Where is Australia located?

What countries border Australia?

Australia Weather

What is the current weather in Australia?


Australia Facts and Culture

What is Australia famous for?

  • Food and Recipes: “Tucker” is the aussie word for food. Because of Australia's many immigrant communities, many of the dishes have European and... More
  • Family: More than 85% of Australians live in urban areas, mostly on the east coast. Sydney and Melbourne are home to... More
  • Fashion: Australians will frequently dress in styles that are popular in Europe and other western countries. In winter, jumpers or sweaters... More
  • Visiting: Australian catch phrases include “G'day mate!”, “no worries”, “not a problem” and “Good on yer!”. Visiting without a prior appointment... More
  • Recreation: The national sport Australian-rules football ( "Aussie Rules") a combination of rugby and soccer was invented in Melbourne about 1858.... More
  • Cultural Attributes: Australians have a good sense of humor and anything is a topic for humor. Australians have a sense of national... More

Australia Facts

What is the capital of Australia?

Capital Canberra
Government Type parliamentary democracy (Federal Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Currency Australian dollars (AUD)
Total Area 2,988,885 Square Miles
7,741,220 Square Kilometers
Location Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean
Language English, native languages
GDP - real growth rate 2.9%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $48,800.00 (USD)

Australia Demographics

What is the population of Australia?

Ethnic Groups Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%
Nationality Adjective Australian
Nationality Noun Australian(s)
Population 25,466,459
Population Growth Rate 1.11%
Population in Major Urban Areas Sydney 4.543 million; Melbourne 3.961 million; Brisbane 2.039 million; Perth 1.649 million; Adelaide 1.198 million; CANBERRA (capital) 399,000
Predominant Language English, native languages
Urban Population 89.2%

Australia Government

What type of government does Australia have?

  • Executive Branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General David HURLEY (since 1 July 2019) head... More
  • Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory More
  • Citizenship: citizenship by birth: no citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia dual... More
  • National Holiday: Australia Day (commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet of Australian settlers), 26 January (1788); ANZAC Day (commemorates the anniversary... More
  • Constitution: 9 July 1900; effective 1 January 1901; amended several times, last in 1977; note - a referendum to amend the... More
  • Independence: 1 January 1901 (from the federation of UK colonies) More

Australia Geography

What environmental issues does Australia have?

  • Overview: Australia is a large, comparatively dry, and sparsely inhabited continent, almost as large as the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Australia,... More
  • Climate: Australia is a large, comparatively dry, and sparsely inhabited continent, almost as large as the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Australia,... More
  • Environment - Current Issues: soil erosion from overgrazing, industrial development, urbanization, and poor farming practices; soil salinity rising due to the use of poor... More
  • Environment - International Agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,... More
  • Terrain: mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast More

Australia Economy

How big is the Australia economy?

Australia News & Current Events

What current events are happening in Australia?
Source: Google News

Interesting Australia Facts

What unique things can you discover about Australia?

  • Aborigines were the inventors of the boomerang. There are two kinds. The hunting boomerang is two feet long, with a slight curve at one end and sharp edge on the other. The other is used in competitions. It is lighter in weight, with a more noticeable curve, and returns when thrown. Both are made of wood and decorated with carvings or painted designs.
  • According to the Aborigines, the world was originally flat, featureless and grey. Then huge creatures awoke and wandered the earth. As they hunted for food and dug for water, they created mountains, valleys and rivers. This period is known as the Dreamtime. Aboriginal life began in the Dreamtime. Once creation was complete, the creatures disappeared.
  • An American architect, Walter Burley Griffin, won an international competition to design the city of Canberra.
  • Australia is a federation of six states (New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia) and two territories (the Northern Territory and the Capital Territory, where Canberra is located).
  • Australia pioneered the use of bank notes made of plastic (polymers). They last four times as long as regular paper notes and provide greater security against counterfeiting. Australia now exports plastic bills to other countries such as New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei.
  • Because Australians spend most of their spare time on the beach or participating in outdoor activities, they have the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. It is common to see surfers and lifeguards wearing a thick coating of white zinc on their lips and noses to protect them from the sun.
  • Because strong currents along the coast make swimming dangerous, specially trained lifesavers patrol Australia's beaches. Lifesaving clubs, first formed in Sydney, are staffed with volunteers. They hold competitions to test the speed and skill of lifesaving teams.
  • Each August, an unusual race is held in the Outback near Alice Springs. It is called the Henley-on-Todd boat race. Because water is rarely found in the Todd River, racers must carry their boats along the dry riverbed.
  • In 1977 three million Australians voted in a referendum for Advance Australia Fair to become our national anthem (the choice of 43 per cent of voters) and that it was officially proclaimed in 1984
  • One of Australia's greatest gifts to the world of music is the renowned operatic soprano, Joan Sutherland.
  • One School of the Air in the Northern Territory serves an area of more than a million square kilometers. It calls itself the world's largest classroom.
  • The Aborigines consider a certain type of insect larva, known as a “ witchetty grub,” a delicacy. Found at the roots of the acacia plant, this grub is white and the size of a baby carrot.
  • The Australian accent is known as “ Strine.” This word is thought to be the word “ Australian ” spoken through closed teeth. Some scholars say this pronunciation came about because of the need to keep one's trap (mouth) shut against blowies (blow flies).
  • The colorful coral of the Great Barrier Reef is made from a liquid emitted by trillions of tiny sea creatures called coral polyps. This liquid eventually hardens and becomes shell-like. There have been campaigns to preserve the Great Barrier Reef, since its popularity as a tourist sight has led to its deterioration.
  • The name of Canberra, Australia's capital, comes from the Aboriginal word for meeting place. It is located between Sydney and Melbourne.
  • The Trans-Australian railway line, the second longest in the world, was built between 1912 and 1917 to join Western and Southern Australia. The surveyors who mapped out the route used camels to travel across the harsh desert terrain of Southern Australia, including the Nullarbor Plain (nullarbor means "no trees" in Latin).
  • Ayers Rock rises from the desert in the middle of Australia. It is far from any large city.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is the longest coral reef in the world. It lies beneath the shallow ocean waters of Australia's east coast.
  • The roof of the Sydney Opera House is designed to appear like the sails of a ship.
  • When a child loses a tooth they put their tooth under their pillow and wait for the Tooth Fairy to take their tooth and bring them money.
  • When an Aboriginal child loses a tooth their family helps them put their tooth inside the shoot of a pandanus seedling so that when the pandanus grows into a tree, their tooth will grow too. There are spirits in the pandanus leaves that will look after them while their tooth is growing.
  • Many Australian Birthday parties are barbeques as the weather most of the time is not very cold or long in the winter.
    In Australia the children eat a dish called "Fairy Bread." This is a popular snack and is buttered bread covered with tiny, sprinkles known as "hundreds and thousands."

