7 fascinating things you should know about Australia
By: Ana Jimena Hernandez
Life is shaped by decisions and adventures, just like when you decided to live or study in Australia. Surely before you came, you did some research and found out many interesting things about this beautiful country. Australia not only is the place you chose to study English, but it is also a place full of natural beauty and paradisiacal places that you can discover and enjoy as part of the adventure living away from home.
As we've said plenty times before, it is not easy to leave the place you've grown up at and start a new life overseas. However, it is exciting to be part of a new lifestyle and discover details of a country like this that not many people know.
Today we want to motivate students who have just arrived in this country and those who are about to, to discover something else about Australia introducing seven interesting aspects that make it a fantastic and unique place to visit.
1. Australia is the country with the largest number of camels in the world.
Australia is famous for having kangaroos and koalas everywhere, but few people know that around 750,000 wild camels live in this country. Even though these animals are not originally from Australia, they were imported here in the 19th century from Arabia, India and Afghanistan for transportation and heavy work purposes. Nowadays, Australia exports camels, especially to Saudi Arabia. Surprising, huh?
2. Australians love Vegemite.
Vegemite is a dark coloured spread with a very strong and unique salty flavour, made from yeast extract. People eat Vegemite especially in the brekky, and it's one of Australia’s most popular and iconic brands as well. Aussie kids are raised with Vegemite, so this is one of the first meals kids have when they are little. If you ask around, most tourists or international visitors hate it, as opposed to Aussies who love it. Therefore it is part of the Australian culture! Watch international students' hilarious reactions to Vegemite here:
3. The curious invention of the word "Kangaroo"
When the first explorers saw a Kangaroo in Australia, they asked a native aborigine how they called those animals and not understanding the question, the aboriginal said ''Kan-Ga-Roo'', which means 'I don´t know' in aboriginal language.
4. Tasmania has the cleanest air on the planet
Have you heard about Tasmania? Well, this Australian state is not only the home to a famous 'devil' animal. On this island, located in the southeast of Australia, its 480,000 inhabitants enjoy the cleanest air on the planet. It is thought that it is due to its position, following the direction of the wind that prevents the pollution clouds from getting closer and taking away the polluted air, which makes breathing in Tasmania a pleasing experience.
5. Australia has more than 10,000 beaches
Places like Great Ocean Road, Freycinet National Park, Wilsons Promontory's pristine coastline and Bondi's coastal path are just some of the magnificent beaches you can get to know and enjoy. Dreamlike landscapes that will leave you astonished and that you can enjoy here in Australia. There are so many beaches that it would take 27 years approximately, to visit them all, one per day!
6. Australia is one of the countries with the most generous biodiversity on the planet.
Amongst its unique faunae are marsupials such as kangaroos and hundreds of reptiles, birds, and insects - on this note, Australia has 6000 species of flies! The country also has thousands of species of plants that haven't been found anywhere else on the planet. Australians take exceptional care of their flora and fauna, so they are an example to follow for the world.
7. The kangaroo and the emu represent the values of Australia.
Since kangaroos and emus cannot walk backwards, they were chosen to be depicted on the shield of Australia. These animals symbolise the idea of a nation that always goes forward. For this reason, the figure of the kangaroo appears in coins and emblems. It's been used in logos, architectural decoration, decorative arts and public art in Australia.
We hope these facts encourage you to discover this incredible and unique land of the Downunder!