Australia Overview

Australia is the only country in the world that is both a country and a continent. Australia spans three time zones, and is the world’s sixth largest country with an area almost as large as the United States, and 17 times larger than Sweden.

Australia flagAustralia 2

Capital: Canberra
Biggest city: Sydney
State: federal monarchy within the Commonwealth
Language: English
Religion: Christianity
Surface: 7 686 850 km²
Population: 23.1 million (2013)
Population density: 3 residents per km²
Expectancy: 82 years
Illiteracy: 1%
Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
1 dollar = 6.44 kr
GDP per capita: $ 39,800 (2010)
Time difference: +7 to +10 hours
Electricity: 220/240 V AC, 50 Hz
National Day: January 26
Country area code: 61
2-Letter country abbreviation: AU (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: service sector 78%, industry 16%, agriculture 6%
Climate: hot and dry in the central part; tropical in the north, rainy season from November to March; temperate in the southeast and along the south coast

Australia offers dramatic nature, a multifaceted wildlife and not least a pleasant and relaxed population. Expressions such as “no worries” and “g’day mate” are not only texts on souvenirs, but also a common expression in everyday life.

The country is sparsely populated, and its residents are very unevenly distributed geographically. Two thirds are largely uninhabited, and almost a third are desert. The fact that the sand in some places is red is due to the fact that it contains large amounts of ore and metals that have rusted.

Australia has been populated for between 40,000 – 50,000 years. The natives arrived from Asia, and are the ancestors of today’s Aborigines. They were nomads who subsisted on hunting, farming and fishing. Aboriginal culture is considered to be the world’s oldest living in the world, and their oldest cave paintings are considered to be more than twice as old as those found in Europe.

For those who are interested in watching Australian film, there is a lot to choose from. Movies like Mad Max, Romper Stomper, Stricly Ballroom, Shine. Crocodile Dundee, Babe, Matrix and Priscilla – Queen of the Desert are all from Australia.

Previously, the name Australia was also used on the continent that is now called Oceania. In addition to the Australian continent and Tasmania, Australia also has a number of external territories.


The following objects in Australia are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.

  • The Great Barrier Reef (1981)
  • Kakadu National Park (1981)
  • Willandra Lake District (1981)
  • Lord Howe Archipelago (1982)
  • Wilderness of Tasmania (1982)
  • Gondwana Rainforests in Australia (1986)
  • Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park (1987)
  • Queensland’s Wet Tropics (1988)
  • Shark Bay (1991)
  • Fraser Island (1992)
  • Fossil Finds at Riversleigh and Naracoorte (1994)
  • Macquarie Island (1997)
  • Blue Mountains (2000)
  • Purnululu National Park (2003)
  • Carlton Gardens. Melbourne (2004)
  • Opera House, Sydney (2007)
  • Eleven different penal camps, built in the 18th and 19th centuries (2010)
  • Ningalo Coast (2011)


Electricity and electrical outlets in Australia

Voltage: 240 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: I

Need an adapter: Yes, Swedes need an adapter.


Weather in Canberra

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C 26 26 27 26 25 23 23 22 22 23 24 25
Day °C 27 27 24 19 15 11 10 12 15 19 22 25
Night °C 14 14 12 6 3 2 1 2 4 8 10 13
Rain (mm) 50 40 60 60 50 40 50 50 50 40 60 50
Rainy days 8 7 7 6 7 9 11 9 9 9 10 8
Soltim / day 9 10 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8


Adelaide was founded in 1836 by settlers, and is the capital of South Australia. The city has 1.1 million residents (2007), and is Australia’s fifth largest city.

Attractions include the botanical garden and the older settlements. The most popular excursion destination from Adelaide is Kangaroo Island, Australia’s third largest island, where there is a unique animal and bird life. The hard rock group AC / DC comes from Adelaide.

Alice Springs

Alice Springs is a city located in central Australia, with 26,486 residents (2006). Alice Springs is located 335 km northeast of Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock.

The city is located at an altitude of 576 meters and it is about as far from Adelaide as from Darwin. The city is therefore close to the geographical center of Australia. The place is called Mparntwe by the indigenous people, the so-called arrernte people, who have lived in the area around Alice Springs for over 50,000 years.


Brisbane is a city in Australia with 1.8 million residents (2007), and it is also the capital of the state of Queensland. Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia and the largest in Queensland. The city is built along the Brisbane River which meanders through the city and is crossed by several bridges. The city is named after Sir Thomas Brisbane, governor of New South Wales between 1821-1825.

The area that became Brisbane was first explored in 1823 by John Oxley. The area was previously inhabited by the Turbull and Jagerafolken. In the middle of the 1820s, a penal colony was established in what is now Brisbane’s CBD (Central Business District) and in 1838 civilian immigration was allowed.

In 1859, Queensland became a colony of its own, making Brisbane its capital. However, the city did not receive its city rights until 1902 and 1925, a number of smaller areas merged to form the City of Greater Brisbane, which is governed by the Brisbane City Council.


Broome is a pearl and tourist town in the Kimberly region of Western Australia, 2,200 km north of Perth. The city has 11,547 residents (2006), but during the tourist season the population grows to about 30,000 residents. Broome International Airport is an important hub in the area.

