Australia is a modern, highly educated culture with a hunger for knowledge and research. Australia has contributed to the international science and research fields through fascinating discoveries, high quality educational opportunities, and international collaboration. And because Australia is geographically located near Asia, one of the fastest developing regions of the world, Australia possesses immediate ties to some of the most powerful global economic and industrial exporters in the world. Plus, with inspiring landscapes, diverse cultural identities, and a flair for the creative, Australia has a uniqueness reflected dynamically through the arts.
The sixth largest country in the world, Australia is nearly the same size as the continental United States and home to 20 million people. Boasting some of the most spectacular travel destinations in the world, Australia?s biggest attraction is its natural beauty.
Australia is well known for its varied landscapes from the red deserts of the renowned Australian Outback that houses Australia's most famous natural landmark, Ayers Rock, to the Snowy Mountains in southeast New South Wales, to the white sand beaches that surround nearly the entire continent. Just off the Queensland Coast visitors will find the largest coral reef system on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef, which stretches more than 1,600 miles (2,600 km). Even the cities of Australia are, in themselves, unique with many quaint beach towns such as Surfer?s Paradise and Noosa scattered between large metropolitan areas such as Sydney and Brisbane.
Australia is the only continent country. Located southeast of the Asian continent, Australia is often thought of as the center of the region known as Oceania. The continent/country is situated between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean.
Overall, Australia's climate is generally arid to semiarid; however, due to its size there is a wide range of climatic variation. The northern part of the country enjoys a tropical climate. While the south and east maintain a more temperate climate.
Visitors to the coasts will enjoy a generally moderate and comfortable climate. And while the south can be sometimes chilly, the inhospitable extremes of the continent's parched center influence about 90% of Australia's population to inhabit coastal areas, with 80% on the east alone.