Australia Trivia, Fun Facts & Recipes
TRIVIA & FUN FACTS
- Australia is the world's largest inhabited island and the smallest continent.
- Australia is the largest continent occupied by one nation and is the least populated.
- Australia is the only English-speaking country to have made voting compulsory in federal and state elections. It results in a voter turnout of 95 percent.
- The world's largest electorate (2,255,278 km2) is Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
- The secret ballot box, the most prized symbol of democracy, was pioneered in Victoria in 1856.
- Between the towns of Ooldia and Nurina in Western Australia, is the world's longest straight stretch of railway, 478.4 kilometres in length.
- From 1897 to 1905, Kings Cross, Sydney, was called Queen's Cross.
- The Great Barrier Reef is the longest coral reef in the world, extending over 2,012.5 kilometres.
- Tully, in Queensland, is the wettest town in Australia with an average annual rainfall of 355.6 centimetres (11 ft, 10 inches).
- Western Australia is three and a half times as big as Texas.
- Lake Eyre, 16 metres below sea level, has the lowest elevation. It is also the driest area.
- The oldest daily newspaper in the southern hemisphere is the Sydney Morning Herald (1831).
- The Australian coastline totals 36,735 kilometres.
- Marble Bar, Western Australia, recorded the longest period of extreme heat above 37.7 C. for 160 days from October 1923 to April 1924.
- The average Australian can expect to eat during his or her lifetime: 17 beef cattle, 92 sheep, 406 loaves of bread, 165,000 eggs 8 tons of fruit, half a ton of cheese and ten tons of veggies.
- Australia's record 24-hour rainfall of 907 mm (36.28 inches) occurred at Crohamhurst, Queensland, in 1893.
- No part of Australia is further than 1000 kilometres from the sea.
- Between 1788 and 1856, 157,000 convicts were sent to Australia. This is only one-third of the total sent to the United States.
- Fifty percent of the continent has less than 300 millimetres of annual rainfall.
- Granny Smith apples were originally cultivated by Maria Smith of Eastwood, New South Wales, in the 1860s.
- The first radio station in Australia was built near Pennant Hills, Sydney, in 1912.
- The first television station in Australia opened in 1956 as TCN Channel 9, Sydney.
- Sydney's Opera House was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon in 1957. Construction began in 1959 and it was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973
- Sydney Tower, at Centrepoint, is the highest building in the southern hemisphere, 324.8 metres above sea level.
- Ayers Rock is a red granite monolith, 859.53 metres above sea level. It is 8.85 kilometres in circumference and is 347.3 metres above the plain.
- Wolf Creek, Western Australia, has the largest meteorite crater in Australia, measuring 853.44 metres in diameter and 61 metres deep.
- In 1854 a large meteorite was found at Cranbourne, Victoria, weighing more than 5 tons.
- The last tram ran in Sydney on 26 February 1961. Trams still run in Melbourne.
- The highest recorded temperature of 53.1 C was at Cloncurry, Queensland, on 16 January 1889.
- The world's largest cattle station, 30,028.3 km2, is almost the same size as Belgium.
- Of all coloured peoples, the Australian Aborigines are ethnologically most akin to Caucasians.
- The oldest skeleton found in Australia was at Lake Mungo in New South Wales. It is believed to be 38,000 years old and is the skeleton of a female.
- Sydney hosted the Olympic Games in the year 2000!
It is claimed that the Pavlova was created by chef Bert Sachse while he was working at Perth's Esplanade Hotel. He made it in honour of the hotel's most distinguished guest - the great prima ballerina, Anna Matveena Pavlova. It is now a national dish.
This popular party dessert consists of a shell of meringue filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Makes 8 servings
- 3 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- whipping cream
- Fruit - Passion fruit pulp (if you can get it)
Have egg whites at room temperature. Add vanilla, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. Beat to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar (approximately 1/8 cup at a time), beating until very stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved - Meringue will be glossy.
Cover the baking sheet with plain brown (ungreased) paper. Using 9 inch round cake pan as a guide, draw a circle on paper. Spread meringue over the circle. Shape into the shell with the back of a spoon, making the bottom 1/2 inch thick and sides 1 3/4 inch high (don't worry if not exact).
Place on middle rack in oven and bake at 275 F for 1 hour. Turn off heat and let dry in oven (door closed) for at least two hours (or leave overnight).
Before serving fill with whipped cream and top fruit of your choice, e.g. strawberries and kiwi fruit, and pour passion fruit over. (Also good with sliced ripe mango, crushed pineapple, banana or fruit salad).
Another Downunder phenomenon is guaranteed to be in every cake shop and at most Ozzie or Kiwi parties. This dessert can be messy to make but it's worth it!
- 125g butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup milk (approx)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 30g butter
- 1/2 cup boiling water (approx)
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups desiccated coconut
Grease, flour and paper line the base of a baking tray. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour and salt. Add alternatively milk to the mixture. Add vanilla. Blend well, but do not over-beat. Add a little more milk if necessary to form a soft-dropping consistency.
Bake at 350 F for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Turn out and cool on a cake rack. Cut into 30 squares. Dip each square in chocolate icing and roll in coconut.
To make the icing, melt butter in 1/4 cup of boiling water. Sift icing sugar with cocoa and add liquid, mixing well. Add vanilla. The icing must be thin so that squares of cake can be readily coated. Add sufficient boiling water to form this consistency. Dip each square in icing then roll in coconut and leave to dry on a cake rack.
The Original ANZAC Biscuit Recipe
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats (regular oatmeal) uncooked
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp boiling water
Combine the flour (sifted), oats, coconut and sugar in a bowl.
Melt the butter and Golden Syrup in a saucepan over low heat.
Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to the butter and Golden Syrup.
Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Spoon dollops of the mixture, about the size of a walnut shell, onto a greased tin leaving as much space again between dollops to allow for spreading.
Bake in a moderate oven, 180C / 350F, for 15-20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and seal in airtight containers.
The American tablespoon is a little smaller than the British/Australian tablespoon, so be generous with your Golden Syrup and Water.
And never, ever call them ANZAC cookies - please retain their original and historic name.
Australia Vacation Information
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Learn about the history and culture of Australia, the must-try a href="/travel-information/Australia-south-pacific/Australia/food-and-drink/">food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Australia's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Australia for yourself. Start exploring...book one of our Australia tours today!
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