Australia is one of the most oft mentioned destinations when people talk about traveling (unless the people in question are from Australia, that is.) But the funny thing is, a lot of people cite Australia as a dream vacation spot without actually knowing much about the place at all. Plus, telling friends you want to see Australia is a bit like claiming your dream is to see the United States – it’s so incredibly big and diverse, that isn’t exactly narrowing things down. So to give you a bit of background on the land down under, we’re checking out three fascinating facts about exotic Australia.
Almost a Fifith of Australia is Desert
A whopping 18% of the Australian mainland is a desert, or rather, one of Australia’s many deserts. That’s an impressive statistic considering how commonly the place is associated with beaches oceans. but the hot, sinking air of the subtropical climate make an ideal environment for desert land. It’s a common misconception that deserts do not contain any vegetation, but those of Australia, if you take the the time see them, will prove that myth just such. The largest of Australia’s various deserts is the Great Victoria Desert, which is found toward the west and south. And despite the extreme and arid conditions, there are quite a few indigenous Australians living in the area.
Australia is Both a Country and a Continent…Sort Of
Ok, so this one’s a little tough to tackle. Australia is most definitely a country, which is comprised of the primary mainland. But many people still use the term Australia to reference the “down under” continent to which the country belongs. That’s not technically incorrect. But in many technical contexts, the continent is distinguished by the names Sahul or, more commonly, Australasia or Oceania. The need for the distinction comes of course because of Australia’s small (by comparison) neighbors, New Zealand and Tasmania, as well as various nearby islands. But it’s important to keep in mind that referring to the continent of Australia isn’t technically wrong. It just may be a bit technically confusing!
Ninety Percent of Australians Live on the Coast
This statistic can’t be particularly surprising, given that we just talked about how so much of the country is made up of harsh, arid desert land. But it’s an impressive number nonetheless. Most people planning Australia holidays end of up along the coast for the very same reasons that most residents do. The Australian coast is known the world over for legendary surfing, its proximity to the majestic and entirely unique Great Barrier Reef, and pristine, scenic beaches. Some of the best costal towns for surfing include Victoria, which isn’t too terribly far from Melbourne, New South Wales, and Queensland. Many people who head down under for the surf try to hit up Tasmania as well, as its got some great waves too.
Before you go back to telling people how much you long to see Australia, keep these facts in mind and share a bit of your knowledge. Australia has so much to see and so many interesting facts that you’re likely to want to go more after doing a bit of research.
Photo Credit: Reinis Traidas
This post was sponsored by Travelbag.