Commonwealth of Australia

The flattest continent!

Australia

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is the world’s sixth-largest country by total area. Located in the Southern Hemisphere, it comprises the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Capital of Australia is Canberra.

For at least 40,000 years before European settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians. After discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales. As the population grew, the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing Crown Colonies were established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australia is the flattest continent with the oldest and least fertile soils. Desert or semi-arid land, commonly known as the outback, makes up the largest portion of land. The driest inhabited continent, only its south-east and south-west corners have a temperate climate.

Australian Government online
Australia is a unique and diverse country in every way – in culture, population, climate, geography, and history.
Department of Immigration and Citizenship
The purpose of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is building Australia’s future through the well-managed entry and settlement of people.
National Library of Australia
Access more than 160,000 collection items including pictures, maps, books, journals, printed music, manuscripts and oral histories.

States and Territories:

The Commonwealth of Australia is a union of six states and various territories. The Australian mainland is made up of five states and two territories, with the sixth state of Tasmania being made up of islands. In addition there are six island territories, known as external territories, and a claim to a territory in Antarctica. All states and two of the three internal territories have their own parliaments and administer themselves; the remaining territories are administered by the Federal Government.

States:

New South Wales
Official NSW Government portal to government information and services Find news, events, jobs, weather, government websites and online services.
Queensland
Welcome to www qld gov au, your gateway to Queensland Government Internet resources.
South Australia
The Gateway to South Australian Community, Business and Government Information and Services.
Tasmania
A comprehensive index and listing of all Tasmanian websites including Tasmanian community and business websites and the official Tasmanian state government portal.
Victoria
Victoria Online is the fastest way to find local, state federal government information services.
Western Australia
Official Site of the Government of Western Australia

Territories:

Northern Territory
This is the home page of the Northern Territory Government.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Canberra, home to around 347,000 people, is situated in the Australian Capital Territory, 150 kilometres inland and 571 metres above the Pacific Ocean.

Other places and informational links for Australia:

A highly developed country, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance. The name Australia is derived from the Latin australis, meaning “southern”. The country has been referred to colloquially as Oz since the early 20th century. Aussie is a common colloquial term for “Australian”. In neighbouring New Zealand the term “Aussie” is sometimes applied as a noun to the nation as well as its residents.

Australia’s size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with subtropical rain forests in the north-east, mountain ranges in the south-east, south-west and east areas, and a dry desert in its centre.The climate of Australia is significantly influenced by ocean currents.

Tourism Australia
Find travel ideas for planning your Australian holiday Discover things to do, places to go and more. The official site of Tourism Australia.

Travel:

Most attractions in Australia remain open year-round, some operating at a reduced frequency or shorter hours during the off-peak season. All visitors – apart from citizens of New Zealand – require a visa in advance of travel. For all tourist visa classes you must be able to demonstrate your ability to support yourself financially for time you intend to spend in Australia.

Australia is a long way from anywhere else in the world so, for most visitors, the only practical way of getting into Australia is by air. There are a good number of airports in Australia. November to February is the cruising season, and there are usually about 10 ships that arrive in Australia from other countries during this time.

Australia is huge but sparsely populated, and you can sometimes travel many hours before finding the next trace of civilisation, especially once you leave the south-eastern coastal fringe. Australia has a generally well-maintained system of roads and highways, and cars are a commonly used method of transport. Most of the state capitals are linked to each other by good quality highways. Australia drives on the left. Overseas visitors who are used to driving on the right should take care when they first drive, and again when they are driving on country roads with little traffic.

Major cities around Australia have multiple outlets providing a wide range of rental vehicles from major international rental companies. In smaller towns car rental can be difficult to find. One way fees often apply from smaller regional outlets.

Directions by City or Zip (Postcode)

  You’ll probably need maps, directions or both at some point in your travels. Just type the starting place in the first box, the ending destination in the second box and click “Go”. As an example, you could enter your home address as the starting point and the address of the place you are to stay at as the destination.



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