7 Interesting Aussie Facts…

..for people who don’t live here! Especially if you’re from North America!

I’m a proud little Aussie gal!

Just now, I’m particularly proud (not for nationalistic reasons) because my seventh historical romance SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED recently hit the shelves.

In honor of all the 7s doing the rounds, I thought I’d pick out seven interesting facts about Australia that foreigners may find interesting.

So here are seven mostly obscure facts about my beloved homeland that you can use to dazzle the guests at your next barbecue:

7.            Apart from Antarctica, Australia is the world’s driest continent. Perhaps that explains our dry sense of humor!

6.            Australia is one of the few nations to send athletes to every modern summer Olympic Games. We’ve hosted the Olympics twice – in 1956 and 2000.

5.            In World War II, we came very close to Japanese invasion (Darwin was bombed and there were Japanese submarines creating havoc in Sydney Harbor). Hundreds of thousands of American troops under the command of General MacArthur came to Australia to fight in the Pacific arena. So on behalf of my nation, a big thank you to the United States!

4.            We had a series of gold rushes from the early 1850s through to about 1900, just in time for miners from San Francisco to hop on the nearest sailing ship and float across the Pacific to dig for the yellow stuff. The gold rushes established Australia’s prosperity and population – and when you look at the records, you’d be amazed how many Americans made the trip to our sunny shores!

3.            We have some very strange animals (no, I’m not talking about the types who hang around our local pubs and clubs after midnight on a Saturday!). There are koalas and kangaroos and echidnas and wombats. I want to talk about the platypus here – this duck-billed, egg-laying mammal is so strange that when the first specimens reached London (stuffed, not live) in the early 19th century, the scientific community was convinced it was a hoax.

2.            A couple of American slang terms have very different meanings in Australia, something which gives us great (and childish) amusement. In America, if you ‘root’ for someone, you’re cheering them on. In Australia, ‘root’ means intimate relations. And don’t start me on fanny pack! In some things, we’re two nations divided by a common language!

1.            There’s a myth that we ride kangaroos down the main streets of our biggest cities. This is completely untrue. The kangaroos of Australia formed a union (the HEA – Hopping Entities of Australia – affiliated to the Transport Workers Union) in 1934 to object to this cruel and unusual treatment. Now the kangaroos ride the Aussies! There’s a whole underclass of people who work as Roo-shaws!

OK, not ALL those facts are 100% true. Can you tell which one? However, having read this post, even if you don’t come from my wide brown land, you may now consider yourselves honorary Aussies. Have a stubbie in your stubbies on the black stump outback of beyond in the never-never.

I’d love to know an interesting fact about where you live. And hey, it doesn’t even have to be true! 

I’ve got a signed copy of SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED available for one lucky commenter today. So get commenting, people. Or as we say in Oz, drag up a stump for your rump and have a chinwag, mate.

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Comments

122 thoughts on “7 Interesting Aussie Facts…

  1. 1
    Helen says:

    Is he staying with me

    Have Fun
    Helen

  2. 2
    Helen says:

    Anna

    LOL what a great post I do love some of your facts and I can take a stab at wich one is not correct LOL but I will leave that to someone else.
    I love our Koalas and kangaroos and the platypus although living in suburbia I only see them on trips to zoos and the like although I have seen kangaroos in the outback and they look wonderful racing across the brown fields.

    The GR and I will sit at the black stump tonight with Jake and Josh and share the Tim Tams LOL

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • 2.1

      If I squint, I can just make you out on the black stump, Helen! I love our animals too. I had some overseas visitors last year and we went to Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. I think I got as much of a kick out of feeding the kangaroos as my visitors did, not to mention cuddling a koala!

  3. 3
    Fedora says:

    LOL! Very fun post, Anna! I definitely learned some new things about the land Down Under ;) As for interesting facts about where I live? Hmm… I can’t think of much, but it is a pretty mellow place :) Yes, the weather is good, but it isn’t always sunny in California, and well, not all of us surf ;p At least *I* don’t :D

    • 3.1

      Fedora, there’s a huge surf culture here too – and no, I don’t surf either! I do love the beach. Actually I felt very at home when I visited California for the San Francisco RWA conference. There’s definite similarities with Oz, not least the weather!

    • 3.2
      Natasha Devereux says:

      Hi Fedora, I can give you a couple for California – When I was there in the summer of 2000 I was stunned to discover that the ocean was COLD COLD COLD (too cold to swim in SF) and the fog off the ocean a shock – we drove from LA to SF on the 101 and were fogbound and shivering while on the other side of the mountains it was 98F + – and we were told that this was normal – I expected the Cali coast to be sunny with surfers everywhere – but I loved it there LOL

      • 3.2.1

        Natasha, that surprised me about San Francisco too – I think I’ve seen too many Gidget movies. It’s definitely warm enough to swim where I am in Australia! I love that microclimate in San Francisco – genetically I’m built for cold weather so the cooler the better!

