Think you know everything there is to know about our fair country? Think again.

Australia sure is a land of mystery. Here are 20 things you didn’t know about Oz.

Also, just a friendly reminder to be on the lookout for horse-sized ducks…

  1. In 1892, a group of 200 Australians unhappy with the government tried to start an offshoot colony in Paraguay to be called ‘New Australia’.
  2. Australia was the second country in the world to allow women to vote (New Zealand was first).
  3. Each week, 70 tourists overstay their visas.
  4. The platypus is venomous. Reports of early platypus encounters with Europeans were met with utter disbelief. The egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, semi-marine mammal actually had some early European settlers utterly confused – with some believing it was a fraud. The male of the species has a spur on its hind foot that can emit poison.Many dogs have died due to platypus encounters.
  5. The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, actually has a mailbox from which visitors can send postcards—you’ll find it on the Agincourt Reef.
  6. Australia has more than 10,000 beaches. You could visit a different beach every day for over 27 years and not manage to see them all.


    Beware the platypus

  7. Australia’s first police force was made up of the most well-behaved convicts.
  8. In 1932, the Australian military waged war on the emu population of Western Australia. They lost.
  9. There have been instances of wallabies getting high after breaking into opium crops, then running around and making what look like crop circles.
  10. Australia has the world’s largest population of wild camels with one hump.
  11. The largest Greek population outside of Athens is found in Melbourne.
  12. It is illegal to walk on the right hand side of the footpath.
  13. Per capita, Australians spend more money on gambling than any other nation.
  14. The average Australian will consume 165,000 eggs in his or her lifetime.
  15. Australia is the only continent without an active volcano.
  16. The wine cask is an Australian invention.
  17. Australia is as wide as the distance between London to Moscow.
  18. Qantas once powered an interstate flight with cooking oil.
  19. Before humans arrived, Australia was home to megafauna: three metre tall kangaroos, seven metre long goannas, horse-sized ducks, and a marsupial lion the size of a leopard.
  20. In 1838 it was declared illegal to swim at public beaches during the day. This law remained in force until 1902.

Want to put your newfound knowledge of Australia to the test? Have a crack at our Australia Day quiz!

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