Things That Are Australian

Welcome to our list of things that are Australian!

Australia is commonly known for its emus and kangaroos, but what else can we correctly associate with it? Hopefully our list of Australian things can help you broaden your Aussie horizons and learn more about Australian wildlife, plants, people and places.

Here’s a visual list of things that are Australian:

We hope that visual list of Australian things was useful! Here’s a longer and more descriptive list of things that are Australian, split into categories of animals, food, plants and more:

Animals:

  • Kangaroo: Kangaroos are mammals known for carrying their young in their pouch. They’re popular in Australian cartoons and media for their distinctive hop.
  • Koala: These are small grey marsupials that resemble bears (they are also known as “koala bears” although they aren’t actually bears). They have white puffy ears and only eat plants.
  • Wombat: Wombats are short-legged, brown marsupials and are native to Australia.
  • Emu: These long-legged creatures are the second-largest living bird (after the ostrich). They have long, soft feathers and can run up to 50km/h (31mp/h).
  • Wallaby: Wallabies look like miniature kangaroos and can grow up to two metres in length.
  • Platypus: Also known as the “duck-billed platypus”. It’s an egg-laying mammal with a furry body, a large bill, webbed feet and poisonous claws.
  • Dingo: A type of dog native to Australia. Commonly tan and cream-coloured.
  • Kookaburra: Birds that are known for their loud, distinctive “laugh”.
  • Black Swan: A large aquatic bird with black feathers and a red bill. One quarter of all black swan families are parented by homosexual pairs (mostly males).
  • Cockatoo: A type of parrot with a pink and grey body and a white crest.
  • Numbat: A small reddish-brown marsupial with white stripes across its back. It mainly eats termites.
  • Echidna: Commonly confused with porcupines, these are small egg-laying mammals with a long snout and sharp spines over its back. Also known as “spiny anteaters”.
  • Galah: A common type of cockatoo. Part of Australian slang, meaning “silly”, as in – “don’t be a galah.”
  • Cassowary: Large birds with long, fluffy black feathers, a distinctive blue face and a “sail” atop their head. Capable of inflicting serious damage to humans.
  • Tasmanian Devil: A small carnivorous marsupial. Known for its pungent smell, loud screech and ferocity. It has one of the strongest bites to body ratio.
  • Quoll: Small nocturnal marsupials that have a light brown coat spotted with white.
  • Crocodile: Commonly confused with alligators. These are large predatory reptiles popularly associated with Steve Irwin (Crocodile Dundee).
  • Magpie: Small black and white birds that will swoop humans to protect their nest.
  • Bilby: Also known as rabbit bandicoots. Small marsupials that live in the desert. Known for their long, thin tails and large ears. Associated with Easter in Australia, with chocolate bilbies (along with rabbits) being sold.
  • Quokka: A mainly nocturnal herbivore about the size of a housecat. Known for their sociability and lack of fear towards humans.
  • Sugar Glider: A small, nocturnal possum with webbed limbs that allow it to glide from tree to tree.
  • Possum: Nocturnal marsupials with long, fluffy tails.    
  • Goanna: Large lizards native to Australia and Southeast Asia. Goannas are a prominent feature in Aboriginal mythology and folklore.
  • Great White Shark: Also known as the “great white” or “white pointer”. Females can grow up to 6.1m in length. The most famous type of shark and most feared.
  • Ibis: Long-legged wading birds with a black beak, head and neck and a white body. Australians have nicknamed it the “bin chicken” due to its habit of foraging in neighbourhood bins.
  • Thorny Devil: Also known as the thorny dragon and mountain devil. They live in the desert and are covered in solid, mean-looking thorns.
  • Lyrebird: These birds have the ability to mimic sounds from their environment. They have long plumed tailfeathers and are featured on Australia’s ten cent coin.
  • Yabby: A small blue crustacean, similar in appearance to a lobster. Found in rivers, lakes, streams and swamps.
  • Frill Neck Lizard: Also known as the frilled dragon. Known for the large frill around its neck and mottled, tree-like colouring.
  • Taipan: Large, quick and extremely venomous, these snakes are considered one of the deadliest.
  • Wedge-Tailed Eagle: A brown eagle with a wedge-shaped tail. The largest bird of prey in Australia.
  • Redback Spider: A highly venomous spider with a red mark on the back of its body. Also known as the black widow.
  • Bandicoot: Medium-sized marsupials (made famous by Crash Bandicoot).
  • Blue Tongue Lizard: Members of the skink family. They have a blue tongue which they use as a warning to enemies.
  • Box Jellyfish: A class of invertebrate with long tentacles and a cube-shaped jelly. Some species produce powerful venom, and others give painful stings.
  • Eastern Brown Snake: Also known as the common brown snake. Extremely venomous with a slender frame, ranging in pale brown to almost black in colouring.
  • Stonefish: A venomous fish with stone-like camoflage that can deliver painful, sometimes fatal stings when stepped on.
  • Funnel Web Spider: A large, black venomous spider that spins funnel-shaped webs.
  • Red Fire Ant: A type of ant that was introduced to Australia and New Zealand and has a bite that commonly results in burning and stinging pain.
  • Giant Clam: Lives among coral in a steadily diminishing population.
  • Brolga: A long-legged wading bird and a member of the crane family. Primarily grey plumage with black wingtips and red markings on its head.
  • Tawny Frogmouth: A stocky bird similar in appearance and colouring to an owl.
  • Dugong: A marine mammal nicknamed the “water cow”. The only marine mammal that is also a herbivore.
  • Wallaroo: Like a large wallaby/small kangaroo.
  • Clownfish: A small, brightly coloured fish that lives in anemone (the fish that Nemo from Finding Nemo is based on).
  • Snapping Turtle: A freshwater turtle with strong, beak-like jaws.
  • Sea Anemone: Although these look like frilly, colourful flowers, they’re actually predatory animals with tentacles that can extend and retract to catch passing prey.
  • Tiger Snake: A very venomous snake striped with tiger-like bands.
  • Fairy Penguin: The smallest species of penguin with blue-grey plumage.
  • Flying Fox: Also known as fruit bats. Mostly nocturnal and navigate using their sense of smell.
  • Fur Seal: Smaller than sea lions, these have a thick underfur and are long and muscular.
  • Huntsman: A large spider named for their speed and style of hunting. Also known as giant crab spiders and wood spiders.
  • Water Dragon: A lizard with powerful limbs and claws for climbing and a tail specialised for swimming.
  • Blobfish: A type of deepwater fish that is loved on the internet for how “ugly-cute” it is.
  • Bettong: A small marsupial that looks similar to a small possum (or a large rat).
  • Gouldian Finch: Also known as the rainbow finch. A wonderfully colourful bird with a red face and purple, mustard, teal and green plumage.

