Facts about Brisbane, Australia

  • Creation of Lamingtons:

    The lamington was first concocted in 1900 at Old Government House by French chef Armand Galland. According to sources, the chocolatey-sponge treat was born of necessity – it was Monsieur Galland's solution to the perennial problem of unexpected visitors coming up the path!

    In order to provide a timely High Tea for the lady of the house, Lady Lamington, Galland sliced leftover sponge cake and dipped the pieces in a melted chocolate sauce. He then rolled the resulting individual cakes in coconut and presented them to guests.

    The cakes were an immediate hit – so much so, that the recipe was requested and circulated among ladies of the society. The recipe was titled "Lady Lamington’s Chocolate-Coconut Cake", but was verbally abbreviated to "lamingtons", as we know them today.

  • Australia's first use of electricity for public purposes:

    In 1882, a demonstration of what electricity could do was held with eight arc lights along Queen St. Power was supplied by a 10hp generator driven by a small engine in a foundry in Adelaide St. This was Australia's first recorded use of electricity for public purposes.

    The first practical use of electricity was for lighting in the Government Printing Office in George St in April 1883. In 1886, the Roma St railway yards were using arc lights. In the same year, an underground cable connected Parliament House from the printing office, the first such move for any Parliament House in Australia. The supervision of the laying of cable was done by E.C. Barton. Barton formed a company with C.F. White and in 1888 they built a powerhouse in Edison Lane behind the General Post Office. The generating capacity was 30kW. The GPO became the first consumer of electricity in Australia and Barton and White the nation’s first electricity supplier.

    In 1928, the New Farm Powerhouse (now known as the Brisbane Powerhouse) became operational. It was owned by Brisbane City Council until it was sold in 1963 to the Southern Electricity Authority and then decommissioned in 1971. It has been redeveloped as a performing arts and dining precinct.

  • The City Sounds:

    The City Sounds is Australia’s largest free live-music program, hitting the stage in nine CBD locations every week. The program is committed to bringing Brisbane’s emerging music talent to light on a public stage and offering audiences a chance to discover original music. Home to some of the most influential Australian bands and artists of the past 40 years, there’s no doubt Brisbane has a distinct music DNA. From 1970s rock band The Saints, ’80s jangle-pop outfit The Go-Betweens and ’90s alternative rock group Powderfinger, the Queensland capital has spawned a galaxy of musical stars. More recent examples include indie rockers Last Dinosaurs, high-energy band Little Odessa and folk-pop songstress Emma Louise, who are all enhancing the city’s pedigree.

    In 2013 alone, The City Sounds presented more than 750 artists in 2300-plus performances in 155 days – making it the nation’s largest program of its kind. A continuation of the long-established Queen Street Mall Live program, it covers a wide gamut of musical tastes, from alternative, acoustic and folk to jazz, reggae and electro.

  • Dedicated Environmental Precinct:

    Brisbane’s Ecosciences Precinct is Australia's first centre dedicated to solving some of the country's biggest environmental issues. Its researchers are positioning Queensland as a global leader in finding the balance between enhancing our quality of life, reducing the human impact on our environment and developing strong industries.

    Part of the Boggo Rd Urban Village at Dutton Park, the centre focuses on delivering an improved understanding of our natural resources and environment, to improve their management, and is helping key industries such as agriculture, forestry and marine industries to develop sustainable growth strategies. The precinct houses research staff from the Queensland Government, CSIRO and University of Queensland through the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation). Their state-of-the-art facilities include laboratories, insect houses, controlled environment rooms, glasshouses, greenhouses, offices, workshops and a science education centre.

    The laboratories are certified to stringent Australian standards—Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) and Quarantine Containment Level 3 (QC3). PC2 is the rating for a standard, low-risk research environment. The QC3 facilities allow researchers to conduct secure and carefully controlled studies on insects and bacteria to help control weeds that threaten Queensland’s ecosystems, and pests and diseases that destroy crops.

  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary:

    Brisbane is proudly home to the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary. From humble beginnings in 1927 with just two koalas, Jack and Jill, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has expanded to include more than 130 koalas and over 100 species of native Australian animals.

    A favourite visiting spot for international tourists, the sanctuary found fame during World War II when many Americans visited the park to view the native wildlife. Since then, the sanctuary has had numerous famous visitors pass by, including Pope John Paul II and the British Royals.

