Did You Know?

Here is a list of unusual Aussie and Kiwi facts.     

Aussie:
  • Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at Cheviot Beach, near Portsea on 17th December 1967, and was never seen again. The event has been referred to as ‘the swim that needed no towel’.
  • The average Australian will consume 165,000 eggs in his or her lifetime.
  • In 1983, the yacht “Australia II”  ended the Americans 132 year dominance of the America’s cup.
  • The average Australian will consume 18 beef cattle and 90 sheep in his or her lifetime
  • Over 90% of Australia is dry, flat and arid. Almost three-quarters of the land cannot support agriculture in any form
  •  January 26, Australia day, is the anniversary of ships arriving in Sydney carrying a load of Convicts.
  • Melbourne has the largest remaining tram public transport system in the world.
  •  Australia was the second country to give women the vote…1902.
  • Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.
  •  Per Capita, Australians spend more money on gambling than any other nation.
  •  Dropbears are an evil species of koala that fall from trees and attack humans. The evil strain of koala don’t actually exist.  The story was created to fool Americans.
  • The average world population density is 117 people per square mile:  United States 76  and Australia’s is only 6.
  • Kangaroo – The name for the Australian marsupial Kangaroo came about when some of the first white settlers saw this strange animal hopping along and they asked the Aborigines what it was called. They replied with ‘Kanguru‘, which in the native language meant ‘I don’t know‘ .
  • Convicts were not sent to Australia for serious crimes. Serious crimes, such as murder, rape, or impersonating an Egyptian were given the death sentence in England.
  • For each person in Australia there are two sheep and over 16 rabbits.
  • Australia was the 3rd country, after the US and Russia, to launch a satellite into orbit.
  • In 1954, Bob Hawke was immortalised by the Guinness Book of Records for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob later became the Prime Minister of Australia.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is the longest reef in the world at over 2010 kilometres.
  • The ‘dingo fence’ is  the longest fence in the world, and is about twice as long as the Great Wall of China.
  • Kalgoorlie in Western Australia is the largest electorate spanning 2,225,278 square kilometres.
  • A baby kangaroo at the time of its birth measures 2 centimetres.
  • The Fierce Snake or Inland Taipan has the most toxic venom of any snake. Maximum yield recorded (for one bite) is 110mg. That would probably be enough to kill over 100 people or 250,000 mice.
  • The oldest skeleton to ever be found in Australia was believed to be 60,000 years old. It was that of an Aboriginal male, traces of ochre (a ceremonial paint used by Aboriginals) were also found.
  • The first ever meeting of the Australian Labor Party (also the first political party to form in 1891) was held under a gum tree at Barcaldine, Queensland.
  • Uluru (Ayers Rock) is over 8 kilometres in circumference.
  • Australia’s first radio station was built in 1912.
  • Yowie sighting – In 1987, the Alice Springs police station received a call from a frightened family. The family had stopped for a cup of tea after a morning of rabbit hunting. Then a huge ape like creature, two meters tall and covered in hair, leapt out of an empty water tank and began walking towards them. The family fled to their truck and the creature ran after them before disappearing into the bush. The man, Frank Burns believed it was a man however the women, Phyllis Kenny, told the press she could tell the difference between man and beast and this was definitely a beast. The following day police searched the area and found a man, 203 centimetres tall weighing a estimated 127-159 kg (or about two Oprah Winfreys) sitting naked by the roadside. The man was then taken to a local mental hospital.
Kiwi:
  • The Maori name of New Zealand is Aoteroa, which means “Land of the Long White Cloud”
  • New Zealand is home to Sir Edmund Hillary – the first European to climb Mount Everest.
  • New Zealand was the first western democracy to give women the vote.
  • Favourite sport: Rugby – our national team, The All Blacks, are the ‘winningest’ rugby team in the world having won over 73% of their test matches over the years.
  • New Zealand invented bungee jumping.

    Queenstown, NZ

  • New Zealand had no predatory animals prior to European arrival, making it a paradise for birds – many of them flightless.
  • With 2.5 million cars for four million people, including children, New Zealand’s car ownership rate is one of the world’s highest.
  •  22% of New Zealand residents were born overseas. This compares with 24% in Australia, 20% in Canada, 12% in the USA and 8% in the UK.
  • One of the top five dairy exporters in the world. The top five countries supply around 90 percent of dairy products on the international market. There are over nine million beef and dairy cattle in NZ.
  • New Zealand claims the longest place name (85 letters) in the world – Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu – which means: ‘The hilltop ,where Tamatea with big knees, conqueror of mountains, eater of land, traveller over land and sea, played his koauau to his beloved’.
  • The share of New Zealand in the world exports of sheep meat is around 54 percent.
  •  To become a New Zealand citizen, you must swear an oath of loyalty to Queen Elizabeth.
  • New Zealand is one of only three countries that have two official (and of equal standing) national Anthems. The first is God Save the Queen (the English National Anthem) and the other is God Defend New Zealand. The other two countries with two anthems are Denmark and Canada which both have a Royal Anthem and a State anthem.
  • New Zealand was the first country to have its three top positions of power held simultaneously by women: The Prime Minister (Helen Clark), the Governor General (Dame Silvia Cartwright), and the Chief Justice (Sian Elias).