Here are some fun facts about Australia, such as unusual or odd information about cities, names, activities or Australian icons.
Did you know that "The Alice" is the name of a town? This is how the locals call Alice Springs in the Northern Territories. It is the "capital" of the Outback and is considered the centre of Australia, or the heart of the Red Centre.
The Alice is 1,500 km away from both Darwin at the north and Adelaide in the south.
Australians love to name their icons. The Coathanger is the name that Sydneysiders gave to the spectacular symbol of Australia, the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Sydney Harbour Bridge has the shape of a coathanger
The opening day of the bridge in 1932 was marked by a funny and shocking incident. A horseman armed with a sword cut the ribbon before the official cutting.
The incident had political ramifications and alarmed the huge crowd present, but cutting the ribbon twice is today part of the fun facts about Australia.
When the bridge opened, the traffic consisted of horses and cars. And to cross the bridge cars paid double the price of a horse and a rider.
Today you can cross for free on a bicycle and pay a toll when driving a car for a southbound trip. It is free to go northbound.
Building fences has always been an important occupation in Australia. The bigger ones are just to keep safe from dingoes or... rabbits.
The world longest fence is the Dingo Fence, which is 2.5 times the length of the Great Wall of China. It stretches from South Australia to Queensland along 5,400 km, crossing the central deserts of the country. Its construction started at the end of the 19th century to protect the sheep against dingoes.
Rabbits are a pest in Australia. They were introduced in the country during European settlement and soon spread across the continent, causing damage to agriculture and pasture land. To protect their crops, farmers in West Australia built three rabbit-proof fences.
The building of the first one started in 1901 and by the time it was completed, 7 years later, it was the longest in the world. But the rabbits found a way to cross inside, so 2 more fences had to be built. All the three fences stretch along more than 3000 km.
Fences needed maintenance. A new job appeared - inspector of rabbits. Fence inspectors patrolled the area by horses, camels or bicycles. In the early days, with the rough terrain and lack of water, camels appeared to be the winning solution.
The Melbourne Cup is the most famous horse race in Australia. Victorians enjoy a public holiday on the day, which is the first Tuesday of each November. Large crowds of elegantly dressed Melbournians attend the race at the Flemington race course.
The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops the nation. Even if there is no public holiday in the other states, it is a day to dress up, wear a fancy hat and go out for lunch. Almost everyone is placing bets.
The racing horse, Phar Lap is considered the greatest Australian horse. Phar Lap was an Australian hero of the 1930s Depression years and had an impressive racing career.
Today the horse and its memorabilia are the most popular exhibits in the Melbourne Museum. Its heart is in the National Museum in Canberra.