Australia

This dry and dusty country-continent has more kangaroos and non-indigenous camels than people. It’s also home to six of the most poisonous snakes in the world, scorpions, coastal sharks, miniscule poisonous jellyfish and of course, the adorable, eucalyptus-smelling koala. No wonder this continent is where Britain once exiled prisoners (1788-1868). Today it’s a playground for outdoor adventurers (think Crocodile Dundee), scuba divers and wine lovers.

Given its arid landscape, most people live on the coast, leaving lots of space with few signs of humanity in the middle (aka outback). Australia is 80 percent the size of the United States but has only 8 percent of its population (25 million). That means there is lots of room to explore, mate. You can dive into what’s left of the Great Barrier Reef, see spectacular sunrises over red earth (hello, Uluru), discover gorgeous shiraz and other wines, make furry friends, bungee jump to your heart’s discontent and walk the harrowing Sydney Bridge among endless adventures. Note 8,222 islands, including Tasmania and New Guinea, also belong to Australia.

Contrary to popular belief, New Zealand is not part of the Australian continent. It belongs to a submerged, unofficial continent called Zealandia that’s 25 kilometers east of Australia. While the jury’s out on whether to make Zealandia an eighth continent, data to date says no.

Latest Blog Posts

Kata Tjuta, Alice Springs, Australia

Sacred Monolith and Endemic Life in Australia’s Outback

The outback of Australia accounts for 80 percent of this country-continent’s land. No wonder there are twice as many kangaroos as people! But those who inhabit this rusty, dusty land make the best of it. And the wildlife will blow you away. (FYI, #koalas are not bears.)

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Bridge Over Troubled Water in Sydney

I’ve done a lot of crazy stuff in my life but walking up Sydney Harbour Bridge took me by surprise. Poisonous snakes, scorpions, sharks and box jellyfish have nothing on it and might make it easier to conquer fear.

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Unlike Australia, Antarctica is only a continent, not also a country. That’s because it does not have sovereignty, a government, a political system, an army or a permanent population.