The world’s first compulsory seat belt law was put into place in Victoria in 1970. There is an annual world championship of cockroach racing in Brisbane.
Canberra was created in 1908 as a compromise when Sydney and Melbourne both insisted to be the capital city. An Australian election TV debate was rescheduled so it didn’t conflict with the reality cooking show MasterChef. Chinese explorers travelled to Australia long before Europeans arrived. The first European to ever visit Australia was the Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon, in 1606. Captain James Cook first landed on Australia’s east coast in 1770. Perth has more cafés per capita than any other city in the world. Apart from being the biggest island in the world, Australia is as well a continent, but the smallest, the lowest and flattest of all. Also the driest inhabited one. Australia produces 95% of the world’s opal and 99% of the rare black opal. Kargoorlie, Western Australia is the world’s largest producer of gold today. Australia has about 25,000 known species of plants (Europe has only 18,000). Some Australian inventions: ultrasound, tank, refrigerator, pre-paid postage, airplane black box, lawn mowers with engines, smoke alarm, pacemaker, electric drill, and the car radio. Australia has 10 deserts. The biggest such one is the Great Victorian Desert, larger than the UK. The first official World Surfing Championship was in Sydney, in 1964. Some Australian Hollywood stars: Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Errol Flynn, Paul Hogan, Mel Gibson, Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger, Geoffrey Rush and Eric Bana. There are approximately 1,500 species of spiders in Australia. Two of them are deadly. In Australia you drive on the left side of the road. 20 of the top 25 most venomous snakes come from Australia. Mining is a major industry in Australia, but pubs actually take up more land space than the mines do. Camels, cane toads, foxes, rabbits, goats, pigs, buffalo, and feral cats are all introduced species and some of them currently cause great problems. Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) is the biggest rock monolith in the world. It is 3.6 km (2 mi) long, 1.9 km (a mile) wide and 348 metres (1,150 ft.) high.