Australia - Overview
Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent and its outlying islands. The mainland is the largest island and the world’s smallest, flattest continent.
Australia’s coastline, linked by over 10,000 beaches, stretches almost 50,000 kilometres, more than any other country in the world. More than 85 per cent of Australians live within 50 kilometres of the coast, making it an integral part of its laid-back lifestyle.
Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is home to the world’s largest oyster, weighing up to 3 kilograms, while the world’s longest earthworm, stretching up to 4 metres, is found in Gippsland in Victoria. The heaviest crab, found in Bass Strait, near Tasmania, weighs up to 14 kilograms. Australia’s tallest mountain, Mt Kosciuszko, is 2,228 metres above sea level.
Flora and FaunaA hopping icon
The iconic kangaroo is unique to Australia and one of its most easily recognized mammals. There are an estimated 40 million kangaroos in Australia, more than when Australia was first settled.
Australia developed a unique fauna when it broke away from the super-continent Gondwana more than 50 million years ago. Today Australia is home to a wealth of wildlife not found anywhere else in the world. There are around 800 species of birds, half of which are unique to this country. The marine environments contain more than 4,000 fish varieties and tens of thousands of species of invertebrates, plants and microorganisms. About 80 per cent of Australia's southern marine species are found nowhere else in the world.
Australia also supports at least 25,000 species of plants, compared to 17,500 in Europe. That includes living fossils like the Wollemi pine and the grass tree, and brilliant wildflowers. There are over 12,000 species in Western Australia alone!
The People and CultureAn ethnic melting pot
Since 1945 more than six million people from across the world have come to Australia to live. Today, more than 20 per cent of Australians are foreign born and more than 40 per cent are of mixed cultural origin. In the homes they speak 226 languages - after English, the most popular are Italian, Greek, Cantonese and Arabic.
Believed to be the world’s oldest civilization, Aboriginal people have lived and thrived on this continent for more than 50,000 years. Aboriginal societies made many unique advances long before the Europeans arrived. They invented the aerodynamic boomerang and a type of spear thrower called the woomera. They were also the first society to ground edges on stone cutting tools and the first to use stone tools to grind seeds, everyday tools developed only much later by other societies.
Your options for travelling Australia are as diverse as the country itself. Choose the journeys, the activities and the options which best suit you and whether you’ve got two weeks to see the sights or six months to cover the country you can drive, fly, sail, take a train or tackle an epic walk.
We will Tailor your journey to the Australian experience you’re seeking and use our extensive knowledge of Australian to design your ideal itinerary. Take a rugged 4WD adventure through Australia’s outback, soaking up the space, silence and timeless vistas. Or discover long white beaches and lush national parks on a spectacular coastal journey.
Set your love story in Australia, with sailing trips to tropical islands or drives through picturesque countryside. Journey to places rich in Aboriginal culture or World Heritage-listed nature, or trek Australia on an epic walking trail.
Learn more about Australia’s vibrant, sophisticated and welcoming capital cities.
Here our relaxed outdoor lifestyle meets a melting pot of cultures and a whirlwind of theatre, restaurants, nightlife and events. Enjoy beach barbeques and ballet, open-air cinemas, jazz in the park and alfresco dining with 5-star food. What’s more the skyscrapers and shopping strips are just a short drive from mountains, ocean, river and bush. So come, stay, and celebrate in one of Australia’s glamorous cities, then start the rest of your Australian adventure.
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