We have visited Africa, Asia and Mexico during our Virtual Camp’s World Travel Tour. Next, we will learn about Australian animals, fun facts about Australia and make some awesome Australian crafts! We will even answer the question: “how do you make a boomerang out of paper that comes back to you when you throw it?” (Spoiler: it is AMAZINGLY cool!)
P.S. We are using these passport books to keep track of which places our kids explore, and to record our favorite things that we learn about each place that we “visit.” It is a great way to revisit where we have “been.”
Australia has a wide variety of reptiles, birds, animals and plants. The most well-known animals are probably the wallaby, platypus, dingo, koala, kangaroo and echidna. Here are 15 wild animals of Australia to learn about!
In Australia, you will find koalas hanging out in the trees, particularly in Queensland and Victoria. Koalas are herbivores and mainly eat eucalyptus leaves.
If you combined a duck, a beaver and an otter, you would get something similar to the platypus! The platypus is a venomous mammal that lays eggs.
The unofficial national animal of Australia is the kangaroo. They are only found in Australia and are native to the land.
The best place to see a wombat is in the Epping Forest National Park in Australia. Other than in that park, wombats mainly live in the mountains of Australia.
These marsupials are the smallest member in the kangaroo family. Unfortunately, there is a species of wallabies that are also endangered because people hunt them for their fur.
6. Tasmanian Devil
Don’t let a Tasmanian Devil bite you! They have one of the strongest bites (per unit body mass) of any land predator! As you may have guessed, they are carnivorous animals.
The wild dog of Australia is called the dingo. They are the largest terrestrial predator found in Australia.
8. Thorny Dragon
Predators beware! Thorny Dragons have amazing defensive abilities, even though they are a small species of lizard.
9. Cane Toad
These are among the largest of all toads and frogs in Australia. They are very toxic, so stay clear if you see one!
These spiky anteaters are a rare animal. Echidna have sharp spines covering their bodies, similar to porcupines.
This endangered species is one of the shortest mammals in the world. Macrotis are also known as Greater Bilby.
12. Inland Taipan
The most venomous snake in the entire world is the Inland Taipan and lives in central east Australia. Their venom is more toxic than any other reptile’s venom!
As the fourth largest lizard in the world, Australian Goanna’s are huge! The largest monitor lizard lives in Western Australia and is called the perentie.
14. Tiger Quoll
Australia has many marsupials and the Tiger Quoll is the longest marspuial in the world. You can find Tiger Quolls in Tasmania and mainland Australia.
15. Sugar Glider
One of the most frequently traded wild animal in Australia is the sugar glider. This species lives in family groups on the mainland of Australia.
Is Australia a Continent or a Country?
This is definitely a question that confuses a lot of people! Is Australia a continent or a country? The answer is that Australia is both! There is a country called Australia, which is part of a continent that is also called Australia! This is why Wikipedia has a separate page for Australia (the country) and Australia (the continent).
What Countries are in Australia?
Now that we have established the difference between the country of Australia and the continent of Australia, what countries are in Australia (the continent)? There are a total of three countries: Papua New Guinea, Australia (the country) and parts of Indonesia. Australia is the smallest of the seven continents with only 3.3 million square miles. Compare that to Asia, which is 17.21 million square miles or Africa, which is 11.73 million square miles.
Is New Zealand Part of Australia?
No, New Zealand is not a part of Australia. However, both New Zealand and Australia are part of Australasia, a sub-region of Oceania.
Australia Facts: Fun for Kids
Checkout these fun facts about Australia!
1. 90% of the population live on the coast
Since the center of Australia contains a lot of deserts, 90% of Australians actually live on the coast. That is probably why most of us think of beaches when we picture Australia!
2. The Swiss Alps get less snow than the Australian Alps
The Australian Alps are a mountain range between Victoria and New South Wales. If you love skiing, you will love these mountains! Plus, their main “snow season” is between the months of June and September, making it the perfect place to ski when it is the summertime in the northern hemisphere!
3. The cleanest air on earth
Tasmania, an island in Australia, has the cleanest air in the world. Over one third of the island is a national park. If you love hiking, biking, caves or kayaking, Tasmania is the place for you!
4. Wild animals are 80% unique to Australia
Of the wild animals found in Australia, 80% of them are unique to Australia and cannot be found (in the wild) anywhere else.