      • 3.2.2
        Caren Crane says:

        Natasha, did you see you were a prize winner from Catherine Gayle’s visit last week? Check out the booty posts for her e-mail!

  4. 4
    J St George says:

    Oh Anna, you do make me laugh.

    Okay my interesting fact is that Byron Bay is located in the erosion caldera of the Tweed Volcano. 23 million years ago the volcano suffered a such violent eruption that it formed a crater. After that, the volcano collapsed into the cavity. Cool huh.

    • 4.1

      Wow, Jen, that is seriously cool! I love your part of the world. It always makes me think of Lord of the Rings – something about the shape of Mount Warning. Thanks for swinging by!

  5. 5
    Adria says:

    Australia is on my bucket list, there’s just something about it that draws my attention. I’ve met one Australian in my 28 years of life and she was pretty awesome and answered all my nosy questions about living there.

    I live in El Paso, TX and if you ask a true El Pasoan to tell you about “Chicos Tacos” they’ll tell you one of the following:

    1. It’s an El Paso tradition, if you visit, you HAVE to eat there.

    2. People who eat there either love it for life or hate it for life.

    3. It’s one of THE cheapest places to eat in El Paso.

    I don’t know where you might encounter an El Pasoan where you live Anna but if by chance you ever do, be sure to ask them about it!

    • 5.1

      Adria, I love it! I’ve actually been to Texas – not El Paso, Dallas thanks to another RWA conference. Loved it. Really nice people! How cool that Australia is on your list!

      • 5.1.1
        Adria says:

        Well in comparison to other Texas cities, El Paso is a bit on the boring side but I can boast that it has one of the best blending of races and cultures ever and though we’re right next to Juarez, we are still one of the safest border cities in the US.

  6. 6
    Jenny Addicoat says:

    Hi Anna,
    I too am from Australia. An interesting fact about my little town. It is the 4th Oldest town in Queensland, founded in 1847.
    As to interesting animals, how about adding the bandicoot, the bilby, quoka, our large lizards, and the fact that we have ten of the most poisonous snakes in the world in Australia, spiders which can kill. We are the same size in landmass to the USA, but are the smallest continent.
    Congratulations on having your seventh book out on the shelves.

    • 6.1

      Wow, Jenny, 4th oldest? I just looked it up. If it’s the town I think it is, you’re only just up the coast from me (I’m on the Sunshine Coast). And what a great list of facts about Australia. Did you notice the picture of the quokka in the blog? They’re gorgeous little mini kangaroos that live on Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia. Another interesting fact. Rottnest means Rats’ Nest (glamorous, huh?). When Dirk Hartog was passing in the 17th century, he saw the quokkas from a distance and decided they were giant rats, hence the name of the island. Isn’t that a cool bit of info?

      • 6.1.1
        Jenny Addicoat says:

        Definitely cool info. I’m about 6 hours north of you. Straight up the bruce highway.
        It’s also where the Explorer Blaxland was killed by Aborginals.

  7. 7
    Gayle Cochrane (@GayleCochrane) says:

    Oh dear, you left out the possums, they won’t be very happy. Though the quokka is very cute, and probably needs the publicity more than the possums.

    Where I live in California, there are seldom earthquakes.

    Love hearing facts about Australia.

    • 7.1

      Gayle, I was stuck with what I had a photo of. I need photos of Australian wildlife pronto! The quokkas are very cute. Very small and compact and with thick fur.

  8. 8

    Aloha, Anna! Hawaii and Oz share an explorer – Captain Cook, who brought Europeans to both island nations. Hawaii has eight major islands, seven that are inhabited (Kahoʻolawe is not), and six open to the public (Ni’ihau is not), Hawaiian refer to Vegas as the 9th island, as it is their No. 1 vacation destination. While most tourists flock to “themed” hotels on the strip, the Hawaiians prefer the hotels on Fremont Street.

    • 8.1

      Wow, Kim, that IS interesting! I’d love to visit Hawaii one day and see you and all the beautiful scenery – although of course the beautiful scenery includes YOU!

  9. 9
    Barb says:

    Hi Anna

    I have my brother and his wife visiting from Coffs harbour and have just seen a nphoto of a wallaroo in there garden…. it is between a wallaby and a kangaroo……but a lot stockier

    • 9.1

      Barb, I’ve never heard of a wallaroo before! How interesting. We used to get paddymelons at my boarding school. They’re very cute too. Lovely to see you at GenreCon last weekend.

  10. 10

    hi Anna

    Fun post! One thing about Australia – I wish it was located closer to the US so we could see you more frequently. I live in Ohio whose name is derived from the Iroquois Indian “O-Y-O” which means “big river.” Ohio is bounded by the big river on the south and one of the Great Lakes on the north. While mostly wide open farmland today, it’s said that the state was once a dense woods – so much so that a squirrel could travel from the Ohio river to Lake Erie without ever touching the ground.

