Australia Common Tourist Information. About the Country & Australian Continent.
Australia is an island and a continent at the same time. It has two main parts – the mainland and Tasmania. It is the smallest continent and it occupies a total area of 7,682,300 square km.
Australia has stable, flat and low lands due to the fact that it is one of the oldest continents. Most parts of it are deserts which used to be lakes and marshes. There still exist some salt lakes such as Lake Eyre in South Australia.
Only the inner parts of Australia are dry and with a little population while the eastern coast is heavily populated. The interior is hot and dry and forms vast deserts, but in the eastern parts there are mountains called the Great Dividing Range, which are about 910 metres above sea level. In the outer parts the environment ranges from tropical rain forests, pastoral lands and forest to alpine country in the Snowy Mountains and central Tasmania.
Australia combines huge desert spaces, snowfields and sunny beaches and hot water perfect for surfing.
Australia’s capital is Canberra – especially built for that purpose. The population is about 17 million people. Most of them live in the cities and are migrants from the UK, Europe or Asia, but about 1,5% are Aborigines or part Aborigines.
In 1996 71% of the people in Australia claimed they were Christians. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism are also gaining power.
In Australia there are over 80 spoken languages, but the main one is English. Just like anywhere else, there too are local variations. The only accent there is the one of the upper, middle and working classes. However communication is not a problem unless you use some special idioms or phrases which may not mean the same there as in England or the USA.