Australia is one of the largest countries on Earth, and it is the only country, which is also a continent. This beautiful country is known for its exotic flora and fauna. It’s home to many unique animals, such as kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, and more. There’s enough and more interesting information about Australia. Read this article to find out some amazing facts about Australia, and share them with your kids!
Fun Facts About Australia for Kids
The name Australia comes from the word ‘terra australis incognita’, which means an unknown southern island. This name was given back in 1824. Earlier it was known as New Holland which later changed to Australia. Since Australia is a country situated in the southern hemisphere and surrounded by oceans on all sides it is also known as an island country. It is the 6th largest country by area, in the world. With an estimated population of over 22 million people, it is spread over an area of 7,692,024 square kilometres. It has fertile lands and natural resources in abundance, but more than two-thirds of Australia is still desert. Officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, it is under the Federal parliamentary democracy. Some of the popular sports in Australia include swimming, tennis, cricket, rugby, and football. With over 10,000 beaches around, people are in love with water sports as well as crashing waves.
History of Australia for Kids
It is interesting that Australia was originally settled by the Aboriginals. Dutch explorers landed in Australia in 1606. After which, the British claim the continent as a part of their territory in the 1700s. They began settling there around 1788. Earlier, the British sent their criminals to live in Australia as a form of punishment. Later on, many people started settling in Australia as normal residents. In around 1851, gold was discovered on the lands of Australia that attracted thousands of new immigrants. In around 1859, a total of six separate colonies existed and later on, the colonies joined to form the Federation of Australia.
Geography of Australia
Surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans, Australia is the smallest continent in the world. The land of Australia is a lot complex in nature. Although, the 2-3rd of the land is covered with desert called Outback, there are areas covered with rainforests too. It has a range of different landscapes ranging from mountain ranges, urban areas, deserts, and rainforests.
The size of Australia is nearly equal to the USA excluding 2-3 countries. There are a lot of beaches in Australia that are spread over a coastline of 25,000 km. There are a large number of small islands that circle the giant island. On the east, Australia even has the largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island.
It has a great stretch of mountains running along the eastern and southeastern edge of Australia, called the Great Dividing Range. These ranges are the greatest source of water in Australia’s major rivers. The Great Artesian Basin, the world’s largest groundwater source in the world is in Australia.
Facts about Animal in Australia
Australia is home to some cute and some dangerous animals. From small spiders to large sharks, to jellyfishes to poisonous snakes, you will find all species of animals here. Here are some interesting facts about animals in Australia.
- There are only two mammals in the world that lay eggs, the spiny anteater echidna and platypus. Both these mammals are found in Australia. The platypus is one of the rarest animals that are visible, but they do exist in Australia.
- There are more than 1500 marine species in Australia. The most beautiful and venomous are Australian box jellyfish. Sharks are one of the most dangerous and largest fish species found in Australia.
- Australia is home to some of the tallest birds like the emu. Another bird found in Australia is the cassowary. Cassowaries are heavy flightless birds that are also considered one of the most dangerous birds in the world. There are several regular-sized birds that offer a pleasant treat to the eyes and ears.
- Australia has more than 700 species of reptiles. This is more than any of the countries around the world. While varieties of poisonous snakes like coastal taipan and the tiger snake can be dangerous, some reptiles like turtles can be really pleasing to the eyes. The most dangerous reptiles in Australia are saltwater crocodiles, which are capable of eating humans also.
- The kangaroo is the national animal of Australia. There are approximately 50 million kangaroos in Australia, which means there are more kangaroos than people living in Australia.
- Other fascinating animals like the echidna (spine animal), Kookaburra (the largest kingfisher bird), koalas (cute little bears), web spiders (the poisonous funnel spiders), etc., are also found in Australia.
Amazing Cities of Australia
Some of the most popular cities in Australia are Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide. Most popular cities are located close to the coastal areas of Australia. Sydney is the largest city in Australia that covers approximately 20% of all Australian populations.
- Canberra: The capital city of Australia is built with a carefully planned chess board-type town structure.
- Sydney: Sydney is a beautiful city in Australia that hosts the Olympic Games and has a lot of attractions like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The very famous Royal Botanical Gardens are in Sydney.
- Melbourne: Melbourne, the capital of the state Victoria. It is only second in population to Sydney.
- Darwin: Darwin is a city in Northern Territory that gives a real outback feeling.
Other Interesting Facts And Information About Australia
Here are some other fun and interesting facts about Australia that you might not have known.
- Australia has so many beaches, that if you visit one new beach every day, it will take you years to visit them all.
- Australia has cattle ranches of size bigger than Belgium. The world’s largest ranch is The Anna Creek Station located in South Australia that has more than 10,000 cattle.
- Newzealand was added on eBay for sale by an Australian Man.
- Brisbane, a city of Australia hosts world championships of cockroach racing, every year.
- Australia is the only continent in the world that does not have an active volcano.
- While Sydney is the largest city of Australia, Canberra was selected as the capital of Australia due to the quarrel between Sydney and Melbourne, over the title of the capital city.
- The number of sheep in Australia are three times that of people living there.
- Uluru is the largest lone standing rock of the world present in central Australia.
- In winters, the Australian Alps receive more snowfall than Switzerland.
Australia is known as an island country, but there’s a lot more to it. We hope you enjoyed reading the above information about Australia. Share this information with your children to help them learn about a new country and continent. We’re sure they will be fascinated, and feel inspired to find more!