Australia Day – Each year on January 26th, Australians celebrate the day their country was founded as a British colony in 1788. On this date, the first governor of New South Wales arrived at Sydney Cove and raised the first-ever Union Jack flag.
When you think of Australia, you probably think of kangaroos and koala bears. You might also think of the Sydney Opera House or the Great Barrier Reef. Movies like Crocodile Dundee or Finding Nemo might come to mind. However, Australia and Australians are much more than that.
Here are some surprising facts about this country that is also one of our seven continents:
- The population of Australia is 24.6 million people
- Australia is the 6th largest country in the world
- Australia is almost the same size as mainland USA
- Every year 16,000 people become Australian citizens
- The Australian Alps get more snow than the Swiss Alps
- 90% of Australians live on the coast
- Fraser Island in Australia is the world’s largest sand island
- There are over 10,000 beaches in Australia
- Australian deserts are home to over 1 million camels
- Australia exports some of their camels to the Middle East
- There are over 300 different languages and dialects in Australia
- Australia is home to the world’s longest golf course, which is 850 miles long
- There are over 60 separate wine regions in Australia
With all these fantastic things, it’s no wonder Australians love their country.
HOW TO OBSERVE #AustraliaDay
This day is a celebration of freedom. It’s also a day to celebrate the land, people, and cultural diversity of Australia. State Governments host numerous events across the country. Families gather to watch parades and enjoy many other fun-filled events. Many will fire up the Barbie (BBQ), spend time on the beach, watch fireworks, and wear the Australian flag.
You can share this day on social media with #AustraliaDay
AUSTRALIA DAY HISTORY
During the 1800s, Australia Day was often referred to as First Landing Day or Foundation Day. In 1817, Captain Matthew Flinders, circumnavigator of the continent, recommended that it be called Australia. One year later, Governor Macquarie made Australia Day an official public holiday. In 1901, the Australian colonies formed the Commonwealth of Australia. Years later, in 1984, Australians ceased to be British subjects. They replaced God Save the Queen with Advance Australia Fair as their national anthem. In 1988, Sydney continued to be the center of Australia Day events. Today, Australia Day is one of the biggest holidays in the country.