Friday, November 20, 2009

How well do you actually know Australia?


So you have been living here in Australia for all or most of your life and probably think you know the country pretty well? Did you pay attention to the history lessons at school? Do you actually know all the words to the National Anthem? Well how much do you really know about your own country? You might be surprised!

Here are some facts, information & videos about Australia.
Included are some quizzes that you might like to test & try out for yourself.
Some false beliefs about Australia that tourists have been fooled into thinking are true are also revealed here.. ;)


A Brief Timeline:

  • > 70,000 BC: Aborigines are thought to have immigrated to Australia
  • 42,000 BC: Aboriginal engravings are found in South Australia dating back to this time.
  • 35,000 BC: Aborigines are thought to have reached Tasmania.
  • 2000 BC: The Dingo is the first domesticated animal to reach Australia.
  • 1300 AD: Marco Polo discusses an great unexplored southern land.
  • 1616 AD: Dirk Hartog, a Dutch explorer, sails to Western Australia.
  • !688 AD: William Dampier, English explorer, arrives on the west coast of Australia.
  • 1770: Captain James Cook lands on the more hospitable east coast of Australia and claims it for Britain.
  • 1804: Hobart Town is established in Van Diemens Land which is now known as Tasmania.
  • 1833: Port Arthur opens as a penal settlement in Tasmania.
  • 1851: The gold rush begins near Bathurst in New South Wales.
  • 1853: The last convicts are shipped to Tasmania.
  • 1868: The last convicts are transported to Australia.
  • 1873: Ayers Rock is first sighted by Europeans.
  • 1876: The last full blooded Tasmanian aboriginal, Truganini, dies.
  • 1901: The Commonwealth of Australia becomes a reality.
  • 1914-1918: Australian troops fight in World War 1.
  • 1920: QANTAS is formed as a local airline.
  • 1923: Vegemite is first produced.
  • 1927: The first Federal Parliament is held in Canberra.
  • 1932: Sydney Harbour Bridge opens.
  • 1933: Western Australia produces a referendum for secession from England but it is rejected by Parliament.
  • 1939-1945: Australian troops fight in World War 2.
  • 1948: The first all Australian car is produced-the Holden.
  • 1956: Melbourne hosts the Olympics.
  • 1965: Australian troops sent to the Vietnam War.
  • 1971: Neville Bonner becomes the first Aboriginal to be a Member of Parliament.
  • 1973: The Sydney Opera House opens.
  • 1981: Asian immigration increases.
  • 1983: Australia wins the America's Cup.
  • 1988: Bicentenary: The new Parliament House opens in Canberra.
  • 2000: The Sydney Olympics held.

~ More on Australia's History ~



Many Australian's don't know the correct words to the Australian Anthem and especially the second verse! Do you know all the words? ;)

Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea:
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare,
In history's page let every stage
Advance Australia fair,
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
We'll toil with hearts and hands,
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands,
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share,
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.


VIDEO: Australian Anthem



WALTZING MATILDA The act of carrying the ‘swag’ (an alternate colloquial term is ‘humping the bluey’).
Matilda is an old Teutonic female name meaning ‘mighty battle maid’. This may have informed the use of ‘Matilda’ as a slang term to mean a de facto wife who accompanied a wanderer. In the Australian bush a man’s swag was regarded as a kind of de facto wife, hence his ‘Matilda’. (Letter to Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Churchill, KG from Harry Hastings Pearce, 19 February 1958. Harry Pearce Papers, NLA Manuscript Collection, MS2765)
BILLABONG A blind channel or meander leading out from a river.
COOLIBAH Sometimes spelled coolabah: a species of gum or eucalyptus tree.
SWAGMAN An Australian tramp, so called on account of the ‘swag’, usually a chaff bag, containing his ‘billy’, provisions and blankets.
BILLY An open topped tin can, with a wire carrying handle, used as a kettle for boiling water into which tea was thrown.
TUCKER BAG A bag for ‘tucker’ or food; part of the ‘swag’.
JUMBUCK A sheep. The term is a corruption of ‘jump up’ (Macquarie Dictionary, 3rd rev. ed. Sydney: Macquarie, 2001)
SQUATTER A grazier, or station (ranch) owner. Note that the meaning of the word changed later in the twentieth century to mean a person who occupied or resided at a property illegally.
More Information : Who'll Come a Waltzing Matilda With Me?


