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Australia

Landscape

A wide, brown land

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. It's about the same size as the 48 mainland states of the USA and 50 per cent larger than Europe, but has the lowest population density in the world - only two people per square kilometre.

Beach paradise

Australia’s coastline stretches almost 50,000 kilometres and is linked by over 10,000 beaches, more than any other country in the world. More than 85 per cent of Australians live within 50 kilometres of the coast, making it an integral part of our laid-back lifestyle. 

Island home

Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent and its outlying islands. The mainland is the largest island and the world’s smallest, flattest continent.

Exports
Opals in our eyes

Australia produces 95 per cent of the world's precious opals and 99 per cent of its black opals. The world’s opal capital is the quirky underground town of Coober Pedy in South Australia. The world’s largest opal, weighing 5.27 kilograms, was found here in 1990.

Gold galore

Kalgoorlie in Western Australia is Australia's largest producer of gold. It also embraces the world's largest political electorate, covering a mammoth 2.2 million square kilometres.

Merinos and cattle calls

Australia's 85.7 million sheep (mostly merinos) produce most of the world's wool. With 25.4 million head of cattle, Australia is also the world's largest exporter of beef.

Record-Breakers
Natural legends


Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is home to the world’s largest oyster, weighing up to 3 kilograms, while the world’s longest earthworm, stretching up to 4 metres, is found in Gippsland in Victoria. The heaviest crab, weighing up to 14 kilograms, is found in Bass Strait near Tasmania. Australia’s tallest mountain is Mt Kosciuszko, which is 2,228 metres above sea level.

Longest road, rail and fence

The world’s longest piece of straight railway track stretches 478 kilometres across South Australia’s vast, treeless Nullarbor Plain. Australia’s longest stretch of straight road - 148 kilometres – is on the Eyre Highway in Western Australia. It’s just a tiny portion of the 2,700 kilometre sealed road that takes travelers from Perth to Adelaide.  The world's longest continuous fence – the dingo fence – was built to keep sheep safe from Australia's native dog and runs for 5,531 kilometres through central Queensland and South Australia.

People and Culture
An ethnic melting pot


Since 1945 more than six million people from across the world have come to Australia to live. Today, more than 20 per cent of Australians are foreign born and more than 40 per cent are of mixed cultural origin. In our homes we speak 226 languages - after English, the most popular are Italian, Greek, Cantonese and Arabic.

 
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