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Bird's eye view of Uluru, Ayers Rock, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Australia's most famous mountain. Bird's eye view of Uluru. The iconic monolith, also known as Ayers Rock, is the landmark of Australia. The massive sandstone rock is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru, one of Australia's World Heritage Sites, is sacred to its indigenous custodians. The monolith is now off-limits for climbers.
Image: Corey Leopold

Location map of Australia. Where in the world is Australia?
Location map of Australia

Flag of Australia
Flag of Australia

Australia in brief

Destination Australia, a Nations Online country profile of the "unknown southern land."

Some say, with Australia, you get it all: a continent with its own tectonic plate, a country with a population density others can only dream of, and a massive island with a 30,000 km long beach.

Australia is situated entirely in the southern hemisphere, between the Indian and the Pacific ocean, south of Maritime Southeast Asia and north of the Antarctic.

With an area of 7,617,930 km², Australia is almost (95%) as large as the continental USA (excluding Alaska). The sixth-largest country in the world has a population of just 25.7 million inhabitants (in 2021).

Australia shares maritime borders with East Timor, Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the islands of New Caledonia (a special collectivity of France).

The country's capital city is Canberra; other major cities are Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane (1.6 million) Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne (3.5 million), and Perth, the largest city is Sydney (4.2 million). The official language is English.

What is Australia most famous for?
The Pinnacles limestone formations within Nambung National Park, Western Australia
The Pinnacles, limestone formations within Nambung National Park in Western Australia.
Image: Tobias Keller

What comes to mind when you think of Australia? It's down under? The funny use of the English language by locals?

Is there more to the planet's largest island than wallabies, emus, and Uluru?
Yep, koalas and kangaroos!

Joking aside, Australia is famous for its unique fauna and flora. Due to its geographic isolation, its ecosystem is very different from other parts of the world. There are more than 24,000 species of native plants on the continent, and marsupials occupy the ecological niches that placental mammals occupy elsewhere in the world.

Main attractions in Australia
The Great Barrier Reef, the largest contiguous collection of more than 2,900 individual coral reefs on earth.
Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is the largest monolith in the world and a sacred place for the Anangu people.

There is the iconic and world-famous Sydney Opera House near the popular Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Great Ocean Road, an Australian National Heritage-listed 243 km long scenic road along Australia's southeastern coast.
The Outback, the remote and usually uninhabited inland regions of Australia.
Pink lakes in South and Western Australia and the Pinnacles, limestone formations within Nambung National Park in Western Australia.

Trivia: It is the least populated continent, and the majority of the population lives near the coast. Voting is compulsory in Australia. Mainland Australia has 35,877 km of coastline and more than 10,000 beaches, of which Bondi Beach near Sydney and Cable Beach near Broome are the most popular. Winter in most parts of Australia lasts from June to August. The Trans Australian Railway features the world's longest straight stretch of railway, 478 km (297 mi). Q1 Tower (322 m) is the tallest residential building in the country; Sydney Tower (309 m) comes second. The country was known as New Holland until the beginning of the 19th century. The Wallaman Falls, a horsetail waterfall on the Stony Creek in North Queensland, drops 268 m. Australia is home to some of the most deadly animals in the world, spiders, snakes, crocodiles, jellyfish and octopus.

Commonwealth of Australia

Australia became a commonwealth of the British Empire in 1901. It was able to use its natural resources to rapidly develop its agricultural and manufacturing industries and make an important contribution to British efforts during the First and Second World Wars.

A referendum to change Australia's status, from a commonwealth headed by the British monarch to an independent republic, was defeated in 1999.

Long-term environmental concerns include pollution, in particular, the depletion of the ozone layer, and the management and protection of coastal areas, notably, the Great Barrier Reef.


Country Profile

Official Name:
Commonwealth of Australia
short form: Australia

ISO Country Code: AU, AUS

Time Zone: EST (Eastern Standard Time)
Local Time = UTC +10h
Actual Time Canberra: Wed-Apr-17  16:03
DST from October-March

Country Calling Code: +61

Capital City: Canberra (pop. 395,000) more


Official Sites of Australia

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Australiaian National Congress building in Brasilia
Australia's Parliament House in Canberra during the Enlighten Festival.
Image: Events ACT

Political System of Australia
Australia's political system is both a representative democracy and a constitutional monarchy. Head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, formally represented by a Governor-General. The legislative branch of the government of Australia is the bicameral parliament, with a Senate and a House of Representatives. Head of government and leader of the Cabinet is the Prime Minister.

