Australia is a nation of two large islands - and numerous smaller ones, the mainland and Tasmania.
Its area is approximately 7,682,300 square kilometres. About the size of the contiguous states of the USA.
Its climate ranges from alpine snow capped mountains to rainforest, vast dry plains and desert. It is considered to be amongst the driest continents on earth.
The highest recorded temperature was at Cloncurry Queensland of 53.1 deg C (127.58 deg F) and the coldest at Charlotte Pass NSW -23 deg C (-9.4 deg F). However, most of the time, most of the populated areas have tolerable and even pleasant temperatures. Melbourne is one of the few places in the country where you can see a selection of coats for sale. Up here in SE Queensland, I own a single sweater, which I occasionaly use at home, but more frequently while travelling.
The capital of Australia is Canberra, (it means "meeeting place in one of the many Aboriginal languages) situated in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The ACT is unique amongst the states and territories of Australia in that it has no sea shore. Most people dont like Canberra, describing it as sterile and boring, but I like it. If it wasnt so damn cold in Canberra I might consider living there.
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