Travel Guide: Australia
Australia Travel Guide: General Travel Guide Information about Australia.
This is a concise travel guide for Australia. We have written this travel guide on Australia to help you to develop an understanding for Australia and all of the beautiful points to travel. We also want you to understand the nuances of traveling to Australia such as how to be safe, what places to see, and much more. We assure you that our travel guide to Australia will be a very helpful tool when visiting this beautiful country. We also offer interpreters in Australia whenever you need. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need an interpreter in Australia or assistance in any way.
As a special service to our clients and readers, we at World Interpreting, Inc. are working hard to offer you something different aside from our language translation and interpretation services. As we actively pursue excellence in our services, we also want you to experience what it will be like to travel to other countries by providing you with concise country and city profiles and other interesting tidbits of information about each country. Travel Guide Australia is just one of these innovations we are introducing. We will be coming up with more.
Travel Guide Australia is our initial offering to you. It will take you to different fantastic places in Australia as well as some of the famous landmarks and notable places, so you will already have a general idea about Australia if and when you decide to actually travel and explore this fascinating and exciting country in Oceania and the Pacific.
Travel Guide Australia will assist you in getting a bird’s eye view of the country’s geography, language, the places of interest, landmarks and things you can do in Australia as well as give you travel safety tips. We do hope you will come back often to travel with us to other destinations around the world.
Travel Guide Australia – Overview
When one hears the name Australia, the things that first come to mind are the dry desert Outback, the Great Barrier Reef and animals such as kangaroos, echidnas, platypuses and koalas. The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are also two of the most iconic architectural buildings and structures in the world.
Australia is a country of contrasts and contradictions. It is both a country and a continent. It is the sixth largest country in the world and at the same time measures as the smallest continent. It is sometimes called the world’s largest island. It has one of the most arid regions in the world, but is also the location of the world’s largest coral reef. Due to its size and the sheer vastness of its biodiversity, Australia has many things to offer travelers, regardless of age.
Travelers could expect many great things in Australia. Our Australia pocket travel guide is chock-full of useful information for the busy traveler. It is the perfect travel companion because it offers concise information with a country overview, as well as a list of places to see and things to do. Travelers could also learn some practical travel safety tips. To help travelers get around, there is a list of Australian English words and phrases to help understand the local jargon and to help facilitate communication. Our Australian travel guide gives some insight into the culture and history of the nation, with a list of some things that are nice to know about the country. It is written in such a way that it is easy to understand, and divided into brief sections, making it more convenient for the busy traveler to get the information that is needed right away.
The official name of Australia is the Commonwealth of Australia. It is derived from the Latin term australis, which means “southern.” Locals prefer to call it “Oz.” The capital of Australia is Canberra, although it is often overshadowed by more popular cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The country is governed by a federal parliamentary democracy. Australia comprises six states – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. It also has two territories, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
Travelers might be wondering where Australia is located. The island continent is situated in the region of Oceania in the Southern Hemisphere. It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. Where is Australia on the map? It has geographic coordinates of 27° 00’ south and 133° 00’ east. Given its sheer size, it lies on three different time zones, the Australian Eastern Standard Time, Australian Central Standard Time and Australian Western Standard Time.
Australia has a massive land area totaling 7,741,220 square kilometers or 2,988,902 square miles. This makes it the sixth largest country in the world. The country’s total size is almost the same size as the 48 contiguous states of the US. The country’s land area measures a massive 7,682,300 square kilometers, while its waters add up to 58,920 square kilometers. This gives the country a coastline of 25,760 square kilometers, which is why Australia is a paradise for travelers who want to enjoy the beach or surf.
The terrain is mostly made up of low plateaus with deserts. Fortunately, these are balanced by fertile plains in the southeast region of the country. Unlike other countries, it doesn’t share land boundaries with neighboring countries, although the nearest countries to Australia include Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and New Zealand.
The lowest point in the country is Lake Eyre, which falls 15 meters below sea level. Lake Eyre is known for the salt lumps that form on the surface of the water because of the dry nature of the lake. On the other hand, the highest point is Mount Kosciuszko, which stands 2,229 meters tall. The longest rivers are the Murray and the Darling.