Official Government Websites

Australian Government
Official website of Australia's Government.

Australian Parliament
The Australian Parliament online.

The Prime Minister of Australia
Prime Minister's web site.

Australian Government Directory
Government Online Directory - Structure, organizations and key people.

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Trade performance and global cooperation.

Diplomatic Missions
Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations
Australia's representation to the UN.
Embassy of Australia
Washington D.C. - USA
Australian Missions Abroad
List of Australia's Diplomatic Missions Abroad.
Diplomatic Representation by foreign governments in Canberra
List of Foreign Diplomatic Missions in Australia.
Australia Visa
Visas for visitors to Australia.

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australia in Figures.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology
Weather Down Under.

Australian Territories and States

Australian Capital Territory
The Canberra Region on the web.

Northern Territory
Northern Territory Government information and services.

New South Wales
The official NSW Government website.

The official Queensland Government website.

Find out what’s on in Victoria.

South Australia
South Australia - All about South Australia.

Western Australia
Western Australian government information and services.

Your gateway to Tasmania.
Parliament of Tasmania
Established in 1825.




Maps of Australia

Australia Map
Map of Australia (click map to enlarge)


Administrative Map of Australia
Map showing continental Australia with state borders and capital cities.

Australia Map
Political Map of Australia.

Detailed Australia Map
Map showing mainland Australia with international borders, state boundaries, the national capital Canberra, state capitals, major cities and towns, main roads, railroads and international airports.

Topographic Map of Australia
Topographic map of continental Australia showing the general topographic regions.

Google Earth Google Earth Map Australia
Searchable satellite/map view of Australia.

Google Earth Google Earth Canberra
Searchable map and satellite view of Australia's capital city.

Google Earth Information about Australia's state capitals with searchable maps/satellite views.

 Adelaide,  Alice Springs,  Brisbane,  Darwin,  Hobart,  Melbourne,  Sydney,  Perth

Google Earth Google Earth Sydney Opera House
Annotated map/satellite view of Sydney's world famous Opera House.

Google Earth Google Earth Ayers Rock (Uluru)
Annotated satellite view of Ayers Rock.

profile Oceania Map
Reference map of Australia/Oceania.

External link
 Geoscience Australia
Australia's National Mapping Agency, an online resource for Australia related facts and maps.



Australian Newspapers

News and Newspapers from Australia
Image: The Conversation/ AAP/Alan Porritt

News from Australia

Links to Australian online newspapers and TV stations.

Australia's National News agency.

Australian newspapers online

The Advertiser/Sunday Mail
Adelaide based daily newspaper.
The Age
Melbourne's daily newspaper.
Australian Financial Review
Business and finances.
Australian News Network
Australian and international news contributed by several Australian newspapers.
The Australian
National Australian newspaper.
Canberra Times
Canberra's Newspaper.
The Conversation
Melbourne-based news website.
The Illawarra Mercury
Wollongong based newspaper with national and international news.
Smith Journal
Australia-based quarterly publication with unexpected, interesting, funny, and sometimes complicated stories.
Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney's Newspaper.
The West Australian
A daily based in Perth.

ABC Online
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
National Indigenous Television.
SBS News
SBS news channel.


Arts & Culture of Australia

NASA image of South Australia, taken from the Space Shuttle
Abstract modern art? Kind of. It is an image of South Australia taken from the Space Shuttle. The light corner of the image from NASA's EarthKAM is Lake Torrens, an ephemeral salt lake in South Australia. The twisted strata visible here is part of a rocky desert area in the Australian Outback.
Image: NASA

Arts & Culture

Aboriginal Art Online
Information and shop site for contemporary Aboriginal art.
The Arts Centre
Melbourne cultural center.
Art Gallery NSW
Site of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Association of Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Centres.
Didgeridoo Cultural Hub | iDIDJ Australia
Aims to increase public awareness of the rich cultural traditions and significant heritage values of the didgeridoo.
Flanagan, Richard
Tasmanian author of "Death of a River Guide" and "Gould's Book of Fish."
Melbourne Theatre Company
Website of the oldest professional theatre company in Australia.
National Gallery of Australia
The art of indigenous Australia as well as Australian and international art.

Sydney Festival
One of Australia's biggest and brightest annual cultural events.

Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is home to the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Australian Ballet, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Pop Music
The official AC/DC website is featuring AC/DC news, music, videos, photos, fan club info, tour dates, and more. Listen to AC/DC - Highway to Hell
Bee Gees
The official online home of the Bee Gees. Listen to Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive.

