If you are traveling around Australia, it is always fun and interesting to learn strange and weird facts about the place you are visiting. Australia definitely has some of the strangest facts; we are sharing some of them with you here today.

Australia Coat of Arms Photo Credit: Wikipedia

  1. The Australian coat of arms has two native animals on it: the kangaroo and the emu. These two animals were chosen because they can only move forward and that is considered a sign of progress.
  2. It is the only country that eats the animals represented on their coat of arms.
  3. Kangaroo meat is a leaner and healthier alternative to beef or lamb. It only has 1% to 2% fat content and can be purchased from supermarkets in Australia.
  4. More than 85% of Australians live within 50 km of the coast.
  5. Australia has 2.66 persons per square kilometre.
  6. The 8 hour workday standard began in Australia.
  7. The world’s oldest fossil was found in Australia, it is about 3.4 billion years old.
  8. Evidence of what is believed to be the oldest life on Earth was found in Western Australia. Scientists found a zircon sample that had graphite inclusions consistent with a biogenic origin that date back 4.1 billion years ago. This is 300 million years earlier than anyone thought that living organisms were present on Earth.
  9. The largest populations of Greeks outside of Greece live in Melbourne.
  10. Melbourne was originally named Batmania after one of its founders, John Batman.
  11. There are more than 200 different languages spoken in Australia. 45 of those are indigenous languages. However, historians say that there were over 250 Aboriginal languages spoken before British settlement.
  12. The Aboriginal people of Australia date back the furthest on record of any other humans. It is estimated they have lived in Australia for 40,000 to 60,000 years.
  13. More than 25% of Australia’s population was born in another country.
  14. Because of Australia’s original penal colony status, an estimated 22% of the ancestors of Australians were convicts.
  15. There are 100,000 more women than men in Australia.
  16. Australians have different nicknames for the people that live in each state. New South Wales residents are called “cockroaches”, Queensland residents are called “banana benders”, and Western Australians are referred to as “sand gropers”.
  17. Melbourne is known as the “sporting capital of the world” because it offers more top level sports to its citizens than anywhere else in the world.
  18. There are three national Frisbee teams in Australia.
  19. Melbourne has consistently been ranked the most liveable city in the world.
  20. Australia’s animal and plant life are pretty isolated from the rest of the world. Over 80% of the plants and wildlife found in Australia are not found anywhere else in the world. You probably have heard of most of the most popular ones like koalas, kangaroos, dingos, platypus, wallaby, wombats, and echidna.
  21. The only two mammals in the world, the platypus and the echidna are endemic to Australia.
  22. There are 60 different species of kangaroos.
  23. Marsupials (koalas, kangaroos, and quokka) are not found anywhere else in the world.
  24. Australia does have a reputation for deadly animals and 17 out of the 26 most venomous snakes in the world live in Australia.
  25. One of the largest herds of camels roams freely across the deserts of Australia, a total of about 750,000 camels. Saudi Arabia imports camels from Australia.
  26. There are more sheep in Australia than people.
  27. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living structure.
  28. The adorable platypus are very shy and elusive so most people don’t know they are poisonous!
  29. Beware of cube shaped wombat poop! It uses it to mark its territory.
  30. The Box jellyfish is the most deadly animal in Australia, it has killed more people than stonefish, sharks, and crocodiles combined.
  31. The dingo fence is twice as long as the Great Wall of China and is the longest fence in the world at 5614 km. It stretches from the Great Australian Bight in South Australia to central Queensland.
  32. The Nullarbor Plain is the longest straight road in the world. It is the world’s largest continuous limestone bedrock covering 200,000 square km in South Australia between the Great Australian Bight and the Great Victoria Desert. It is a well-known road trip we have covered on our travel blog.
  33. Full feature film movies began in Australia with Soldiers of the Cross in 1899.
  34. Due to a strange law, it was illegal to swim in public beaches during the day from 1838 until repealed in 1902.
  35. More snow falls in the Australian Alps than Switzerland.
  36. Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world.
  37. Australia is the only continent without an active volcano.
  38. The average Australian drinks 96 litres of beer a year.
  39. Australia is home to 60 designated wine regions.
  40. Over a trillion bottles of wine are made in Australia every year.
  41. The wine cask was invented in Australia.
  42. 91% of Australia is covered by native vegetation.
  43. If you wanted to visit a different Australian beach every day, it would take you 27 years.
  44. Australia invented the world’s first seat belt law in 1970.
  45. Australia has 19 world heritage listed sites.
  46. Australia holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the most Christmas lights on one house. It is half a million lights!
  47. Even though Australians speak English (with plenty of quirky slang) Australian sign language is completely different from American and British sign language.
  48. Chinese explorers landed in Australia as early as the 1400’s, long before Europeans arrived.
  49. The first European to land in Australia was a Dutchman Willem Janszoon in 1606. Over the next 100 years, more Dutch explorers visited Australia and had named it ‘New Holland’ on plotting maps.
  50. In 1770 Captain James Cook landed on Australia’s northern east coast in what is now Cookstown, Queensland. Eight years later is when the British returned to establish the penal colony. A few days too late, French ships had arrived in an attempt to claim the land for France.