Welcome to Australia
Australia is the only country that is also a continent. It is often referred to as being “down under”, because it lies completely within the Southern Hemisphere.Australia is a dry, thinly populated country. Most people live in the southeast coastal region. Australia is famous for bright sunshine, vast open spaces, enormous numbers of sheep and cattle, and unusual wildlife, including kangaroos, wombats, and platypuses.The climate is sunny and warm, therefore most people like to be outdoors. Outdoor sports are extremely popular: golf, tennis, skin diving, surfing are great here, just to name a few. Team sports are very popular, such as cricket, rugby and soccer.English is the official language, with many terms being quite British: such as a lift for elevator, and a tavern is called a pub.
Australia is divided into three main land regions: The Eastern Highlands, the Central Lowlands, and the Western Plateau. Ayers Rock (Uluru), in central Australia, is a popular tourist attraction. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef and also quite popular. It is actually a chain of more than 2,500 reefs, including many small islands. The warm waters and the beauty of the coral reef, attract swimmers and skin divers. There are a number of nice resorts in this area. Deserts cover about one third of Australia, and rivers are a main resource, as they provide water for irrigation and drinking. Interestingly though, these rivers are dry for a part of the year, and then they fill during the rainy season.
The outback is the interior, and the countryside is called the bush.Most of the country lies south of the tropics and has warm summers and mild or cool winters. Most of the moisture falls as rain, but in the Alps and interior of Tasmania are the only areas it might snow. The snow in winter in the Alps attracts skiers, Mount Kosciusko being very popular.Forests grow only in very moist places, and the trees and shrubs are very beautiful and different from those in North America. Australia sells great quantities of wheat to China, Japan, and other Asian countries. Beef cattle and sheep are raised throughout the country, except in the deserts. Fishing and mining are thriving industries. Sugar cane, pineapples, bananas, and wheat, barley, potatoes are major farm products.There is much to see and do here: museums, symphony concerts, modern high-rise buildings, and of course the wonderful countryside!
Getting around Australia
Cheap domestic flights have become a possibility in Australia now due to the increase of competition entering the domestic airlines market. Australian domestic airlines include the oldest carrier Qantas (which also do international flights) and budget airlines Virgin Blue, Jetstar, and Tiger Airways. Railroads and shipyards carry most intercity freight. Automobiles are the chief form of transportation in Australia. Paved highways link the state capitals and the largest inland cities. Unpaved roads are largely found in the outback.There are plenty of excellent hotels to select from, and when you decide on your destination, then there are hotels Australia is well known for that will meet your accommodation requirements.