Yothu Yindi
Australian Ethno Pop culture. Yothu Yindi lead singer Yunupingu died in 2013. Listen to Yothu Yindi - Treaty

The Australian Museum
Australia's oldest museum, a museum of natural history and anthropology.
National Museum of Australia
Telling the stories of our land, our people and our nation, Canberra.
Museums Victoria
Museums Victoria operates three state-owned museums in Melbourne, the Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, and Scienceworks, a science museum.
Museum of Old and New Art
MONA houses ancient, modern, and contemporary art. Tasmania's "subversive adult Disneyland."
National Gallery of Victoria
Australia’s very first and largest art gallery is located in Melbourne, it was founded in 1861.
The Powerhouse Museum
The Powerhouse Museum is the headquarters of the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences in Sydney; the others are the historic Sydney Observatory and the Museum Discovery Centre.
Western Australian Museum
Western Australia's state museum with six branches and four collection facilities.

Cricket Australia
All about Australian Cricket.

Australian Rugby Union
News, fixtures, results, and articles.




Business & Economy of Australia

Super Pit gold mine, Fimiston Open Pit gold mine at Kalgoorlie Fimiston Open Pit gold mine at Kalgoorlie, also known as Super Pit gold mine, was Australia's largest open-cut gold mine until 2016 when the Western Australian Newmont Boddington gold mine surpassed it.
Image: Brian Voon Yee Yap

Australia's Economy
The Australian economy has experienced continuous growth and features low unemployment, contained inflation, very low public debt, and a strong and stable financial system. The services sector is the most significant part of the Australian economy, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of jobs. In 2016 Australia was facing a range of growth constraints, principally driven by a sharp fall in global prices of key export commodities. The demand for resources and energy from Asia and especially China, has declined.

Business Australia
The Australian Securities Exchange
Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) was created by the merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange in July 2006. It is the primary stock exchange group in Australia.

National Australia Bank
National Australia Bank (NAB) is one of the four largest financial institutions in Australia.

RBA - Reserve Bank of Australia
Australia's Central Bank and banknote issuing authority.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)
ACCI the largest and most representative business organization in Australia.
Australian Trade Commission (AUSTRADE)
The federal government's export and investment facilitation agency.

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Information on Australian industry policies and programs, science and innovation, and resources.

Invest Australia
Austrade, Australian Trade and Investment Commission.
Yellow Pages Australia, Australian Business Directory.

Australian Products
Australian Made Campaign
Authorizes companies to use the green and gold kangaroo logo - Australia's best-known symbol for what's Australian made.



Qantas Airways
The Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited, or QANTAS, was established in November 1920. The first regular service between Charleville and Cloncurry was established in 1922.

Jetstar Airways
Australian low-cost carrier, a subsidiary of Qantas.

Virgin Australia
Major Australian airline.

Tigerair Australia
Australian domestic low-cost carrier.
A major regional operator in Northern Australia.

Spirit of Tasmania
Ferry service between Devonport and Melbourne.

Australian Rail Track Corporation
ARTC is an Australian government-owned corporation which owns, leases, maintains and controls the majority of main railway lines on Australia's mainland.

Great Southern Railway
GSR operates interstate passenger trains aimed at the tourist market:
The Indian Pacific, (twice-weekly passenger train between Sydney–Adelaide–Perth)
The Ghan, (passenger train between Adelaide–Alice Springs–Darwin)
The Overland, (passenger train between Melbourne and Adelaide)



Tourism in Australia

Fish and corals in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is located off the east coast of Queensland and is one of Australia's natural wonders and a World Heritage Site.
Image: Bob Linsdell

Destination Australia - Travel and Tour Guides


Discover Down Under: New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, Broome, The Kimberley.
The Philausophy of Tourism In Australia, by the Australian Tourist Commission.

New South Wales
Sydney & New South Wales Tourism
The official New South Wales website covers Sydney accommodation, regional accommodation, things to see and do, and places to go.

Northern Territory
Central Australian Tourism
Travel and tourism guide to Alice Springs, Uluru, and the MacDonnell Ranges.
Northern Territory Travel
Travel guide to Aboriginal culture and nature in Australia's Outback.
Tourism NT
Official Northern Territory Tourist Commission site.

Queensland Holidays
Official website of Queensland Tourism & Travel.
Queensland Tourism
The official Tourism Queensland Corporate Information.

South Australia
South Australia
South Australian holidays, travel, and tourism.
Holidays and vacation in Murraylands.

