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Australia





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This country contains world-class cities, snowfields, deserts, rainforests and golden beaches. This alluring country captivates worldwide tourists due to its treasure of natural beauty, diverse landscape, distinct lifestyle and the warm culture.
Australians believe in enjoying their lives to the fullest; they relish their exquisite food and sports are the common pastimes for many Aussies.
Australia offers a wealth of travel experiences, from the drama of the outback and the spectacle of the Great Barrier Reef to the cosmopolitanism of Sydney and arguably the best beaches in the world. Australia is an enormous country, and visitors expecting to see an opera in Sydney one night and meet Crocodile Dundee the next will have to re-think their grasp of geography. It is this sheer vastness, and the friction between the ancient land steeped in Aboriginal lore and the New World culture being heaped upon it, which gives Australia much of its character.


Fact File
Official name : Commonwealth of Australia
Government : Independent member of the British Commonwealth
Nationality : Australian
Ethnic groups : Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%
Location : Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean
Australia Opera HouseContinent : Australia
Currency : Australian dollar (AUD); 1 AUD = 33.641 Indian Rupee = 0.7729 $( USD ), = 0.6421 Euro (subject to change).
Capital city : Canberra
Population : 20,090,437
Languages : English 79.1%, Chinese 2.1%, Italian 1.9%, other 11.1%, unspecified 5.8% (2001 Census)
Religion : 75% Christian, 1% Muslim, 1% Buddhist, 0.5% Jewish
Area : 7,686,850 sq km
Famous for : Unique natural wonders. Aboriginal art and opals are other famous things for which Australia is known to the world.
Major cities : Adelaide( South Australia), Brisbane(Queensland), Melbourne(Victoria), Perth (Western Australia), Sydney( New South Wales)
Major events : Festival of Sydney, Adelaide Arts Festival, Womadelaide Writers' Festival, Melbourne International Festival in October, Stompen Ground Festival, held in Broome, Darwin's Beer Can Regatta in August, the Australian Open tennis championship (Melbourne in January); the Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne in March)
Things to Buy: Aboriginal art, clothes, electronic goods, opals and antiques.
Cuisine : Based on English cooking includes Sunday roasts, grilled chops, and other forms of meat, and is generally accompanied by vegetables such as mashed potatoes, beans, peas, and carrots (often served soggy or overcooked).


Visa Permit
Every nationality except New Zealanders need visas. Tourist visas and Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visas are valid for three months, but longer-term visas can be applied for.

Culture
Much of Australia's culture is derived from European and more recently American roots, but distinctive Australian features have evolved from the environment, aboriginal culture, and the influence of Australia's neighbors. The vigor and originality of the arts in Australia­films, opera, music, painting, theater, dance, and crafts­are achieving international recognition.
Australia Although the effect of the arrival of Europeans on Aboriginal culture was profound and catastrophic, the reverse is not the case: broadly speaking, mainstream Australian culture has been imported from Europe, the United Kingdom in particular, and continuously developing since that time.

When to Go
Any time is a good time to be in Australia. Summer (December to February) can get uncomfortably hot but it's great beach weather. Up north, the summer wet season is very, very humid and the sea is swarming with box jellyfish. Winter (June to August) offers skiing in NSW and Victoria. In spring and autumn the weather is mild.
  
Climate
The northern Australia enjoys a tropical climate, and southern Australia a temperate one. The tropical states Queensland and the Northern Territory have highly predictable weather. In ``winter'', typical daily maximums are between 20 to 24 degrees Celsius and rain is rare. The beaches and tropical islands of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef are perhaps at their most pleasant during this time of year. Further south, the weather is less dependable; in Melbourne in August maximums as low as 13 degrees celcius are possible, but can reach as high as 23 degrees.
In summer, the northern states are hotter and wetter, while the southern states are simply hotter, with temperatures up to 41 degrees in Sydney, Adelaide, and Melbourne but generally between 25 & 33 - very pleasant indeed.

Getting There
By Air : The main international airports are Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, followed by Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin and Cairns. There are plenty of connections to Asia, Europe and the USA, but Australia's remoteness makes flights relatively expensive and long. Many flights are heavily booked, so make plans well in advance. Departure tax on international flights is US$19. This tax is usually included with the price of your airline ticket.
The international airports are situated in the cities of Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

Getting Around
Kangaroo AustraliaBy Air : With distances between cities so great, flying is the most favoured and speedy option, although buses and trains provide a more scenic, if lengthy alternative.
Australia is so vast (and so empty in places) that something like 80% of long-distance trips by public transport are made by air. Some of the domestic airports are located in the cities like Canberra, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
By Train : There is good railway network in the country. In spite being convenient the travellers prefer to travel by air as the transit time is relatively very high. All the cities in the country are well connected by a well planned railway track.
By Road : There are several long-distance bus companies but only one truly national service, Greyhound Pioneer Australia. Buses are comfortable, but if you're travelling between major cities, be prepared for a long trip. Many visitors group together and hire or purchase a car. The latter can be an economical way of travelling around Australia.

Major attractions
Canberra : Canberra, the capital city of Australia, is a city comprising of politicians, bureaucrats - picturesque place with beautiful galleries and museums, as well as excellent restaurants, bars and cafes.
Canberra is Australia's federal capital. Established as part of Australia's federation in 1901, Canberra contains the national parliament, federal government departments, the High Court of Australia, the Australian War Memorial, and several other important institutions.
Canberra is comprised of five large "town centres" that lie in the valleys of the Canberra region. These are Central Canberra, Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong and Queanbeyan (actually in New South Wales) where Central Canberra is the only major area of tourist interest.

Great Barrier Reef : One of Australia's greatest assets is the magnificent reef that runs along almost the entire coast of Queensland. It is considered as one of the world's natural wonders and is the most extensive reef system and the biggest structure made by living organisms on earth.

Uluru : Uluru is the most famous icon of the Australian outback and a site of deep cultural significance to the Anangu Aboriginals. The 3.6km (2.2mi)-long rock rises a towering 348m (1141ft) from the pancake-flat surrounding scrub. It is especially impressive at dawn and sunset when the red rock spectacularly changes hue.

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