Test Your Aussie IQ!

Australian_FlagSo I’ve been in Oz for about 3 weeks now which means, of course, I’m an expert on all things Australian. Most of what I’ve picked up is from random conversations and shamelessly pilfering from Bill Bryson’s Down Under, which is hilarious.  I amused myself immensely reading it and I learned a lot.

Answer each of these 10 questions and if you get them right, give yourself 1 point. At the end of the quiz, total up your points and read the corresponding assessment. Here goes:


1) Which Europeans “discovered” Australia? The Portuguese in 1525, The Dutch in 1606, or the British in 1770

2) In 1787, Britain sent its “First Fleet” of 1,500 convicts to Australia. What was the typical length of the prison sentence or “transportation” (as it was called)? 20 years, 10 years, or 7 years

3) What bridge is longer than Sydney’s Harbor Bridge by 25 inches? London’s Tower Bridge, NYC’s Bayonne Bridge, or San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge

4) What novelty idem did an Australian not invent? The Frisbee, the rotary clothesline, or the fork lift.

5) Which of the 7 Australian states voted not to be a “state,” and therefore has no formal voting power in Parliament? Western Australian, Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, or Tasmania (not counting the ACT: Australian Capital Territory)

6) Australians are talented athletes. Or as my friend Rose puts it, Australians “punch up.” Based on Olympic medals per million of population (for the 1996 Olympics), which was the only country to out-strip OZ in the medal department? Germany, the U.S., or Russia

7) Are there more kangaroos now or before European settlement of Australia?

8) What is Australia’s population density per square mile? 34 people, 15 people, 6 people

9) Which Australian state is the only one not to have received convicts? Northern Territory, Tasmania, South Australia

10) Is a platypus formally classified as a reptile or a mammal?


1) While most attribute the founding of Australia to Captain James Cook in 1770, there is evidence that both the Dutch and the Portuguese beat him to it. As proof, there are a pair of Portuguese canons dating from before 1525 found on Carronade Island on Australia’s northwest coast.

2) The average was 7 years. Although since there was no support given for a return voyage, it was in essence a life sentence. The voyage took 252 days and traversed 1,500 miles.

3) When the 1,650 foot Harbor Bridge opened in 1932, after 11 years of building, New York’s Bayonne Bridge exceeded it by a mere 0.121%.

4) The fork lift. Australians are a very proud of the Frisbee and the rotary clothesline.

5) The Northern Territory elected not to become a formal state. Interestingly while its inhabitants are required to vote by law, their votes aren’t counted. The Northern Territory contains one-fifth of the country’s land mass and more than 500,000 Australians.

6) Trick question – none! Australia averaged 3.7 medals per million inhabitants across 14 different sports. This is 2.5 times the next nearest winner: Germany.

7) Now. There are at least 100 million kangaroos hopping about. They are proliferating because of the increased planting of grasslands by settlers.

8) Australia averages 6 people per square mile. The worldwide average is 117. The U.S. averages 76 and Britain comes in at 632.

9) South Australia. Although the state was founded by one, the criminal Mr. Edward Wakefield in 1830.

10) Mammal. Despite laying it eggs like a reptile, the platypus nurses its young so it is considered a mammal. A scientific debate about the platypus’ classification lasted nearly a century.


Now, total up your points:

  • · 7 to 10 correct: Congratulations! You’re a dinkum Aussie!
  • · 3 to 6 correct: Not bad! You should be grinning like a shot fox!
  • · 0 to 3 correct: Oh no! You’re a whacka!

How’d you do? Write and tell me!  Erin@GoErinGo.com

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This entry was posted on Friday, February 11th, 2011 and is filed under Asia Pacific.

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