1. Australia is a continent and a country
Australia is a continent which contains mainland Australia, Tasmania and smaller surrounding islands. It is also a country! It is the only country in the world that covers a whole continent.
Learn more about the world’s continents below.
2. The Capital of Australia is Canberra
Although cities like Sydney and Melbourne may be better known, the capital of Australia is Canberra. The biggest city in Australia is Brisbane.
3. Kangaroos only exist in Australia
Australia is the only place in the world where Kangaroos exist in the wild. There are over 50 million kangaroos in Australia with the number growing every year.
4. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the biggest reef system in the world
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the biggest coral reef system in the world.
The reef includes more than 3,000 reefs and 900 islands. The Barrier Reef is home to over 350 species of corals and over 1,500 species of fish.
Unfortunately due to climate change much of the reef is damaged and is losing it’s colour due to coral bleaching – you can find out more about how climate change is changing coral reefs here.
5. Australia is split into 8 states
New South Wales has more people than any other state. 65% of the country’s population live in New South Wales.
6. Australia is home to some dangerous animals
When people think of Australia they often think of the dangerous spiders and snakes that live there.
Australia is home to the world’s most venomous snake the Inland Taipan as well as tarantulas, the box jellyfish and the blue ringed octopus.
7. Tasmania is part of the continent of Australia
Tasmania is about the same size as the Republic of Ireland. 500,000 people live on the island of Tasmania and the island has lots of nature and national parks.
8. Due to climate change, Australia is suffering from many bush fires
Bushfires in Australia are a widespread and regular occurrence however due to climate change they are becoming more regular.
Bushfires happen when fires happen in Australia’s dry forests and spread rapidly. Lots of animals are dying because of bushfires, you can read more about bushfires and the animals caught in them here.
9. Australia was ‘discovered’ by European explorers in the 17th Century
Australia was first ‘discovered’ in 1606. Of course the aboriginal people who lived there knew it existed so using the word discovered is an old fashioned way to explain this, however Europeans had never found before this date and it was only after 1606 that it began to appear on maps.
10. Indigenous Australians have lived on the continent for over 65,000 years
These people are called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Today they make up a small percentage of the Australian population.