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  • About Australia

    Australia is a federation of six states and two territories and is one of the world's great economic and migration success stories.   It is a unique, modern and dynamic trading nation of 25 million people with an ancient indigenous history and a European cultural background.

    Originally settled by the Aborigines over 60,000 years ago the Aborigines developed a nomadic lifestyle suited to the harsh climate. It was only in the past 500 years there has been European contact with the continent and the first significant European settlement occurred 230 years ago with the "First Fleet" carrying convicts from Great Britain.

    Following this first settlement many more convicts were shipped to Australia and they formed the first workforce later followed by free settlers looking to become farmers or to join in the many gold rushes that started in 1850.  These days Australia is a multicultural mix of people from all over the world with a significant European bias, particularly from the UK.

    Australia's coastline stretches almost 50,000 kilometres and is linked by over 10,000 beaches, more than any other country in the world.  More than 85 per cent of Australians live within 50 kilometres of the coast, making the beaches and ocean an integral part of our laid-back lifestyle.  The centre of the continent is hot, dry and harsh with few inhabitants.

    The Australian currency is the Australian Dollar, the international dialing code code for Australia is +61. The electrical power in Australia is 220-240 volts at 50Hz and the plug type is type I which is also used by New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, China and Argentina.

    Australia is a large place.  Although it is an island its land area is approximately the same as the United States. For example, travelling from Perth to Sydney is similar to the distance from Los Angeles to New York or from Ireland to Turkey.

    Because Australia is such a large place you need to be careful when planning a trip.  As an illustration, you might consider hiring a car and driving from Perth to the nearest comparable sized city (Adelaide) but that trip would take about four days.

    For those wishing to travel after a journey to Australia, good, air, rail and road services exist between major centres and are reasonably priced.  Travel to remote areas is possible and not particually dangerous but it can be expensive and time consuming depending on the areas visited.

    Some Useful Links

    Visa, Customs and Quarantine

    Wikivoyage on Australia

    Holiday in Australia

    Holiday in Western Australia