DID YOU KNOW THAT...ABOUT AUSTRALIA ?
DID YOU KNOW THAT...?
AUSTRALIA IN GENERAL
- Australia is believed to be the oldest corner on the planet earth ?
- Australia is surrounded by 3 oceans ? (Pacific, Indian and Southern)
- Australia is roughly equal to the size of the United States of America (excluding Alaska)?
- Australia is the only continent on earth occupied by only one nation ?
- Almost the entire population of Australia is clustered in a narrow crescent along the east-coast and in the south-west corner ?
- Many parts of Australia used to be under the sea ? For example, the sandstones of the Kennedy Range in Western Australia were laid down under the sea more than 250 million years ago. Earth movements brought them to the surface and they have been weathered into the range we see today.
- Aboriginal rock art are the oldest form of art ? Aboriginal Rock art as old as 50,000 years have been discovered in Arnhem Land, Northern Territories.
- Returning boomerangs were perfected and used for hunting by the Australian Aboriginals for the first time in South Australia in 8000 BC ?
- The huge rock natural wonders, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta(The Olgas)appear to change colour at sunrise and sunset ? [see sequence of Uluru during sunset] The colour changes have more to do with the effects the earth’s atmosphere has on the sun’s rays than with the geological make-up of the rock. The light reaching Uluru (and Kata Tjuta) near sunrise and sunset is mainly from the RED end of the spectrum and its reflection from the rock gives the spectacular colour.
AUSTRALIAN HISTORY & HERITAGE
- To prevent the rival cities of Sydney and Melbourne battling for the honour of being the nation's capital, the city of Canberra was founded halfway between the two in 1927 ?
- Australia was once called New Holland ?
- New South Wales is Australia’s oldest state ? It was founded with the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788.
- The cottage in which Captain Cook’s parents lived in the 1750s in Yorkshire, England was brought to Australia brick by brick and reassembled in Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne ?
- The first picture of a kangaroo was seen in England in 1773 ?
- That the dingo (dog) arrived in Australia, thought to have been carried south by seafarers in 2000BC ?
AUSSIE USE OF ENGLISH
- In the UK(and EU) when someone asks: “Pass the Durex” it means they are interested in having sex and choosing to use condoms! Down Under, the same question will result in someone handing you a roll of sticky tape! Durex is a brand of sticky tape, like Kleenex is to tissues.
- In the US, supporters of their favourite sporting teams are usually asked which team do you ROOT for, BUT Australians usually have a good giggle over this as “ROOT” is a word associated with getting laid sexually! The local word used in place of root is barrack; ie who do you barrack for?
- A ball point pen is referred to as a "biro" in Australia ?
- Light bulbs are called globes in Australia ?
NEW SOUTH WALES
- Sydney has over 750 suburbs, is located on a great sandstone shelf which was formed 180-225 million years ago, and is almost completely surrounded by national parks and bushland ?
- The Sydney Harbour Bridge took 1400 men a period of 8 years to build and weighs 52,732 tonnes ?
- The Sydney Opera House’s designer Jorn Utzon modeled the unique roofs on the way the fronds of a palm leaf, fan from the main stem ?
- The Sydney Tower is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere with a height of 305m above street level ?
- The now famous Jenolan Caves in New South Wales became famous after a bushranger (i.e. robber) called James McKeown was captured hiding out there in 1838 ?
- A Scots engineer named John Busby arrived in 1824 and constructed Sydney’s first water supply ? Subsequently his son James planted vines from France and Spain at his father’s property, sharing in the start of the famous wine industry in the Hunter Valley. In 1855, a Hunter Valley wine was presented to French Emperor Napoleon III.
- At Newcastle Beach in New South Wales lies the Bogey Hole, which is a swimming pool carved from rocks by convicts in the 1800s ?
- Legendary Australian cricketeer Sir Don Bradman scored his first century (100 runs) at age of 12, and subsequently went to have a 99.94-run Test average ?
- Irrigating crops uses 75% of the state of New South Wales’s total water resources?
AUSTRALIA'S CAPITAL - CANBERRA
- The capital city of Australia, Canberra is 577metres (1700 feet) above sea level ?
- Walter Burley Griffin’s design submitted for the layout of Canberra won $3500 in prize money in 1912 ? It was then rejected by a government board which wanted its own plan used. However, Burley Griffin’s design was reinstated after 800 architects and engineers petitioned the government.
- “Canberra” is an aboriginal word meaning “meeting place” ? How appropriate for the politicians.
- Amongst other names suggested for Australia’s capital, of course now Canberra, were “Meladneyperbane”, “Coeeton” and “Kangermu” ?
- The Parliament House of Australia in Canberra is open to the public 364 days in a year? It costA$1.1 billion and took 8 years to build. However, the Australian War Memorial is the most visited building in Canberra.
- Rich gold strikes in the towns of Ballarat and Bendigo in 1851 made the newly formed state of Victoria highly prosperous just after it broke away from New South Wales ?
