• With an area of just over 7.5 million square kilometres, Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world.

• Australia’s population is estimated at just over 22 million, of whom some 85 percent live in urban areas. About 92 percent are of European origin, two percent Aboriginal, and around six percent Asian and Middle Eastern.

• Much of Australia is arid and flat. One-third is desert and another third steppe or semi-desert. Only six percent of the country rises above 600m in elevation, and its tallest peak, Mount Kosciuszko, is just 2228m high.

• Australia’s main exports are minerals, metals, fossil fuels, cotton, wool, wine and beef, and its most important trading partners are Japan, China and the USA.

• At 5614km the dingo fence is the longest in the world, stretching from Jimbour to the cliffs of the Nullarbor Plain. It’s around twice the length of the Great Wall of China.

• Australia ranks proudly ranks second in the Human Development Index, which measures a country’s progress by its life expectancy, education and income. Norway comes first.

• Around 22 percent of Australians are descended from convicts.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

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Sydney or Melbourne: the great Aussie debate

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