Quick facts about Australia

Quick facts about Australia

These are some quick facts about Australia that will be handy to know if you are new to the country.

  • Australia is the only country on earth that governs an entire continent.
  • Australia has a population of over 23 million people, making it one of the world’s least populated countries.
  • Australia is the sixth-largest country and the world’s largest island.
  • Australia’s Aboriginal people settled here at least 50,000 years ago and peoples of the Torres Strait Islands approximately 10,000 years before the first European settlers.
  • The green and gold colours of Australia’s National floral emblem, the Golden Wattle, are also its national colours.
  • Australia’s national day is Australia Day and is celebrated every year on 26 January.
  • Australia’s national currency is the Australian dollar which comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, as well as one and two-dollar denominations.
  • This is the Australian flag. The Southern Cross Stars on the right represent Australia’s geographic position in the Southern Hemisphere. The large Commonwealth star under the Union Jack symbolises the federation of its states and territories. The Union Jack reflects Australia’s early ties to Great Britain.

Australian states and territories

Australia is divided into 6 states:

  • New South Wales (NSW)
  • Victoria (VIC)
  • Queensland (QLD)
  • Western Australia (WA)
  • South Australia (SA)
  • Tasmania (TAS)

and 10 territories, including two that are on the Australian mainland:

  • The Northern Territory (NT)
  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

It is common that we use the 2 or 3-letter acronyms when referring to states and territories in Australia, and you’ll get familiarised with these acronyms in no time.