5 interesting facts about Australia

1.  Australia is now the most obese country in the world, just pipping the US at the post with a 26% obesity rate to their 25%. Despite Australia being a sport loving nation there’s obviously a whole lot of armchair sport loving going on, with beer, soft drink or greasy takeaway in hand!

2.  Just over 25% of Australians were born in another country, making it the developed country with the highest proportion of migrant settlers in the world, aside from Luxembourg with a third of their population born elsewhere. Australia’s capital cities are where the highest proportions of new arrivals can be found and to say the country’s culinary landscape has benefited enormously from immigration is an understatement.

3.  One of Australia’s former Prime Ministers, Bob Hawke, holds a Guinness World Record… not for some kind of political feat, but beer sculling! Fortunately it was well before his term as prime minister (1983-1991), occurring in 1963 during his university days at Oxford where he skulled 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. To this day Bob Hawke is remembered fondly for his beer skulling antics, which he still wheels out in public now and then at cricket matches. Oh, Australia!

4.  The Australian state of Victoria gets a public holiday, i.e. government sanctioned day off work, in honour of a horse race. The Melbourne Cup is known as ‘the race that stops the nation’ and that it does, with workplaces all across the country wheeling out a television and popping champagne to barrack on the horses. There’s usually a sweepstake where everyone pays a dollar or two and draws a horse name out of the hat, with the spoils going to the place-getters.

5.  Many visitors to Australia are surprised to discover kangaroo meat is actually eaten. While nowhere near as mainstream as chicken or beef, it nevertheless pops up on some restaurant menus and is sold in many butcher shops. The meat is touted as a much leaner and healthier alternative to beef or lamb, with a 1-2% fat content.

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About the author

Liz Ledden
Liz is a freelance writer, blogger and mum to two little girls based in Sydney, Australia. She has also lived in Vietnam, Cambodia and Canada, eloped in Paris and given birth in Bangkok. Her passions include food, travel and the written word.
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  • Very interesting! I had no idea that Australia has attracted so much immigration. As for making a sport of beer sculling, I guess that’s one thing that the UK and Australia have in common :)

  • Yes, I’m not sure who could outdrink each other, UK or Aus… not exactly our proudest achievement is it!!

  • Great facts Liz,
    #1; I am surprised, I thought it was the US (as most people I guess)
    #2: Not surprised , makes sense
    #3; Very funny! Wonder if he put this on his CV for his next job application!:)
    #4: Melbourne Cup, yes, so important to your country. had friends dressing up for the occasion and watching it on TV from the other side of the world!
    #5: Ate some…and i was told that it is used for dog’s tinned food (as it is a cheap meat, so many kangaroos hoping around!) :)

  • Hi DeeBee – re/ #5 kangaroo is actually not too bad as long as it’s cooked properly (best eaten rare or medium rare) and it goes well with strong spices and lots of pepper. We cooked some at home recently with Kampot pepper from Cambodia and it was great!

  • Liz, I can’t remember the taste and to be honest it’s easy you eat anything when it is prepared in a way you are familiar with! I think a lot is about the presentation and the knowledge as we all have preconceived ideas.
    Loved your article!

  • By the way do you eat a lot of fish and chips over there? I’m trying to find a photo for my 5 facts about the UK posts, and all the ones I’ve found so far were taken in Australia!

  • Hi Lucy (Liz?!) – yes I guess we do! I don’t so much, I’m more of a charcoal chicken and chips girl… but it’s pretty popular!

  • Haha yes Liz is my middle name and I used it as a posting nickname. I think I’d better post as Lucy from now on to avoid confusion!

  • hussaini

    Interesting facts! Good job

  • kangaroo meat looks tasty good cuts!!!!

  • i realy like it!!!!!!!!!

  • how can people eat kangaroo they are cute animals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alicia

    we don’t eat kangaroo

    well i dont

  • Mariah

    Why would anyone eat such an amazing animal?? They are soo adorable and what did they ever do to us…?