“THE LAND DOWN UNDER” – by Des Kelly
It does happen to be the Country that most Sri Lankans migrated to, when things began to get tough in our Motherland. Australia thus became our Stepmother Country, this vast brown Continent, our move from a tiny Island that many did NOT want to leave, but had to, because of circumstances that began in Ceylon of the early 1950’s, circumstances that seemed to get more difficult with each passing year.Of course, I cannot speak for any other migrants, but I migrated to Melbourne with a very young family, only to make certain that my children would not be discriminated against, because of our Burgher ancestry. We decided on Australia because I already had some Uncles, Aunts, & Cousins who were resident here, and couldn’t praise this Country enough, even though those who did come here initially found that life was not easy at all, to begin with, but carried on regardless and most succeeded in their new Country. Although Australia is so huge, this is a really beautiful Country, and Keith Bennet has sent in this fascinating list on things that many of us were unaware of, so thank you for this, Keith. e’Lanka really appreciates information that is both interesting and amazing. Enough said, so let’s go.
50 Facts about Australia
Check out these fun and interesting facts about Australia. How many did you know?
- The Australian Alps get more snow than the Swiss Alps.
- 90% of Australians live on the coast.
- Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world.
- The Great Barrier Reef is the largest ecosystem in the world. It is made up of nearly 3,000 individual reefs and can be seen from space.
- Australia has over 60 separate wine regions.
- Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world.
- The Indian Pacific train has the longest straight section of train track in the world.
- The Great Ocean Road is the world’s largest war memorial.
- 80% of Australian animals are unique to Australia.
- 5 km of Uluru is underground.
- Australia has the world’s longest golf course measuring more than 1,350kms long.
- Australia is home to 21 of the world’s 25 most venomous snakes.
- Perth is the only city in the world which can have aircraft land in its CBD.
- Australia is bigger than we realise, it’s almost the same size as mainland USA.
- The largest cattle station in the world is located in Australia, Anna Creek Ranch in South Australia, and it’s bigger than Israel.
- The first Police Force in Australia was made up of the most well-behaved convicts.
- It would take around 29 years to visit one new Aussie beach every day – there are 10,685 of them!
- AFL invented to keep cricketers fit in the off season, there are claims that the game may have been influenced by Indigenous Australians.
- The world’s largest rock is not actually Uluru, but Mount Augustus in Western Australia, and is actually twice the size of Uluru.
- Australia is the 6th largest country in the world
- There are 1 million camels that roam wild in Australia’s deserts, the largest number of purebred camels in the world, they are exported to the Middle East.
- You can fly from Perth to Melbourne faster than you can fly from one end of Western Australia to the other.
- There are over 60 different types of kangaroos, and a baby kangaroo when born is only about 2 centimetres long.
- Aboriginal culture is the oldest on Earth – it is estimated that the continent’s original inhabitants, the aboriginal people, have been in Australia for between 40,000-60,000 years.
- Australia has 19 World Heritage Listed sites.
- 91% of the country is covered by native vegetation.
- 33% of Australians were born in another country.
- Over 300 different languages and dialects are spoken in Australia including 45 Indigenous languages. In fact, 21% of Australians don’t speak English at home!
- WA is home to what is believed to be the oldest evidence of life on Earth – the Stromatolites.
- Australia is the only continent in the world without an active volcano.
- In Australia, sheep out number people 2.5 to 1 (in 2020).
- Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1902.
- Per capita, Australians spend more money on gambling than any other nation, with over 80 percent of Australian adults engaging in gambling of some kind.
- Canberra was selected as the capital because Sydney and Melbourne could not stop arguing which city should be the capital.
- Australia is home to the longest fence in the world, the Dingo Fence. Originally built to keep dingos away from fertile land, the fence is now 5,614 km long.
- The Australian dollar is considered to be the most advanced currency in the world – it’s waterproof, made of polymer and notoriously hard to counterfeit.
- Australia is the only continent covered by a single country.
- The world’s oldest fossil was discovered in Australia – 3.4 billion years old.
- Australia has around 600 varieties of eucalypt trees.
- Australia was one of the founding members of the United Nations.
- Stonemasons in Australia instituted the 8-hour working day back in 1856.
- In Aboriginal culture women are not allowed to play to the didgeridoo.
- The venom of the elusive platypus can kill a small dog.
- Australia’s most deadly marine animal is the Box Jellyfish, and is responsible for more deaths per year than snakes, sharks and saltwater crocodiles.
- The only two mammals in the world that lay eggs are found in Australia – the echidna and platypus.
- Before the arrival of humans, Australia was home to megafauna, three-metre tall kangaroos, seven-metre long goanna’s, horse-sized ducks, and a marsupial lion the size of a leopard.
- Both kangaroos and emus lack the ability to walk backwards. This was the reason they were chosen for Australia’s coat of arms – to symbolise a country always moving forward.
- The termite mounds that can be found in Australia are the tallest animal-made structures on earth.
- Australia is home to more than 1,500 species of spiders.
- The Great Victoria Desert is bigger than the whole of the United Kingdom.