•·.·´¯`·.·• ( QUIZ 1 : What do you know about Australia? ) •·.·´¯`·.·•


  • A kangaroo can't jump unless its tail is touching the ground.

  • A species of earthworm in Australia grows up to 10 feet in length.

  • The world's oldest Flower in the world was found in a fossil near Melbourne. It is called the Koonwarra plant, and it has two leaves and one flower. It is believed to be 120 million years old.

  • The world's fastest growing tree is the Australian Eucalyptus. It can grow up to 10 metres in one year.

  • There are actually four types of Boomerang - the "hook", the "hunter", "the club", "the V". All were used for hunting and warfare. Only one of the four will return when thrown - The Hunter.

  • The box jellyfish is considered the world's most venomous marine creature. The box jellyfish has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.

  • Australians refer to lazy people as 'bludgers'. The word is derived from 'bludgeoner' which is a prostitute's standover man.

  • The name Australia comes from the Latin Terra Australis Incognito which means the Unknown Southern Land.

  • The average Australian will consume 18 beef cattle and 90 sheep in his or her lifetime.

  • The term Down Under is a colloquialism referring to Australia and New Zealand. It locates Australia as "the land down under" because it lies totally within the southern hemisphere. (more)

VIDEO: Men At Work - Down Under


•·.·´¯`·.·• ( QUIZ 2 : Test your knowledge of Australia ) •·.·´¯`·.·•



Redback Spider
  • There are 1500 hundred species of Australian spiders.

  • If you read about our spiders you might not like this: the average person swallows three spiders a year.

  • We have over 6000 species of flies, about 4000 species of ants, and there are about 350 species of termites in Australia.

  • The combined mass of all termites in the world is more than ten times the mass of all people.

  • Termites are also called white ants, but they're not ants, in fact not even closely related to ants.

  • Australia has the world's largest population of wild camels with one hump.

  • The Tasmanian Devil does exist, and it has the jaw strength of a crocodile.

  • Sharks are immune to all known diseases.

  • There are more than 150 million sheep in Australia, and only some 20 million people.

  • The tropical north of Australia is home to the world’s largest species of crocodile, the salt water crocodile. These creatures are protected in Australia. Males can occasionally grow to lengths of over 6 metres (20 feet). Each year one or two people are eaten by crocodiles in Australia.


VIDEO: Australia's Deadliest Animals (lol)

So do you still want to travel to Australia? hehe

Australia is the world's smallest continent but the 6th largest country. Land size includes over 32,000 square kilometres of islands surrounding the mainland.

Australia has 8,222 islands within its maritime borders. The following are the 8 largest islands. (Although Tasmania is an island, we don't include it in this list because it's also an Australian state.) (more info)

Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent and its outlying islands. The mainland is the largest island and the smallest, flattest continent on Earth. It lies between 10° and 39° South latitude.

The highest point on the mainland, Mount Kosciuszko, is only 2228 metres. Apart from Antarctica, Australia is the driest continent.

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth. Its interior has one of the lowest rainfalls in the world and about three-quarters of the land is arid or semi-arid. Its fertile areas are well-watered, however, and these are used very effectively to help feed the world. Sheep and cattle graze in dry country, but care must be taken with the soil. Some grazing land became desert when the long cycles that influence rainfall in Australia turned to drought.

The Australian federation consists of six States and two Territories. Most inland borders follow lines of longitude and latitude. The largest State, Western Australia, is about the same size as Western Europe.

Australia's area is 769 million hectares, with about one quarter mostly desert and not used commercially. The most extensive land use in Australia is livestock grazing in arid and semi-arid regions and covers 430 million hectares or 56 percent of Australia. In total, the area of agricultural land is 473 million hectares or nearly 62 percent of the continent.

Percentage of Land Use in Australia


•·.·´¯`·.·• ( QUIZ 3 : Australian Land Fact Quiz ) •·.·´¯`·.·•


VIDEO: I Believe - Fosters AD




This website 'Dumb Laws' would have people believe overseas that these laws are infact true in Australia - what a load of crap! tell me I'm right? lol

It is illegal to walk on the right hand side of a footpath.

Taxi cabs are required to carry a bale of hay in the trunk.

Bars are required to stable, water and feed the horses of their patrons.

Only licensed electricians may change a light bulb.

It is illegal to wear hot pink pants after midday Sunday.

You must have a neck to knee swimsuit in order to swim at Brighton Beach.

Lawmakers are proposing a new law that will not allow anyone to come closer than 100 meters
from a dead whale’s carcass.

