Facts about Australia

Australian History

Australia Facts

Australia is one of the most interesting and fascinating places in the world. It has its share of unique and endemic wildlife, flora and fauna, an amazing culture of indigenous Aborigines, and lush, panoramic landscapes. Not only is it a great country, it is also a continent in itself. There is so much to learn and discover about this place and why it is such a popular tourist destination. To add to that, it is one of the top choices for migration for a lot of people coming from Asian countries.

If you take a quick look at the map of Australia, there is a quaint little town called Yea, located less than 70 miles south of the capital, Melbourne. It is about as big as the United States, and is made up of 6 states plus 2 territories. If you are thinking of boarding any Australia flights any time soon, here are a few fun facts you might want to know about this awesome country.

First of all, do you know why they call Australia ‘the land down under’? This is because if you look at the location of Australia on a map or a globe, you will see that is sits just below the equator. Some people are also wondering why Australia is not an island but one of the major continents of the globe. The reason behind this is quite arbitrary, but most scientists believe that it is because the country of Australia lies on a separate tectonic plate from other continents, and thus is a different land mass altogether.

What is the history of Australia and how did it come to be one of the world’s most flourishing nations? According to historical research, the continent was inhabited by Aboriginal cultures up until the 1600s when European explorers rediscovered it. Not much is known about the prehistoric culture of these tribes before that time, because these people were part of a mostly oral culture, with very little or no written documentation. Because very few records of this time are found, it is considered as Australian prehistory.

It is believed that humans first inhabited the country at around 40,000 years ago, based on the archaeological findings in the area. The prehistoric inhabitants made use of fire, stone weapons and tools and were very effective hunters and food gatherers. They also traded with nearby neighbor colonies items such as precious stones, shells, food, even music. The word ‘aboriginal’ means ‘first’ and the Aborigines are the Australian counterparts of Native Americans. Some aborigines still inhabit the country to this day, living in reservations and ranches.

The first Europeans to rediscover the continent of Australia were the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Spanish and the English. The latter became the first to fully explore the map of Australia, led by the explorers in the party of Lieutenant James Cook. The English were very much impressed at the rich diversity of flora and fauna found here, as well as the outstanding landscape, and therefore deemed it to be suitable for colonization. The unchartered gaps in the map of Australia were filled in by naval explorers Bass and Flinders by circumnavigating the islands and their surrounding coasts.

The arrival of the British marked the beginning of the modern Australia. The first colonies were formed by using British convicts instead of slaves. Most of these convicts were skilled farmers and trades people who were given pardons. These convicts were assigned to work for the first free settlers who were mostly farmers and their families. The runaway convicts who escaped these colonies and lived a life of survival in the Australian bush were called Bushrangers, and were looked upon as social bandits or political rebels, and attracted public sympathy.  Some reports say that an estimate of 22% of the current Australian population has a convict or bushman as part of his or her ancestry.

There are quite a few hilarious and unique facts about Australia that tourists might find interesting while visiting here. An example of this would be their pride in their sense of humor and their crazy sporting events. They hold strange contests such as cane toad and pig racing, beer can regatta, camel and cow racing, and so much more. These events have become popular tourist attractions over the years.

The people if Australia also have a fascination for large things, and they have quite the collection, from the Big Pineapple, the Big Banana, the Big Orange, the Big Prawn, the Big Spider, the Big Lobster, the Big Golden Guitar, the Big Rocking Horse, the Big Merino, and it goes on.

In general, Australia is a country of happy people, with a zest for life and adventure. They enjoy weather that is warm and pleasant through most parts of the year. A big portion of the land is quite comfortable to live in, except for the Australian outback, which lies in the center of the country. The environment there is rather dry, having little rain. It is mostly inhabited by indigenous wildlife.

When it comes to ideal places to live in, the town of Yea comes first thing to mind. Yea is one of the hidden gems of the Land Down Under, and is probably one of the best-kept secrets of the State of Victoria– until recently. Not many tourists know that this is one of the perfect getaways for individuals who want to escape the bustling city life. Yea is a small community, with a population of only 2,000 residents. In a place like this, there is abundant peace and quiet to be found, which is ideal for some quality rest, relaxation and recreational activities.

Yea is located in the Shire of Murrindindi, and was named after a colonel of the Crimean war. The land was surveyed at around 1855 and plans were laid out to begin construction. Soon after, lots were sold, and they opened a post office after settlers came and took residence. Early settlers multiplied with the gold rush, and when that died down, the town lived mostly on farming and timber production.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Yea would be the ancient fossil site found in Limestone road. It was registered in the National Estate because it was discovered to contain the oldest leafy foliage fossil on earth, known as the Baragwanathia. It is a very scenic township, and people from all over come to appreciate its natural wonders as well as the fresh air. The river of Yea flows proudly around the town’s edge and provides a beautiful and relaxing ambiance.

Yea has lots of inviting accommodations like hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, with great amenities and refreshments available for travelers. Being near a highway, it has become a detour for those on their way to Melbourne. Although it may be a small community, it is very welcoming and hospitable. Yea visitors and tourists can enjoy a lot of recreational activities, from relaxing ones like walking, fishing  and going on guided tours, to the more adventurous ones like camping, trekking and hiking.

Yea can be a haven for creativity as well. Yea tours to historic buildings, museums and galleries can bring one to appreciate the historical and cultural background of Yea, of the State of Victoria, and of Australia as a nation. Some of the must-see places in Yea would be the Cheviot tunnel, the Yea Heritage Walk, the Yea Railway Park and the Yea Wetlands, just to name a few. Visit the Yea Tourist Information Center for more interesting facts about Yea, Australia.