Australia is home to some of the most unique and beautiful sights in the world. If you’ve been thinking about visiting and studying in Australia, we’ve compiled a list of facts that may help to convince you.
- The Great Barrier Reef is enormous!
Want to know how big? Here we go…
- It’s the same size as the states of Victoria and Tasmania combined.
- It’s roughly the same size as Italy!
- It’s half as long as the distance from LA to New York
- If you laid 15 Great Barrier Reefs end-to-end, they would stretch around the world!
- If vertical, it would be 250 times taller than Mount Everest!
You get the point. The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s crown jewels, and it’s easy to see why. However, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is in danger. If you do visit the reef, make sure you adhere to all environmental protection regulations.
2. Melbourne was the Australian capital for 26 years
From 1901-1927, Canberra was not the capital city of Australia – it was Melbourne! Located at the head of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is now the capital of Victoria and is a vibrant, exciting and multi-cultural city.
3. An emu and kangaroo were chosen for the Australian Coat of Arms because…
…they can’t walk backwards! Their selection highlights Australia’s commitment to a progressive, forward-thinking culture.
4. The wildlife is out of this world!
Did you know that 80% of the animals in Australia are unique to the country? This means that most of the animals you see here don’t exist anywhere else in the world! The most well-known of these animals are the kangaroos, dingoes, wallabies and wombats, but there are so many more. For example:
- Fitzroy River Turtle – a creature made famous by its ability to breathe through its bottom.
- Cassowary – a 1.5 metre bird with killer claws that lives in Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest.
- Tasmanian Devil – this carnivorous marsupial can now only be found in Tasmania.
- Platypus and echidna – the only two mammals in the world that lay eggs.
5. The Australian Alps get more snow than the Swiss Alps
Skiing down a snow-topped mountain isn’t what comes to mind when people think about Australia. But the mountain ranges between New South Wales and Victoria are a mecca for winter sports enthusiasts!
In New South Wales, you can ski Australia’s longest run at Thredbo or head to Perisher’s numerous slopes. In Victoria, you can find the best ski runs in Mount Hotham or Falls Creek. Australian snow season stretches from June to September, so pull on your ski boots and hit the slopes!
6. Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world
With about a third of Tasmania covered by national parks and World Heritage Sites, it’s no wonder its air is so clean. The wildlife in ‘Tassie’ is stunning and a great reflection of what Australia’s natural world has to offer.
7. The Great Ocean Road is the longest war memorial in the world
Built by returning soldiers, the Great Ocean Road is dedicated to all those who fought for Australia in World War One.
Beginning roughly 100km from Melbourne and stretching an impressive 243km along the Victorian coastline, the GOR is one of the world’s most famous driving routes. The road snakes through the Otways rainforest and cruises along the rugged shoreline, allowing visitors to take in stunning ocean views.
Visitors to the Great Ocean Road can gaze upon iconic sites such as The Twelve Apostles and pay their respects at the Memorial Arch at the beginning of the route.
8. The Southern Lights are visible year-round in Hobart
Due to its proximity to the south magnetic pole, Hobart is the perfect place for watching the spectacular phenomenon Aurora Australis. Although they are visible throughout the year, the best time to look to the skies is from May-August and during the spring equinox in September. For the best seats in the house, head to Rosny Hill Lookout and kunanyi/Mount Wellington.
9. Melbourne is food and drink obsessed!
Victoria’s capital, Melbourne, has the highest number of restaurants and cafes per person than any other city! Not only does it have world-class eateries, but the coffee is deemed by many as the best in the world.
10. Australia has 21 of the world’s most venomous snakes
Of the world’s 25 most venomous snakes, 21 live in Australia! But very few people die from bites (phew!).
Australia is home to the common brown snake (#2 most venomous), western brown snake (#1 most venomous), mainland tiger snake (#10 most venomous) and the inland taipan (#1 most venomous). To stay safe, look out for signage about snake risks, avoid long grass during snake seasons and never try to move a snake yourself.
11. Melbourne used to be called Batmania
Did an image of Gotham City just spring to mind? Don’t worry, Melbourne is nothing like the home of the Caped Crusader, but it was named after Batman…John Batman.
In June 1835, Australian entrepreneur and explorer John Batman landed in Port Phillip Bay and founded a new settlement called Batmania. However, one year later, the colony was renamed ‘Victoria’ after Queen Victoria. Eventually, Melbourne was named after the queen’s most dedicated Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne.
Are you interested in studying in Australia? Central Australian College has campuses in Melbourne and Hobart and offers a range of courses. Contact us today to find out more!