Think you know about Australia? There’s more to this amazing country than meets the eye! I’ve searched high and low to share with you some incredible Australia facts. I’ve mixed it up by including Australian facts about lifestyle, wildlife, weather, landmarks, timezones and more ….
Whether you’re looking for interesting facts about Australia because you’re curious, you’re looking Australian facts for kids to get them interested in moving here or you’re just wanting to learn some cool facts about Australia because you love the country so much, this list has you covered.
Interesting facts about Australia
Let’s kick off with these interesting Australian facts!
Facts about Australia’s dinosaurs
The largest-ever dinosaur remains found in Australi belonged to a creature that was up to 30m in length. The huge plant-eating titanosaur lived more than 90 million years ago and it has been officially recognised as one of the biggest dinosaurs in the world. You can find out more about Australia’s dinosaurs here.
In Australia, dinosaurs are known from only a few fossil sites including Dinosaur Cove in Victoria, Winton in Queensland and Broome in Western Australia.
Facts about Australia’s spiders
Did you know, there are an estimated 10,000 species of spider in Australia?
The largest spider in Australia is the native tarantula known as the whistling spider or barking spider due to the noise they make when rubbing their limbs against their jaws (OK now I’m shuddering!). They’re also known as bird-eating spiders although that sounds a little bit dramatic – they mostly eat other smaller spiders and small reptiles but the name bird eating spider was given to them because they can eat hatchlings occasionally. Bird-eating spiders can grow up to 6cm in body length with a long hairy leg span of 16cm!
The two most venomous species of Australian spider are funnel-web and redback. Thankfully there is anti-venom available for both of these spider bites and deaths from Australian spider bites are very rare (you can learn more about first aid for spider bites here). Huntsman spiders are another large species of spider in Australia (with a leg span of up to 15cm!), but they’re fairly harmless and are likely to be more scared of you than you are of them (maybe).
Facts about time zones in Australia
Australia has five time zones – Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) and Australian Western Standard Time (AWST), Australian Central Western Standard Time (ACWST) and Lord Howe Standard Time (LHST).
Just to confuse things, there are places that run different time zones to the rest of their states too! Broken Hill in New South Wales operates on ACST and Eucla in Western Australia has its own time zone 45 minutes ahead of the rest of the state called Australian Central Western Standard time (ACWST).
Not all states observe daylight saving time though (Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Eucla don’t), so for half the year times differ across states even for those in the same time zone.
Facts about the weather in Australia
Australia gets snow! I know this blows lots of people’s minds as Australia is known as the surf capital of the world, but it’s true! The Australian Alps receive even more snow than the Swiss Alps. Thredbo and Perisher are the two main ski resorts in Australia.
Lots of people hit the beaches in summer and the slopes in winter. It’s the perfect balance.
You can learn more about Australia’s extreme weather in this post.
Facts about the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most famous natural attractions. The reef is made up of over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays and it’s the only living thing visible from space! It’s one of the seven wonders of the natural world. There are so many destinations where you can explore the reef along the east coast.
The Great Barrier Reef isn’t the only incredible reef in Australia though. Have you heard of Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia? It’s not quite as long but is just as impressive and it’s a lot quieter. You can read about my experience at Exmouth in Australia and New Zealand magagzine.
Facts about sand islands
Fraser Island in Queensland is the largest sand island in the world. Followed by Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island and Bribie Island – all of them are in beautiful Queensland within easy reach of Brisbane! We’re so lucky.
Facts about Australia’s iconic trains
Australia is home to the iconic Ghan train journey, which is regarded as one of the greatest rail journey’s in the world. It’s a luxury experience through the heart of Australia and it has been running for over 90 years! It’s more than just a transit between Adelaide and Darwin, it’s about elegant dining, luxurious private cabins plus there are stops (a bit like when you go on a cruise ship and you stop in a port to take a tour). It’s one of those travel experiences to add to your bucket list.
Facts about World Heritage sites in Australia
Australia is home to 20 UNESCO World Heritage sites! You can find them all listed here.
Uluru is 348 metres high – higher than the Eiffel Tower – and it measures 9.4km in circumference. The nearby Kata Tjuta rises even higher at 546 metres at the tallest point.
Facts about the Australian flag
The Australian flag is made up of three elements: the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross. There is the Union Jack to represent the history of British settlement. The Commonwealth Star has seven points – six represent the unity of six states of Australia and the seventh represents the territories of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Southern Cross represents the constellation of five stars that can only be seen from the southern hemisphere and it’s a reminder of our place in the world.
Looking for information on Australia? Check out this page for more facts about Australia.
Facts about jellyfish in Australia
Two common types of box jellyfish reside in Australia’s waters. The chironex fleckeri commonly known as the Sea Wasp (which grow up to about 20cm long with a trail of up to 60 tentacles) and the carukia barnesi also known as the irukandji (which grow up to a tiny 1cm and with only four tentacles). These jellys are usually found in warmer waters and they are more prevalent during the summer season. Their sting can be deadly but it can be avoided by wearing stinger suits when swimming. Find out more about stinger season in Queensland here.
Facts about Australian animals
The platypus and echidnas are the only two mammals that lay eggs. They’re known as monotremes. They don’t have teats to provide milk for their babies, instead milk is secreted through pores in the female’s belly.
Koalas can be exceptionally lazy, sleeping for up to 20 hours a day but they are also fast runners – they can reach speeds of up to 30kmph! Kangaroos, on the other hand, can reach speeds of up to 56kmph!
Facts about schools in Australia
In Australian schools, kids don’t usually get changed for sports or PE lessons – they wear their sports kit on those days and wear them for the entire day!
Schools don’t usually have a ‘canteen’ but they do often have a tuck shop where you can order hot food. Break time snack breaks are usually called morning tea and afternoon tea. Kids also often have a ‘fruit break’ or ‘crunch and sip’ break in the mornings.
Facts about footwear in Australia
Flip flops are known as thongs in Australia, and what we’d call thongs in the UK are called G-strings in Australia. Be prepared that a lot of people in Australia go barefoot (mainly around beach towns). You’ll see people barefoot in petrol stations and supermarkets. The BBC did a fun feature about this cultural tradition.
Facts about beaches in Australia
Did you know Australia has over 12,000 beaches along its 60,000-kilometre coastline?! If you visited one beach per day, it would take you more than 32 years to work your way around them all. We have more beaches than any other country in the world – is it any wonder why we’re beach-obsessed?!
Interesting Australian facts
There are so many incredible facts about Australia and in this post I’ve barely scratched the surface!
I hope this list inspires you to learn more about this incredible country. There is so much to learn, especially if like me you’ve moved to Australia from overseas.