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Kangaroos on a beach.
Kangaroos on a beach.
Flag of Australia (converted).svg

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Indigenous Australians inhabited the continent for about 65,000 years prior to European discovery with the arrival of Dutch explorers in the early 17th century, who named it New Holland. In 1770, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the time of an 1850s gold rush, most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.

Being the oldest, flattest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi). A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. Its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications, banking, and manufacturing.

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Waterfall Gully is a small suburb in the South Australian city of Adelaide. It is located in the foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges around five kilometres east of Adelaide's central business district (CBD). For the most part, the suburb encompasses one long gully with First Creek at its centre and Waterfall Gully Road adjacent to the creek. At one end of the gully is the waterfall for which the suburb was named. Part of the Burnside Council, it is bounded to the north by the suburb of Burnside, to the north-east by Greenhill, to the south-east by Cleland Conservation Park, to the south-west by Leawood Gardens and to the north-west by Mount Osmond. Waterfall Gully is rich in history and has been a popular attraction since Adelaide's early colonists discovered the area in the nineteenth century. Home to a number of residents and increasingly frequented by tourists, Waterfall Gully has undergone extensive developments in recent years.

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The Royal Exhibition Building, showing the fountain on the southern or Carlton Gardens side of the building.

The Royal Exhibition Building is located in Victorian capital of Melbourne. Situated in the Carlton Gardens, at the north-eastern edge of the central business district, it was completed in 1880 for the Melbourne International Exhibition. It was also the site of the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia with the opening of the first Parliament of Australia.

Photo credit: Diliff

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For a topic outline on this subject, see Outline of Australia.

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