In March of 2019, AdventureWomen travels to Australia and Tasmania for our women’s’ hiking tour on the Overland Track. This popular continent is just a fascinating destination and here are 12 fun facts about Australia and Tasmania we thought you might really enjoy learning:
#1. Australia is one of the world’s most urbanized countries, with about 70% of the population living in the 10 largest cities. Despite being a massive continent, 90% of Australia’s population live on the coast due to most of the interior being a vast desert.
#2. Australia is the only country in the world that covers an entire continent. It’s also the world’s 6th largest country.
#3. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef system, composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and with an area of over 134,000 square miles! The Great Barrier Reef is so large, it’s visible from outer space!
#4. The indigenous people of Australia are Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. Australia’s Aboriginal people are estimated to have lived here for roughly 50,000 years, yet they now make up only 1.5% of the total population.
#6. Australia was the second country to grant women the right to vote, starting in 1894 and becoming widely accepted in 1902!
#7. Vegetation covers nearly 7 million square kilometers or 91% of Australia. Most of Australia’s exotic flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
#8. Huon pine trees located in Western Tasmania some of the oldest living things on earth. The Huon Pine tree grows very slowly; a 20-meter tree could be thousands of years old. While the oldest individual tree or stem on the site now may be 1000 to 2000 years old, the organism itself has been living there continuously for 10,500 years.
#9. The Australian Wombat builds extensive burrows for itself, with wombat underground tunnels sometimes stretching 650 feet in length. Their strong, sturdy feet and long claws help them to clear up to 3 feet of dirt a night. The pouch a wombat uses to carry her young opens towards her rear rather than her face to allow mother wombats to dig without scooping dirt into her baby’s home.
#10. The Tasmanian Devil, which is only found in Tasmania, is the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial. Like all marsupials, Tasmanian Devil mothers give birth to very tiny young (about the size of a raisin). Once born, the babies called imps crawl up the mother’s fur and into her pouch where they stay for about 4 months.
#11. Tasmania has water so pure it produces the only bottled rain water approved by health departments around the world. Tasmania also has the cleanest air in the world, monitored by the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station.
#12. At least one fifth of Tasmania is designated a UNESCO World Heritage area. The area which covers 1.58 million hectares includes national parks, marine, and forests reserves.