Food and Drink:

  • Witchetty Grub: Large wood-eating moth larvae.
  • Pavlova: A meringue-based dessert topped with fruit, whipped cream and sometimes sponge cake.
  • Vegemite: A salty, bitter spread made from brewer’s yeast. An Australian icon.
  • Chiko Roll: A savoury snack food inspired by sping rolls. Contains cabbage, barley, beans, meat, celery and onion.
  • Sausage Roll: A British snack where pastry is rolled around sausage meat.
  • Anzac Biscuit: A soft biscuit made with oats, syrup, coconut and sugar.
  • Pie: While there are many types of pie (including sweet dessert pies), the most common and popular in Australia are beef pies.
  • Lamington: A small snack cake coated in chocolate sauce and coconut. Sometimes served filled with jam and cream.
  • Milo: A powdered drink that can be consumed hot or cold. Marketed as an energy drink and has a mildly chocolatey flavour.
  • Splice: A creamy vanilla ice cream coated with a an icy lime-flavoured shell.    
  • Weet-bix: A breakfast cereal which is high in fibre and low in sugar.
  • Neenish Tart: A pastry shell filled with cream icing sugar paste, lemon and condensed milk and topped with dried icing in two colours (usually pink and brown).
  • Fairy Bread: White bread topped with butter or margarine, then sprinkled with hundreds and thousands.
  • Tim Tams: Chocolate icing sandwiched between two chocolate biscuits, coated with more chocolate. Comes in a variety of flavours.
  • Fish and Chips: Beet-battered fish deep fried and served with lemon, tartar sauce and chips.   
  • Golden Gaytime: A toffee and vanilla-flavoured ice cream coated in chocolate and honeycomb chips.
  • Tomato Sauce: Popularised by Heinz and commonly eaten with savoury pies and sausage rolls.
  • Jaffas: A small, round candy consisting of a chocolate centre with a hard orange-flavoured outer shell.
  • Beer: Beer is very common in Australia’s social scene and is a part of festivals, music and sporting events.  

