54 Surprising Facts About Australia

Facts about Australia

What are the REAL facts about Australia?

You may have a vision of the country that’s fed mainly through the media.

But here you'll learn captivating and real information... For example what are the chances of a deadly encounter with one of the country’s most venomous creatures?

Even if you're born and bred here, some of the facts about Australia below may surprise you…

Fun and Surprising Facts About Australia

Deadly Creatures

1. The box jellyfish is the deadliest creature in Australia and in the world. It's almost invisible under water and it can kill in under five minutes.

2. But the box jellyfish is responsible for only 80 recorded deaths in Australia. The last recorded death was in 2000. 

3. Swimmers in box jellyfish areas must swim inside nets or wear a stinger suit to avoid a box jellyfish sting.  

4. The inland taipan is the most venomous snake in Australia and in the world. One drop of venom can kill 100 men!

5. But astonishingly no death has ever been recorded from an inland taipan... These snakes live in sparsely populated areas and usually shy away from humans. 

6. The brown snake is the species of snake that causes the most deaths in Australia... This snake is adaptable and can live in different environments including suburbs.

7. Fewer than five people per year die from snake bites in Australia since the advent of the antivenom. Half is from brown snakes.

8. An average of 1 person per year dies from a shark attack.

9. An average of 1 person per year dies from a crocodile attack. 

10. There are about 150,000 saltwater crocodiles in Australia. 100,000 are in the Northern Territory.

11. The Northern Territory is home to 244,000 residents and 100,000 saltwater crocodiles. That’s 1 croc for 2 people!

12. Funnel-web spiders and redback spiders were the main spider killers in the past. But no one has died from a bite since the antivenom was introduced in 1981 and 1956.

13. Despite the mind-blowing abundance of deadly animals in Australia, you have more chance of being killed by a horse, by a kangaroo or by a rip current. 

Kangaroos and Other animals

14. There are an estimated 60 million kangaroos in Australia. That’s more than twice the human population!

15. The red kangaroo is the largest kangaroo and largest marsupial in the world. It can grow up to 6 feet tall and weigh up to 90 kg.

16. Red kangaroos can reach 56 km per hour and leap up to 9 m in one jump.

17. Kangaroos can’t walk or hop backward.

18. About 5 million kangaroos are culled every year to control their population.

19. The name 'kangaroo' was given by Captain Cook. He had heard Aboriginals use the word 'gangurru' when referring to the eastern grey kangaroo.

20. There's a species of kangaroo that lives in the trees... The tree-kangaroo can hop on branches. It looks a bit like a lemur.

21. The tammar wallaby is the first macropod to be reported by a European. 

22. There are as many feral pigs than people in Australia.

23. Australia has 3 times more sheep than people: 72 million sheep in 2016.

24. The powerful owl is the largest owl in Australia. They eat an astonishing 250 to 350 possums each year. That's an average of one possum every 1.2 days!

Powerful Owl - Ninox Strenua by David Lochlin (CC BY 2.0)

Interesting Places in Australia

25. Wyndham wins the title for the hottest town in Australia in terms of annual average maximum temperature: 35.6 °C.

26. Marble Bar is considered the hottest town in terms of highest average temperature in summer: 41 °C. 

27. The highest ever temperature was recorded at 50.7°C in 1960 in the town of Oodnadatta in SA.

28. The highest town in Australia is Cabramurra. It's located at 1,488 m above sea level.

29. The rudest place names in Australia are:

  • Horny Point 
  • Fanny Point 
  • Bum Bum Creek
  • Split Arse Rock 
  • Dirty Dick Creek 
  • Dancing Dicks Creek 

30. The weirdest place names are:

  • Yes I Know Rock 
  • Come By Chance 
  • Walkaway 
  • Nowhere Else 
  • Nowhere Creek 
  • Useless Loop 
  • Mount Hopeless 
  • Mount Disappointment 

31. The two weirdest places to visit in Australia are Lake Hillier and Coober Pedy...

32. Lake Hillier is completely pink like strawberry milk. No kidding. 

33. Coober Pedy is an underground town... people live in impressive underground homes called dugouts. There are also underground bars, hotels and churches.

34. Australia has a total of 10 deserts. 35% of the country is desert.

35. Australia has a total of 500 national parks. 10% of the country is made up of national parks, state forests, nature parks or conservation reserves. 

36. Kakadu is the largest national park in Australia. It covers 20,000 square kilometres which is about the same size as Slovenia.

37. Royal National Park is the oldest national park in Australia and the second oldest in the world. It was declared in 1879. 

Amazing Beaches

38. There are 10,685 beaches in Australia.

39. The Australian mainland contains 30,000 km of coastline. 47,000 km if you include the islands. Beaches occupy half the coastline.

40. Whitehaven Beach is considered the best beach in Australia... 7 km of powdery white silica surrounded by natural bushland and clear tropical water.

41. 75 Mile Beach is considered the most dangerous beach in Australia. There are strong rips, huge sharks and stingers in the water, and light planes and cars on the sand.

42. It's widely believed that Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay has an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for having the whitest sand in the world. Apparently it’s a myth, but…

43. Guinness World Records says that Australia has the largest population of camels in the wild and is also home to the most dangerous ant in the world.

44. The Coorong is the longest uninterrupted beach in Australia. It measures 125 km.

45. The longest non-continuous beaches in Australia are Ninety Mile and Eighty Mile Beaches. Both measures 222 km. 

People in Australia

46. The Australian population is 24 million. The population is expected to reach 36 million by 2050.

47. All capital cities apart from Canberra are located on the coast.

48. 85% of Australians live within 50 kilometres of the coastline and 70% live in major cities.  

49. 28% of the Australian population were born overseas. 5.1% are from the United Kingdom, 2.6% from New Zealand and 2% from China.

50. 18% of Australians speak a language other than English at home. The most commonly spoken languages after English are Mandarin, Italian and Arabic.

51. Sydney is the most multicultural city in Australia... 30% of people speak a language other than English at home.

52. Australians speak over 200 languages.

53. About 250 Aboriginal languages were spoken when the first Europeans set foot in Australia in 1788. Only 18 languages are still going strong today.

54. Australian Aboriginals possess the oldest continuous living culture in the world. 

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