    It’s illegal to get a fish drunk in Ohio and for women to wear patent leather shoes (shocking!) LOL. I totally believe that if you yell “O-H” in any major city in the US, someone will stand up and yell back “I-O.” I have tested this theory many times (to my husband’s mortification) and found in to be true.

    • 10.1
      Manuela says:

      Hi Donna,

      haven’t had a better laugh since reading another Anna blog the other day. Wish I could be with you when you are yelling OH, that is hillarious LOL, thanks for the name explanation and the squirrel story, I was quite impressed that today (it is almost midnight) I managed to learn something new.

    • 10.2
    • 10.3

      Donna, you crack me up! I’m imagining you somewhere like the Metropolitan Museum trying that trick! Yes, it’s been too long, hasn’t it? Sadly, I’m not going to make Atlanta either. I had high hopes but they just haven’t eventuated. You’ll have forgotten what I look like before we all get together again. Love the interesting facts about Ohio!

  11. 11
    Cheryl Leigh says:

    Fun post, Anna! I’ve had American visitors here, and the wife – fascinated by Aussie expressions – has been jotting them down as she hears them. I found a tea towel with a list of words and a book with 3,000 Oz expressions in Montville. She was rapt!

    The only interesting fact I can think of right now is that a famous and wonderful author lived not far from me once upon a time. ;)

    I’ve just started reading Seven Nights and I’m absolutely hooked!!

    • 11.1

      Hey, Cheryl, thanks so much for saying you’re enjoying Jonas and Sidonie (they’re certainly enjoying each other, LOL!). Laughing at the famous author. Actually you’re my six degrees of separation for the Beatles – do you know Cheryl met the Beatles when they came to Sydney? That’s a seriously cool fact! I love a lot of the old Aussie-isms. My mother had a million of them!

  12. 12
    Manuela says:

    Hello Anna,

    some interesting facts about Australia, well I live now for 7 years in the Adelaide Area and I can hear people moaning when I say in the Northern Suburbs. I enjoyed living in the Elizabeth area (Jimmie Barnes lived here, too) apart from the stealing our car, car radio and a garden bench that went walk-about one day. We had our little square of streets surrounded by police once a month, yelling and screaming and threatening of neighbours by neighbours or other shady characters that came around and I still wouldn’t move into any other area. Then we built our new own house and thought, what a nice area we are living in now. Munno Para West. Love it here ;-) break-ins across the road and in neighbouring streets, a shooting (and again police surrounding the area), an arrest for murder. Some of the weirdest crimes happened in South Australia.
    I love going to zoos (Adelaide, Monarto, Gorge Wildlife Park) I usually drag any overseas visitors to the later just to make sure they get the “I cuddled a Koala” picture. And I have seen a koala and kangaroos in wildlife, yeah – no they are not hopping around in Rundle Mall.
    I have a hold on your book in my local library and can’t wait to get my fingers on it. I guess thats the biggest fact about Australia, there are decent, mind their own business, reading people living down under. Just love it here.

    • 12.1

      Manuela, so glad you’re enjoying living in our wide brown land and that you’re getting plenty of local color (to put it kindly!). Poor old Adelaide – it gets introduced everywhere now as Australia’s serial killer capital! And it used to have such a genteel reputation! Love your interesting facts! Hope the library gets you 7 Nights pronto!

      • 12.1.1
        Manuela says:

        Anna,
        I am checking everyday, still on waiting list but I will get it and I will let you know when I read it.
        Well, I have to admit there are beautiful sides about Adelaide and its surrounding suburbs. I love the bird life, every morning I am driving down to work there are cockatoos and galahs and colourful parakeets along the road side. When my hubby and I go for a drive into the Adelaide Hills I always wonder what it must have looked like for the first settlers to come to these valleys with no roads or electricity. A fact about South Australia is that it hasn’t have a past as a convict outpost but was settled by decent people who tried to make a living in a new place (lots of them Germans, just like me ;-) ). I love that I have to drive only 30 min to the beach – back in my hometown I would have to drive 8 hours to German shores or driving for at least 2 and a half through another country to reach the Dutch beaches. We are surrounded by wine regions to the north, the south and the east. Adelaide is called (one of) “the city of churches” and I find new ones everytime we go for a drive. We have plenty of good restaurant within the CBD, Northern Adelaide and the suburbs and just recently we combined libraries in our state so that readers have access to more books than ever…

  13. 13
    pjpuppymom says:

    Great post, Anna! Love your Aussie facts and LOVE your new book! One of my dreams is to visit your beautiful country some day and the wonderful friends I’ve made from there. (like you and Christina and Joanne and Helen and Kandy and the rest of you! :)

    • 13.1
      Helen says:

      PJ

      It would be fantastic if you could visit what a party we could all have

      Have Fun
      Helen

    • 13.2

      Hey, PJ, thanks for saying you enjoyed the post. It was a fun one to write. And you KNOW there’s a pot of tea and a comfy bed waiting for you any time you choose to visit. Wouldn’t we have fun? Get that piggy bank out, my friend!