Plants:

  • Banksia: Australian wildflowers with distinctive spiky flowers and cone-like heads.
  • Acacia: A fluffy, spherical yellow flower.
  • Kangaroo Paw: A tubular, furry red and green flower that resembles a kangaroo’s paw.
  • Kangaroo Grass: A perennial red and green grass. Also known as red grass, red oat grass or rooigras.
  • Lilly Pilly: An ornamental tree that grows small pinkish-red fruit known as riberry.    
  • Eucalyptus Tree: A species of trees and shrub that have adapted to fire. They’re popular for timber and essential oils.
  • Sturt Desert Pea: A plant with bright red, leafy flowers with a round black “pea” in the centre.
  • Tea Tree: The origin of tea tree oil. Grows along streams and swampland, and has small, fluffy white flowers.   
  • Gum Tree: A colloquial name for trees with smooth bark, or those closely related to eucalyptus trees.
  • Waratah: A plant with large flowers that feature brightly coloured, densely-packed heads of “petals”.
  • Bottlebrush: A genus of woody shrubs and small trees. The most commonly known type has a cylindrical, fluffy red head.
  • Illawarra Flame Tree: A large tree with vibrant red flowers that often cover the entire tree.
  • Grass Tree: A flowering plant with an above-ground stem.
  • Finger Lime: Also known as caviar lime. A thorny shrub with edible citrus fruit.
  • Bird’s Nest Fern: A name given to several species of fern that grow in a tight, nest-like shape.
  • Australian Daisy:  A common flower with white petals and a yellow centre.
  • Wax Flower: A type of shrub belonging to the myrtle family. Has thin, spiny leaves and waxy pink flowers.
  • Hakea: Shrubs with generally flat or circular leaves.
  • Mint Bush: Bushy shrubs with aromatic leaves. Commonly used as ornamentals and for essential oils and spices.
  • Grevillea: A group of evergreen flowering plants.
  • Scribbly Gum: Eucalyptus trees that host the larvae of scribbly gum moths.
  • Prickly Moses: A common name for several acacia plants.
  • Bunya Pine: A large evergreen tree found in Queensland.
  • Red River Gum: A large tree with smooth whitish bark and flowering buds.      

Activities & Sports:

  • Scuba Diving: A type of underwater diving where the diver uses an underwater breathing apparatus. Commonly done to see underwater life and coral.
  • Surfing: A water sport where people use a floating board to ride waves. Surfing is so popular in Australia that there are websites and watches that track waves and sea levels.
  • Diving: The sport of diving from a great height in to water.
  • Swimming: Since Australia has such great beaches, swimming is a common sport and is taught at primary schools too.  
  • Barbecue: Cooking food on a grill. So popular that barbecues are common at Australian hardware stores (Bunnings) and at elections.
  • Picnic: Australia has great bush and parkland, which makes for picturesque picnic sites.
  • Rock Climbing: A popular outdoor sport where people scale cliffs, mountains or rock surfaces.
  • Camping: Australia’s vast bushland and forests make great camping sites.
  • White Water Rafting: A sport where a raft is used to navigate a fast-moving river. Usually done with a team of people.
  • Swimming with Dolphins: In certain areas, people are able to swim with friendly dolphins that are used to having people in their area.
  • Whale Watching: A recreational activity where whales are observed in their natural habitat without interaction or interruption.
  • Sailing: Traversing bodies of water, usually in a small boat with a sail.
  • Kayaking: A sport where a canoe-like boat is used to float across water.
  • Paddle-Boarding: A peaceful sport where a person stands on a large board (similar to a surfboard) and uses a long paddle to propel themselves across water.
  • Football: A popular sport where the aim is to score goals by kicking a ball through goalposts.
  • Beach: A natural area of sand and ocean. Generally patrolled by lifeguards to keep the public safe, and has natural hazards such as rip tides, waves, sharp rocks and animals.
  • Cricket: A game that revolves around hitting a ball with a bat far enough to run to designated areas before the ball is retrieved.
  • Rugby: Similar to football, but with more tackling. Also extremely popular in New Zealand.
  • Netball: An indoor ball sport predominantly played by women.
  • Beach Volleyball: An outdoor ball sport made difficult by the conditions – heat, sand, wind, etc.  

Tourist Sites & Attractions:

