Destination Information Australia

Your stay abroad in Australia

General information

Australia

Come to Australia to discover beautiful beaches, empty and untouched landscapes and impressive cities - anything is possible on the red continent. Whether it’s deserts, mountain landscapes or the rainforest, Australia has an enormous variety of different climates, all on a grand sense of scale. The unique flora and fauna and the sheer variety of ecosystems will astonish you.


Projects

Geography

Geography

Australia covers an area of approximately 7.7 million square kilometres, making it the sixth largest country on earth and 22 times as big as Germany. The Commonwealth of Australia is the smallest continent on the planet and is located in the southern hemisphere. The continental landmass of Australia is divided into six states and three territories, along with seven other overseas territories (e.g. the Cocos Islands). The red continent can be split into three geographical regions: the Western Plateau, the Central Lowland and the Eastern Highlands. Australia is both the flattest and the driest inhabited continent, and has three different time zones. The capital of Australia is Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. Canberra is Australia’s largest inland city and its eighth largest overall. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are the best-known cities in Australia.

 

Geomorphology/Geology

Australia’s large desert areas are located in the Western Plateau, takes up around 60% of the country’s land mass. These areas include the Great Sandy Desert, the Great Victoria Desert and the Nullarbor Plain. In addition to these desert areas, the Western Plateau also contains small mountains and inselbergs. The Central Lowland (also known as the central basin) contains the Simpson Desert. This area is the driest region in the country but also contains Australia’s largest river system. In addition to the country’s lowest point, the area also contains salt lakes and freshwater lakes which dry up periodically.

The majority of Australia’s population lives in the east of the country, as most of the west and central areas are uninhabitable. This region also contains the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Dividing Range, the country’s most striking mountain area. The Great Dividing Range runs from north to south and is greater than 3200 km long. Tasmania is considered a continuation of the Great Dividing Range. The east of the country also contains the Snowy Mountains, Australia’s only Alpine region. Mount Kosciuszko is located here and is the highest mountain in Australia.


Flora & fauna

Flora and fauna in Australia

Australia, due to its geographical isolation from other countries, is home to a variety of fascinating and unique animals and plants. Over 85% of Australia’s 20,000 species are considered to be endemic, this means that they occur nowhere else but in Australia. Typical plants are the famous eucalyptus tree, different acacia tree species and the giant Baobab tree.

 

Amongst the diversity of wild living animals there are kangaroos, koalas, wombats, duck-billed platypus (the only oviparous mammal in the world!), turtles, crocodiles and an endless variety of exotic other reptiles, amphibians and insects.


Climate

Climate in Australia

Australia can be distinguished into three different climate zones. In the North a tropical climate prevails, the centre ranges from subtropical to desert temperatures, in the South and East the climate is rather moderate. Due to its location in the southern hemisphere the seasons in Australia are inverted: From April till November it is summer, with heavy rainfalls in the North and dry and hot temperatures in the centre and South. In winter (December until April) the North is mainly dry and the rainfalls shift to the South.


Social geography

Social Geography

Population

The population of Australia counts around 22.3 Million people. The majority of them lives in costal areas in the East, mainly in big cities (around 92%!). The outback in central Australia is nearly deserted. Many people in Australia are descendants of immigrants from Europe and Asia. The indigenous people are called Aborigines. Nowadays they live on small Australian islands but also in big cities.

Language

English is the official language in Australia. Besides that different languages and dialects are spoken by numerous ethnical minorities.

Economy

The main commercial sectors in Australia are raw materials industries, tourism, agriculture and services. Australia is a highly developed industrial country with strong economic growth.

Political situation and security

Australia can be considered as stable and safe. It is a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II. at its apex as the Queen of Australia.

Religion

The major part of Australia’s people are Christians. Due to steady immigration many other religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism) can be found.


Travel Tips and Trivia

Time Zone

  • West Australia Standard Time UTC +08:00, no daylight saving time
  • Australian Central Standard Time UTC +09:30, no daylight saving time
  • Australian Eastern Standart Time UTC +10:00, no daylight saving time
  • Christmas Island Time UTC +07:00, no daylight saving time

Currency

The currency in Australia is Australian Dollar (AUD). For the current exchange rate please visit www.oanda.com

Units

All units accord to the metric system.

Electricity

In Australia the standard voltage is 230 Volt at a frequency of 50 Hertz. Before your departure you should check if you need any adapter.

Transportation

In Australia any place can be easily reached by plane. Cars and trains do not play a major role in public transport. The car traffic is left-handed. In case you want to use a car in Australia, you need an international driving license. We recommend an off-road vehicle because you might have to face a rough terrain.

National holidays

  • January 1: New Year's Day
  • January 26: Australian National Holiday
  • April 25: ANZAC Day (commemmorates all soldiers who served and died for Australia and New Zealand)
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • Decemeber 26: Boxing Day
  • Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Queen’s Birthday

Dos and Don’ts

Do

  • Consider that the traffic in Australia is left-handed.
  • Obey traffic regulations.
  • You have to wear a helmet on motorbikes and bicycles.
  • It is normal to give tips when going to restaurants.

Don’t

  • Smoking, drinking and eating is strictly prohibited in public vehicles.
  • Swimming without knowing safety regulations and warnings on site.
  • Do not mind if the Australians call you by your first name; they regularly do so.

Highlights Must-see places in Australia

Our top recommendations for you

Highlights

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef in the world. It counts 345.000 km2 and is part of the UNESCO world heritage list. The reef is home to numerous different species such as fishes, whales, corals, sponges, turtles, birds and algae. Due to its unique and fascinating biodiversity it is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Uluru – Ayers Rock

Ayers Rock (Uluru) is a 600 Mio. years old mountain in the centre of Australia. It is considered as a holy place by the indigenous people of Australia. The stunning site is located in Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park in the state Northern Territory. One special thing about Ayers Rock is the diversity of colours depending on the daytime and different lighting conditions.

Outback

Around ¾ of Australias territory is part of the outback. It is mainly characterized by extremely high temperatures, strong solar radiation and desert environment. Although the outback is mainly dry, there are some parts which have light rainfalls during periods of the year. The main party of Australia’s outback is located in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park is located in Northern Territory State. The UNESCO heritage stands out due to its beautiful and unique landscape, fascinating flora and fauna and adventurous hiking trails. Nobody should miss a visit in Australia’s “most beautiful” National Park.

Beaches

Amongst Australia’s countless beaches Whitehaven Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Because of its high content of quartz the colour of the sand has a unique white colour. Bondi Beach is Australia’s most famous surf spots and provides the best waves.

 
 
 
 
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