  14. 14
    Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    Such fun, I live in West Virginia which is NOT part of Virginia.

    1. West Virginia is the only state in the Union to have acquired its sovereignty by proclamation of the President of the United States.

    2. WV is a “middle” state, in other words, we are southern and northern at the same time, we are consided the southern most northern state and the northern most southern state. A mixed up culture to say the least.

    3. WV nickname is The Mountain State and almost 75% of the state is covered by forest. Our motto “Montani, Semper Liberi” translates to Mountaineers are always free.

    4. The first brick street in the world was laid in Charleston (the capitol city) WV, Oct.23, 1870.

    • 14.1

      Wow, Dianna, that’s really fascinating. I love that motto – how cool is that? One day I’d love the chance to travel extensively in the US. It’s such a beautiful country. My Bandita sister Jeanne showed me something of Virginia when I visited for the Washington RWA conference and it was beautiful – so green and lush. Like something out of a movie.

  15. 15
    Connie Fischer says:

    Hi, Anna! What a great post. If I’m ever going to get to Australia to enjoy that pot of tea with you, I need to learn more about your country. I had to chuckle at the kangaroos forming a union. Surely, that cannot be true but it sounds good! ;-)

    I’m getting to read your new novel very soon and I cannot wait. So, keep the pot on and I hope to be there one day soon!

    All the best, Dear Lady!

    • 15.1

      Hi Connie! Pot of tea always ready for you too. And I hope you have fun with Jonas and Sidonie! What???!!! You don’t think the kangaroo union fact is true? Oh, dear, what a skeptic you are! Of COURSE that’s true! LOL!

  16. 16
    Connie Fischer says:

    Oops! Didn’t follow your request to the letter. As I live in southwest Florida, we have lots of what we call “snowbirds” who flock down to spend the winter. We locals also call them Q-Tips because from behind, all you see is a little white haired person driving the car. Now, wasn’t that ugly? :-)

  17. 17
    pjpuppymom says:

    Sorry, didn’t have time to post info earlier. I live in upstate South Carolina. Here are a few facts about my area.

    1. We sit in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mountain range that’s over 300 million years old and whose trees turn the mountain a dusky shade of blue.

    2. Stumphouse Tunnel, a half-finished mountain railroad tunnel built in the 1800s, was bought by Clemson University in the 1950s and used to perfect the process of curing their international award-winning blue cheese. The temperature inside the tunnel is a consistent 50 degrees with 85% humidity.

    3. From South Carolina’s Lowcountry: the walls of the American Fort on Sullivan’s Island were made of Palmetto logs (we’re called the Palmetto State) because British cannonballs bounced off the spongy material. Very helpful during the Revolutionary War!

    • 17.1

      Wow, PJ, that’s three seriously bodacious facts. Love the tunnel making great cheese (mind you, I like cheese so you kind of had me at the mention of that!). Love the palmetto story. We have the blue mountain phenomenon here too – the eucalypt sap evaporates into the air and creates a blue haze. Hence the Blue Mountains outside Sydney and the fondly named ‘blue’ Dandenongs outside Melbourne. One day I’m coming to visit – I want to be there when the dogwoods are in bloom. Whenever you post pics of them, I love them.

  18. 18
    Janga says:

    I love your post, Anna!

    Here’s my contribution:

    Georgia produces more than 200 million pounds of peanuts annually and is home to the most famous peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter. It also produces the sweetest onion, the Vidalia.

    Georgia is known as the Peach State, but California grows the most peaches with South Carolina #2. (Rival growers in Georgian and South Carolina champion their own produce but agree that Southern peaches taste the best.)

    Georgia’s 7000-year-old Okefenokee Swamp, setting of Bandita Nancy’s fab series, includes more than 400,000 acres of canals.

    Georgia was the site of the first Gold Rush in America.

    Georgia was the first state to lower the legal voting age to 18. The voting age here was changed all the way back in 1945, more than 25 years before the 26th Amendment was adopted.

    Georgia boasts the world’s largest contiguous college campus in the world (Berry College), the oldest chartered public university in the U. S. (the University of Georgia), and the first college in the world founded as a degree-granting institution for women (Wesleyan College).

    The Georgia-Auburn game today will be the 116 time the two teams have met, making it the oldest rivalry in the Deep South. The record is almost even, with Auburn holding a tiny edge—54-53 with eight ties. (My brother, who played for Georgia long ago, says the record will be tied after today.)