    In Australia they speak English, so they say "happy birthday" like all countries that speak English.

    Being given the key to the house is still considered an important sign of coming of age in Australia. This takes place when someone turns the age of twenty-one. The young man who was given the key to the house is said to be given permission to come and go as he pleases and to stay out as late he liked.

Watch video on Australia

What can you learn about Australia in this video?

Australia - Land Down Under YouTube, Devin Graham

Australia Travel Information

What makes Australia a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Australia is a highly developed, stable democracy with a federal-state system. Tourist facilities are widely available.

Crime

Although U.S citizens are not specifically targeted for crime, travelers should be aware that robberies, burglaries, assault, and auto theft are common in Australia’s larger cities. Weapons are increasingly used in such crimes, which also may be associated with drug trafficking, gang activities, and drug or alcohol usage. Foreign visitors in popular tourist areas are targets for pickpockets, purse-snatchers, and petty thieves. Be careful when consuming alcohol with unfamiliar people, as drink spiking can occur; appropriate security precautions should be taken, especially at night, to avoid becoming a target of opportunity.

Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Australia, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. You may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings, such as inside certain areas of Australian airports, near prisons and at military bases. If you break local laws, your U.S. passport won’t help. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going. In Australia, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. If you violate Australian laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Australia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Australia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Please be aware that all objectionable material is subject to declaration and inspection and may be illegal in Australia. Objectionable material includes child pornography, bestiality, explicit sexual violence, and graphic degradation, as well as terrorism-related material and anything providing instruction in or encouraging drug use, crime, or violence. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Excellent medical care is available in Australia. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Most doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash/credit card payment for health services. We recommend travel insurance.

Safety and Security

Australia has an alert system for possible terrorist attacks. The threat levels range from “low” to “high.” The Australian Attorney General's Office web site has up-to-date information regarding the current terrorism threat level. Depending on the alert, you should maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase your security awareness. Travelers may also contact the Australian National Security Hotline at 61-1-800-123-400.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Australia, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning driving in Australia is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic operates on the left side of the road, and all vehicles use right-hand drive. Please use caution when crossing streets and when driving. When crossing roads on foot, make sure you look carefully in all directions. Wearing a seat belt is mandatory, and fines apply for not wearing them. Speed limits and laws regarding driving while intoxicated are rigorously enforced, and random breath testing of a driver's blood alcohol limit is a common occurrence. Roads and streets are frequently narrower and less graded than U.S. highways. Outside major metropolitan areas, most highways are two-lane roads with significant distances between destinations. Speed limits vary throughout Australia and are measured in kilometers, not miles. Be aware that speed cameras are everywhere and you will be ticketed for driving over the speed limit.

When driving in Australia, exercise caution while passing or merging with adjacent traffic. If driving in rural areas, be cautious of free-roaming animals, such as kangaroos, and "road-trains" (several semi-truck trailers connected together). Passing road-trains is dangerous, and you should pull over to allow on-coming road-trains to pass to avoid being sideswiped. A number of fatalities have occurred in the Northern Territory where vehicles driven at high rates of speed have skidded and overturned after hitting loose gravel on the shoulder of the road. If you have no experience with a 4-wheel drive vehicle, you should exercise common-sense when driving in the Australian outback.

Texting or holding your phone while driving is against the law, but you can use a hands-free system to communicate while driving. For specific information concerning Australian driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, mandatory insurance, and the rental and operation of motor vehicles in Australia, visit the Australian Tourist Commission web site.

Each state/territory has different rules about using a foreign driver’s license and the conditions under which a visitor might have to get an international driver’s license. In some cases, you can apply for a driver’s license from the state in Australia where you intend to remain for the duration of your stay in Australia.

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