1. The name ‘Australia’ comes from the Latin word ‘australis’, meaning southern.
And while a desert area known as the ‘outback’ covers much of the land
Australia is the world’s 6th largest country by area.
And because of its size and isolation from the rest of the world, Australia is sometimes known as the ‘island continent’.
2. If you visited one new beach in Australia every day, it would take over 27 years to see them all.
Australia has a range of different landscapes, including urban areas, mountain ranges, deserts and rain forests.
The highest mountain on mainland Australia is Mt Kosciuszko, standing 2228m (7310ft) above sea level.
And the world’s largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef, which has its own postbox btw is found off the north-eastern coast of Australia.
3. Australia has over 750 different reptile species, more than any other country in the world.
And although they usually keep to themselves, there are a range of dangerous snakes in Australia, such as the Brown Snake, Tiger Snake and Taipan.
Australia is also home to a variety of unique animals, including the koala, kangaroo, emu, kookaburra and platypus.
And speaking of Kangaroos and emus, because they cannot walk backward, that’s one of the reasons that they’re on the Australian coat of arms.
4. Australia is the only country to use plastic money.
It doesn’t rip, lasts virtually forever, but also doesn’t fold very well, which can be quite annoying
The smallest bill is $5, which makes it extremely cumbersome, when your wallet gets weighed down with $1 and $2 coins.
5. UGG is actually a slang word for ugly
UGG boots which are very popular in the US are actually an Australian invention.
They were created by Australian farmers, who used sheepskin to stay warm.
As the years went by, many Australian surfers also cottoned on to using them for their warmth-giving properties.
6. Chinese explorers travelled to Australia long before Europeans arrived.
As early as the 1400s, Chinese sailors and fisherman came to Australia for sea-cucumbers and to trade with Indigenous peoples.
The first European to visit Australia was Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon, in 1606.
After which more Dutch explorers visited the country, plotting maps and naming it ‘New Holland’.
Captain James Cook first landed on Australia’s east coast in 1770.
In 1788, the British returned with eleven ships to establish a penal colony.
Within days of The First Fleet’s arrival and the raising of the British flag, two French ships arrived, just too late to claim Australia for France.