10 weird and wonderful SA facts you might not know


Creative Commons Creative Commons

This is a Creative Commons story from Brand SA News, a news service providing positive stories about South Australia. Please feel free to use the copy in any form of media (not including any photographs or video unless otherwise stated), including a link back to the Brand SA News site.

Copied to clipboard

How well do you know South Australia?

From the way we talk, to the things only locals know about – we’re a unique bunch, and the state has a rich history filled with intriguing people, innovative inventions, and world firsts.

We’ve selected ten of our favourite quirky and interesting facts about Adelaide and South Australia, some of which you might not know…

1. The world’s first IVF triplets

Good things come in threes, including the world’s first IVF triplets – Chenara, Aaron and Jessica Guare – who were born at Flinders Medical Centre in 1983.

2. World’s first dual flush toilet

It’s a familiar sight in every home: the dual flush toilet. But things weren’t always this economical. The first flushing toilet may have been invented in 1596, but it took until 1980 to produce a half and full flush system, thanks to South Australian locals Caroma. It’s perhaps not surprising the water saving device was invented in one of the driest places on earth – prior to this, a traditional Aussie way of saving water was to drop a brick into the cistern to reduce the volume of water.

3. Australia’s first nudist beach

Nudists not pictured. Image Courtesy: BrianJ Lowe licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic | Flickr

We were the first in Australia to (legally) get our kit off at the beach. The southern part of Maslin Beach, 40km from Adelaide, was declared the country’s first legal nude beach in 1975. The first legal weekend of nude swimming saw around 350 people ditch their clothes and hit the waves.

4. Australia’s highest rates of volunteering

We’re a generous bunch. Our state has the highest participation rate of volunteering of any state in Australia (surpassed only by the ACT), keeping Volunteering SA pretty busy.

5. The hottest of the hot 

Oodnadatta: looks hot, confirmed.  Image Courtesy: John Benwell licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic | Flickr

The highest recorded temperature in Australia was in January 1960 in Oodnadatta, when the temperature soared to 50.7°C. It’s not quite the hottest in the world, that record goes to Death Valley in the United States, which reached an entirely sane 56.7 °C in 1913.

6. The invention of chicken salt

Peter Brinkworth was born in 1942 in Tumby Bay – his claim to fame? He invented chicken salt in 1979. It was an instant hit at his chicken shop and soon spread to chips around the country, today it’s a cult classic.

7. World’s largest cattle station

A bird’s eye view of just part of the Anna Creek Station. Image Courtesy: Ian Cochrane licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic | Flickr

Place the entirety of Israel in the middle of the outback and it’s nearly as large as Anna Creek Station. South Australia is home to the world’s largest working cattle station, at roughly 24,000 square kilometres, Anna Creek is larger than Belgium, and seven times the size of the largest ranch in the United States. The property was originally established in 1863 and is still operating today.

8. The first “big thing” 

Scotsman: huge. Photo: Wikipedia

Speaking of big things, Australia’s first was the ‘Big Scotsman’ AKA Scotty; the giant, kilted Scotsman located at Scotty’s Motel in Medindie (you can’t miss him).  The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour was built in 1964 and is often claimed as the country’s first big thing – but the Big Scotsman, constructed in ’63, takes the title by a year. Pipe on, Scotty.

9. The largest pageant

Established in 1933, the iconic Adelaide Christmas Pageant is the largest parade of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and second-largest in the world, following only Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

10. Australia’s oldest German settlement

Hahndorf, established in 1839, is classified as Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement. Timely side note: autumn is one of the most beautiful times to visit.

Do you know any quirky Adelaide and South Australia facts? Share on Facebook and we’ll publish some of the most interesting and intriguing.

Top image Ben Goode Earth Art Photography via SATC.

Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Facebook SHARE