Australian curiosities

Located in the southern hemisphere, Australia comprises the mainland, the Island of Tasmania, and many other smaller islands. Dutch explorers discovered it in the 17th century, and the British got hold of it in the 18th century. In many ways Australia is a different world unto itself. Geographically isolated, even wildlife has developed unique and attractive characteristics.

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, but its population density is one of the lowest. It also has the title of being the smallest and driest continent in the inhabited world. The driest continent is Antarctica, but it is uninhabited. Western Australia , the largest state in the country, is about the same size as all of Western Europe.

Canyon The Rey Great Victoria Desert, is the largest desert on the continent. It is about one and a half times the size of the UK. Australia is the only continent that does not have an active volcano. It has a coastline of about 60,000 km. Hard to believe, but the snowy mountains, or the Australian Alps, get more snowfall than Switzerland. Being in the lower hemisphere, the winter season begins in June and the summer season begins around Christmas time.

The British began settling in Australia in the late 1700s. Mainly it became a land to send their prisoners to. Currently, around 25% of the Australian population are direct descendants of those convicts who were transported to Australia . Despite this, the murder rate in Australia is 1.8 per 100,000 people.