The Commonwealth of Australia is a country in the southern hemisphere comprising the mainland of the world's smallest continent, the major island of Tasmania and a number of other islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
- In joyful strains then let us sing, 'Advance Australia fair!'
- Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.
- Douglas William Jerrold, as quoted in A Land of Plenty.
- Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover.
- So without an original or helpful thought in my head, I just sat for some minutes and watched these poor disconnected people shuffle past. Then I did what most white Australians do. I read my newspaper and drank my coffee and didn't see them anymore.
- Bill Bryson, In a Sunburned Country (US) / Down Under (UK) (2000), on the topic of Aboriginals.
- I'd move to Los Angeles if New Zealand and Australia were swallowed up by a tidal wave, if there was a bubonic plague in England and if the continent of Africa disappeared from some Martian attack.
- Russell Crowe, New York Daily News (2000)
- Well, I didn't ever think about Australia much. To me Australia had never been very interesting, it was just something that happened in the background. It was Neighbours and Crocodile Dundee movies and things that never really registered with me and I didn't pay any attention to it at all. I went out there in 1992, as I was invited to the Melbourne Writers Festival, and I got there and realised almost immediately that this was a really really interesting country and I knew absolutely nothing about it. As I say in the book, the thing that really struck me was that they had this prime minister who disappeared in 1967, Harold Holt and I had never heard about this. I should perhaps tell you because a lot of other people haven't either. In 1967 Harold Holt was prime minister and he was walking along a beach in Victoria just before Christmas and decided impulsively to go for a swim and dove into the water and swam about 100 feet out and vanished underneath the waves, presumably pulled under by the ferocious undertow or rips as they are called, that are a feature of so much of the Australian coastline. In any case, his body was never found. Two things about that amazed me. The first is that a country could just lose a prime minister — that struck me as a really quite special thing to do — and the second was that I had never heard of this. I could not recall ever having heard of this. I was sixteen years old in 1967. I should have known about it and I just realised that there were all these things about Australia that I had never heard about that were actually very very interesting. The more I looked into it, the more I realised that it is a fascinating place. The thing that really endeared Australia to me about Harold Holt's disappearance was not his tragic drowning, but when I learned that about a year after he disappeared the City of Melbourne, his home town, decided to commemorate him in some appropriate way and named a municipal swimming pool after him. I just thought: this is a great country.
- AUSTRALIA, n. A country lying in the South Sea, whose industrial and commercial development has been unspeakably retarded by an unfortunate dispute among geographers as to whether it is a continent or an island.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary.
- Man in Black: You've made your decision then?
- Vizzini: Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows. And Australia is entirely peopled with criminals. And criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
- Man in Black: Truly you have a dizzying intellect.
- Vizzini: Wait 'til I get going... where was I?
- Man in Black: Australia.
- Vizzini: Yes, Australia, and you must have suspected I would have known the powder's origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
- The Princess Bride (1987).
- Paul Hogan: America, you look like you need a holiday, a fair dinkum holiday. You'll have to learn to say g'day. 'Cause every day's a good day in Australia.
- Woman: G'day, Paul.
- Paul Hogan: G'day, love. You'll have to get used to the local customs like getting a sun tan in a restaurant, playing football without a helmet, and calling everyone 'mate'. Thanks, mate.
- Barman: She's right, mate.
- Paul Hogan: Apart from that, no worries. You'll have the time of your life in Australia. Come on, come and say g'day. I'll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you.