In the antipodes, on the other side of the world, there is a huge country. A trip to Australia is like discovering a whole new world. The geography, the climate and the wildlife are all totally different to anything you've ever seen and it will all seem rather strange to you.
More than a country, Australia is so huge that it is also a continent. With more than 7.6 million square kilometres, Australia is is an enormous islandmore than 31 times bigger than the UK. It stretches over 3,200 kilometres from north to south and 4,000 kilometres from east to west. It has 34,000 kilometres of coastline. The highest point is Mount Kosciuszko which rises to a height of 2,230 metres. Each of the six states which make up the country has access to either the Pacific or the Indian Ocean. The six states are Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia.
The country is so huge that you may well experience several different climates during your travels in Australia. It may be tropical, subtropical, equatorial, temperate, desert or grassland. Generally speaking, it is hot in Australia. This is is particularly true in the centre of the country where temperatures regularly soar above 40°C. The exception is the northern part of the country which is sometimes hit by cyclones. You can't really summarise the Australian climate, because the country is just so big. However, I'll try...just remember that it's often very hot, it rarely rains, but it just might. Australia can be described as an arid country.
90% of the fauna in Australia are native species. This means that nine out of ten species in Australia are found nowhere else in the world. The most famous are kangaroos and koala bears, of course. There are also all sorts of marsupials, such as the cuscus, the echidna, the quokka, the wombat and the legendary Tasmanian devil. There are lots of dingoes too which are particularly dangerous in packs. The platypus, with its strange duck-like bill, is totally harmless, however. Amongst the 750 species of birds in Australia, you're sure to come across emus ( a bit like small ostriches) and hear the diabolical laughter of the kookaburra. When it comes to the most dangerous species, Australia is home to many crocodiles, jellyfish, deadly poisonous spiders and the eight most venomous species of snakes in the world. Try to avoid the taipan, which is the most dangerous and deadly of them all.