Wednesday, April 19, 2006

10 Things You Didn't Know About Australia.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Australia.

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1) Australia is the smallest of the world's seven continents, the largest island in the world and the only country which occupies an entire continent.

2) Australia's total area is 2,966,200 square miles with population of 16,849,496, which is the lowest population density in the world, despite being the sixth largest country!

3) Australia boasts over 7,000 beaches - more than any other nation.

4) The kangaroo is unique to Australia and one of our most easily recognized mammals. There are more kangaroos in Australia now than when Australia was first settled. Estimates suggest around 40 million.

5) Until Europeans came to australia there were no hoofed animals (horses, cattle, goats, camals etc..)!!

6) The world's longest continuous fence known as the dingo fence', runs through central Queensland for 5,531 kilometres. It is 1.8 metres high and is designed to keep sheep safe from Australia's native dog.

7)The world's fastest growing tree is the Australian Eucalyptus. It can grow up to 10 metres in one year.

8) Australia has been inhabited far longer than Ireland has. The first settlers were called Aborigines. Until 1788 , the only inhabitants of Australia were the Aborigines. They had lived there for over 40,000 years and it is thought that there was as many as 300,000 of them there at the time. Today there are only 150,000 Aborigines representing 1% of the population of Australia. Nearly half of them live in the far north, in some of the hottest and remote regions.
They moved to Australia from South East Asia. They crossed the sea in rafts moving along the islands now known as Indonesia and New Guinea. They were nomads who wandered from place to place in search of food.

9) The Boomerang is the most famous weapon of the Aborigines. When skilfully thrown it will zoom back again to the hunter if it does not strike its target on the way.

10)Ayers Rock - Uluru or what was once known as Ayers rock is the world's largest monolith.It is a dedicated Aboriginal sacred site. It is located in the Northern Territory near the city of Alice Springs. Walking tours to the top of Ayers Rock are organised by local Aborigines.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

10 Things You Didn't Know about Fiji

10 Things you didn't know about Fiji. By Surf Trip Surf Travel

1) The name Fiji is a Tongan corruption of the indigenous name "Viti."

2)Fiji is made up of more than 800 islands and islets, 110 of which are inhabited. The largest islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, which together comprise more than 85 percent of the total land area.

3)Fiji has gone through two coup d'etats , with the latest one occurring May 19, 2000. Both coups were caused by racial tension between the native Fijians and the East Indians.

4) The population of Fiji is mainly split between indigenous Fijians and Indians. The Indians live mostly on Viti Levu, the main island, and are descendants of those brought from India by the British to work on the sugar plantations. Other Pacific Islanders, Chinese, and Europeans make up the remaining population.

5) In Fiji, there are many codes and rituals that are sill practised on a day to day basis. In visiting Fiji, it is helpful to be aware of some of these traditions in order to be respectful to the locals particularly when visiting a village or being introduced to a chief.

6) Indigenous Fijians live co-operatively in a lifestyle based on sharing within large extended families.

7) Bures, the traditional name for their dwelling - are single room structures with bamboo woven walls and thatch roofs. Families perform all the activities of daily living under one roof in these intricately designed structures.

8) Always ask permission when taking photos (which will almost always be granted), and as obvious as it sounds, never casually wander into someone's bure and start shooting.

9)In Fiji and other parts of Polynesia the drinking of yaqona(pronounced Yangona) or kava, is a common ceremonial and social custom. The yaqona ceremony has great significance in Fijian life but is now considered a social drink as well as a ceremony.

10) Chances are you will not find warmer, more hospitable human beings on the planet.

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