Your comprehensive travel guide to Australia - All in one place!
Australia is a land of dreams. From the sacred legends of the aboriginal Dreamtime, when the great spirits conjured the coral reefs, rainforests, and scorched red deserts, to armchair travelers who describe Australia as their dream destination, the Land Down Under deserves all the hype. The world's smallest continent and largest island, Australia is almost the same size as the United States but with a population the size of New York and some of the quirkiest wildlife on the planet.
Australia is also a land of staggering contrasts and spectacular beauty. Along the coast, you can explore vibrant multicultural cities, vast sand islands, ancient rainforests, and one of the planet's most awe-inspiring natural wonders - the Great Barrier Reef.
Australia is located in Oceania between the Indian and South Pacific Oceans. Although it is a large country, its topography is not too varied, and most of it consists of low desert plateau. The southeast, however, does have fertile plains. Australia's climate is mostly arid to semiarid, but the south and east are temperate and the north is tropical.
Although most of Australia is arid desert, it supports a wide range of habitats, thus making it incredibly biodiverse. Alpine forests, tropical rainforests, and a wide variety of plants and animals thrive there because of its geographic isolation from the rest of the world. As such, 92 percent of its vascular plants, 87 percent of its mammals, 93 percent of its reptiles, 94 percent of its frogs, and 45 percent of its birds are endemic to Australia. It also has the greatest number of reptile species in the world as well as some of the most venomous snakes and other dangerous creatures like the crocodile. Australia is most famous for its marsupial species, which include the kangaroo, koala, and wombat.
Australia’s modern culture has been shaped by a number of factors, including Americanization, immigration, ancient heritage, and climate. With much of the population living close to the coast, a strong beach culture dominates in society. Even in major city centers, it is not uncommon to see locals wearing beach attire around town. The warm, sunny climate also permits an array of outdoor activities, happily lapped up by locals. A typical Aussie Saturday afternoon is spent at a barbecue with friends or family. Australians are very active yet laid-back people, and this certainly shows through their love of sports, whether they are participating or observing.
Indigenous culture is still prevalent in many parts of the country, and tourists can easily find package tours to learn more. The native Aboriginal people are a proud race, and still practice ancient cultural aspects of tribal life, including dancing, music, art, and even hunting.
Australia is the 55th largest country in the world in terms of population, between Cameroon and Madagascar. It is also the most populous country in Oceania three times more populous than its neighbor Papua New Guinea (8.2 million) and 5 times more populous than New Zealand (4.5 million). As the sixth largest nation in the world, Australia has a very low population density of just 3 people per square kilometer, or 7 per square mile. This makes it one of the least densely populated countries in the world. Most of Australia's population is concentrated on or around the more hospitable coastal areas.
The most recent Australian census was held in 2016 and confirmed that the population of Australia was 23,401,892. The Australian Bureau of Statistics also provides the Australian Population Clock, which uses population indicators to estimate the current population count.