About Australia

Australia is a country and continent surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal. Its capital, Canberra, is inland. The country is known for its Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, a vast interior desert wilderness called the Outback, and unique animal species like kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses.

It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest urban area is Sydney.

Australia has the third and seventh highest life expectancy of males and females respectively in the world. Life expectancy in Australia in 2010 was 79.5 years for males and 84.0 years for females. Australia ranks 35th in the world and near the top of developed nations for its proportion of obese adults and nearly two thirds (63%) of its adult population is either overweight or obese.

Capital Canberra
Government Type Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Official Languages English
Total Area

7,692,024 km2  (2,969,907 sq mi) (6th)

Population 2017 estimate - 24,394,200 (51st)

Climate

The climate of Australia is significantly influenced by ocean currents, including the Indian Ocean Dipole and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, which is correlated with periodic drought, and the seasonal tropical low-pressure system that produces cyclones in northern Australia. These factors cause rainfall to vary markedly from year to year. Much of the northern part of the country has a tropical, predominantly summer-rainfall (monsoon) The south-west corner of the country has a Mediterranean climate. Much of the south-east (including Tasmania) is temperate.