It is illegal to read someone's tarot, or give them a psychic reading as these are forms of witchcraft


Children ride kangaroos to school. - MYTH!

We own Kangaroos & Koalas as pets.
- NOT!

'Drop Bears' exist in Australia & will hide in trees at night and drop down and attack you.
(more info on drop bears lol) - MYTH!

Women are not allowed to open bank accounts. - NOT TRUE!

All Australian's live in the outback. - NOT!

It's always warm and sunny in Australia. - NOT!

All Australian's speak like crocodile dundee - NOT!

Australians all wrestle crocodiles - NOT! If you think that then you've been watching too much Crocodile Dundee & Steve Irwin.

Australian's say ' throw another shrimp on the barbie' .. No we don't, they are called prawns!

Aussies only drink 'Fosters' Beer - Well not many of us drink it anyway. While Fosters Lager is the biggest selling beer in pubs in London, the seventh highest in Europe and a big seller in the USA, in 2005 it only represented 1-2 % of beer sales in Australia and is available on tap in less than 6% of Australia's 5000 hotels.

We have the same names for things as America & the UK... We don't always - For example: A Fanny Pack is called a 'Bum Bag' , Fanny means vagina here lol. We call fries - 'hot chips' (unless you are ordering at Mc Donalds) and potato crisps are called chips. Soda or Soda Pop is called Softdrink in Australia.

MAP for tourists haha :

Tourists should be weary of Australian sarcasm and humor. Aussies do like to test how gullible tourists are with these stories. ;)

Myths & Fun Stuff about Australia for backpackers & tourists

This is the closest thing you'll get to riding a Kangaroo in Oz lol :

VIDEO: Woman Rides a Kangaroo


VIDEO: Holden 70's Commercial - ' Football, Meatpies Kangaroos & Holden Cars'

FACT: The first ever car to be mass produced in Australia was the FX Holden (model 48-215). This was produced at Fishermans Bend, Victoria in 1948.


Vegemite was created by the Melbourne firm of Fred Walker & Co. (1923)

Vegemite arrived in Australian shops in 1923 in a jar shaped like a lighthouse. It was made mainly of yeast left over in the process of brewing beer. When the yeast was concentrated, processed and refined it became a very rich source of Vitamin B. The public was not very interested when Carlton and United Breweries had previously tried to sell this waste yeast as a paste called ‘Cubex’. In 1922 food entrepreneur Fred Walker asked chemist Cyril P. Callister to make the yeast product more acceptable so it could compete against the British version Marmite. Although he had only a small amount of equipment in his tiny laboratory, it took Dr Callister only a few months to develop the paste that has become an Australian addiction. Initially, however, vegemite was not very popular, so in 1928 it was released with a new name: Pawill. This was a play on words with the competition: ‘If Marmite … then Pawill’. It was still not widely accepted until the name was changed back, it was included in soldiers’ rations during World War Two and there was a big marketing campaign advertising it medicinal value.
"Vegemite fights with the men up north! If you are one of those who don’t need Vegemite medicinally, then thousands of invalids are asking you to deny yourself of it for the time being." (more)



The chocolate Lamington is as Australian as meat pies, kangaroos and Holdens. ;)

For years lamingtons have been a way of putting stale or over-cooked sponge cake to good use, but where did it actually start?

The story goes that the humble lamington was created as the result of an accident by a maid servant on the staff of Lord Lamington, the 8th Governor of Queensland.

While working at Government House in Brisbane, he maid-servant accidentally dropped the Governor's favourite sponge cake into some melted chocolate. Lord Lamington was not a man to waste food and suggested it then be dipped in coconut to avoid getting chocolatey fingers.


•·.·´¯`·.·• ( QUIZ 4 : Capital Cities of Australia ) •·.·´¯`·.·•



The present Australian flag was formally established in the Flags Act 1953. The Australian Flag consists of three parts set on a blue field:
  • the Union Jack in the upper left quarter of the flag represents the link with Great Britain
  • the body of the flag has the five stars of the Southern Cross constellation, the smallest has five points, the rest have seven points
  • the seven-pointed Commonwealth Star beneath the Union Jack
    represents the Australia's federal system. Originally, the Commonwealth Star had six points for the six states, but in 1908 a seventh point was added to represent the territories of the Commonwealth.


Each of the six Australian states has its own official flag consisting of the Union Jack (representing our link with Great Britain) in the upper left quarter. The right side of each flag has a badge. Those badges are combined in the Australian Coat of Arms to represent the six states. Do you know your own states flag?

