Australian Themed Charms


Written by Shantelle-Ann Marquis

 

Harbour Bridge 
Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most well-known landmarks in Australia. It is the sixth-longest spanning-arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge. This bridge measures 134 meters (440 feet) from the top to the water level. It was inaugurated on March 19, 1932. It took 1,400 men eight years to build this bridge. 

The total cost of construction was 4.2 million dollars. During the construction a total of 16 fatalities occurred. Due to its distinctive arch shape, the bridge has got a nickname ‘Coat Hanger’.

The initial three coats on the bridge required 272,000 liters of paint.

Sydney Harbour Bridge carries all kinds of traffic including rail, vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

The idea of building a bridge in Sydney Harbour was first proposed as early as 1815.

Due to the construction of this bridge, homes of 800 families were demolished without providing any compensation.

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Opera House 
The Sydney Opera house was designed by a Danish architect named Jørn Utzon after he won a worldwide competition. 

The structure was built on a large slab of granite and completed in 1973 after 16 years of construction. The large points are covered white tiles, and although they were meant to look like shells most people think they look like ship sails. The Opera House was so expensive to create that many Australians protested against the construction. 

Inside the Opera house is the main Concert Hall that holds over 2500 people, and performances by symphonies, choirs, ballets, musicals, and Opera Theatre. There is also a  reception hall, restaurants, an art venue and museum displayed famous artwork, paintings, and sculptures 

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Melbourne Trams 
The Melbourne tramway network is a major form of public transport in the CBD and surrounding city areas of Melbourne and has been operating since 1884.  Located in the capital city of the state of Victoria Australia, it is the largest urban tramway network in the world, with 250 kilometers of track, 493 trams, 25 routes, and 1,763 tram stops. Trams are the second most used form of public transport in Melbourne with a total of 203.8 million passenger trips in 2015-16.

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Ned Kelly 
Ned Kelly is an iconic Australian outlaw who was made famous for the homemade armor he wore alongside his gang, which was made from metal taken from agricultural equipment. Born of Irish to a convict father who was  transported to Australia for the theft of two pigs, Kelly believed his family has been victimized by the law for their Catholic Faith. As a child, Kelly was celebrated for saving the life of another drowning child, however, his brush with the law began when he beat and robbed a Chinese Worker. This sparked a series of crime, murder, and gang-related activity.  The legend of Ned Kelly continues to live on, however, the nation is divided on whether he is recognized as a folk hero or a criminal. 


Australian Flag
The flag of Australia is a defaced blue ensign with the Union Jack located in the upper left side corner, and a large white seven-pointed star known as the Commonwealth Star in the lower hoist quarter.  The flag represents the Southern Cross constellation which consists of five white stars – one small five-pointed star and four, larger, seven-pointed stars. 


Coat of Arms
The Australian coat of arms has two animals, which are both native to Australia. They are the emu and the kangaroo, which are placed on either side of the shield. The shield depicts the badge of the nation's six states. 


Kangaroo
The most famous of the Australian animals, the kangaroo is on our national emblem and is also the symbol of the Australian Airline Qantas.  There are four different kangaroo species, eastern grey kangaroo, western grey kangaroo, antilopine kangaroo and the red kangaroo which is the largest marsupial in the world. Traveling in groups known as ‘mobs’, ‘troops’ or ‘courts’, kangaroos can hop on two legs or walk on all four, they can swim and jump really high but they cannot walk backward. 

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Koala
People always think of the cute cuddly koala bear when they think of Australian animals. but did you know that koalas aren't born at all?! 

Koalas are marsupials which means they are mammals that carry their young known as joeys in a pouch just like kangaroos.  These fragile animals predominately live in the eucalypts forests along the eastern coastline of Australia, where they can eat eucalyptus leaves and sleep for up to 20 hours a day. 

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Emu 
The emu is the tallest bird in Australia, with a height of up to 2 m/6.5 ft. Emus can run fast but they cannot fly. Emus likes to eat grass, leaves, fruits, and insects but if you disturb them they will use powerful kicks to defend themselves. 

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Crocodile
Crocodiles - the famous and highly dangerous Australian Reptile. Popular for  Crocodile Dundee and the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, Australia has two species of crocodiles that live on our continent. 

The freshwater crocodile only found in Australia and can live in both the saltwater and fresh. 

The saltwater crocodiles are the world’s largest reptiles and can grow up to 6 m/20 ft long and weigh a tonne. 

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