    • 18.1

      Wow, Janga, that’s a seriously interesting list of facts. I’m learning so much stuff today – and all from a bit of silliness I put up! Clearly the universe rewards silliness! I’ve been to Georgia – RWA in Atlanta way back in 2006 when I met the wonderful Bandits for the first time. Your peach fact reminds me of another interesting fact about Australia. The only foodstuff Australia has contributed to the mainstream global diet is the macadamia nut (also called the Queensland nut here because that’s the state where it grows in the wild). Hawaii is now the world’s largest producer of macadamias and when I tell people it’s originally from Australia, they look at me like I’m mad (or perhaps NUTS???!!!). But it’s true – Aussie native (and a very yummy one at that!).

  19. 19
    Diane Sallans says:

    enjoyed those facts – Australia is such a long trip from the US even today, I can’t imagine what it would have been like to get there in the 1800’s!

    hmm …. interesting local fact …. we have an Oak tree in town (actually in the Presbyterian churchyard) estimated to be between 500-600 years old) – there is evidence that George Washington tied his horse to it as he rested under it’s shade. It weathered the recent hurricane Sandy without problem while other trees were falling in the the thousands (3 in my backyard).

    During the American Revolution one of our Generals was captured by the British while he was canoodling with the widow who owned the local tavern.

    • 19.1

      Wow, Diane, I love those facts. Especially the canoodling one (well, I would, wouldn’t I?). Love that the oak tree came through. We had a really rotten drought in Australia until about two years ago and one of the reasons we knew it was out of the ordinary (the weather tends to be extreme here anyway) was that trees that were hundreds of years old were dying. Clearly this was a dry beyond anything they’d lived through before. Very sad to see!

  20. 20

    Love learning about different places in the world! Thanks for sharing some more about Australia with us, Anna!

    Unusual facts huh?

    Well, I’m originally from Ohio where we’re known as the Buckeye State. What is a Buckeye many a person has asked. Why they’re poisonous nuts! Which should explain why our football and basketball teams are so good and our fans so……………..nutty!

    Ohio also has Indian Mounds. These are burial tombs of the Hopewell tribes. They are dug deep and then wooden frames were covered by earth and eventually covered by grass. First unearthed in the 1840’s.

    • 20.1

      Wow, Suz, I didn’t know that either about the Buckeyes (they don’t sound as yummy as the WV cheese!) and the burial mounds. The burial mounds sounds a little bit like the barrows in England.

  21. 21
    Minna says:

    Here are some facts about Finland:
    The word sauna is an ancient Finnish word referring to the traditional Finnish bath and to the bathhouse itself. The proto-Finnic reconstruction is *savńa. There are etymological equivalents in the Finnic languages such as the Ingrian and Votic word sauna, Estonian saun and Livonian sōna. The word suovdnji in Sámi means a pit dug out of the snow, such as a hole for a willow grouse.

    Finland was the host nation for the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. It was supposed to be already in 1940, but Winter War got in the way.

    http://finland.fi/Public/default.aspx?

    • 21.1

      Minna, how interesting. I’ve actually stayed in the Olympic Village in Helsinki. They turned part of it into a youth hostel after the Olympics which is a very sensible use of facilities!

  22. 22
    catslady says:

    Pittsburgh has a ton of firsts so I had to pick and choose lol.

    1905 the first world series
    1905 the first movie theater
    1913 the first gas station
    1918 we started daylight savings time!!
    1920 the first u.s. commercial radio station
    1953 the first polio vaccine
    1954 the first u.s. public TV station
    19 61 the first arena with a retractable dome – it was also torn down this year although many of us tried to stop the demolition.

    We have over 1,700 bridges.

    And I don’t believe your no. 1 is true lol?

    • 22.1

      Oh, Catslady, you are a clever one. You’re right. My number 1 might have just a little bit of exaggeration involved! I love your facts about Pittsburgh. I didn’t know any of that. And 1700 bridges? Wow, how cool! I’ve got a thing about bridges.

  23. 23
    May says:

    I am assuming that number one isn’t true. :) Or I am totally wrong about the intelligence of kangaroos. :)

    I live in Canada and we all live in igglos so we save a lot on houses! :) Nice houses too. :) ( No… it’s NOT true…. )

    • 23.1

      Oh, May, you tease! You almost had me at the igloos! You’re right – our kangaroos never unionised. They could never make the LEAP of faith (oh, groan!).

  24. 24
    Jen Teal says:

    Oklahoma has more shoreline than any other state. DH swears this is true but I have yet to have it verified. There are a ridiculous amount of lakes, ponds, rivers, etc. here though so I tend to think it as fact

    • 24.1

      Wow, Jen, I did not know that and it’s just strange enough to be true. It must be pretty with all that water lying around!

      • 24.1.1
        Jen Teal says:

        usually yes, However we’ve been in a drought for years so a lot of streams and ponds and such look like deep ruts (the stream by out apartment grew wild flowers this fall as it hasn’t had any water running for a long while) or mud puddles or just barren red dirt.

