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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!

 

 
30 Comments

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Random in the forums

FireWolfRain
Hmmm. I like it! Better from  the last one. :) The rhymes are nice, too. 
reply 3 minutes
shae508
"LAZY778" wrote:I like that one. Hmmm how about one about a wolf perspective! :) The Hunt Running and running Wind flies through fur Runny snout Catching the sent of prey Fresh... And of so scared Trying to run And escape Around and under The trees and logs No escape My brothers and sisters We surround it It chitter and chatters in fear I leap Make the fatal bite Blood fills my snout and mouth Another victory And another night of dinner For me and my family 
reply 11 minutes
shae508
"FireWolfRain" wrote:I got a different one. If you have time and if you don't feel too stressed out or sick. Write a SEQUEL to one of my poems about a girl gnawing on a stick until it reaches her fingers. Be creative. :) Gnawing Away by FireWolfRainBrittle stick shoved in my mouthFreshly doused in mudWho cares? They shout, as they reappear in my nightmaresNervous, shaky, definitively hasty. Teeth going down, jaws like yummy pastry.No taste, not exactly wakey. Chew, chew, chew. Not a beaver they say. Each piece flying everywhere, some down my throat, I'm the local goat. Eat everything, all the way through. Horribly torn, part by part. Not the employee from Wal-mart? ( Alex from Target? ) Gnawing forever, to the bone. Realized now that I'm at the end. And that the stick is actually my own. Raw skin scaring away friends. ( Sorry about the gross image at the lastpart. ) (Hmm okay..) A Bit too Much Guess I went a bit far Bit off more then I can chew Didn't really mean too If they weren't so loud So MEAN I wrap my fingers in gauze Is it my fault? All my nerves  In the end I went too far Trying to do so much Just to fall Now I'm stressed A freaking mess Bloody fingers Stressed mind All mine In the end It was just a bit,,, Much (Eh..this is kinda alright. I tried. I never like my endings...I hope you like it!)
reply 16 minutes
FireWolfRain
I got a different one. If you have time  and if you don't feel too stressed out  or sick.  Write a SEQUEL to one of my poems  about a girl gnawing on a stick until  it reaches her fingers. Be creative. :)  Gnawing Away by FireWolfRain Brittle stick shoved in my mouth Freshly doused in mud Who cares?  They shout, as they reappear in my nightmares Nervous, shaky, definitively hasty.  Teeth going down, jaws like yummy pastry. No taste, not exactly wakey.  Chew, chew, chew. Not a beaver they say.  Each piece flying everywhere, some down my throat,  I'm the local goat.  Eat everything, all the way through.  Horribly torn, part by part.  Not the employee from Wal-mart? ( Alex from Target? )  Gnawing forever, to the bone.  Realized now that I'm at the end.  And that the stick is actually my own.  Raw skin scaring away friends.  ( Sorry about the gross image at the last part. )
reply 36 minutes
iamalive
iamalive posted in General:
was brunostar locked like cmon man
reply about 1 hour

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