  • Sydney Opera House: A performing arts centre that is also a famous tourist attraction.
  • Great Barrier Reef: The world’s largest coral reef. Stretches over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles). Can be seen from space.
  • Uluru: A rock formation in the Northern Territory. Sacred to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu.
  • Kata Tjuta: Translates to “many heads”. A large, domed rock formation.
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge: A steel bridge that stretches over the Sydney Harbour and has been heritage listed.
  • Blue Mountains National Park: A protected national park in New South Wales.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens (Melbourne): A reserved area in Melbourne.
  • Federation Square: A venue for cultural and public events on the edge of the Melbourne CBD.
  • National Gallery of Victoria: An arts gallery in the Melbourne CBD.
  • Bondi Beach: A popular beach in Sydney. One of the most visited tourist sites in Australia.
  • Whitsundays: A collection of islands in varying sizes across the coast of Queensland.
  • Daintree National Park: A rainforest in North Queensland and a world heritage site.
  • Fraser Island: A heritage-listed island along the coast of Queensland. Home to rainforests, woodlands, mangrove forests, swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths.
  • Kakadu National Park: Found in the Alligator Rivers region of the Northern Territory. Listed as a world heritage site.
  • Great Ocean Road: Australian national heritage listed. A road that stretches along the coast and is also the world’s largest war memorial.
  • Cable Beach: A 22km long beach.
  • Kangaroo Island: Australia’s third-largest island.
  • Cradle Mountain: A mountain found in the Lake St. Clair National park. 1.545 metres above sea-level – the sixth highest mountain in Tasmania.
  • Penguin Island: There are three Penguin Islands in Australia – one in South Australia, another in Tasmania and a third in Western Australia. These are small islands just off the coast and are home to flocks of penguins.
  • Flinders Chase National Park: This is a protected area in South Australia and is a sanctuary for endangered species.
  • Mount Ossa: This is the highest mountain in Tasmania, with an elevation of 1617 metres above sea level.
  • Lake St. Clair: This is a freshwater lake in Tasmania and spreads over about 45 square kilometres.
  • Three Sisters: There are three sets of “three sisters” in Australia – a rock formation in New South Wales, a set of three islands in Queensland and three small islands in Tasmania.
  • Twelve Apostles: A set of limestone formations in the Port Campbell National Park in Victoria.
  • Salamanca Market: A street market in Hobart and Tasmania’s most visited tourist attraction. The market has over 300 stalls and operates every Saturday.
  • Parliament House: This is the meeting place for Parliament in Australia.
  • Rottnest Island: An a-class reserve and home to friendly quokkas. A common holiday area.
  • Wave Rock: A rock formation shaped like a cresting wave. 15m tall and about 110m long. A very popular tourist attraction.
  • Purnululu National Park: A large world heritage site in Western Australia.
  • Margaret River: A river in Western Australia. Also the name of the town and tourist area surrounding it.
  • Byron Bay: A beachside town in New South Wales.
  • Freycinet National Park: Tasmania’s oldest parkland.
  • Barossa Valley: A major tourist attraction in South Australia. Also a wine-producing region.
  • Karijini National Park: The second-largest park in Western Australia.
  • Gold Coast: A coastal city in Queensland. A tourist attraction known for its sunny weather, beaches, theme parks and buzzing nightlife.    
  • Brisbane Skytower: A 270.5 metre tall skyscraper in Brisbane. Brisbane’s tallest building.
  • Anzac War Memorial:  A museum, memorial and monument in Sydney.
  • Royal Exhibition Building: Also known as “the REB”. The first Australian building to be granted world heritage status.
  • Sydney Town Hall:  A heritage-listed town hall in Sydney.   
  • Queen Victoria Building: Also known as “the QVB”. A heritage-listed building in Sydney’s CBD.                

Musical Instruments:

  • Bullroarer: An indigenous musical instrument used for communicating over long distances.
  • Clapstick: An aboriginal instrument used to keep rhythm during voice chants.
  • Clave: A wooden percussive instrument that gives a bright clicking sound when tapped together.
  • Rainmaker: A long, tubular instrument that is meant to emulate rain from the sound of the pebbles or beans inside.
  • Didgeridoo: A long wind instrument that is of cultural significance to Aboriginal Australians. Has a number of regional indigenous names, including yidaki, ilpirra, garnbak and yiraka (among others).
  • Fairlight CMI: CMI is short for Computer Musical Instrument. A synthesizer and sampler developed in Sydney by Tony Furse.
  • Wobble Board: Invented by Australian musician Rolf Harris. Played by flicking the board outward, making a “woop-woop” noise.

Inventions & Products:

  • Ugg Boots: Sheepskin boots with a synthetic sole. Initially intended for warmth but is now enjoyed as a fashion statement.
  • Spray-on Skin: This is a skin treatment for burn victims.
  • Pacemaker: A medical device that helps the heart beat at a steady, even rate.
  • Polymer Bank Notes: Unlike other countries, Australia uses banknotes made of polypropylene, which means the notes are waterproof, hard to tear, and have security features such a prints in transparent windows and special inks.
  • Electric Drill: A drill that’s powered by an electric motor. Invented in Melbourne in 1889.
  • Gardasil: A vaccine that protects against straings of HPV.    
  • Box Wine: Also known as cask wine. A cheap wine that is packaged in a foil bladder, then protected with a cardboard box.  
  • Hills Hoist: A type of clothes line that is height-adjustable.
  • Speedo: A type of swimwear founded in Sydney. Also known in Australia as a “budgie smuggler”.
  • Cork Hat: A type of hat that has pieces of cork strung around the circumference of the brim, used to swat away insects.
  • Victoria Bitter: One of the best selling beers in Australia. Also known as “VB”.
  • Sunscreen: Since UV levels are high in Australia, sunscreen is a very popular mode of skin protection and is commonly brought to picnics and beaches.    