5. The largest eco-system is the Great Barrier Reef
Of all of the eco-systems in the world, the Great Barrier Reef’s is the largest. You can actually see it from outer space!
Australia Crafts & Games
Now that we have learned a bit about Australia, let’s make some Australian arts and crafts, and play a game!
1. DIY Australian Koala (Using Socks!)
2. How to Play Cricket
Have you ever heard of the sport called cricket? It is one of the most popular sports in Australia. Learn how to play cricket (kid style!) in the video below. If you have a sporty kiddo who needs something to stay busy this summer, you should totally get a children’s cricket set!
3. Aboriginal Dot Painting
Learn about aboriginal dot painting, made by the indigenous people of Australia. Then, grab a qtip and some paint to make your own!
How Do You Make a Boomerang for Kids (That Comes Back to You)?
You can actually fold a piece of paper and create an origami boomerang that comes back to you when you throw it! Watch this Red Ted Art video to learn how to make a DIY boomerang that actually works!
Traditional Australian Recipes for Kids
Let’s try some traditional Australian recipes that kids will love!
1. Australian Chicken Schnitzel Recipe
Kids love chicken schnitzel, which is a fried chicken breast. In Australia, they use the term “schnitty” as an abbreviation for chicken schnitzel, and serve it with gravy and chips (their word for American “fries.”) Here is a great recipe to try.
2. Australian Meat Pie Recipe
The Aussies make a delicious meat pie out of ground beef, spices and a delicious crust. Try this recipe!
3. Lamingtons Recipe (Australian Dessert)
We wouldn’t want our kids to be disappointed by skipping dessert! Lamingtons are a sweet sponge cakes that are coated in chocolate and topped with coconut. Here is an Australian Lamingtons recipe.
Australian Slang Words
Let’s learn 10 Australian slang words! Warning: you may start using these Aussie terms, as they are quite addictive to say!
If something is excellent, you call it “bonza.”
2. No worries, mate!
If someone apologizes to you for something, you might say “no worries, mate,” meaning it is not a problem.
3. G’day mate!
If you want to say hello in a friendly way, you say “g’day mate.”
The most important meal of the day is breakfast, or “brekky,” as they call it in Australia.
Are you a McDonalds fan? In Australia, they call it Maccas.
Another way of saying a man is to say a “bloke.”
7. Snags on the barbie
When you have sausages cooking on a BBQ, you would say that you have “snags on the barbie.”
8. Fair dinkum
If something is honest or genuine, it is called “fair dinkum.”
The way you say “afternoon” in Australia is “arvo.”
10. Stubby cooler
It is hot in much of Australia, and you keep your drinks cold by storing them in a “stubby cooler.”
Australia Virtual Tour
There’s tons to explore in Australia for kids! Checkout the following virtual field trips and tours of Australia.
1. Sydney Virtual Tour 360°
Australia’s largest city is Sydney. Let’s take a look at all of Sydney’s attractions, sights and gorgeous beaches in this video.
2. Taronga Zoo Virtual Tour
Australia’s largest zoo is called Taronga Zoo and is located in Sydney. You can take a virtual walk around the zoo and see animals, as well as gorgeous views of Sydney’s harbor here.
3. Great Barrier Reef Virtual Field Trip
The world’s largest coral reef is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Let’s take an interactive journey with David Attenborough here.
4. Luna Park (Sydney) Virtual Tour
Do your kids love amusement park rides? You can actually walk around Sydney’s Luna Park and explore it’s rides here.
Kids Books About Australia
These kids books about Australia are a great way to learn more about the country, while practicing reading! Some are even available for free with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, which you can try for free (and you do not even need a Kindle).
Want to learn more about the wombat, a slow (but cuddly) Australian animal? Diary of a Wombat is a funny book with fantastic illustrations.
Australian animals are some of the most unique animals, since you can only find them in Australia. Learn more about them in Over in Australia: Amazing Animals Down Under.
What better way to get to know Australia virtually than through a fun travel guide for kids! Australia: Travel for kids: The fun way to discover Australia will expose your kids to the history, flags, wildlife, geography and culture of Australia.
And the most fun part… share a photo or video of your virtual camp activities on Facebook! Make sure to include a link to this website or to our Facebook Group and Facebook Page, so that we can see it too! It gives our kids a great sense of community to see that we are all doing the same activities together!