Discover Tasmania
Discover Tasmania and Hobart Australia Official Travel Guide.

Visit Victoria
The official travel and accommodation site for Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Western Australia
Tourism Western Australia
Australia's wild west.
Online WA
A gateway to WA's Information & Services.
Travel and tourism information on Broome one of the last great-unexplored wilderness areas Australia's.

Wine in Barossa Valley, South Australia
Wine grapes in Barossa Valley, South Australia. The North Para River forms Barossa Valley, it is a major wine-producing region and a tourist destination.
One hundred kilometers (62 mi) north of Adelaide is one of Australia's oldest wine regions, the Clare Valley wine region, best known for its Riesling wines.

Image: Amanda Slater

City Guides

National Capital Authority.

The capital city of South Australia.
Alice Springs
Community Portal site.
Capital of Queensland.
Darwin City, capital of Northern Territory.
Hobart City, Capital of Tasmania.

The City of Melbourne, Capital of Victoria.

Capital of Western Australia.

The City of Sydney and the greater Sydney area.

Destination Australia
Lonely Planet's Australia Guide.

Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions
Australia's luxury trains, The Indian Pacific, The Ghan, The Great Southern, and The Overland.

The Twelve Apostles limestones, Princetown, Victoria, Australia
The Twelve Apostles, the collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park in Victoria.
Image: Roxanne Desgagnés




UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Tae Rak channel and holding pond at Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, Australia
Drone image of Tae Rak channel and holding pond at Budj Bim Cultural Landscape.
Image: © Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Australia
There are twenty World Heritage Sites in Australia, four cultural, twelve natural, four mixed, and three sites on the Tentative List, an inventory of those properties which each State Party intends to consider for nomination. (see UNESCO's Australia list)

World Heritage Site Budj Bim Cultural Landscape
The landscape is located in the traditional Country of the Gunditjmara people in south-eastern Australia; it consists of three serial components containing one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems. It is the first Australian World Heritage Site to be awarded solely for its Aboriginal cultural values.

World Heritage Site Greater Blue Mountains Area
The Greater Blue Mountains Area in New South Wales is a landscape of rugged gorges, sandstone rocks, and plateaus dominated by temperate eucalyptus forests. The area is one of the largest and most intact areas of Australia's protected bushland.

World Heritage Site Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens
The Royal Exhibition Building was built between 1879 and 1880 in the Carlton Gardens in Melbourne for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880. The building was at the center of the Melbourne International Exhibition, the eighth World Exhibition officially recognized by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), and the first official World Exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere.

World Heritage Site Australian Convict Sites
Eleven penal sites constitute the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage. The prisons represent the phenomenon of convictism - the forced migration of convicts to colonial penal settlements by the British in the 18th and 19th centuries.

World Heritage Site Tasmanian Wilderness
The Tasmanian Wilderness is one of the last regions of the world's temperate rainforest. Archaeological finds in limestone caves testify to the human settlement of the area for more than 20,000 years.



Education in Australia

Old Arts Building in the Parkville Campus of the University of Melbourne
Old Arts Building in the Parkville Campus of the University of Melbourne.
Image: Polly clip

Australian National University
Charles Sturt University
The multi-campus public university is located in New South Wales.
Macquarie University
Australia's Innovative University, Sydney.
Monash University
The second oldest university in the State of Victoria is Australia's university with the most students.
University of Adelaide
The public university in Adelaide in South Australia was established in 1874.
University of South Australia
The public research university is the largest in South Australia.
University of Tasmania
One of Australia's leading universities.
University of the Sunshine Coast
Sippy Downs near Brisbane, Queensland.
University of Western Australia
A public research university with its main campus in Perth.

Australian Libraries Gateway Site
Information about more than 5,400 Australian libraries.

National Library of Australia
Australia's biggest reference library.

Science & Research
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Australia's tropical marine research center at Cape Ferguson.



Environment & Nature

The 'Totem Pole' from the lookout of the Cape Hauy Track, in Tasman National Park
The 'Totem Pole' from the last lookout of the Cape Hauy Track, in Tasman National Park, Tasmania.
Image: Ehaigh

Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia
South Australia's environmental assets and issues.

Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority
With a guide to Western Australia's Gardens and Parks.

Conservation Council SA
The voice for South Australia's environment.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
One of the wonders of the natural world.

Save The Murray
Protect the health of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Tasmania Parks
A guide to Australian World Heritage Areas, National Parks, and Reserves.

