Australia’s warm weather, friendly people and sight-seeing opportunities have consistently attracted international travellers and domestic tourists alike.

Its cosmopolitan cities, lush rainforests and long stretches of coastline are just some of the reasons people love spending time here. A passion for the outdoors, which many Australians and visitors share, has helped to create a relaxed pace of life throughout the country and sets the scene for an awesome adventure. It is difficult to shortlist Australia’s ‘must-see’ places so fit in as much as you can and enjoy!

Australians love sports, and as such the sporting calender makes up a strong part of their annual schedule, with impressive international teams in almost all sports, including hockey, cricket, rugby union and league, basketball and more, there is no disputing the sporting appetite of this vast nation.

Quick Facts

Name

Commonwealth of Australia

Location

Australasia

Bordering Countries

Australia does not have any bordering countries

Capital City

Canberra

Government

Federal monarchy, Constitutional monarchy, Parliamentary system

Population

23 million

Language

English

Currency

Australian Dollar (AUD)

Poverty

12.5% of the population live below the poverty line

Main Exports

Coal, Iron ores, Tin ores, Wool, Beef, Barley, Raw sugar.

Climate

Varies from the tropical northern regions, to the temperate climate of the southern regions.

Time Zone

GMT +8/11 - Australia covers multiple time zones.

Flag

Fun Facts

• A wombat’s poo is square
• Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards
• A stubby is a 375ml bottle of beer
• Canberra was selected as the capital because Sydney and Melbourne could not stop arguing which city should be the capital of Australia

Travel Highlights

• Star-gazing at the beautiful and peaceful Ayres Rock (Uluru)
• Driving the Great Ocean Road – the fantastic coastline from Melbourne to Adelaide.
• Surfing in Manly – one of Australia’s most popular surfing beaches.
• Visiting Wave Rock in Western Australia – looks like a wave, made out of rock. Incredible!
• Sailing around the Whitsunday Islands – Queensland’s very own offshore paradise.
• Swim with turtles and try to find Nemo while snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

Where is Australia?

Also know as “Down Under”, Australia is a country in the Southern Hemisphere, lying to the south of Southeast Asia, and dividing the Indian and South Pacific Oceans. Neighbouring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east.

It is vast, covering an area of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi), giving a wide variety of landscapes, with tropical rainforests in the north-east, mountain ranges in the south-east, south-west and east, and dry desert in the centre. It also boasts the largest coral reef in the world, The Great Barrier Reef, giving scuba divers an exquisite underwater landscape, stretching as far as the eye can see.

History of Australia

Australia’s Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of the Australian continent, arrived from Asia at least 50,000 years ago. Parts of the continent were mapped by Dutch navigators in the seventeenth century and by French and British navigators the following century, but it was not until 1770 that Captain James Cook charted the east coast and claimed it for Britain.

From 1788, Britain established penal colonies in New South Wales and Tasmania and later in Western Australia. Free settlers followed in increasing numbers, gradually outnumbering convicts. A colony made up entirely of free settlers was established in South Australia in the 1830s.

Today, Australian society is a melting pot of cultures and diverse people. While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the traditional inhabitants of the land, immigrants from more than 200 countries also call Australia home. Since World War II, more than seven million migrants have come to Australia. From 1788 to the 1970s, the majority came from Europe. These days, Australia receives many more migrants from Asia, and since 1996 the number of migrants from Africa and the Middle East has almost doubled.

The nation has developed a highly diversified economy with considerable strengths, particularly in the mining and agricultural sectors as well as manufacturing and services, and it has become increasingly economically integrated with the countries of East Asia.

Didgeridoos
Didgeridoos

Music in Australia

The music of Australia has an extensive history stretching back to the Indigenous and colonial societies. If you ask people what do you think when asked ‘What is Australian music’, most will say it consists of the iconic sound of the didgerdoo. Contemporary fusions of Indigenous and Western styles have helped define Australia as producing high quality world music covering a broad spectrum of folk and bush ballards to trends concurrent with those in the USA, UK and similar nations.

Climate in Australia

Australia experiences temperate weather for most of the year but the climate varies widely due to its large geographical size, but by far the largest part of Australia is desert or semi-arid. The northern states typically experience warm weather much of the time, with the southern states experiencing cooler winters.

Australia’s climate is ruled by the hot, sinking air of the subtropical high pressure belt which moves north and south with the seasons. This causes the rainfall pattern over Australia to be highly seasonal. Australia’s rainfall is the lowest of the seven continents (besides Antarctica) with an average annual rainfall of less than 600 millimetres. Rainfall is variable, with frequent droughts lasting several seasons.

Australia’s seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring.

Swimming in Australia
Swimming in Australia

Sport in Australia

Naturally competitive, Australians excel at a number of sports and regularly compete at international level in team sports such as cricket, rugby, netball and hockey as well as individual events like swimming and tennis. The Olympics and Commonwealth Games often end with Australia ranked near the top of the medal table, displaying an impressive multi-disciplinary strength considering the relatively small population. This all makes it a fantastic place to play, train and coach your favourite sports with the help of professional instructors and excellent facilities. Become a surf instructor, learn to sail or improve your rugby skills and immerse yourself in the Australian way of life!

Gap Year and Career Breaks in Australia

Australia is still one of the most popular destinations for gap year, student holidays and career breaks, with thousands of young visitors descending on the country each year. Your sports trip to Australia will allow you to embrace just how passionate Aussies are about the outdoors and sports they play, whilst giving you the chance to travel to this amazing and diverse country.

Phil Young

"Scuba diving, making a didgeridoo and chilling out at Manly Beach. My favourite experiences in Oz can all be summed up in one simple word – bonza!"

Phil Young

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