Australia's biggest attraction is its natural beauty. The landscape varies from endless sun baked horizons to dense tropical rainforest to chilly southern beaches. Scattered along the coasts, its cities blend a European enthusiasm for art and food with a laid-back love of sport and the outdoors.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is now self administrating with its own legislature. The Northern Territory (NT), despite being self administering, can still have its state laws overturned by the Federal Government. Australia is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the west and Pacific Ocean in the east.
|Australian Capital Territory||Territory||ACT||314,687||2,432||Canberra|
|New South Wales||State||NSW||6,371,745||8,01,425||Sydney|
|Ashmore and Cartier Islands||Territory||0||5||Darwin|
|Coral Sea Islands Territory||Territory||0||3||Kingston|
|Time||:||Australia spans three time zones:
1. GMT + 10 (GMT + 11 October to March, except Queensland)
2. GMT + 9.5 (GMT + 10.5 October to March, except Northern Territory)
3. GMT + 8. Some states operate daylight saving time during the Australian summer. Clocks in these states are put forward by one hour in October and put back again in March.
|Area||:||7,692,030 sq km (2,969,909 sq miles)|
|Population||:||20.6 million (official estimate 2006)|
|Population Density||:||2.7 per sq km.|
|Capital||:||Canberra, Population: 332,800 (2006)|
|Government||:||Constitutional Monarchy. Gained independence from the UK in 1901.|
|Head Of State||:||HM Queen Elizabeth II, represented locally by Governor- General Michael Jeffery since 2003|
|Head Of Government||:||Prime Minister|
|Language||:||The official language is English. Many other languages are retained by minorities, including Italian, German, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese dialects and Aboriginal languages.|