25 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Australia

Even if you're born and bred in Australia, some of the facts about this country may surprise you.

For example what are the chances of a deadly encounter with one of the country’s most venomous creatures?

Here you'll learn 25 captivating and fun facts you probably did not know about Australia.

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. Swimmers in box jellyfish areas must swim inside nets or wear a stinger suit to avoid a box jellyfish sting.  The box jellyfish is responsible for 80 recorded deaths in Australia.

2. The inland taipan is the most venomous snake in Australia and in the world. One drop of venom can kill 100 men. But no death has ever been recorded from an inland taipan. These snakes live in sparsely populated areas and usually shy away from humans. 

3. 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.

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

5. There are about 150,000 saltwater crocodiles in Australia. 100,000 are in the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory is home to 244,000 residents and 100,000 saltwater crocodiles. That’s 1 croc for 2 people!

6. 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.

7. Despite the 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

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

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

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

11. 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.

12. Australia has 3 times more sheep than people – 72 million sheep in 2016. And there are as many feral pigs than people in Australia.

13. The powerful owl is the largest owl in Australia. They can eat 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

14. Wyndham wins the title for the hottest town in Australia in terms of annual average maximum temperature which is 35.6 °C. Marble Bar is the hottest town in terms of highest average temperature in summer which is 41 °C. The highest ever temperature was recorded at 50.7°C in 1960 in Oodnadatta.

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

16. The weirdest place names in Australia are:

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

17. The two weirdest places to visit in Australia are Lake Hillier and Coober Pedy. Lake Hillier is pink like strawberry milk. Coober Pedy is an underground town where people live in impressive underground homes called dugouts. There are also underground bars, hotels and churches.

18. Australia has a total of 10 deserts which comprises 35% of the land and a total of 500 national parks... 10% of the land is made up of national parks, state forests, nature parks or conservation reserves. 

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

Amazing Beaches

20. There are 10,685 beaches in Australia. The beaches occupy half the coastline.

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

22. The Coorong is the longest uninterrupted beach in Australia. It measures 125 km. The longest non-continuous beaches in Australia are Ninety Mile and Eighty Mile Beaches. Both beach measures 222 km. 

People in Australia

23. The Australian population is 24 million. The population is expected to reach 36 million by 2050. 28% of the Australian population were born overseas and 18% of Australians speak a language other than English at home. The most commonly spoken languages after English are Mandarin, Italian and Arabic.

24. All capital cities apart from Canberra are located on the coast. 48. 85% of Australians live within 50 kilometres of the coastline.  

25. About 250 Aboriginal languages were spoken when the first Europeans set foot in Australia in 1788. Only 18 languages are still going strong today. Australian Aboriginals possess the oldest continuous living culture in the world. 

› Facts about Australia