Interested in learning about Australia? About to travel down under? Enjoy witty travel journals? Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country is for you.
Australia Fun Facts
- Australia is the world’s sixth largest country and largest island, the only island continent and the only continent that is a country.
- It is home to the largest living thing on Earth, The Great Barrier Reef.
- Many of the oldest things on Earth have come from Australia since it is also the quietest geologically speaking, including Stromatolites.
- 80% of what exists in Australia exists nowhere else.
- It is the driest, hottest, flattest, most infertile of all inhabited continents and as Bryson states, only Antarctica is more hostile to life.
- Australia has less than 1% of the world population but more than 20% of its slot machines.
- The School of the Air, a radio and correspondence school, serves almost 470,000 square miles and only has about 140 students spread throughout middle Australia.
- The outback is so vast and forbidding that much of it is still unknown, even the Simpson Desert (bigger than some European countries) was named just 80 years ago.
Australia is just so full of surprises. Bryson has an incredible sense of humor and his other books should deserve a visit as well. Cousins Anne and Matt, you guys are first to test these Aussie waters and should definitely read before tripping… er, flying into Queensland.
Need a resource? You can never have too many children’s recommendations and Melbourne For Under Fives by John Hinman is a handy book.
It’s best used for details about playgrounds and beaches, what to expect and what’s missing. Ours was handed down to us from an expat family who returned to France and I believe Sydney has a guide as well.