The Commonwealth of Australia is an island nation situated in the Pacific Ocean, comprising, alongside the mainland of Australia, the island of Tasmania and a few smaller islands. Australia is the 6th largest country in the world in terms of surface and it has a population of over 23,220,000 people. The capital of Australia is Canberra, but the nation’s largest city is Sydney. Other large cities include, in order: Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth as head of state.
Australia has one of the strongest economies in the world and it currently ranks as the second wealthiest countries, after Switzerland. The services industry, tourism, education, and financial services represent the most developed sectors of the economy. Major exports include wool, iron ore, beef, and raw sugar. The local currency is the Australian dollar (AUD).
Australia is a multicultural nation made up of Indigenous people who have inhabited the land for over 50,000 years and settlers from over 200 countries. It is fairly common to find households in Australia speaking languages other than English in their homes. In fact 226 different languages are spoken in Australian homes. After English some of the most commonly spoken languages include Cantonese, Greek, Italian and Arabic. This is not surprising as more than 20% of the Australians are born outside of Australia and more than 40% come from mixed cultural origins.
The diversity and size of Australia’s landscape is difficult for an international to comprehend. Estimating the appropriate dress requirements for all variants of climates and terrains can be difficult. The change in topography and weather can be drastic from the dry-desserts to mountainous regions to subtropical and rainforest areas. It is also imperative that travelers take tips from locals and make every effort to stay safe form the natural dangers associated with each area. For example, on beaches or in oceans there are the sharks and rips, in bush country the snakes, and other venomous creatures. Bushfires and sunburn are some other dangers that need to be dealt with.