor wants to see and hug. Koalas spend most of their time asleep and the rest chewing on the gum tree leaves.
Australia had its first national park – Royal National park – as early as 1879. Today more than 2,000 such areas are protected and managed in order to conserve their wildlife, and make them accessible to visitors. Visitors to national parks will find a high standard of management, good information services and lots of walking trails created to encourage people to explore the landscape.