5 Facts About Australia You Probably Never Knew

I remembering hearing the song Down Under as a kid: “Do you come from a land down under? Where women glow and men plunder? Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder? You better run, you better take cover.”

Truth be known, it took me a while to find out what they were talking about. Now I know that Men at Work were talking about Australia. This was a place that I was a bit unfamiliar with, and I am still finding out more about the Land Down Under today. There is so much to learn about this vast island nation/continent!

Australia, the Land Down Under
Australia, the Land Down Under

5 Fascinating Facts About Australia

  1. It seems that the name “Australia” has everything to do with its placement on the planet. It is derived from the Latin word “australis”, which simply means southern. When Europeans began visiting and exploring, they referred to this land mass using this term.  The Dutch christened the continent “New Holland” as early as the early 1600s. By the early 1800s, it became formally known by this name, Australia.
  2. The Land Down Under is truly a melting pot. Roughly one-quarter of the population was born outside of Australia. Many of those residing in this island nation are first and second generation Australians.  Combined with the indigenous Aboriginal Peoples of the country, Australia is rich in diversity and cultures.
  3. Australia is a major source of one very pretty gemstone. It is estimated that more than 95% of the world’s opal comes from this country. The town of Coober Pedy is renowned for its opal supply,  and many tourists make it a point to visit this mostly underground town and its mines.
    Opal is found in abundance in Australia
    Opal is found in abundance in Australia


  4. Australia has over 10,000 beaches. Wow. Because it is both a country and a continent, the shoreline of Australia is a mega-long one. With that many beaches to choose from, you could literally visit one per day…for the next 27 years!
  5. Australia supports fair trade. In this age of a global economy, the buying and selling of goods and services can negatively impact the very people whose hands create them. Fair trade assured that people are economically empowered and have sustainable livelihoods, a win-win for all. Australian author and economist Andrew Charlton shares more detail about fair trade in his book, Fair Trade for All.

What have you learned about Australia that you didn’t know before? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Have a great weekend mates :),

{Info sourced from: australia.gov.au, wikipedia.com, factslides.com}

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