South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
The Pacific region's major intergovernmental organization charged with protecting and managing the environment and natural resources.

weedy sea dragon
A Weedy Sea Dragon - Image: ©Ta-graphy


Australia History

Captain Cook taking possession of the Australian continent
Captain Cook taking possession of the Australian continent on behalf of the British crown, AD 1770, under the name of New South Wales.
Print: engraved by Samuel Calvert after a painting by Gilfillan

Australia profile - Timeline
BBC Timeline of Australia's history since the arrival of Captain James Cook.

Australia's History at a Glance
An outline of the History of Australia with more links to its history.

Centenary of Canberra
Images from the time when the capital city of Australia was officially named Canberra in March 1913.
State Library of Queensland
Black and white pictures from the late 18th to middle 20th century of locations in Queensland, Brisbane, and surroundings.

State Library of South Australia
Collection of historical photographs.

Western Australia Heritage
State Library of Western Australia.

History of Australia
Wikipedia article about the history of Australia; part of a series on the History of Australia


Indigenous People of Australia

Contemporary Aboriginal art by Goompi Ugerabah
Creation of Life. Contemporary Aboriginal art.
Painting: Goompi Ugerabah

The Indigenous peoples of Australia
Humans are thought to have arrived in Australia about 80,000 years ago. [1] The indigenous people who have descendants to this day are known as Aborigines. A population of 3 million people has been estimated to have lived in Australia prior to British colonization. [2] In the 18th century, the number of Aborigines was only 300,000.
Today, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make up about 3 percent of the total Australian population, which is more than 745,000 out of 25 million Australians.

Aboriginal links

Logo of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
Logo of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples

Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre
Site by the Southern Arrernte Aboriginal tribal group.
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.
Bush Food and Bush Medicine
Some of the plants used for bush tucker and bush medicine.
Corringie Settlement
Geodesic domes for the Corringie Community.
Dreamtime Legends
Get in contact with the Aboriginals' world view.
Indigenous Australia
Indigenous Australia written by Aboriginal People.
Many Nations, One People
An introduction to Aboriginal culture and society.
Australian Indigenous cultural heritage
About Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
Stories of the Dreaming
Collected stories from the cultures of Indigenous Australians.

Koori Mail
Australia's National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander newspaper (for subscribers only).
Message Stick
Australian Broadcasting Corporation gateway to Indigenous content that the ABC has to offer in Television, Radio, and online.
National Indigenous Television.



Additional Information


Web Wombat
Antique Australian Search Engine.

Sources and additional Information on Australia

Country profiles

BBC Country Profile: Australia
Country profiles by the British public service broadcaster.

The Commonwealth: Australia
Profile of the Commonwealth Member country Australia.

Council on Foreign Relations: Australia
The United States nonprofit think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs.

The CIA World Factbook -- Australia
CIA World Factbook intelligence Australia.

Wikipedia W Wikipedia: Australia
Wikipedia's Australia page in many languages.

Human rights

Amnesty International: Australia
Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization focused on human rights.

Freedom House profile Australia
The U.S. government-funded non-profit organization whose goal is to promote liberal democracies worldwide.

Human Rights Watch: Australia
HRW conducts research and advocacy on human rights.

Reporters Without Borders: Australia
RSF (Reporters sans frontières) is an international NGO that defends and promotes media freedom.

Business & economy


FAO: Australia
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Australia.

GlobalEDGE: Australia
Australia's ranking by the Global business knowledge portal.

The Heritage Foundation: Australia
2020 Index of Economic Freedom by The Heritage Foundation, an American conservative think tank.

OEC: Australia
The Observatory of Economic Complexity provides the latest international trade data.


Other Countries in Australia/Oceania:
American Samoa | Fiji | French Polynesia (Tahiti) | Marshall Islands | Micronesia | New Zealand | Papua New Guinea | Samoa | Tonga

Other major countries in the Asia-Pacific region
Australia | Bangladesh | Bhutan | Brunei | Cambodia | China | Hong Kong | India | Indonesia | Japan | Laos | Malaysia | Maldives | Mongolia | Myanmar | Nepal | North Korea | Pakistan | Philippines | Singapore | Sri Lanka | South Korea | Taiwan (ROC) | Thailand | Timor Leste | Vietnam

Major cities in Australia/Oceania:
Auckland, Apia, Hagåtña (Hagatna), Honiara, Honolulu, Majuro, Nouméa, Pago Pago, Papeete, Port Moresby, Port-Vila, Saipan, Suva, Wellington