Australia is the world’s smallest continent, with only three million square miles to its name. Yet, whatever Australia lacks in size, it makes up for with its incredible activities and sights. Australia boasts glorious oceans, unique wildlife, fascinating landscapes, and rich history. Whatever your reasons for choosing Australia, you’ll find plenty to love about this amazing destination. These facts about Australia should help inspire your travels.
Fun Facts About Australia
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1. Australia’s Much Bigger Than You Think
When planning your trip, it’s important to take Australia’s vast size into account. Those three million square miles make it slightly bigger than the USA’s contiguous states. Overall, Australia’s the world’s sixth-biggest country after Russia, Canada, China, the USA including Alaska and Hawaii, and Brazil.
The country has three biomes, namely, desert, grasslands, and forests. These are further divided into tropical and temperate grasslands, subtropical, temperate, and tropical forests, and Mediterranean woodlands. Australia has ten deserts, located in the inland reaches of the country, so you’ll find most of the infrastructure and major cities along the coast, where 90% of the population lives. See just how large this country by seeing it from the air in Wilpena Pound.
2. People Have Lived in Australia for 65,000 Years
When Willem Janszoon first landed in Australia in 1606, he wasn’t the first person there. Australia’s Aboriginal people were already spread far and wide across every area of the continent.
The artistic, spiritual, and musical traditions are among the longest surviving in the history of the Earth. You can find out more about these original inhabitants of Australia at Melbourne’s Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Center and the Aboriginal Museum in Sydney.
The National Museum of Australia also pays homage to these interesting people and is the source of many other historical facts about Australia.
3. Australia Has a Huge Wine Route
Australia’s not the first country that springs to mind when you’re looking to explore lush wine lands. Yet, the country boasts over 60 separate wine-growing regions. Between them, they produce over a trillion bottles of wine every year. We toured the Barossa Valley wine region and it was amazing. If you are heading there, check out this tour that takes you to 4 world class wineries and includes lunch.
Wine tours offer a host of varied activities in this part of the world including 4WD adventures, steam train rides, and truffle hunts. Of course, there’s plenty to taste along the way too, including cheese, charcuterie, picnic eats, and haute cuisine.
You’ll find most of Australia’s wine farms between Victoria and New South Wales. Around Victoria, you can sip on Pinot Noir, while New South Wales focuses on producing warm-climate varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Some other types of wine you’ll encounter along the way include Chardonnay, Sémillon, Riesling, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. At the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards, several Australian wines scored top points, winning 17 platinum medals and six Best In Show awards.
4. Uluru Stretches for 15 Miles Underground
Uluru is surely one of Australia’s most iconic sights and a must-visit destination during your trip. It’s recognized by UNESCO as both a natural and cultural area of significance and a favorite spot for interesting tours and activities. The entire Uluru area is a sacred site for native Australians and belongs to the local Anangu tribe.
One of the best ways to experience this magical place is on a sunrise or sunset tour, where you’ll get to enjoy breakfast or a barbecue as part of the package. At dusk, the rock famously glows red as the sun dips below the horizon. There’s more to this 600-million-year-old landmark than meets the eye.
According to geological studies, the rock formation continues for 15 miles out of sight. It curves downward and up again to join the Olgas, another one of Australia’s stand-out geological features.
5. Australia Has the World’s Longest War Memorial
The 150-mile-long Great Ocean Road’s dedicated to the country’s servicemen who died during World War I. Many of these soldiers helped construct this important thoroughfare that stretches along Australia’s southern coast from Torquay to Allansford near Warrnambool. Read: Great Ocean Walk – A Beautiful Way to Experience the Twelve Apostles
Today, the Great Ocean Road is akin to America’s Route 66, boasting numerous tourist attractions and interesting things to see along the way. Some of the best stops include:
- The 12 Apostles
- Griffiths Island Lighthouse
- The Grotto
- Loch and Gorge
- Beauchamp, Hopetoun, Erskine, and Little Kalimna Falls
- Point Addis
Don’t miss the chance to stop at every charming seaside town you come across along the way, either. These hamlets are bound to reveal some fun facts about Australia and its charming inhabitants. Regardless of where you find yourself on this road, you’ll enjoy enchanting scenes of lakes, the ocean, coastal heath, and scrub, or marshes.
