Fast Facts


Australia is both the largest island and the smallest, flattest continent on earth.

The name indicates the location: ‘Terra Australia’ means ‘Southern Land’. Australia lies between 10 and 39 degrees South latitude, between the Indian and the Pacific oceans.

Official name: Commonwealth of Australia

Capital City: Canberra

Land Area: 7,617,930 sq km. Only 6.55% of this area are considered arable.

Length of Coastline: 25,760 km

Lowest Point: Lake Eyre -15 m

Highest Point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,229 m

Australia is the driest continent after Antartica, which makes it the driest inhabited continent on earth.

Climate: Arid to semiarid; semiarid in the west and centre, the south and east are temperate, the north tropical.

40% of Australia is tropical, but in the Australian Alps it snows at times.

Most of Australia’s interior has a desert climate. It is usually referred to as the Australian Outback.

Australia is the world’s most urbanised country. 70% of the population live in the 10 largest cities.

Population: 21,766,711 (estimated July 2011)

Age Structure:
0-14 years: 18.3%
15-64 years: 67.7%
65 years and over: 14%

Age Average: 36.56 years

Ethnic Distribution: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%.

Population Growth Rate: 0.87%

The major means of transport in Australia are planes, trains and automobiles.

Airports: 448 (2004); runway over 3km: 10; and runway over 2.5km: 12

Highways: 811,603 km

Railways: 54,439 km

Waterways: 2,000 km

Some miscellaneous facts on Australia:

Currency: Australian dollar (AUD or AU$)

Telephone System: Excellent domestic and international service, country code -61

Time Zones: UTC +8 to +11

Major exports: coal, iron ore, gold, meat, wool and live sheep, alumina, wheat, machinery and transport equipment.