Interesting facts about Australia

25 Awesome Facts About Australia

Australia is home to some pretty unusual and unique wildlife, it’s outback and the Great Barrier Reef.  Thinking of planning a visit ‘down-under’ or simply looking to boost your knowledge of the world? Here’s 25 fun facts about Australia to whet your appetite!

1. Australia is really big!

It’s estimated to be 2.967 million square miles (7.692 million square kilometers) in size, roughly the same size as Western Europe!

It is the sixth largest nation after Russia, Canada, China, USA and Brazil.

2. Australia totally outsizes Britain.

Australia has a relatively small population of only 26.01 million people, compared to the UK’s 66.97 million! (2022) To put that into perspective, Australia is 5 times larger in total area than the UK!

3. Australia isn’t that dense.

This means Australia has a population density of around 3 people per square kilometer. It is the 3rd least densely populated country in the world, behind Mongolia and Namibia.

The Australian Flag
The Australian Flag

4. Australia ranks behind many cities in terms of population.

If the whole of Australia was one big city, population wise, it would still only be the seventh largest city in the world (after Tokyo, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Jakarta, Seoul and Delhi).

5. Australia’s capital isn’t Sydney or Melbourne.

Canberra is the capital of Australia; 395,790 people call this city their home. (2016)

6. Australia’s population is on the rise.

The country is currently growing by 1 million every 2 years – in other words, that’s an additional Adelaide every 2.5 years!

7. Australia has an odd origin story.

This sun-drenched country was founded in 1788 as a British convict colony!

Until the gold strikes of 1851 which opened the floodgates of immigration, it was a place of banishment for naughty people!

8. However, it’s now a holiday haven.

The mid twentieth century right up until the beginning of the twenty first century saw an influx of immigrants flock to this country – six million of them arrived between 1945 and 2000! Who can blame them with the amount of sunshine it gets!

9. Life quality in Australia is reportedly fantastic.

To make Australia even more desirable, it boasts being one of the world’s highest living standards with 85% of the population living in urban areas! Lucky them!

A Kangaroo in the Australian outback

10. Australia is a tremendous trade partner.

Australia has a varied industry, consisting of mining, chemicals, industrial and transportation equipment, steel and food processing.

Barley, wheat, sugarcane, fruits and cattle comprise its agricultural industry. It’s also a major exporter of some of these agricultural products, particularly wool, wheat, minerals such as iron-ore and gold, and energy in the forms of liquefied natural gas and coal.

11. There’s weather respite in the bigger cities.

Cities along the South East coast, such as Melbourne and Sydney, are a popular choice for residents because winds from the South East release rain there! They can have some of our rain too, if they like!

12. Australia is unique as a governing nation.

Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent and its outlying islands.

Uluru (Ayres Rock)
Uluru (Ayres Rock)

13. Australia breaks plenty of records.

The mainland is the largest island and the smallest, flattest continent on Earth!

Unlike the UK, Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth. It has one of the lowest rainfalls in the world, less than 600 millimeters per year!

14. Australia is mostly desert.

Approximately three-quarters of the land in Australia is arid or semi-arid.

15. People have lived here for millennia.

Australia’s indigenous people – the Aborigines – arrived more than 50,000 years ago!

Sydney Harbor, with the Opera House in the background
Sydney Harbor, Australia

16. Australia’s seasons are opposite to the UK.

When it’s freezing cold and wet in the UK winter, spare a thought for the people of Australia because from December to February it’s their summer – poor things.

17. Australia is big on wine.

Australia boasts an incredible 65 different wine regions and is one of the biggest producers of wine in the world. Each year, they export 2 million bottles to 111 different countries.  Do you have a favourite?

18. Much of Australia’s fauna is unique.

Australia has some amazing and varied wildlife; it has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal! Insane!

What’s more, more than 80% of these mammals, reptiles, frogs and even certain plants are unique to Australia and are found no-where else in the world. Beat that!

An australian crocodile in the water
A native crocodile

19. There are some iconic animals that live In Australia.

Some of the cutest animals in the world live in Australia – fact. For example the kangaroo, koala, echidna (a sort of hedgehog – a spiny ant eater), dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat.

20. Australian households are packed.

We bet you didn’t know that in Australia the average street of 100 households has 10 children under 3, 27 cats and 45 dogs!

21. Swimming outfits change name from coast to coast Down Under.

Oddly, swimming costumes in Queensland are known as ‘togs’, in New South Wales they’re called ‘cossies’, and in Victoria they’re called bathers. We don’t really care as long as we can wear some and have a dip in the sea too…

The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

22. The Great Barrier Reef is a BIG deal.

Located off the coast of Queensland, The Great Barrier Reef spans over 2,600 km and can even be viewed from space!

23. What’s that building?

Sydney Opera House is Australia’s number one visitor attraction, beating the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and Bondi Beach!

24. Grab the area code for Oz.

Want to give your friends or family a call in Australia?  You’ll need to use the international dialling code +61.

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

25. What’s the tight time?

There are 3 different time zones in Australia: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), which is +10 GMT, Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), , which is  +9.5 GMT), and Australian Western Standard Time (AWST), which is +8 GMT).

FAQs about Australia

Why does Queen Elizabeth II appear on some Australian currency?

The image of the Queen of England appears on some notes and coins because Australia is one of the Commonwealth countries.

What is the most successful export from Australia?

The most successful export of Australia is iron ore. In 2020, this earned Australia a whopping $48.2 billion!

What is the national animal of Australia and why?

The national animal of Australia, as portrayed on the National Coat of Arms, is the Kangaroo! It’s believed to have been chosen to signify a ‘country moving forwards’.

Do you know any fun facts about Australia?  Share them in the comments below!

Are you fascinated with Australia? Check out these fun facts about kangaroos

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This page was last modified on April 16, 2024. Suggest an edit