6. Amazing Animal Facts About Australia
One of the most interesting facts about Australia is that 90% of its indigenous species occur nowhere else. Some of these include the koala, kangaroo, dingo, echidna, wallaby, platypus, and wombat. Apart from their unique habitat, the duck-billed platypus and echidna are the world’s only egg-laying mammals.
It’s also home to some of the world’s most dangerous animals like the box jellyfish, taipan (snake), blue-ringed octopus, redback spider, and stonefish. Check out Kangaroo Island Wildlife Sanctuaries
Discover more weird facts about Australia and its animal population by check out our article on 12 Amazing Wildlife Experiences.
7. The World’s Largest Reef Ecosystem
The Great Barrier Reef sweeps along the Western shore of Australia and boasts over 3,000 individual reefs. It’s the only living thing on Earth visible from space.
It’s home to a massive array of creatures including 1,500 fish species, 134 different kinds of sharks, most of the world’s rarest turtle species, and 30 types of marine mammals. One-third of the world’s soft corals and 411 types of hard coral occur on the Great Barrier Reef. Read more: Diving the Great Barrier Reef – Australia’s Ultimate Adventure
You can explore this natural treasure on numerous curated excursions, including:
- Scuba diving
- Glass bottom boat trips
- Rides in semi-submersible craft
- Cruise ship tours
- Whale watching excursions
- Swimming with dolphins
A helicopter flip over this beautiful and enigmatic place is one of the best things to do in Australia.
8. It Snows in Australia
Australia’s famous for its record-breaking high temperatures, but if you visit the Australian Alps in winter, you’ll see a different side of the country. These lofty peaks receive about 35 inches of snow per year. If you visit at these times you can enjoy the full range of snowy activities including skiing, bobsledding, and snowboarding.
Après ski activities include fine dining, pub fare, and fireside socializing as well as a host of activities that lend themselves to year-round enjoyment. The Australian Alps span 13 nature reserves offering abundant opportunities for horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and photography.
9. The World’s Largest Sand Island
Fraser Island, off the coast of Hervey Bay, Queensland is the world’s largest sand island, but there’s a lot more to this landmark than desert landscapes. In fact, it’s covered in lush forests as far as the eye can see. Check out our time at Fraser Island: Fraser island tour, You’ll Love this Unique 4WD Adventure
The island boasts many notable sights like the tranquil Champagne Pools, beautiful Lake Mackenzie, and miles of pristine beaches. It’s also one of the best places to spot some of Australia’s dingoes since 150 of these wild dogs live on Fraser Island.
Here, you can drive along 75 Mile Beach, hike the Great Walk, stroll in the rain forest at Central Station, climb the dunes at Lake Wabby, or drift down Eli Creek. The Indian Head Lookout Point showcases lovely panoramas over the island.
After your exertions, pop into one of the island’s top-class restaurants for seafood with a view of the ocean. For all these reasons it is easy to see why Fraser Island made it on our list of 23 Iconic Places to Visit in Australia.
10. Sydney Opera House Exceeds Expectations
The Sydney Opera House is one of Australia’s most iconic sights and attracts over 10 million visitors every year. The beautiful building’s designed to look like a sailing boat and is the brainchild of a Danish architect.
Originally, the budget to construct the Sydney Opera House was $7 million over four years. Fourteen years, and $102 million later, the opera house opened its doors. The building comprises 1 million roof tiles and is big enough to accommodate seven A380 airplanes.
Once during a performance, a live chicken walked off the stage and fell into the orchestra pit. Now, there’s a net installed to protect the musicians.
The Concert Hall must remain at a cool 72.5° F, to ensure the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s instruments stay in tune. Seawater’s pumped from the surrounding ocean to power the building’s heating and cooling systems.
You can take boat trips around Sydney Harbor to enjoy the best views of the Opera House, but it’s showcased at its best during the annual New Year’s fireworks display.
Explore More of Australia
We hope these facts about Australia have inspired your future travels to this exciting, diverse destination. With so much to see and do, it pays to start planning well in advance before you intend to visit.
Browse our website for more fun facts, helpful tips, informative videos, and destination guides. Better still, check out our exciting travel itineraries and our resources page to help you make every journey the adventure of a lifetime.