UPDATED April 18, 2024

BY Michael Coo

IN Trans-Oceania

no comments

UPDATED April 18, 2024

BY Michael Coo

IN Trans-Oceania

no comments

10 More Fun Facts: Australia & The Trans-Oceania Cycling Tour


We previously listed some fun facts about Australia that we thought many riders on the upcoming Trans-Oceania Cycling Tour might not have known. In fact, our research uncovered so many interesting tidbits about the country that we decided to follow up that post with a sequel.

So without further ado, here are 10 more fun facts about the country of Australia. Enjoy!

1 – Australia has over 60 separate wine regions

Australia, whose wine history began at the end of the 19th century when vines arrived from Europe, is now the 6th largest wine producer in the world. Probably best known for its rich, juicy Shiraz it also grows cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, sémillon, riesling, viognier, pinot noir, grenache, sangiovese, mourvèdre and pinot grigio.

2 – Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1902 

The movement for female suffrage began when South Australian women achieved the right to vote in 1894. It continued across the country until the right was enshrined in the 1902 Commonwealth Franchise Act. This achievement was only surpassed by New Zealand (1893) and was far ahead of such countries as the USA (1920) and France (1944).

3 – Canberra was selected as the capital because Sydney and Melbourne could not stop arguing which city should be the capital 

Australia’s Parliament, Canberra

Similar to the compromise (Ottawa) between Montreal and Toronto in Canada, the intense rivalry between Australia’s 2 largest cities led to the naming of Canberra as an alternative, a decision that satisfied no one. It is an entirely planned city, designed by Walter Burley Griffin, a major 20th-century American architect.

 4 – Australia is home to the longest fence in the world, the Dingo Fence

Australia is a big country and they like to do big things. This fence is one of them. It stretches 5614 km across Queensland and South Australia, the second longest man-made structure in the world. Largely constructed of 2 m high wire mesh, the fence was completed in the 1950’s and was built to protect sheep from the predatory dingos (wild dogs).

5 – Australia has around 800 varieties of eucalypt trees

More commonly known as gum trees, eucalyptus trees are an iconic sight across the country. There are over 800 varieties and have adapted to survive Australia’s harsh climate. The leaves are thick and leathery, perfect for hot, dry conditions and their incredible ability to re-sprout after fire or drought is essential.

6 – The only two mammals in the world that lay eggs are found in Australia – the echidna and platypus

Australian platypus

Australia’s platypus and echidna are unique. They are the only 2 mammals in the world to lay eggs – a couple strange characters, for sure. For instance, the male platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers an extremely painful venom while the echidna has no teeth, so it breaks down food by grinding it between the bottom of its mouth and its tongue.

7 – Kangaroos and emus were chosen for Australia’s coat of arms because they lack the ability to walk backwards

Australia wanted a coat of arms that represented its continual forward progress so they decided to put both the kangaroo and the emu into the design. Why? Well, it was believed that neither animal could walk backwards. Seriously, that was the concept. It turns out that they both can move backwards, albeit with great difficulty!

8 – Australia is home to more than 1,500 species of spiders 

Huntsman Spider

Suffer from Arachnophobia? Australia may not be the best spot for you. The country is home to more than 1500 species of spider, some of them poisonous, but like the country’s snakes, their reputation is somewhat overblown. A death in April 2016 was the country’s first recorded spider-caused death since 1981.

9 – Australia is the only continent covered by a single country

Canada and the USA may each be bigger than Australia but they are stuck sharing a continent. Australia stands alone.

10 – Waterproof, made of polymer and notoriously hard to counterfeit – The Australian dollar

Australia’s currency is not only safe from counterfeiters but is pretty much indestructible. No more taping together faded, dirty torn bills. Besides being very colourful so it it is easy to know the bill’s value (I’m looking at you, America!), it is entertaining. If you move the $5 bill a certain way, you’ll even see the image of an eastern spinebill (a native bird) moving its wings and changing colours. Cool.




Pedaling across southeastern Australia, Tasmania, and both islands of New Zealand the multitude of experiences will be hard to fathom: pleasant wine...


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