Travel down under to the only country that covers a whole continent! Discover amazing trivia with these fun facts about Australia.
Basic Facts About Australia
With a population of over 23 million people, Australia is a large country in the region of the Pacific Ocean called Oceania.
The Commonwealth of Australia’s capital in Canberra, but its two most populated cities are Sydney and Melbourne.
The majority of Australians speak English, but there are over 145 indigenous languages still in use.
The Australian flag is medium blue with a small Union Jack (Great Britain’s flag) in the upper left-hand corner. This is because Australia was colonized by the British in 1788.
The flag also has a constellation called the Southern Cross, which is the signature constellation of the Southern hemisphere and pivotal for sea navigation before technology.
The flag also has the Commonwealth Star, signaling its transition from six colonies of Britain to a commonwealth nation.
Now that you know some basic facts, let’s move on to some fun facts about Australia!
1. In Australia, You Put Vegemite in and on Everything
A can of Vegemite does not mean a can of vegetables!
Vegemite is a thick, brown paste made from leftover brewer’s yeast and flavored with onion and celery extract.
This savory, salty, and somewhat bitter spread is quintessentially Australian.
They spread it on everything from toast to crackers to sandwiches. They use it as a filling for pastry and a savory add-in to meat pies.
2. The #1 Tourist Attraction Is an Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is the top tourist attraction in Australia. Although 2 million people attend performances each year, over 5 times that many frequent the Opera House just to see it.
The Sydney Opera House has a distinctive design; it looks a bit like nestled seashells.
Every June, Sydney holds a two-week arts celebration called Vivid Sydney.
During that time, colored and patterned lights are cast on the Opera House, making it appear a host of colors and designs, from rainbow stripe to animal print.
3. Australians Invented WIFI
If you have ever logged on to WIFI, you can thank John O’Sullivan of the Australian company CSIRO.
John and his team did not set out to make WIFI for homes and businesses.
They were looking for the echoes of black holes in space in the 1970s, and they used some of that same technology to develop WIFI in the 90s.
4. The Largest Coral Reef in the World Is in Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef in the world. Astronauts can even see it from the moon!
It is larger than the country of Italy, and it houses more than 1500 species of fish. (This includes clown fish – like Nemo from Finding Nemo!)
It is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.
5. Australia’s Tidal Pools Contain the Most Venomous Sea Creature
The blue-ringed octopus is one of the most venomous sea creatures. This invertebrate is a master of disguise. It can change color and even shape to blend in with its environment.
Although the toxin of a blue-ringed octopus is deadly to humans, the octopus is actually quite shy.
They only use their toxin if they are threatened. But don’t worry! They give a warning! Their brown patches turn quite dark, and their spots start pulsating.
This warns potential predators (and humans) to back off.
6. The British Punished People By Making Them Move to Australia
When the British colonized Australia in 1788, they needed settlers.
Instead of a jail sentence, criminals could opt to move to Australia to help settle it.
7. Australia Had a Gold Rush
Australia’s population boomed in the 1850s. In 1851, Edward Hargraves found flecks of gold in a watering hole on February 12.
Within the year, 500,000 so-called “diggers” had moved to Australia.
Today, Australia is one of the leaders in gold production. Some estimate that as many as 321 metric tons of gold have been found in the country.
8. Australia Is Bonzer
Like any country, Australians have their own slang. Learn some fun Australian terms:
- Bonzer = great
- G’day = hello
- Good on ya = good work
- Arvo = afternoon
- Thongs = sandals
- Ankle Biter = child
- Brekky = breakfast
- Fair Dinkum? = Honestly?
- No Drama = no problem
9. Australia Has Perfect Attendance at the Olympics
Australia has not missed a single modern Olympic games (they are one of only 5 countries with that record).
They have even hosted the Summer Olympics twice (once in Melbourne and once in Sydney).
Australia is a swimming powerhouse, with a whopping 71 gold medals in swimming events.
10. Thor Is Australian
Chris Hemsworth, the actor who plays Thor in the Marvel movies, is from Australia.
He is not the only big-name Australian. Cate Blanchett, Kylie Minogue, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Mel Gibson, Rose Byrne, Margot Robbie, Iggy Azalea, and Rebel Wilson are also Australian.
Read More About Australia
If these fun facts about Australia only made you want to learn more, you can check out these books on the country.
This book of delightful trivia on Australia is great for middle schoolers to read independently or for younger students as a read-aloud.
This travel guide for kids explores Australia’s geography, culture, music, food, and more!
Humorist Bill Bryson explores the country. This fact-filled narrative is punctuated with laugh out loud moments. Perfect for high school students and adults.