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If all you know about the Land Down Under is "G'day, Mate" and "throw another shrimp on the barbie," or koala bears and kangaroos, you'll be surprised to learn how much more there is to Australia. Of course, Australia is a huge country, one that's filled with natural beauty and wonder. At nearly 3 million square miles, it's just slightly smaller than the continental US. The largest part of Australia, the "Outback," is primarily desert, although the north is covered with tropical rainforests, woodlands, grasslands and swamp. The Great Barrier Reef, and all the wonders it holds, curves off the northeast coast. Most people live along the southeastern coast, which is where you'll find the cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra. Australia has over 10,000 beaches, more than any other nation, but that's not all that draws visitors to this truly exotic land. Australian culture is rich with sports, music, the arts, literature and the media. If you're a sports nut, whether a participant or a spectator, this is the place for you. Not only is Australian rules football big here, but also cricket, hockey, rugby, tennis, cycling, rowing, horse racing, soccer and motor racing. And if you're up for hiking or backpacking, Australia offers a variety of sights to explore, whether you head out on your own or as part of an organized tour. There are festivals for nearly every interest and taste, some highlighting delicious local foods. Of course, seafood is a big draw, given the miles of coastline, and local produce is fresh, plentiful and incredibly delicious. You can find some wonderful outdoor cafes, given that the weather is usually so conducive to dining al fresco. And don't forget to sample some of Australia wines or pick up a big blue can of Fosters.

 

Famous Residents

Famous people that live in or are from Australia
  • Evonne Goolagong
  • Ian Thorpe
  • Peter Allen
  • Germaine Greer
  • Errol Flynn
  • Dame Edna Everage
  • Rupert Murdoch
  • Peter Finch
  • Paul Hogan
  • Dame Judith Anderson
  • Mel Gibson
 

 

Local Color

What makes Australia unique
  • Aboriginies
  • Yidaki / Didgeridoo
  • Vegemite
  • Clapping Sticks
  • Sheilas
  • Boomerang
 

 

Nicknames

Australia's alter egos
  • Commonwealth of Australia
  • The Land Down Under
 

 

Major Industries

Most profitable industries in Australia
  • Tourism
  • Education
  • Financial Services
  • Agriculture
  • Natural Resources
 

 

Geographic Regions

Regions that extend into Australia
  • Eastern Highlands / Great Dividing Range
  • Southern Australian Highlands
  • Central Lowlands
  • Western Plateau