- There are 4 things which symbolizes the city of Melbourne – the Yarra River, electric trams, Australian Rules football, and the Melbourne Cup horse race ?
- The most popular exhibit in the Museum of Victoria is the stuffed body of the legendary race horse Phar Lap?
- The first England-Australia Cricket Test took place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1877 ? Australia won.
- Melbourne has been thrice voted the world’s most livable large city ?
- Melbourne has been called “the world’s third-largest Greek city” because it is home to many people of Greek heritage.
- The sand on Squeaky Beach in Wilsons Promontory, Victoria is so fine that it “squeaks” as someone walks across it ?
- The Stawell Gift, held over Easter holidays in the town of Stawell, Victoria, is the world’s richest sprint foot race on grass over 120 metres ? It carries a prizemoney of over A$100,000. It was first run in Easter in 1878.
- The Great Ocean Road in Victoria is said to be the finest scenic coastal scenic drive in the world ?
- It may take 3 months for water to flow 2530 kilometres from the mighty Murray River’s source to its mouth ? Four dams, hold back its progress.
- 20% of the island state of Tasmania’s land area is World Heritage-listed by Unesco ? Six areas are World Heritage listed: they are Southwest, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair, Hart Mountains and the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, and the Central Plateau Protected Area. However, its timber and water resources are still very keenly eyed by commercial developers.
- Sir Edmund Hillary, the man who 1st. conquered Mt. Everest, has described the Harts Mountains National Park in Tasmania as “some of the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen” ?
- Bushwalkers(hikers) in Tasmania must beware of the “horizontal” ? A “horizontal” is a tree whose slender trunks fall over and then produce new upright trunks. In time the forest becomes a dense matted tangle impossible to get through.
- The world famous annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race starts from Sydney every Boxing Day across the extremely rough Bass Strait ? US IT company Oracle boss Larry Ellison once capsized his racing yacht in this event.
- The last Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) killed in the wild was shot near Mawbanna, Tasmania in 1930 ? By the time it was declared a protected species in 1936, it was probably extinct.
- South Australia is the driest state in Australia ? Over 60% of its land is desert.
- The city of Adelaide was planned by South Australia’s first Surveyor-General, Colonel William Light ?
- The population of Adelaide is 1,081,000 and makes up 73% of the total population of South Australia ?
- The famous Compass Cup held at Mt. Compass in South Australia is a race for cows ?
- Lake Eyre in South Australia is the world’s largest salt lake ? In 1964, Sir Donald Campbell set a world land-speed record of 645 kph racing his jet-powered car Bluebird across Lake Eyre’s hardened salt crust.
- Most of the world’s opals are mined at Coober Pedy and Andamooka in South Australia ?
- The largest opal ever discovered weighed in at 34,215 carats ? It was found in Andamooka, South Australia.
- The Nullabor Plain is the world’s largest flat limestone surface at 750 km long and 400 km wide ? It is larger than the state of Victoria. A vast system of caves runs under the plain. As the caves heat and cool, air roars in and out around 10,000 blowholesm making the sound Aboriginals call of that of a breathing giant serpent.
- Western Australia is the largest state in Australia ? It is larger than Alaska and Texas combined.
- Perth is Australia’s windiest city with an average wind speed of 15.6 kph ?
- The Karri tree in Western Australia is the world’s third-tallest tree after the Californian Redwood and the Australian Mountain Ash ? It can grow up to 80m tall.
- The world famous Pinnacles landscape formation in Western Australia are actually remains of tree roots, covered by sand then encased in limestone dissolved from the sand by rainwater ?
- The world’s largest monolith is actually Mt. Augustus in Western Australia and not Uluru ? Mt. Augustus is twice the size of Uluru, but has bushes covering its lower part. As such, Uluru is the largest “free-standing” monolith.
- The Kimberley area in Western Australia produces 35% of the world’s diamonds ?
- Darwin was originally established as a port and a center for the cattle industry ?
- Magnetic termite mounds found in Northern Territory are precisely oriented with their narrow edges in the north-south direction ? They are built by tiny blind insects and oriented such that they get least sun at the hottest time of the day.
- The “Alice” for the name of the town of Alice Springs, was the name of the wife of South Australia Postmaster-General, Sir Charles Heavitree Todd, whose staff named the springs.
- Two-thirds of Uluru is still buried below the surface like an iceberg ?
- The Anangu people, Uluru’s traditional guardians, prefer visitors not to climb Uluru ? They call people who do climb it “ants”.
- Brisbane was settled in 1825 as a prison for the worst convicts from New South Wales ?
- The original Aboriginal inhabitants of Moreton Bay off Queensland hunted fish with the help of wild dolphins, who drove prey towards their spears, traps and nets ?
- World Heritage listed Fraser Island in Queensland, is the world’s largest sand island at 120 km long and 15 km wide ? It is famous for its massive sand dunes, freshwater lakes, rainforests and pure-blooded Dingos.
- The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living thing ? It is made up of 2900 individual coral reefs, has 900 islands and covers an area larger than Great Britain.