    Today, Lone Pine is dedicated to the conservation of koalas and all native Australian animals. Visitors can enjoy an organic coffee in the “Koala Forest”, participate in wildlife presentations and activities, and cuddle up close to the sanctuary’s main attraction.

  • Home of the first Australian space rocket launch:

    It may seem an unlikely setting, but Brisbane was the place in which Australia's space industry blasted off – as early as 1934. Few people are probably aware, but the first Australian rocket was launched from the middle of the Brisbane River on 4 December, 1934, thanks to the vision of Alan H Young, president and founder of the Queensland Air Mail Society.

    The aim of Young's experiment was far more modest than to achieve orbit: it was to dispatch a mail-carrying rocket from a ship, the Canonbar, to the river bank at Pinkenba. The unnamed rocket contained hundreds of empty envelopes, each rocket cover bearing special labels and mail cachets, an overprinted stamp declaring this to be the first Australian rocket flight.

    In 2009, The Australian newspaper ran an article marking the 75th anniversary of the rocket launch. It said the result was not quite the spectacle Young had hoped for, despite the romantic image he had designed for the commemorative stamp. As The Courier-Mail reported the next day, The Australiansaid, on leaving the ship the rocket hit a pile on the river bank and the container fell into the water. However, the rocket and its precious philatelic cargo were salvaged thanks the Canonbar’s captain, who had secured a long line to the rocket. Young’s later efforts were called Zodiac and Orion.

  • Kurilpa Bridge:

    More than a convenience for Brisbane locals, the Kurilpa Bridge is the world’s largest structure based upon the principles of "tensegrity". Used to describe its structural formation, the term refers to the system of balanced compressive and tensile forces in the bridge’s design. In 2011, the Brisbane landmark was awarded World Transport Building of the Year the World Architecture Festival.

    Connecting Kurilpa Point in South Bank to Tank St in Brisbane’s central business district, the bridge stretches 360m across the Brisbane River. Designed by local firms Cox Raynor Architects and Arup Engineering, the bridge carries an estimated 50,000 Brisbane pedestrian and cyclists per week.

    Originally proposed as the Tank Street Bridge, a public competition was held in 2008 to name the structure. The name Kurilpa was chosen in reference to the Aboriginal word meaning "place for water rats". The bridge is considered one of Brisbane’s most iconic landmarks and contributes to the intricate skyline of the CBD.

  • Translational Research Institute:

    The Translational Research Institute (TRI) is a unique, Australian-first initiative of “bench to bedside” medical research. The aim of TRI is to promote and facilitate the discovery, manufacture and testing of treatments and therapies that will have a positive and profound impact on global health.

    The concept of a major research institute on the Woolloongabba site arose from the thinking of notable Queensland clinicians including Professor Brian Emmerson and Dr John Golledge, and the vision was conceived and brought to fruition by the clinicians and scientists of the four institutions that were its founding partners: The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Mater Medical Research Institute and Queensland Health.

    The collective expertise of the initial partners in the project will be brought to bear on common and serious diseases including cancers, diabetes, HIV, malaria, bone and joint illnesses and obesity, with a view to enhanced prevention and treatment and improved public health worldwide.

  • Queensland Ambulance Service:

    Brisbane was the first place in the world to have an ambulance service manned by paid staff.

    Formed in 1892, Queensland Ambulance was the first service of its kind to be manned by paid staff. Established to transport the ill and injured to hospital, funding for the service was initially sourced from community donations. Originally, services were provided by unpaid volunteers.

    In 1985, the Queensland Government saw the value of the service and provided a subsidy based on £1 for each £1 raised by the service. This subsidy was revolutionary for its time, especially considering the great depression substantiating in the 1930s.

    The innovative concept of “paid” staff came into existence and brought with it the need for a reliable cash flow. While records are vague, a public subscription scheme was introduced in Brisbane in the late 1890s. Today, Queensland Ambulance Service is an integral part of Brisbane’s health care sector and provides the community with health-related transportation and care.

