Australia’s curiosities are many. After all, we are talking about a country with a continental dimension, with a rich culture and unique customs. Finding out about these amazing aspects can be a great way to find out more about the land of kangaroos! So, how about getting inside 10 facts about Australia? Follow up!
1. Australia has the large coastal population in the world
Australia is a continental country, covering almost 8 million km² and surrounded by the sea. Therefore, it has a large number of beaches: there are almost 11 thousand! However, much of the Australian territory is formed by semi-arid and desert regions, which make up the famous Australian Outback.
As a result, its population, which is only 25 million people (it is one of the least populated countries in the world), is heavily concentrated on the coast. As a result, around 85% of Australia’s population – that is, roughly 20 million people – lives less than 50 km from the coast. That’s why we’re talking about the nation with the largest coastal population in the world!
2. Much of the Australian population was born in another country
The vast majority of Australians are of European origin – mainly English (as England colonized the country), Scottish and Irish. There are also descendants of Germans and Italians. Currently, the local Aboriginal population accounts for only 2.5% of the total.
A good number of people who live in Australia, however, were born in another country: around 25% of its population is made up of foreigners. This is one of the factors that make the country one of the friendliest with foreigners, and a famour destination for international students.
3. It is customary to eat kangaroo meat
No wonder that Australia is known as the “land of kangaroos”: the animal population is around 50 million! That’s roughly double the amount of people living in the country.
It may seem strange that Australia’s symbol animal is hunted and eaten, but this habit dates back thousands of years: it was a common practice among the aborigines of the region. In recent years, the custom gained more strength in big cities.
As much as Australia has strict laws regarding the slaughter of the animal, there is a recent incentive to its hunting and consumption, given the vertiginous increase in its population, which represents a risk to local biodiversity. So, if before it was easier to find kangaroo meat in specialized butchers, today it is quite common to buy it in large supermarkets, in the form of hamburgers, sausage and steak. Worth a try!
4. Alcoholic beverages are not sold in supermarkets
Australia is among the countries that consume the most alcoholic beverages in the world, such as wine and beer. There is even a local production of very high quality craft beers. In the case of wines, Australia has around 60 wine regions, on the outskirts of cities such as Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.
However, even with so much tradition with regard to beverages, the country has restrictive laws regarding their sale. Contrary to what happens in your home country and in several countries around the world, in Australia it is forbidden to sell alcohol in supermarkets: only licensed stores and bars can sell drinks. In addition, the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places such as the street, beaches and parks is prohibited.
5. Melbourne is one of the best cities in the world to live
There’s nothing for anyone: Melbourne has been a leader in the ranking of “The Economist” magazine for the best cities in the world to live in for seven years. The Australian city is among the top three since the survey began in 2006.
So Melbourne leaves behind heavyweights like Vienna and Vancouver. Australia stands out even more as a place to live for having two other cities in the top 10 of the ranking: Adelaide (6th place) and Perth (7th place). There are several destinations to choose from in the country and live incredible experiences!
6. Canberra is the capital as it is not a coastal city
Many people are confused and believe that the capital of Australia is Sydney. In fact, it’s Canberra. However, why was the city chosen over Sydney and even Melbourne? There is a legend that Sydney and Melbourne competed for the position of capital of the country, and that the endless standoff led the authorities to a simple solution: choose another city, Canberra, in 1908. However, the truth is different.
At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a consensus that it would be better to have a non-coastal city as a capital, as this would decrease the chances of marine bombing. In addition, there were many diseases that easily spread to cities at sea level. For these reasons, Sydney and Melbourne were passed over in favor of Canberra. Besides, Canberra is one of the most popular student cities in Australia, where located Australian National University.
7. The first local police were formed by prisoners
It sounds like a joke, but it’s not! Another interesting thing about Australia is that its first police force was made up of 12 convicted men, chosen for their good behavior in local jails.
In the early 1800s, crime began to grow in Australia, still a colony of England. Governor-settler Arthur Phillip then decided to form Night Watch, a local patrol.
However, with few men available for the service, Phillip didn’t have much choice: the solution was to select the 12 “best” prisoners and divide them into four groups, which were allocated in different regions.
8. Australia was the first independent nation to allow female suffrage
Australia ceased to be a colony in 1901, and wasted no time in making progressive decisions. The following year, through the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, it became the first independent nation in the world to allow women to vote and be voted on at the national level.
Throughout the 1890s, suffragettes had gained traction in Australia, fighting for women’s right to participate in politics. During this period, each colony that made up the Australian territory had at least one suffragette group. The good results of the movement thus appeared at the beginning of the 20th century.
9. There are animals that only exist in Australia
Oceania is an isolated continent, so several species of animals that have developed in the region are unique. Australia’s exuberant wildlife is thus world renowned and celebrated.
Among the animals that can only be found in the country are the kangaroo, the koala, the Tasmanian devil, the platypus, the echidna and the black swan
10. Some of the biggest stars of international pop culture are Australian
Some of the best known and best known actors and musicians in the world were born or made their careers in Australia. A lot of people don’t know this because, when they see them in Hollywood movies or hitting the charts in the United States and England, they automatically think they are Americans or British.
The actors Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman (despite not being born in Australia, the actress moved to the country at age 3 and identifies herself as an Australian), Cate Blanchet, Russell Crowe (despite being born in New Zealand, the actor naturalized Australian and lived since childhood in Sydney), Margot Robbie and the late Heath Ledger, for example, are all Australians. In music, it is worth mentioning the group AC/DC and singers Nick Cave, Sia, Iggy Azalea, among others.