1) A Koala Bear is not a bear and Australians get angry if you call them that. They’re just a Koala and are actually an arboreal herbivorous marsupial.
2) Albert Park is named after the husband of English Queen Victoria, although there is no record of him ever visiting the place, possibly because much of it was a swamp.
3) The 96 Tram which can drop you at the main entrance of the circuit, runs on what used to be the St. Kilda Line. Save yourself some money, because race goers and that includes you in the media, go free on race weekend on most tram lines. Fore more details, click here.
4) Speaking of trams, the Melbourne tram network has 250 kilometres of track, making it the fourth largest urban tram network in the world. It’s been going since 1884, when horses pulled the carriages along.
5) If you count all the non-World Championship events, this weekend sees the 80th running of an Australian Grand Prix, as it was first held at Phillip Island back in 1928. It did not receive championship status until 1985, but before then, it was a part of something called the Tasman Series, which ran in the Antipodes over the European winter.
6) “Holy name changes Robin!” Which city hosts the Australian Grand Prix? Melbourne, right? Well, yes, but it could so easily have been Gotham City, because in 1837, the place we now know as Melbourne, was actually called Batmania!
7) Talking about superheroes… what about the Hulk? Eric Bana starred in a film about the angry green man back in 2003. The Australian actor is mad keen on motor sport and takes part in various racing events in his home country. As a boy, Bana wanted to leave school to train as a motor mechanic, but his father convinced him to finish school and acting rather than racing proved to be his route to fame and stardom.
8) In a couple of weeks, we’ll probably be telling you about the Great Wall of China, but actually the longest dividing partition in the world is Australia’s “Dingo Wire” fence which runs from the Great Australian Bight in South Australia to central Queensland, a distance of 5614 km, or around twice the length of that short Chinese wall.
9) And when we get to Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, we’ll no doubt mention camels, but actually Australia boasts the biggest herds of wild camels in the world, numbering 750,000 and they are even exported to the Middle East.
10) The world’s first feature film, the Story of the Ned Kelly Gang, was filmed and made in Melbourne in 1906.
11) Melbourne was the capital city of Australia for 26 years between 1901 and 1927 before the capital became Canberra.
12) Melbourne has been ranked the world’s most liveable city every year since 2011 by the Economist Intelligence Unit.