The overall climate of the country could be described as arid to semi-arid. Australia is one of the driest places in the world, particularly the central portion of the country, which is more commonly known as the Outback. However, there are temperate regions in the south and east sections of Australia, whereas the northern portion of the country experiences a tropical climate. For travelers, this means that they should be prepared for warm weather. Travelers should identify where exactly they want to go and what time of year to visit to be able to pack the appropriate clothing that is suitable for a trip to Australia.
Australia is blessed with many natural resources. In fact, it is the leading exporter of coal in the world. It produces 29% of the global demand for coal exports. The lands of Australia are rich not only in coal, but also in bauxite, iron ore, copper, gold, silver, tin, uranium, nickel, tungsten, lead, zinc, opal, diamonds, petroleum and natural gas. However, only about 6% of its total land area is arable.
Australia is the only continent in the world that does not have any glaciers. Also, most of the population could be found on the eastern and southeastern coasts, leaving the vast Outback free for a large number of animals and insects.
Given the country’s location and terrain, Australia is susceptible to cyclones in the coastal areas. In the central region, severe droughts and forest fires are quite common. Australia is also facing many environmental issues, which is detrimental to the biodiverse population found on its land. Soil erosion and soil salinity from overgrazing and industrial development are some of the threats. Even the Great Barrier Reef is being threatened because of shipping and tourism.
Australia is home to many of the world’s animals. In fact, the country accounts for 10% of the biodiversity in the whole planet. Australia has several endemic plant life. More than one million animals and insects are only found in this vast country down under. Some of the more popular ones include kangaroos, emus, wombats and kookaburras. There are also more than 135 million sheep in the country, which means there are more sheep than people in the country, and even more sheep than in New Zealand.
More than 22.9 million people call Australia their home as of the 2012 estimates. With the vastness of this continent, the population density of the country is only 2.8 people per square kilometer or 7.3 persons per square mile. Persons of white ancestry make up the majority of today’s Australians, followed by Asians. Although the Aboriginal people are the native settlers of the land, they now only comprise about 1% of the total population.
Australians speak Australian English. However, many travelers might find the English spoken by Australians to be quite different from what they are normally used to. This is because Australians use a lot of slang called “strine” and other made up words. The country is multicultural and it is quite normal to hear other languages being spoken in the country, including, but not limited to Chinese, Italian, Greek, Arabic, and Vietnamese. Majority of Australians, or Aussies, as they are more commonly called, are Christians.
The bulk of the population of Australia, or 67%, falls between the ages of 15 to 64 years. 18% of the population is under 15 years of age, while 14% are senior citizens. The median age of the population is 37.7 years old. The bulk of the population lives in urban areas.
About 24% of the population comprises immigrants, mostly from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Italy, Vietnam and China. Heavy waves of immigration from Europe and Asia brought about the increase in the population of Australia.
The country has a low population growth rate of only 1.1% annually. The most populated city is Sydney, with 4.4 million residents, followed by Melbourne, with 3.8 million and Brisbane, which has just less than two million people. Although the capital city is Canberra, there are only about 384,000 people residing in the capital.
Australians live a good life. They have a life expectancy of 81.9 years on the average. As is typical with the rest of the world, women tend to outlive men since females in Australia live up to about 85 years while men live only to about 79.5 years. The whole populace has access to drinking water, sanitation services, and the many medical facilities and health care options available to citizens of Australia. Also, 99% of the population is considered literate and poverty is practically unheard of.
The history of Australia dates back to the time when the Aborigines first settled on the land, 40,000 years prior to when the first Europeans landed on Australian shores. Historians believe that these people migrated from Southeast Asia, and even as far away as Africa.
In the 17th century, Dutch explorers found Australia, but it wasn’t until 1770 when formal territorial claims were made by Captain James Cook, when he declared the east coast under Great Britain. It was used as a penal colony by 1778. By 1829, the colony of Western Australia was formally established. Between the 18th and 19th century, six colonies were established, which later formed the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.
Since becoming a commonwealth, Australia has led the way in many reforms. Australian workers were the first to enjoy an eight-hour workday. Australian voters were the first to engage in secret balloting, while the citizens enjoyed free compulsory education. Also, women were first able to enjoy suffrage in Australia. Today, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide rank in the top ten most livable cities in the planet.
