Australia - the diverse land down under, home to so many fascinating natural landmarks and a country that is thought of in so many different ways. We are a multi-cultural country that welcomes all nations, backgrounds and religions. But there are many interesting facts about Australia that you may not be aware of.
Australia boasts some of the world's most beautiful natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef - the world's largest coral reef system, the Heritage Listed Ayers Rock (Uluru), the Bungle Bungles in Western Australia, the Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road. Man-made icons include the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
The population of Australia in 2011 was 21,507,717 with the most populated states being New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. Canberra is the Nations' capital is an interesting city that is home to the Parliament House, Old Parliament House and the War Memorial.
The geography of Australia ranges from deserts, mountainous, tropical islands, rain forests, lakes and rivers. The longest river in Australia is the Murray River which is 2375 kilometres long. The Murray River begins in New South Wales, then travels through Victoria and finally South Australia where the Murray Mouth meets the Southern Ocean. The Murray River is home to a variety of wildlife such as platypus, Murray cod, golden perch, trout and cod. The river is also famous for its paddle steamers and there are paddle steamers that cruise along the river for several days.
There are many beautiful lakes in Australia with Lake Eyre in South Australia covering a surface area of 9500 square kilometres, when the lake is full it is the largest lake in Australia. Another lake that attracts many visitors is Lake St Clair in Tasmania. Lake St Clair is the deepest lake in Australia that covers an area of 430 square metres and forms part of Cradle Mountain. Lake Argyle is the largest artificial lake which covers a surface area of 1000 square kilometres. Located in Western Australia near Kununurra the primary inflow of Lake Argyle comes from the Ord River. Lake Argyle is very beautiful and a cruise is a great way to experience the lake.
The climate in Australia varies with tropical climate in the northern parts, subtropical in the south and temperate in the south east and south west. Canberra can be very cool in winter and the coldest temperature recorded was -14.60 degrees in 1971 while Stanthorpe in Queensland holds the record for the lowest temperature in the state. Rainfall in Australia is generally seasonal with the highest rainfall occurring at Mount Lofty in South Australia and the lowest in the desert regions. The varied weather in Australia allows for a variety of outdoor sports such as sailing, skiing, hiking and rock climbing.
Some facts are obvious and well known such as being the country responsible for the Boomerang and then their are Wine Casks (of course an Aussie would come up with this invention! lol) and others are still being disputed such as the Pavlova. Was it invented by an Aussie or Kiwi? We will never really know for certain. Either way it's a delicious dessert!
Throughout history Australian inventions have helped shaped the society we live in. One of the most important inventions used every day is the Black Box on airplanes. This important piece of equipment is used on every flight and has helped us understand the cause of plane crashes and make air flight safer. Interestingly the Black Box is not black it's usually bright orange.
Another important invention is the refrigerator which was invented by James Harrison in 1856. He used the principle of vapour compression to invent the world's first ice making machine and refrigerator. We need this to keep our beer cool! We are also the inventors of the world's first Feature film which was released in 1906 - titled The Story of the Kelly Gang.
Then we some icons that might not seem so important but they are to Aussies. We have the famous Tim Tam biscuit, Vegemite (it might not be to everybody's taste but it is an Australian Icon), Lamingtons and meat pies. Don't forget about the Akubra hat (Aboriginal for head covering) which is worn by many stockmen and farmers, Stubbie shorts and Thongs (flip flops)! Oh and don't forget about the clothes line! Officially named the Hills Hoist after its inventor Lance Hills; it is a rotary clothes line that is in most Aussie backyards.
So as you can see there are so many interesting things to see and learn about Australia. The best way to discover Australia is by coming Down Under and experiencing this wonderful country for yourself!