Australia is the world's largest and most diverse island. This magnificent country beholds an assortment of breathtaking landscapes and assorted cultures, which draw people from all over to partake in the unique experience of the outback.
Secluded from other continents, Australia has an abundance of unique plant and animal life including charming koalas, bouncing kangaroos, untamed emus and slithering reptiles. It has 10 percent of the world's biodiversity.
Although much of Australia is characterized by harsh savanna land, rocky outcrops, shifting deserts, and dry salt lakes, the coast is a spectacular contrast offering a refreshing retreat of beauty and tranquility. Whether looking for a nice walkabout in the alpine scenery of Tasmania, exploring the rainforests in Queensland or taking the plunge on a scuba diving trip in the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, Australia has something for every traveler to enjoy.
Secluded from other continents, Australia has an abundance of unique plant and animal life including charming koalas, bouncing kangaroos, untamed emus and
slithering reptiles. It has 10 percent of the world's biodiversity, and a great number of its native plants, animals and birds exist nowhere else in the world. Therefore Australia has an array of protection procedures including World Heritage listings, and many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries all committed to conserving its unique environment and natural heritage.
Australia is one of the world's oldest landmasses and has been populated by human beings for an estimated 60,000 years. Before the arrival of European settlers, aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples inhabited most areas of the continent. Australia's contemporary history is relatively short, with the first European settlement established by Great Britain on January 26, 1788.
Australia is the smallest continent and yet the largest island in the world. It lies amidst the Arafura and Timor Seas to the north, the Coral and Tasman Seas of the South Pacific to the east, the Southern Ocean to the south and the Indian Ocean to the west. Its coastline including its islands covers 37,119 miles. The landscape is comprised of low plateaus, with lakes and rivers bounded by coastal mountain ranges. There are rainforests in the far northeast (mainly in Queensland). The southeast is a huge fertile plain. Farther to the north lies the enormous Great Barrier Reef, a 1,200-mile strip of coral that covers a total area of 133,000 square miles. Although Australia is among the driest lands on Earth, it nevertheless has enormous snowfields, the size of Switzerland, and there are vast mineral deposits.