Australia is a land of topographical, cultural, physical, meteorological and visual contrasts. It is a land of leisure with sun, sea and an enviable 'Crocodile Dundee' outdoor lifestyle and offers travellers the opportunity to relax on its sandy beaches, explore its massive coral reefs or view the many wonders of the Australian Outback. From deserts to ski hills, big cities to rainforests, Australia is a land of contrasts that could take you months to explore.

Australia is located in the southern hemisphere and is comprised of the mainland of the world's smallest continent, the major island of Tasmania, and a number of other islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. An island nation, its neighbouring countries include Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and New Zealand. Apart from the mainland, Australia is also home to the world's largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef, which extends for over 2,000 kilometres.

The largest part of Australia is desert or semi-arid and only the southeast and southwest corners of the continent have temperate climates. The landscapes of the northern part of the country, with its tropical climate, consist of rainforest, woodland, grassland, mangrove swamps and desert. Ocean currents significantly influence the climate. Temperatures average 29°C during the summer months (December to March) and 13°C during the winter months (June to August).

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