  25. 25
    Caren Crane says:

    Anna, I am fascinated by Australia. One day I would love to make the trip over and see at least a few of the many wonders there! Including you and the lovely Christina Brooke in the wonders, of course. :)

    Hm. Well, I live in North Carolina and I suppose there are some interesting facts about it, though it mostly seems dull as dishwater to those of us who live here! NC is known as the Tarheel State. No one really knows why, but it didn’t stop the University of NC at Chapel Hill from adopting it as their team name.

    The University of North Carolina is the oldest public university in the United States to open its doors. The first student was Hinton James. My daughter lived in a dormitory named for him at UNC last year!

    • 25.1

      Caren, Christina and I would love you to visit – especially now you’ve counted us among the national wonders! ;-) I wonder what tarheel means. It doesn’t sound very nice!!!! Excellent about the public university!

  26. 26
    Cassondra says:

    Anna, how interesting!

    I love learning stuff about Australia from your posts and from our chats.

    And of course, I’ve got my very own download of 7 nights on my kindle. Your excerpts left me wanting the whole thing, and if I hadn’t already planned to buy it, that would have cinched the deal.

    Something strange about where I live…Hmmm…Gosh that’s a hard one. Kentucky is sort of ordinary I think, though I think my state is beautiful. The county I grew up in though (not where I live now), was once the largest producer of marijuana in the country. Not sure that’s a good thing, but there it is.

    And I’m rooting for your next book already!

    No, not like that.

    • 26.1

      Cassondra, given how often the Bandits ‘root’ for one another, you can imagine the number of snickers I get from the inadvertent misreading! I’m sure Kentucky isn’t boring – one of the nice things about taking pics for things like Facebook is that it makes me view my surroundings as a tourist would. Stuff that’s really normal for me isn’t normal for someone from Kentucky! Laughing at the marijuana fact. Or are you just blowing smoke? LOL!

  27. 27
    Laney4 says:

    Top 10 myths about Canada, per the Web:

    We live in igloos.
    No. We live in well-built houses.

    Canadians do not have the same technology as Americans.
    Wrong. Canadians have access to the
    same technology as Americans and the rest of the civilized world.

    There is snow everywhere all year long.
    Anyone who has spent a summer in Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal will strongly disagree with this.

    We don’t get the same movies Americans do.
    Wrong. We get the same movies, on the same day, and our censorship is less severe. Furthermore, the Paramount theater in Montreal is the most attended and most lucrative movie theater in North-America.

    Canada does not have a film industry. Wrong. We have a thriving film industry, and many of the
    syndicated US TV shows, not to mention major studio motion pictures, are filmed here. Canada is
    renowned to have some of the best production crews in the world.

    Canadians all say “eh” and “aboot”. Sure, some of us do, but Canada is a big country with many different people who speak many different languages with different dialects. (Note: *I* say “eh” a fair bit, but I’ve never said “aboot” instead of “about”, nor do I know of anyone who does. Perhaps it is more common on the east coast.)

    Everyone in Quebec speaks French. Although a large percentage of the Province’s population is Francophone, there is also a large number of Anglophones and Allophones.

    Canadians have fewer guns than Americans.
    Canadians have just as many, if not more; we just have fewer murders. If you want stats and figures, see Michael Moore’s excellent documentary, Bowling for Columbine.

    Canada’s national sport is Hockey.
    Not completely true. While Hockey is Canada’s national winter sport (since 1994), Lacrosse is our national summer sport (and was previously known as the only national sport).

    Canadians policemen are all Mounties dressed in red uniforms.
    Wrong. Our cops are the same
    as American cops. The Mounties usually only dress in red for for special occasions.

    • 27.1

      Wow, Laney, great list! Actually I know quite a lot of Canadians so I’m not so surprised about most of your facts (apart from the gun stuff – thought you guys had restrictions like we do). I’d love to visit Canada one day – there’s that wonderful train that goes right across the country including that spectacular bit through the Rockies.

      • 27.1.1
        Laney4 says:

        Hi again, Anna!
        I too was surprised by the gun myth, but I’m thinking that we have tons of hunters in Canada, especially the farther north you go – and a LOT less handguns than the US.
        Yes, that train ride would be wonderful. I travelled in a train for 3 days to visit my sister in Calgary back in 1972 (when I was 13). My 23-year-old sister went, as well as my 18-year-old brother. The sister stayed 2 weeks before returning to work (and taking a return train back). My brother and I stayed from the weekend after school got out until Labour Day, the weekend before school went back. What a good time we had – on the train too! – but NOT around 12:45 am, when my brother decided he had lots of time to buy a sub near the station and had to run to jump back on the train again. I was scared ****less, let me tell you.

