Australia is a natural wonderland of beautiful beaches, crystal blue waters, amazing ancient rock formations and pristine rainforests.
Australia is the sixth largest country in the world and has the lowest population density per square kilometre.
Australia has 16 world heritage listed properties with its historic townships, bustling cities, vivid landscapes and exotic flora and fauna all adding to its unique appeal.
Much of Australia's exotic flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else in the world and the lifestyle is one second to none.
The culture and customs consists of a rich tapestry of nationalities including traditions, legends, myths and folklore. The indigenous 'Dream time' forms the base of tens of thousands of years of spiritual aboriginal art and culture.
In Australia over 200 different languages and dialects are spoken, including 45 indigenous languages. The most commonly spoken languages (other than English) are Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Arabic, Vietnamese and Mandarin.
Australia is made up of six states (Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania) and two territories (Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory).
Reference: Australian Government - Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Only Brazil, the USA, China, Canada and Russia are bigger than Australia. But the state of Western Australia (WA) is bigger than some countries, including Algeria, Greenland, Mexico, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Libya. This is a state that actually has some cattle farms that giant over all of England. Also, Perth – the State’s Capital City, is one of the most isolated cities in the world.
It’s well known that Australia has some strange animals. But among the wombats, quolls, devils, goannas and there is possibly the strangest of them all – the platypus. Reports of early platypus encounters with Europeans were met with utter disbelief. The egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, semi-marine mammal actually had some early European settlers utterly confused – with some believing it was a fraud. The male of the species has a spur on its hind foot that can emit poison.
Australia faces some major problems with invasive, non-native fauna and flora, and camels are becoming increasingly dangerous for native animals. Mostly dromedary camels were brought to Australia in the 19th century for transport and construction use, however they have now become feral and their population has boomed – putting stress on the environment and native animals.
…footy rules. Australian Rules Football (AFL) was actually invented by cricketers as a way to stay fit in the off-season. AFL is not just a sport for some people in Australia, particularly Victoria (the state where it origins from), it is a way of life. The AFL Grand Final is arguably the most important date on the national sports calendar (although the Melbourne Cup comes close).
Australia has nineteen World Heritage Sites, three of which, the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, Sydney Opera House and Australian Convict Sites are under the cultural category. The rest fall entirely or partly under the natural category, which gives Australia a considerable amount (7.5 per cent) of the planet’s natural heritage.
Reference: La Trobe University