It's Australia Day! 5 fun Aussie facts, 5 places to see in Oz and 5 ways to celebrate today
Many years ago I was lucky enough to spend some time living in Sydney. So, it makes perfect sense that Australia holds a very special place in my heart. Given that, I'd like to pay a little tribute to the beautiful country I had the pleasure of briefly living in and write about the July 4th equivalent down under, Australia Day!
Australia Day is celebrated annually on January 26 and marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at that site by Governor Arthur Phillip. On this day, Australians attend community events or get together with family and friends to celebrate the national public holiday, very similar to how we celebrate Independence Day.
5 Aussie Facts
- Australia is broken up into six states and two territories: Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
- Australia is the world's largest island - and is almost the same width as the United States. However, 85% of Australians occupy only 1% of the continent, focusing on the east coast from the southern capital of Canberra to the beautiful beaches up in Cairns. Southern cities Melbourne and Adelaide are also very popular.
- The Great Barrier Reef, located in Queensland, is the planet's largest living structure.
- Australia is ranked as the world's 7th largest wine producer and is the number 4 wine exporting country in the world and number 16 wine drinking nation.
- Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1902. (the first was New Zealand)
My 5 favorite places in Australia
To date, my favorite place that I've ever been. A beautiful waterfront area in downtown Syndey bustling with great restaurants, bars, an aquarium, an IMAX, shopping, and much, much more.
It's touristy, but I lived there for a bit and it's beautiful. Nothing beats having lunch at the Bondi Icebergs Club overlooking the beach.
Stunning white sand beaches surround these 74 tropical islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the Whitsunday Islands are tropical deserted islands, but eight offer a variety of resort accommodations, all with the Great Barrier Reef and fringing coral reefs at their doorstep. Absolutely breathtaking!
Hunter Valley Wineries
As mentioned above, Australia produces some amazing wines and some of the best can be found in this area, only a few hours north of Sydney.
Australia's cultural capital - a very modern, artsy city that has something for everyone: loads of art museums, a variety of dining options, many sports and gaming facilities, and swanky nightlife.
Now that you know a little about Australia, perhaps you want to get in on the holiday fun today. Here areways you can celebrate Australia Day, all while staying stateside.
5 ways you can celebrate
- Watch the Australian Open! While tennis isn't necessarily an Australia sport, the Open is a great tournament and is going on now through February 1 in Melbourne!
- If you want to partake in a sport that's more Aussie-inspired, put together a game of Aussie Rules Footy or a Cricket game!
- Try kangaroo meat (leaner than beef and very popular in Australia), spread some Vegemite on your toast or try a Tim Tam cookie.
- Cheers to Australia! It's no secret Aussies like their drinks. Open a bottle of Australian Syrah, toast with a frosty Tooheys New or Victoria Bitter beer.
- Turn on the radio! While the Aussie charts are packed with US musicians, a few of our favorites hail from down under including Keith Urban, Kylie Minogue and Iggy Azalea.
Have you ever been to Australia? What's your favorite memory or part of the country?