        • 27.1.1.1

          Wow, Laney, that jumping the train thing is scary. I always think of one of Marlene Dietrich’s squeezes who as a romantic gesture tried to do that and died in the process. Ouch! Oh, you’re right about hunting – I suppose people up in the wilder areas have hunting rifles galore. We’re not really a gun culture in Australia.

          Do you want to know an interesting fact about Calgary? It’s named after the most beautiful beach on the Hebridean island of Mull. There’s nothing there now, not even a shop. Yet it’s been immortalised in this huge city in Canada!

  28. 28
    Deb says:

    I love facts, Anna, I think they are fun. My friend Andrew lives in Wagga Wagga and he is always saying that we are two countries divided by a common language. (Hehe, I told him I needed to go crash one night and he didn’t know that I meant I needed to go to sleep.)

    I have a list of over 50 facts about Iowa, but will just give you a couple. 1) We are the only state that has 2 rivers as borders. 2) Iowa has the largest amount of Danish immigrants and descendants of any U.S. state. 3) We have 2 nicknames: The Tall Corn State and the Hawkeye State. 4) The dome of our state capitol building is real gold; 1/10 of an inch thick. 5) Iowa is a Sioux Indian word that means Beautiful Land.

    • 28.1

      Wow, Deb, how interesting. Queensland has a Danish enclave too, in the Burnett Valley which is very rich farming land (Danes are smart!). The Burnett Valley is also Australia’s peanut capital, a bit like Georgia in the US! Why are you the Hawkeye state? I can work out tall corn! Wow to the capitol building. The one in Denver is too and it’s spectacular!

      • 28.1.1
        Deb says:

        We’re The Hawkeye State because of a Sauk (or Sac) Indian chief named Black Hawk. He opposed the white man coming into his tribal lands and fought for, and lost, it.

  29. 29
    Cathy P says:

    Hi Anna! I loved your post. In fact, after reading it, I had to check out Australia history and facts. That was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I have always wanted to visit Australia.

    I live in Kansas and facts gathered were: Date of Statehood, 1-29-1861. Population in 1860 was 107,206. Population in 2011 was 2,801,238. Our nickname is the Sunflower State. Our state flower is the Sunflower. Our state tree is the Cottonwood. Our state bird is the Western Meadowlark. Our state animal is the Buffalo. Our state song is Home on the Range. Our state Capital is Topeka. Our largest city is Wichita, and second largest city is Overland Park (my mailing address, although I live in another city on the other side of the street).

    • 29.1

      Hey, Cathy, thank you for saying you enjoyed the post. It was fun to write (you’ve probably gathered that!). Love all the facts about Kansas – really I’m going to be a walking almanac of facts about America by the time I finish this blog today. The western meadowlark sounds like it would have a lovely song! Although it’s probably not Home on the Range! ;-)

  30. 30

    Anna, what a fun post! I hope to come check these things out someday.

    North Carolina used to be a leading state in furniture manufacturing, before outsourcing. Hmm. Not especially fun. Let’s see…

    NC was the site of England’s first North American colony, on Roanoke Island (This is _not_ the same as Roanoke, Virginia, which is in the mountains; Roanoke Island is on the coast) and mysteriously vanished.

    In a related tidbit, the nation’s longest-running outdoor drama, The Lost Colony, is performed in Manteo, NC, each summer. When the heat index exceeds 120 degrees (F), the show does not go on.

    The late Andy Griffith, who retired to Manteo, cited the role of Sir Walter Raleigh in The Lost Colony as his big break.

    Cape Hatteras, on the NC Outer Banks, is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic because of all the shipwrecks.

    The first powered flight took place at Kitty Hawk, NC (again, the Outer Banks), in 1903.

    The early astronauts’ training took place, in part, at the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill (not the Outer Banks).

    During WWII, art from the Smithsonian was evacuated to the Biltmore estate, outside Asheville, for safekeeping lest Germany bomb DC.

  31. 31

    Wow, Nancy, that’s an amazing selection of interesting facts. Actually I knew about Roanoke (really interesting story!) because at one stage years ago I was going to write an Elizabethan novel and my hero was a bit of a pirate a la Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh. You never know, maybe he’ll still get his day in the sun. It’s a fascianting era of history and so much that went to form the modern world was established then. I’d love to see the outer banks one day – photos of the houses and the landscape make my mouth water, except in hurricane season!

    • 31.1

      Well, c’mon, and we’ll go. Not in hurricane season. :-)

      That’s a cool story about the art. I like the National Portrait Gllery because they have RIII. :-)

      I hope you someday write that Elizabethan. It sounds terrific.

      • 31.1.1

        Nancy, it was probably closer to historical/women’s fic than pure romance. It was based on Bess of Hardwick except my heroine got to marry her true love (pirate boy) in the end. I had a wonderful time doing the research – I admired Elizabeth I before I started and REALLY admired her after I’d done all that reading. There’s not that many historical characters you can say that about. Often familiarity breeds contempt!