The city of Broome was founded in 1883 and was named after the then Governor of Western Australia, Sir Frederick Broome. The city was originally created to serve as a port for pearl fishermen.

In 1942, Broome was attacked by Japanese bombers, which claimed 88 lives. The war meant a break for the pearl industry, but after 1945 it recovered. The region’s expanding mining industry and tourism have made the city’s economy more diversified.


Cairns is a city in the northern part of the state of Queensland, and has 122,731 residents (2006). The city is 1,701 km from Brisbane and 2,420 km from the Sydney country road.

The city was founded in 1876 for gold diggers on their way to the goldfields on the Hodkinson River, and was named after Queensland’s then governor Willian Wellington Cairns.

The population decreased when a simpler route from Port Douglas was found. However, the future was secured when the port became the main port for the export of sugar cane, gold, precious metals and agricultural products from the surrounding region. The city is currently growing rapidly and is dependent on the sugar industry and tourism.

Cairns is a popular tourist destination for foreign tourists due to its tropical climate and proximity to many tourist attractions. The large barrier reef can be reached in under an hour by boat. Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation, about 130 km north, are popular areas if you want to experience tropical rainforest. It is also the starting point for exploring Cooktown, the Cape York Peninsula and the Atherton Plateau.

The city has used the natural surroundings to its advantage and created several smaller theme parks for tourists.


According to Countryaah, Canberra is the capital of Australia. It is located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The city has just over 323,004 residents (2003) and is Australia’s sixth largest city. The city has an international airport, Canberra International Airport.

In 1820, the first European colonizers came to the area. In 1908, the location of the new capital to be built was decided. Canberra was allowed to become the capital as a condition for the establishment of the Australian Commonwealth, to curb the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne over which city would be the capital.

Canberra’s emergence was planned in advance; it is a so-called planned city. An international competition was announced and won by Chicago architect Walter Burley Griffin. Construction began in 1913, and in 1927 the federal government and parliament moved to Canberra. The city thus became the capital of Australia.

The design of Canberra was strongly influenced by the popular garden cities of the time. There are large areas of natural vegetation, which is the basis for the nickname “bush capital”.


Darwin is a city in Australia with 120,900 residents (2006), and is the capital of the Northern Territory, as well as the area’s most important port. In 1974, the city was largely destroyed by tropical cyclone Tracy. The city is named after the British naturalist Charles Darwin, and was formerly called Port Darwin.


Hobart is the capital of the state of Tasmania in Australia, and has 205,566 residents (2006). The city has a natural, well-protected port and, among other things, the food, textile and wood industries.


Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria in Australia, and is a port city in southeastern Australia. It is Australia’s second largest city with just over 3.8 million residents (2006). Melbourne was the capital of Australia between 1901 and 1927. The city is crossed by the Yarra River.

Melbourne and Sydney have been the two competing cities throughout Australia’s modern history, and while Sydney is the economic center of the country, Melbourne has become the cultural hub. Another important difference between cities is architecture and urban planning. Sydney has over time acquired a more metropolitan structure, making it more confusing, while Melbourne, at least in the city center, has retained more of British colonial urban planning. The streets are straight and geographically very evenly distributed, which makes it easy to get around.

Melbourne was founded in 1835 by independent settlers on the banks of the Yarra River. The city quickly became an important center of the region, and the gold rush in Victoria in the 1850s made Melbourne Australia’s largest and most important city in the second half of the 19th century, before the role was taken over by Sydney. Due to the competition between the two cities of equal strength, the political executive of the independent state was relocated to Canberra, a city founded between the two cities. Melbourne hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics.


Perth is the capital of the state of Western Australia, and with just over 1.4 million residents (2005) is Australia’s fourth largest city.

Perth, located over 2,000 km from the nearest major city of Adelaide, is often described as the world’s most isolated mainland capital. The city center itself is relatively concentrated in the area around the Swan River, while residential suburbs spread over a large area and unite Perth with its suburb and port city of Fremantle.

The rock band INXS had Perth as their hometown during part of their early career, and AC / DC’s then singer, Bon Scott, grew up and was buried in the suburb of Fremantle.


Sydney is the capital of the state of New South Wales in Australia. The city is located on the east coast and borders the Pacific Ocean. It is Australia’s oldest and largest city with around 4.2 million residents (2006) including suburbs.

Sydney is Australia’s financial center and a popular tourist destination. The city has one of the world’s most famous buildings, the Sydney Opera House, which is located by the harbor. Other famous sights are Darling Harbor and Sydney Tower.

Sydney has many popular beaches. On the coast south of Harbor Brigde are beaches such as Bondi Beach, Coogee Beach and Cronulla Beach. The North Shore is home to the popular Manly Beach and Palm Beach. Sydney’s premier nightlife venues are at Kings Cross, Oxford Street, Darling Harbor, Circular Quay and The Rocks, all of which have bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Star City Casino is Sydney’s premier casino and is close to Darling Harbor. There are also several traditional pubs, cafes and restaurants in the inner city areas of Newtown, Balmain and Leicchardt. Local live music venues in Sydney have declined over the past decade due to stricter rules on volume. However, there are still several scenes, mainly in the inner districts or suburbs, where live music is played.