"The food is excellent. The beer is cold. The sun nearly always shines. There is coffee on every corner. Life doesn't get much better than this."
That's Bill Bryson's take on Australia, and pretty much everyone else's.
But beyond the beautiful beaches and cuddly marsupials, there are quirky, lesser-known facts to file away before preparing for a trip to Oz.
Bust them out in an Aussie pub and you'll make instant friends.
Not that they weren't going to be friendly anyway.
1. The Opera House was a major headache to build
Sydney's Opera House turns 40 this month and big celebrations are being planned, including an outdoor concert and Danish design exhibition.
But the performing arts center, which became a World Heritage Site in 2007, wasn't always so beloved.
In 1956, Danish architect Jørn Utzon won the competition to design it, but construction proved tricky, resulting in years of delays and spiraling costs.
Things came to a head in 1966 when the government refused to pay Utzon, resulting in his resignation. Peter Hall finished the job.
Uzton didn't attend the official opening on October 20, 1973.
Although amends were made in 1999, the architect never returned to Oz.
2.There are more camels than koalas
While the koala is a cuddly symbol of Australia, there are actually 10 times as many wild camels.
Introduced in the 1800s to provide transportation through the country's desert heart, one million camels now roam the vast outback.
The feral animals cause all sorts of problems, from drinking waterholes dry to destroying sacred Aboriginal sites.
The population could double in a decade if left unchecked. This has prompted the government to adopt a controversial culling program.
One place camels are welcome is the Northern Territory town of Alice Springs. Every July, the unpredictable beasts take center stage at the self-dubbed "temperamental, terribly unpredictable, very entertaining" Lasseters Camel Cup.
3. Aussies love to gamble
Australians are one of the world's biggest gamblers per capita, spending $1,314 each in 2012, according to H2 Gambling Capital.
Slot machines -- "pokies" in the local vernacular -- are the nation's favorite bet, especially in New South Wales.
The state has 100,000 slots in pubs and clubs, while Sydney is set to become the gambling capital when a second casino opens in 2019.
But it's Victoria that pulls in the punters. Each November, the Melbourne Cup horse race stops the nation. It's so big it's a public holiday in the southern state.
4. They invented Wi-Fi
Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, claims to have invented the wireless LAN technology that's the basis of Wi-Fi.