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Australia Facts

Australian Aborigines

  • The continent of Australia was inhabited over 50,000 years ago: unique aboriginal societies developed and they learned to live with the Australian dry hot climate
  • These islanders were believed to the earliest to develop many unique adaptions to making it easier to live off the land
  • They developed a unique aerodynamic returning killing weapon, named the Boomerang
  • They understood nature very well using a huge variety of plants and plant extracts for medicines
  • They back burned bushland to promote new growth of all vegetation. This was done on a regular basis around the Whitsunday Islands, a process now very common within Australia to help prevent bush fires in the dry season
  • They developed a speed enhancing woomera for spear throwing
  • All of their hunting skills were seen to be utilized long before Europe became populated with what we call modern man
  • At the time of the European settlement, it is believed there were around one million Aboriginals living on the continent
  • The Aboriginals were living around Australia in 300 clans with around 250 Languages; these 250 languages were broken down again into 700 dialects... unfortunately, around 200 or 80% of these languages not longer exist today

Australia's Convict History

  • Around 162,000 convicts were transported to Australia between the arrival of the first fleet in 1788 and the last convicts in 1868
  • With such large numbers of convicts transported to Australia, it is estimated that around 20% of all Australians can trace at least one of their ancestors back to someone who was transported here as a convict
  • Along with the convicts came millions of settlers; this large mix of multicultural people has come from a variety of countries 
  • The term larrikin was used to refer to a mischievous or frolicsome youth, as reported in the Supplement, English Dialect Dictionary, editor J. Wright, 1898 to 1905

More beaches than any other country

  • With 50,000 kilometres of coastline, Australia also has over ten thousand beaches
  • If you spread out your beach towel on every beach in Australia, it would take you over 27 years to accomplish
  • If you were to walk around Australia's Coastline at 5k per hour for eight hours per day, it would take you around four years
  • Australia is blessed to have pure white beaches like Whitehaven Beach which are like no other any where in the world

The Great Barrier Reef

  • The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living structure that is made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and almost 900 islands that covers a distance along the eastern seaboard of Queensland of over 2600 kilometres
  • The GBR was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981
  • It has been often described as one of the seven natural wonders of the world
  • A visit to Australia would not be complete without a trip to the reef

Kangaroos: a National Symbol

  • Australia's most easily identified icon is the kangaroo
  • There are an estimated 40 million kangaroos in Australia; roughly twice the number of people living in Australia
  • The name kangaroo comes from the aboriginal word gangurru
  • A big Red Kangaroo can grow to two metres tall and weigh 90Kg
  • There are 60 species of Kangaroo in Australia
  • It is easy to see a kangaroo in the wild... simply drive at dusk along any country and you should one or two feeding not to far from the road edges. Its a sad fact that you will also see many unfortunate animals that have been struck by cars lying on the roadside

The longest fence in the world

  • The fence runs from Outback Queensland down into South Australia, and is 5,614 kilometres long... almost stretching right across Australia!
  • It was built to keep Australia's dingoes away from the sheep and grazing land to the south of the fence
  • It is known to be the world's longest man made object

Sheep and Cattle

  • A common phrase: Australians live of the sheep's back... a local saying due to the very high number of sheep inhabiting Australia
  • There are roughly 90 million sheep and 25 million cattle
  • Australia produces most of the world's wool and is recognized as being the largest meat exporter

Australia's New Mining Boom

  • Recently it has been reported internationally that Australia has avoided most of the pain of international downturn and GFC due to the very large quantities of mineral resources
  • Australia is the largest exporter of coal and has 95% of the worlds opals
  • Australia is the second largest producer of gold, Zinc and Nickel
  • We are the third largest supplier of iron ore, uranium and diamonds... with such huge mineral wealth available it is why we are called the lucky country!
Jayme
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