NSW                                                              QLD      

SA                                                            TAS   

VIC                                                           WA     


NT                                                              ACT   

More flags:

The Aboriginal Flag -

Designed by Indigenous Elder Harold Thomas in 1971, the Aboriginal flag symbolises Aboriginal identity. Yellow represents the sun (giver of life) and yellow ochre. Red represents the red earth (the relationship to the land) and the red ochre used in ceremonies. Black represents the Aboriginal people. More info


•·.·´¯`·.·• (QUIZ 5 : State Flags of Australia) •·.·´¯`·.·•



The Coat of Arms was first granted by King Edward VII by Royal Warrant on 7 May 1908. Amendments incorporating specific references to the States were approved, on the recommendation of the Commonwealth Government, by King George V by Royal Warrant on 19 September 1912.
  • the Coat of Arms depicts a shield of six parts with representations of the badges of the six States
  • above the shield is the crest, with the seven-pointed gold star of Federation resting on a blue and gold wreath
  • on either side of the shield is a kangaroo and emu resting on ornamental supports
  • beneath the kangaroo and emu are small branches of flowering wattle
  • beneath the wattle is the word 'Australia'

    Australia's National Gemstone

On 28 July 1993 the opal was officially proclaimed as Australia’s national gemstone. It is quite fitting because 95% of the world's supply of opal comes from the desert regions of central Australia (read more)

Australia's National Floral Emblem

Golden Wattle
(Acacia pycnantha)

Acacia pycnantha enjoyed popular acceptance as Australia's national flower for much of this century but it was not proclaimed as the national floral emblem until 1988, the year of Australia's bicentenary. (read more)

The following are floral emblems of the different Australian states and territories:
Australian Capital Territory - Royal Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gloriosa)
New South Wales -Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)
Northern Territory - Sturt's Desert Rose (Gossypium sturtianum)
Queensland - Cooktown Orchid (Dendrobium phalaenopsis)
South Australia - Sturt's Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa)
Tasmania - Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus)
Victoria - Common Heath (Epacris impressa)
Western Australia - Red and Green Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii)

More Information

Floral Emblems of Australia



Almost 5 million people born overseas live in Australia. More migrants move to Sydney than any other Australian city.

Australia’s main natural hazards are cyclones (hurricanes), drought and forest fires. The biggest killer of all has been heatwaves.

Around 115 Australians per 100,000 of population are in jail. This compares with: New Zealand 155, UK 141, Germany 100, Spain 138, Canada 116, South Africa 400, USA 700.

New South Wales, with 6.8 million people has the largest population of any of Australia’s states. Victoria, with 5 million people is next most populous.

Australia has the lowest precipitation of any of the world’s inhabited continents. (Antarctica gets less.) 70 percent of Australia gets less than 500 mm (20 inches) of rainfall per year.

Australian men born in the last few years can expect to live to around 77 years and women to 82 years. Life expectancy for Aboriginal Australians is around 20 years lower than for other Australians.

Australia's first radio station was built in 1912.

Australia's first television station was Channel 9, which opened in Sydney in 1956.

22% of adults will never have children.

Melbourne has the largest remaining tram public transport system in the world.

The oldest skeleton to ever be found in Australia was believed to be 60,000 years old. It was that of an Aboriginal male, traces of ochre (a ceremonial paint used by Aboriginals) were also found.

Uluru (Ayers Rock) is over 8 kilometres in circumference.

Fun Facts About Australia

More Facts About Australia




Tourism Australia Ad - Send Up

Australian Promo - Send Up

Still wanna travel to oz?? ;)

•·.·´¯`·.·• (QUIZ 6 - Australian Trivia Quiz ) •·.·´¯`·.·•



Unusual Facts About Australia

Know your Australia

Australian Facts & Trivia Video


better watch out for those drop bears! hehe ;)



  1. Awesome site, I heard those drop bears are deadly!

  2. Great blog really helped me with my project cheer! :)

  3. You forgot the NT flag!

  4. yes NT flag wasn't there because I only posted the 6 State flags not territories. I have now added the territories also ;)

  5. It's a myth that the word "kangaroo" means "I don't know" or "I don't understand you" in the native tongue (see Wikipedia article for more info). The word "kangaroo" actually derives from the Guugu Yimithirr word gangurru, referring specifically to gray kangaroos. So, yep.