  32. 32

    Oh, by the way, this is an interesting fact NOT about Australia. In WWII, art from the National Gallery in London was stored in Welsh slate mines for safety. I’ve seen a photo of Kenneth Clark, the director of the gallery, supervising the storage. Amazing stuff!

  33. 33

    G’day, mate! We definitely have the strange (human) animals crawling out of the pubs around our area! Fortunately, they’re harmless for the most part.

  34. 34
    chey says:

    Fun post!
    I’m from Canada, and most of us have never even seen an igloo (other than in pictures) never mind lived in one.

  35. 35
    gamistress66 says:

    Anna — certainly you aren’t fibbing about Roo-shaws, cause I really wanna visit just to catch those in action ;) with the US elections finally done, the only interesting fact that comes to mind is that we managed to survive it & are able to again enjoy the lack political ads on the tv & radio & it is once again safe to answer the phone :)

    • 35.1

      Gamistress, even here the US election took over the airwaves! Hey, I think we should go for a ride in a roo-shaw together. They’re great fun even if the ride is a little bit bumpy! ;-)

  36. 36
    Annie West says:

    Anna, loved this post – but did you have to let out the secret about the roos’ union? So much more fun to believe them hopping down the roads, delivering mail from their pouches.

    • 36.1

      Annie, I know it’s a national secret about the roos, but anything that is said in the lair stays in the lair! They’re such iconic animals, aren’t they? Certainly beasties we can have fun with! Thanks for swinging by!

  37. 37

    Oh, bravo, Anna! Loved fact #1. That’s about the only one of the lot that IS true, by the way, non-Aussie folks. My husband recently negotiated the Enterprise Bargain Agreement between the Roos and the humans and things got a little ugly there for a while.

    Interesting the new things you learn about your own country, isn’t it?

    • 37.1

      Christina, as your husband discovered, they don’t call them boxing kangaroos for nothing (actually that’s true, guys – they really DO box!). Glad my roo union gave you a giggle! Actually Australia is chock a block with great interesting facts!

  38. 38
    eli yanti says:

    Just order this book to my friend and she also got it :)

    Can’t wait to read this book :D

  39. 39
    Pat Cochran says:

    Anna, I know it’s a long shot, but I’m going
    to guess it’s # 1.

    Houston facts: “Houston” is the first word
    heard from the moon when the first astro-
    nauts visited there. Houston is the home
    of the first domed stadium. Houstonians
    eat out more than other US citizens in our
    over 11,000 restaurants. It is illegal to sell
    Limburger cheese on Sundays in Houston.

    Pat C.

  40. 40
    Mozette says:

    Being an Aussie, I know which one is bogus… so I can’t say it and give it away. :P

    But I have had people from overseas think that I’m good friend with Steve Irwin (I mean I don’t like the guy and he’s not alive anymore and still people want us to be friends with him) and they all tend to think all Aussie say: ‘Crickey!’… when we don’t.

  41. 41
    LilMissMolly says:

    What’s better than the 7th book by Anna? The prior 6 books and the 8th that is in the works!

    • 41.1

      Molly, you make me laugh. Actually book 8 has gone to my editor. Tomorrow I’m starting book 9 which is a red letter day in my universe. Perhaps I should share the news with the roos!

  42. 42

    Thanks, everyone, for a fun day of blogging. I’ve loved all the interesting facts! Another interesting fact is that if you check back tomorrow, you just might see who won the signed copy of SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED! Good luck!

  43. 43
    Barbara Elness says:

    I’m pretty sure #1 is the one that’s not true. :D
    Several interesting facts about Orlando, FL: There are 7 major theme parks in the immediate area – 4 Disney, 2 Universal and SeaWorld, which makes it a major tourist town with visitors from all over the world. If you ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at a different Orlando restaurant every day, it would still take you five years to eat at all 5,300 of them. Walt Disney World Resort is so huge that you could fit two Manhattans or one San Francisco in it.

    • 43.1

      Wow, Barb, that’s amazing about the size of WDW! I’ve been to Orlando although I didn’t get out and about terrifically much. It was too darn hot – midsummer for RWA in 2010. What fun you must have trying all those restaurants. I wonder if any of them sell kangaroo! ;-)

  44. 44
    gypsylcm says:

    Enjoyed reading all the fabulous facts about the places. I’m from New Zealand, where there’s a fruit named after our native bird!

  45. 45
    Linda says:

    Congrats on the release of your 7th book Anna! Did you deliberately title it “Seven Nights”?

    My country has probably the most public holidays in the world! Makes working life more enjoyable don’t u think?

    • 45.1

      Linda, that was pure serendipity. In fact, until my publisher started organising things like 7 blogs in 7 days, I didn’t even pick up on the publicity possibilities of the title! And it’s my 7th book too! Clearly, I’m a bit slow! ;-)