*Source: visitbrisbane.com.au

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Facts about Adelaide, Australia

Welcome to South Australia, The Friendly State.
  • The First Australian Capital to Be Linked by Telegraph With London:
    In 1872, Adelaide was the first Australian capital city to be connected by telegraph with London. Before that time, the Australian colonies had to rely on ships to carry news and mail between Europe and “down under”, which typically took anywhere from two to five months to arrive. After a mammoth operation that took years to complete, the Overland Telegraph was finally finished on 22 August 1872. Charles Todd, the Superintendent of Telegraphs, sent the first official message from London to Adelaide that day and from then, the information travel time between London and Australia was effectively cut down to just over a week.
  • South Australia Is Known as the “Festival State”:
    Nicknamed the “Festival State”, South Australia prides itself on being an art and culture hub and holds multiple creative festivals throughout the year. Visitors to the state can enjoy events such as the Adelaide Festival, the Adelaide Film Festival, Feast Festival and Cabaret Festival. The popular WOMADelaide world music festival attracts international artists from all around the globe, while the Adelaide Fringe Festival is a premier, open-access event and the largest annual arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • South Australia Produces Half of Australia’s Wine Volume:
    If you love a tipple and appreciate the difference between a bold shiraz and a smooth merlot, then you’ll love visiting Australia’s wine capital. Producing near half of the country’s yearly wine total, South Australia is home to 18 different wine regions and more than 200 cellar doors, all within just an hour’s drive of Adelaide.
  • The World’s Opal Capital:
    Outback town Coober Pedy is known for its status as the biggest opal-producing area in the world. A fascinating town to add to any South Australian itinerary, Coober Pedy houses residents from more than 40 different countries, and at least half the population lives in underground accommodation in order to escape the region’s soaring summer temperatures.
  • Australia’s First Certified Organic Pizza Restaurant:
    With three locations in Adelaide, GoodLife is Australia’s first organic pizza bar certified by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA). This means that all purchased ingredients are from a method of sustainable farming that does not use artificial fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides and has a Fair Trade approach as well.
  • Lake Eyre:
    South Australia is the driest state on the world’s driest continent — a fact that becomes evident on a visit to Lake Eyre National Park. This vivid, stark landscape is home to Australia’s largest salt lake and the lowest point in the whole country. The Lake Eyre basin covers one-sixth of the continent and stretches 144 kilometres long and 77 kilometres wide.
  • Kangaroo Island:
    Australia’s third largest island, Kangaroo Island, is a spectacular area that is sometimes described as a “zoo withoutfences”. The island is a pristine wilderness and home to over 250 species of birds plus countless populations of native Australian animals. It also happens to be the only sanctuary in the world for Ligurian bees.
  • National Motor Museum:
    Australia’s most important collection of vintage motor cycles and cars is housed at the National Motor Museum at Birdwood, about 50 kilometres from Adelaide. The museum contains more than 300 classic vehicles and regularly hosts special events throughout the year.
  • The World’s Largest Cattle Station Is in South Australia:
    South Australia is also home to the world’s largest cattle station. At roughly 24,000 square kilometres, Anna Creek Station is larger even than Israel or Belgium, and eight times the size of the largest ranch in the United States.
*Source: Bianca Evans, Graybit.com
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Facts about Perth, Australia

Welcome to Perth - the city of lights, sun, surf, and friendly people.
  • Western Australia:

    Western Australia is the largest state in Australia. It amounts to a third of the area of Australia, with a total area of more then 2,500,000 sqkm. Perth is the capital of Western Australia with just under two million people and is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in Australia. WA is divided into five regions; the Kimberley, the North West, South West, the Interior, and the Wheat Belt. The majority of the population live along the beautiful white sandy beaches of the West Australian coast.

  • Geography:

    Perth City is situated between the Darling Ranges and the Indian Ocean, and along the banks of the Swan River, 12 km from the ocean. The river is named after the famous black swans which can be found along the river. The city is bound by the river to the east and south. To the west of the city is Kings Park, which has over 400 hectares of natural Australian bush overlooking the city center and the Swan River. The view from King's park is quite unique and is a must for any visitor to Perth.

    The Swan River weaves its way through the metropolitan area to the Port of Fremantle, which has many beautiful houses, restaurants, and recreational areas along its banks. The river provides an ideal opportunity for the locals to enjoy the beautiful weather and participate in many different water sports such as boating, sailing, water skiing, wind surfing, rowing, fishing, parasailing, swimming, jet skiing, or just cruising the river on one of the many ferries.