Australia’s economy is one of the most stable and largest in the world. This is because of heavy foreign investments in the country, as well as many liberal fiscal trade policies. Services, industry and agriculture make up the backbone of the Australian economy. Its trade partners include China, Japan, South Korean, India and the United States. Prior to the global recession in the late 2000s, its economy grew for an impressive 17 consecutive years.
Australia’s GDP is estimated in 2012 to be around $1.6 trillion U.S. dollars. This places it as one of the largest economies in the world. Given the global recession, the economy only had a GDP growth rate of 1.8% in 2011. Per capita, the GDP (PPP) is at a healthy $40,800 per person, once again placing it as the 19th highest in the world. The country’s inflation rate is at 5.1%, as of May 2012. The Australian Securities Exchange is in the list of the top ten largest exchanges in the world.
The country is self-sufficient when it comes to energy since it does not have to import any electricity. In the world, it is the 40th largest producer of oil and is the 20th producer of natural gas.
Australia has a labor force of about 12 million people. Three-fourths of these people are working in the services sector, while 21% are in industry. Only about 3.6% are working in the agriculture industry.
Australia has given much to the world, from culture, medicine, everyday tools to major contributions to technology. This is the country that has given the world the boomerang, woomera, an aboriginal device to help in throwing a spear; the didgeridoo, the Combine Harvester, the inflatable aircraft escape slide and raft, the black box flight recorder, the garage roller door, and the electric drill. The Aerogard Insect Repellant, Kiwi Shoe polish, xerography technology, Speedo swimwear and Vegemite also come from Australia, as well as the two-stroke lawn mower, the notepad, and latex gloves. The use of pre-paid postage, the wine cask, polymer bank notes, and the electronic pacemaker also originated from Australia. The brilliant minds in Australia are also credited with developing spray-on skin for burn victims, the bionic ear, and the first vaccine in the world to prevent cervical cancer. Millions of people benefit from Internet WiFi or the Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11, which was developed by an Australian team as far back as the 1970s. Another significant contribution of Australians to the world is Google Maps, which has its roots in Sydney.
In culture, Australia is known as the birthplace of the feature film, with the 1906 movie “The Story of the Kelly Gang.” Calisthenics, the equestrian sport Polocrosse and the swimming style called the Australian Crawl are also from the Land Down Under. In fashion, there is Billabong, Ripcurl, Quicksilver, Aussiebum undergarments and Ugg boots. Fosters Beer and the Staysharp knife are other famous Australian brands.
It is the birthplace of a number of notable people, such as Nobel Laureates Elizabeth Blackburn, Sir William Laurence Bragg and John Warcup Cornforth. Sir William Henry Bragg was born in England and moved to Australia at the age of 23 to teach at the University of Adelaide. The developer of the Cochlear implant, Graeme Clarke is Australian. The first Australian president of the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 was Dr. Herbert Vere Evatt, who hails from Australia. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and entertainers Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Sam Worthington, Chris Hemsworth, Simon Baker, Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Toni Colette, Kylie Minogue and John Farnham are other famous Australians. Australia also produced several bands and solo acts that became famous all over the world, such as AC/DC, Air Supply, Savage Garden, Human Nature, INXS, Midnight Oil, Natalie Imbruglia, Peter Andre, Silver Chair and Tina Arena. Children will also be familiar with The Wiggles. The Bee Gees started their music career in Australia. Olivia Newton-John was born in England but her family migrated to Australia when she was only six years old.
There’s something for everyone in Australia. Whether you are looking for unspoiled nature, want to see a collection of some of the rarest and fascinating animals in the world, are looking to enjoy beautiful beaches with cerulean blue waters, want to go diving on the Great Barrier Reef, or simply like being with vibrant and friendly people, Australia is set to satisfy the wanderlust and adventurous spirit of many travelers.
Take the time to read through our Travel Guide Australia to learn more about this fascinating country Down Under. Our Travel Guide Australia provides you the information you need to learn more so that you could create a suitable itinerary to make your time in Australia a trip you will never forget.
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