The Island Continent!
Australia is a unique and diverse country in every way – in culture, population, climate, geography and history. Being multicultural and multiracial, Australian culture is as broad and varied as the country’s landscape and this is reflected in the country’s food, lifestyle and cultural practices and experience. This of course includes the important heritage and cultural role of its indigenous peoples. Australia’s population is roughly 25 million, spread over a landmass approximately the same size as the USA, with the most populous states being New South Wales (Sydney) and Victoria (Melbourne). Australia’s population is concentrated along the coastal regions from Adelaide in the South, to Cairns in the north, with a small concentration around Perth, Western Australia. The centre of Australia, usually referred to as “the outback”,has a very sparse population. Australia’s first inhabitants, the Aboriginal people, are believed to have migrated to Australia between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago. Captain James Cook is credited with Australia’s European discovery in 1770, with the first European settlement in January 1788, when the First Fleet sailed into Botany Bay under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. Originally established as a penal colony, by the 1830s the number of free settlers was increasing and transportation of convicts was finally abolished in 1868. So come and explore Australia – one of the most amazing places on earth – a country that inspires the imagination and evokes images of beautiful beaches, outback landscapes, welcoming people and a laid-back outdoor lifestyle. What To See and Do
- Wineries, wineries and more wineries – Whichever state you’ve visiting, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Western Australia, there’s a thriving wine industry waiting to be explored and sampled.
- Discover Australia’s thriving and varied food scene
- Cruise Sydney Harbour – see the Bridge and Opera House
- Drive the Great Ocean Road between Victoria and South Australia – never to be forgotten.
- Experience the outback – Uluru National Park and Ayers Rock
- See the natural wonders of South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, the Tasmanian wilderness, Western Australia’s Kimberley region or the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park.
- Hit the ski slopes during winter months in the Australian Alps.
- Dive with terrifying Great White Pointer Sharks at Port Lincoln (SA) – in a cage of course.
- Watch turtles hatch in Queensland
- Hot air balloon over the national capital, Canberra.
When To Go Due to its huge size, Australiahas several different climate zones. Northern Australia has a more tropical climate, hot and humid in the summer and quite warm and dry in the winter, while the southern parts are cooler with mild summers and cool, sometimes rainy winters. Seasons are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere-when it’s summer in the north, it’s winter in Australia. December and January are the hottest months, July and August the coolest. Australia’s southern areas are generally more temperate to warm, with summer daytime temperatures usually between 25 and 35°C and winter Temperatures between 10 and 15°C The Tasmanian mountains and the “Australian Alps” in the southeast of Australia have a typical mountain climate; with snow during winter months. Another extreme, are the conditions in the desert and bush areas of central Australia; referred to as ‘the outback’, where temperatures can sometimes reach 50°C and rain not fall for years. Most rain falls in the north-eastern coastal parts of Australia (Darwin), with an annual average of 100 inches. Tropical cyclones can also occur in the northern coastal areasbetween November and April.