Celebrities and Entertainment:

  • Isla Fisher: A Scottish-Australian author and actress. She became popular during her role on the Australian soap opera “Home and Away”.
  • Ruby Rose: An Australian actress and model. She became popular as a presenter on MTV.
  • Margot Robbie: An Australian actress who is listed as one of the world’s highest paid actresses. One of her first roles was on the Australian soap opera “Neighbours”. Has since acted in Hollywood blockbusters “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Suicide Squad”.
  • Sam Sparro: A singer-songwriter and producer. Best known for their single “Black and Gold”.
  • Katherine Langford: An actress known for her role as Hannah Baker in the Netflix drama “13 Reasons Why”.
  • Germaine Greer: A writer and academic/intellectual, best known for her work during the second-wave feminist movement.
  • Guy Sebastian: A singer who won the first season of “Australian Idol”.  
  • Cate Blanchett: An actress and director who is listed in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.  
  • Delta Goodrem: A singer, songwriter and actress. She’s sold over eight million albums and has worked as a coach on The Voice Australia.
  • Chris Hemsworth: An actor who started out on the Aussie show Home and Away. Best known as Thor.
  • Hugh Jackman: An actor, singer and producer best known for his role as Wolverine.
  • Liam Hemsworth: An actor who is best known for his role as Gale in the Hunger Games.
  • Danii Minogue: A singer, actress, model, fashion designer and television presenter.
  • Elle MacPherson: A supermodel and businesswoman. Best known for her modeling work in the 80s, which led to her nickname “The Body”.
  • Jennifer Hawkins: A model and television presenter who is best known for being crowned Miss Universe.
  • Megan Gale: A model, actress and fashion designer who played Valkyrie in Mad Max. 
  • Portia de Rossi: A model, philanthropist and actress. Best known for her role in Arrested Development.
  • Kylie Minogue: A singer and actress known as a style icon and as the “Princess of Pop”. Her career started with the show Neighbours.
  • Rose Byrne: An actress who now lives in the US.
  • Hugo Weaving: A film and stage actor best known for his roles in the Matrix and The Lord of the Rings.
  • Kath and Kim: An Australian sitcom revolving around mother and daughter duo Kath and Kim.
  • Toni Collette: An actress and musician, known for her prolific work in independent films.
  • Miranda Kerr: A model and businesswoman. The first Australian Victoria’s Secret model.
  • Heath Ledger: An actor best known for his role in Ten Things I Hate About You and as the Joker in The Dark Knight.
  • Rebel Wilson: An actress and comedian best known for her role as Fat Amy.
  • Keith Urban: A singe, songwriter and record producer known for his country music.
  • Ian Thorpe: An olympic swimmer.  
  • Neighbours: A popular soap opera.
  • Nicole Kidman: An actress who has had many blockbuster roles, with her main breakout role being Satine in Moulin Rouge.
  • Olivia Newton-John: An actress best known for her role in Grease.
  • Lara Bingle (Worthington): A model and media personality.
  • Home and Away: A popular soap opera and the main competitor to Neighbours.
  • Cathy Freeman: An olympic sprinter and the eighth-fastest woman of all time.
  • Dawn Fraser: An olympic swimmer and former politician.
  • Baz Luhrman: A film director and producer best known for his movies Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby.
  • Steve Irwin: A wildlife expert and television personality who was also known as “The Crocodile Hunter”.
  • Sophie Monk: A singer, actress, model and media personality. Her career started with the girl group Bardot.
  • Dame Edna: A character created and played by comedian Barry Humphries.
  • Hamish & Andy: A comedy duo comprised of Hamish Blake and Andy Lee. Best known for their radio show “The Hamish and Andy Show”.
  • AC/DC: A popular rock band.
  • Chris Lilley: A writer, comediam, producer, director and actor best known for his work Summer Heights High and Angry Boys.      

We hope this thorough list of Australian things was useful and that you found what you needed!

We did our best to cover the varied meanings of “Australian” with our visual gallery of Australian things and our descriptive list. If you feel there’s something we missed, feel free to let us know and leave a comment.

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