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Australia Fun Facts

With its warm weather, wicked surf, and laid-back lifestyle, what's not to like about Australia? We've got the basics on the land down under.

A (Very) Brief History

Aboriginal Australians led an essentially hunter-gatherer existence in isolation until 1606 when the Dutch landed, scoped the place out and called it New Holland. Then, in 1707, the English took over and renamed it New South Wales. Between 1788 and 1839, Britain shipped its criminals to Australia. New South Wales became open to non-criminals in the mid to late 1800s. In the 1900s the name game stopped and the Commonwealth of Australia was born.

Famous Aussies

  • Nicole Kidman: Born in Hawaii but raised in Australia, Tom Cruise's ex-wife was a well-established Oz celeb before she became a Hollywood award-winner.
  • Mel Gibson: Although he was born in New York, Mel Gibson was raised in the land down under and that's where he raises his children.
  • Naomi Watts: King Kong star Naomi Watts was born in the UK but moved to Australia at age 14.
  • Russell Crowe:Born to Australian parents in New Zealand, actor Russell Crow moved to Australia when he was four.
  • Chris and Liam Hemsworth: Australian brothers that made it big in Thor, The Avengers and The Hunger Games. 

Animals

  • Koalas: Although called Koala bears, these guys are actually marsupials, not bears.
  • Wallabies and Kangaroos: There are 40 species of kangaroos and wallabies in Australia.
  • Tasmanian Devil: This is a carnivorous (meat-eating) marsupial.
  • Dingos: Dingos are basically wild dogs.
  • Tasmanian Wolf: Sometimes called a Tasmanian tiger, these guys look more like cute kitties than wolves.

Cool Things to See and Do

  • Great Barrier Reef: More than 2,500km long (bigger than England and half the size of Texas), this is the world's largest reef. It is also home to the greatest variety of plants and animals found in any location. Dive in to see fish, coral, clams, seaweed and turtles.
  • Uluru: In the outback of Oz is the world's largest monolith - Uluru (pronounced OO-la-ROO), sometimes called Ayers Rock. The oval-shaped chunk of sandstone is 345m high, two miles long and one mile wide.
  • Bridge tours: Take a three hour hike up to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge. That is, if you're not afraid of heights. It's over 134m above sea level, but bridge suits are provided by the tour company as well as a harness and communication equipment.

Did U Know?

  • January 26th is Australia Day.
  • Australia is the world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country.
  • Vegemite is a popular food in Australia. It is made by Kraft and is a vegetable paste that is usually served on toast.
  • Australia is home to more than 100 species of unique marsupials, which means that these guys can't be found anywhere else in the world.

Have Your Say

Have you ever been to Australia? What interests you about the country? Leave a comment and let us know!

 

 
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Random in the forums

HannahG
HannahG posted in Food:
"Kirsteeeeen" wrote:Tired of being told pizza is unhealthy?Try pizza on flatbread, pita bread, or even rice cakes.Best of both worlds.  :angelRICE CAKES?! Why haven't I ever thought of that?
reply 8 minutes
Abbygirl 9
Abbygirl 9 posted in General:
"Kirsteeeeen" wrote:"alienincognito" wrote:Don't talk to anyone unless you're spoken to, try to stay out of the limelight, the teachers are the enemy but can have nice moments. No matter how fancy a school is, there will be behaviour problems. Homework can be left to the last minute depending on how tactile you are, after the first few months you'll want to disappear unless you become popular but hang in there! Also, there are three types of people at Middle School or Secondary School:The cacti-The cacti are people who seem hard on the outside [we all have to be in Middle School] but are really lovely and soft if you get to know them. Some cacti can be pricks [no pun intended] but most are nice enough people so a cacti is probably an ideal friend at Middle School.The rocks-AVOID AT ALL COSTS! These are the people who are completely tough and are often bullies. It often seems like they have no emotions because they don't. They are sociopaths and must be avoided. But they are often popular jock kids.The marshmallows-These guys are pretty good, they're soft all the way through and get along well with most people and mostly abide by the rules. They can be hurt easily and roasted because they're so soft. Marshmallows are often smart and get along well with teachers as a result. The only flaw with marshmallows is that some have the tendency to rub their good grades in your face and make you feel insecure but they're nice people mostly.Oh and we can also get cacti rocks and spiky marshmallows.Hope I helped  Teachers are never the enemy!! They're there to help you. They can be a very valuable resource and it is so very important to collaborate with them to make the most of your learning experience!  If you put off a cold attitude and don't speak to people, they're more than likely going to assume you're stuck up and that can make the experience a lot worse than it has to be. Smile, be kind, and if there's someone picking on you, tell a teacher or other staff member, and try to stay out of their path. (I know from experience being an "outsider", it's better not to make yourself a quiet target). im nervous about starting high school.  middle school was alot of fun but you do get alot of classwork and homework. i couldnt have said it any better like you did kirsteeeen.   [s:p/zxl]
reply 9 minutes
Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in New Users:
Welcome to KW! :D
reply 11 minutes
Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Food:
Tired of being told pizza is unhealthy? Try pizza on flatbread, pita bread, or even rice cakes. Best of both worlds.  :angel
reply 12 minutes
Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Debating:
Doctors might be the more ethical choice, but honestly I think a lot of celebrities do deserve high salaries considering the scrutiny, lack of privacy, and judgement they go through. They're human too, and their lives are turned upside down once they become part of the spotlight.  Both are respectable careers, in their own ways, and I think that certain positions in the medical profession should get a raise.
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