    The city center is quite small when compared to other cities in Australia such as Sydney or Melbourne. The city has four major streets running east to west - St George's Terrace, Hay Street, Murray Street, and Wellington Street.

*Source: lookatwa.com.au
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Facts about Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is a modern city constantly changing and leading the world in many technologies.
  • Sporting Roof: Melbourne is the only city in the world that has five international standard sporting facilities (including three with retractable roofs) on the fringe of its central business district. Melbourne Cricket Ground, Docklands Stadium, Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and Olympic Park in Melbourne Park.
  • Host with the most: Melbourne plays host to the Australian Open Tennis Championships, the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian 500CC Motorcycle Grand Prix, Spring Racing Carnival, the Australian Football League Grand Final and many other special events.
  • R & D: Melbourne is home to eight of Australia's top ten spenders on research and development (R&D) including Australia's largest, Telstra and Ericsson.
  • Big Bang: Melbourne's scientists have been pivotal in the development of the world's most innovative biotechnology breakthroughs including Relenza, Relaxin and the bionic ear.
  • Big Tram: Melbourne's famous tramway system is the largest outside Europe and the fourth largest in the world. It stretches along 244 kilometres (152 miles) of track and has 450 trams.
  • Big Ceiling: The National Gallery of Victoria has the world's largest stained glass ceiling - 51 metres (167.3 feet) long by 15 metres (49.2 feet) wide.
  • Film First: The world's first feature film, the Story of the Ned Kelly Gang was filmed and made in Melbourne in 1906.
  • Eye Eye: In 1869, the largest fully-steerable telescope the world had ever seen was installed at the Melbourne Observatory. Known as the Great Melbourne Telescope, the device boasted a reflector of 122 centimetres (48 inches).
  • Just For Fun: Luna Park in St Kilda is the world's oldest amusement park under private management. Melbourne is the 'Fox Capital' of the western world with 6-23 foxes every square kilometer in the metropolitan area. Source: RSPCA.
  • Rainbow Radio: Melbourne had the first gay and lesbian radio station in the world.
  • Ready Steady Stop: The first traffic lights in Australia were installed on the intersection of Collins Street and Swanston Street, Melbourne in 1912.
  • Inspiring: The spire on top of the Victorian Arts Centre reaches 115 metres (377 feet) into the air. It has: 6,600 metres (21,654 feet) of fibre optic tubing in and around the spire; 17,700 metres (58,071 feet) of power and control cables; 14,000 incandescent lamps on the skirt of the spire, 150 metres (492 feet) of neon tubing on the mast; 496 computer control devices which manipulate the colours and movement of the lights.
  • Everyone needs good: The Melbourne television soap opera Neighbours recorded its 4,000th episode in May 2002. It screens in 57 different countries to an average daily audience of 120 million viewers. Since it began in 1985 the show has had 18 marriages, 11 deaths and six births.
*Source: clickforaustralia.com
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Facts about Sydney, Australia

  • The first thing many people get shocked about is when they find out that Sydney is not the capital of Australia. In fact, it is often confused with Canberra because Sydney is the most densely populated city in the entire Oceania continent and it is also internationally famous.
  • Even if English is indeed the main language people speak in Sydney, two other languages, Chinese and Arabic are almost just as popular among people who live there.
  • Sydney was founded as a colony in 1788, but it officially became a city in 1842.
  • Residents of Sydney, as well as of Australia as a whole, are often jokingly referred to as ‘convicts’ by the rest of the world. The reason can be traced back to its founding in 1788 when ships from England arrived in the city to bring convicts and leave them there as punishment. A recent census carried out among Australians showed that at least 20% of them had a convict ancestor.
  • The world famous Sydney Opera House hosts a minimum of 3000 shows per year. A fun fact considering that its original purpose was to become a tram shed!
  • When the Sydney Harbour Bridge was built, it required so much paint that its first original colour was grey, which was the only colour available in such a large quantity.
  • The biggest national holiday in Sydney is celebrated on the 26th of January because it marks the day of the very first landing of British convicts in the Australian city.
  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge measures 1,149 meters and it is considered to be the largest steel arch bridge in the whole world.
  • Sydney is home to the world’s largest and most varied fish market, second only to Tokyo’s.
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