Area: 8.5 million km² / 3 million sq mi
Population: 36 Million
Australia is both an island country and a continent, lying between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Its varied landscape includes a hot, dry centre (known as the Outback), tropical rainforests, snow-capped mountains and beautiful beaches. It is the smallest and lowest lying human-inhabited continent on Earth.
- The continent lies entirely south of the equator and roughly two thirds of Australia is made up of flat desert.
- New Zealand is part of the continent of Australia because it is located on the Australia Plate.
- The majority of Australia’s population is concentrated on the southern and eastern coasts.
- Western Australia (the largest state in the country) is almost the same size as Europe
- The Great Victoria Desert is about one-and-a-half times the size of the United Kingdom.
- The Snowy Mountains, commonly referred to as the Australian Alps, receive more snowfall than the country of Switzerland.
- Australia is the driest inhabited continent. Its interior has one of the lowest rainfalls in the world and about three-quarters of the land is arid or semi arid.
- Over 200 different languages and dialects are spoken in Australia including 45 indigenous languages.
The seventh and final leg of the World Marathon Challenge will take place in Sydney. The city is the state capital of New South Wales and is the most populous city in Australia. The greater metropolitan area’s population is approximately 4.76 million. The City is built on hills surrounding one of the world’s largest natural harbours, Port Jackson, which is more commonly known as Sydney Harbour and this is where you will find the iconic Sydney Opera House. The City boasts many national parks and the coastal areas include many bays, rivers, inlets and beaches, including the world-famous Bondi beach. The Summer Olympics in 2000 and the Rugby World Cup in 2003 were both hosted in Sydney.
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