Australia is the only country that has a whole continent itself.
World famous for its natural wonders and wide open spaces, its beaches, deserts, "the bush", and "the Outback", Australia is actually one of the world's most highly urbanised countries. It is also well known for the cosmopolitan attractions of its large cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Australia is the world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; it's slightly smaller than the 48 contiguous United States. The highly urbanised population is heavily concentrated along the eastern and south-eastern coasts.
Australia has an area of 7,682,300 square kilometres (2,966,152 sq mi). Many travellers underestimate the distances between cities and towns.
Australia has large areas that have been deforested for agricultural purposes: forest areas survive in extensive national parks and some other areas.
Regions of Australia:
- New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) (NSW) & (ACT) - New South Wales is Australia's most populous state. The Harbour City of Sydney is Australia's largest city. The coast of New South Wales is lined with beachside communities, each one offering experiences for the traveller. A little inland are the mountain ranges of the Blue Mountains, and the purpose built capital city of Canberra, excised from New South Wales. Further inland still expect sweeping plains, turning from agriculture to desert the further inland you venture.
- Northern Territory (NT) - From the red deserts surrounding Uluru and Alice Springs up to the tropics of Darwin and Kakadu National Park, the Northern Territory is stunningly beautiful, and easier to access than you might think.
- Queensland (QLD) - Famous for its sunny warm weather, Queensland offers coastal exploration from the vibe of the Gold Coast to the tropics of the Great Barrier Reef to the bustling city of Brisbane. It is also home to tropical rainforests of the Daintree National Park, and the island resorts of the Whitsundays. Inland lies the ranges of the hinterland, and further on the vast expanses and beauty of outback Australia.
- South Australia (SA) - Renowned for the fine wines of the Barossa Valley, the beauty of the Flinders Ranges and the outback, and the beaches and events and culture of the City of Churches, Adelaide.
- Tasmania (TAS) - Separated from the mainland by Bass Strait, Tasmania has rugged beauty of Cradle Mountain and the west, the beaches of the east, and the complete wilderness of the south. Hobart was the site of the second European settlement in Australia, and many historic sites are well preserved. The island has well developed facilities for travellers.
- Victoria (VIC) - Small, vibrant and with something for everyone, Victoria has dramatic surf beaches along the southwest and central coast, green rolling farmland and photogenic national parks. The diversity of rural Victoria is very easy to access due in part to its size and well maintained roads. Australia and Victoria's sporting, shopping, fashion and food capital is Melbourne.
- Western Australia (WA) - A vast state. The south-west contains the state capital and major city of Perth closely surrounded by the wildflower, wine growing and scenic destinations of the Margaret River and Albany. North to the tropics and the beachside destination of Broome. Small townships, roadhouses, mining communities and national parks scattered around the long distances between.
The time zones in Australia are: (Daylight Saving Time)
Northern Territory UTC +9.5
Queensland UTC +10
New South Wales UTC +10 (UTC +10.5)
Canberra UTC +10 (UTC +10.5)
Victoria UTC +10 (UTC +10.5)
South Australia UTC +9.5 (UTC +10.5)
Tasmania UTC +10 (UTC +10.5)
Western Australia UTC +8