When you look at land mass, Australia is the world’s sixth largest country after countries such as Russia, Canada, China and the USA. But there is a very big difference, and that is that Australia is also a continent. In fact, this is the only continent in the world that is at the same time a single country. Despite the fact that the country is so large, it has a relatively small population. Around 23 million inhabitants can not be considered as much for a country covering an area of 7,692,024 km². In addition to being a continent, the Australian mainland is also a giant island with a highest point of 2,228 meters, which consists of the top of Mount Kosciuszko.
This is a very dry continent with little rainfall. However, this does not mean that there is a shortage of agricultural land and the fertile parts of Australia get plenty of water and help supply the world with food. Commonwealth Australia consists of six states and two territories. The largest state is Western Australia and it is about the same size as Western Europe.
Geography and climate
Australia consists of the main island which is also a continent as well as the island of Tasmania and islands located in the Pacific Ocean, the Coral Sea, the Timor Sea and in the Indian Ocean. The country borders Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Zealand. Near Australia’s northeast coast, there is the famous Great Barrier Reef, which is the world’s largest coral reef. In Western Australia, there is the world’s largest monolith called Mount Augustus.
A rock formation that is very famous and found in the northern territory is Uluru which is also called Ayers Rock. This gigantic rock formation covers an area of more than 3 square kilometers, it is about 345 meters high and it is believed that it was once formed when the site was covered by an inland sea. This giant rock is one of Australia’s many tourist attractions.
Most of Australia is a desert landscape or savannah known locally as the Outback. Most live along the southeast coast where the climate is temperate. According to Bridgat, the climate is very different depending on where in Australia you are. It is affected a lot by ocean currents and this sometimes leads to periods of drought and low pressure systems that are tropical and that give rise to cyclones that pull in over northern Australia. In northern Australia you have a tropical climate and here there is tropical rainforest and grasslands. In general, it can be said that the states in the north have warmer weather for most of the year, while the states in the south may have colder winters. One thing to consider is that Australia’s seasons are just the opposite of what we experience in the northern hemisphere.
The population of Australia
Australia is considered an independent Western democracy with a population that in 2014 exceeded 22.5 million. Most of the country’s inhabitants live in one of the 10 largest cities. Sydney is the largest city but Canberra is the capital of the country. Although the Australian lifestyle is largely Western and has European roots, we must not forget that this is a society with many different cultures. Many of today’s Australians are first or second generation immigrants from countries where English is not spoken. In addition, there are still a few percent indigenous people who are either Aborigines or people from the Torres Strait. From this group, there are still those who live a traditional life that differs greatly from the lifestyle of the larger cities.
Australia’s official language is English, which of course has to do with being a British colony until January 1, 1901. The country’s history as a penal colony is exciting to say the least and today there are many who are descendants of the prisoners who were once deported here from the English big cities. The fact that the language today has a lot of American English is due to the gold rush and the American military that were stationed in Australia during the Second World War.