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.

Read more

A taste of the Middle East in Sydney’s Lakemba

Natalie: An Australian filling in the missing links to her own story in Vietnam
How Irish am I? An Australian on her Irish roots

About the author

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.