Australia

Australia is a unique country, under so many aspects. It as a lot to offer and it is a place to be seen at least once in a lifetime!

Territory

Australia is the widest country in the world, of over 7 millions km² of extension, with a very various territory. The most of it is flat and barren. The eastern side of the country is occupied by the steppe, a desert with scattered shrubs: its vastness reaches almost the 40% of the whole territory. In the central part lies the symbol of the country, the Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. This has always been a very important veneration site for the the Aboriginal people. On the eastern side of the continent there is the Great Dividing Range: this is a mountainous range that goes from the south to the very top north and is divided in various different chains. Also the coasts are quite various depending on the site: it is characterised by numerous big inlets, peninsulas and islands. Some have cliffs on the sea, others long and never-ending white beaches.

Climate

Being the territory very wide and diverse, same is the climate. The central part feature very few rainfall during the year, and as in all the deserts of the world, there is a marked temperature variation during the day, that can reach up to 35 degrees, and the night, when it goes down even to 5 degrees.

The Northern part is characterised by a tropical climate, that divide the year in two seasons: the dry one and the humid one. May to October features temperatures of average 30 degrees and no rains, while November to April is a very humid time, with temperatures over the 40 degrees.

The East is subtropical, getting cooler going south. However, average are 30 degrees in summer and down to a minimum of 10 degrees in winter. Storms are more likely to be in summers.

The south-east part has kind of a mediterranean temperate climate: hot and dry summers and cold an humid winters, while in the south-west the temperatures gets more mild and more humid in summer.

The Western part offers dry and muggy summers, mild winters with little probability of rainfall.

Wildlife

Australian wildlife became a very iconic feature of this land, thanks in particular to two marsupial animals: kangaroos and koalas. Nonetheless these are just two among the thousands species who inhabit Australia: only 100.000 species have been classified, out of the 300.000 stimate to live here.

The most characteristic are the marsupial species, since here are more numerous than in other continents, such as Africa and South America, where they live as well, but in much lower number (the kangaroo and the koala, however, live in Australia only). Among the most notorious ones are the wallaby, the opossum, the wombat, the quokka and the famous and scary Tasmanian devil.

Birds are also very characteristic and many species are found only here: holding a spot even in the Australian crest, is the emu, a tall bird that can’t fly, similar to an ostrich. And yet, everyone may have heard about the kookaburra and the cockatoo, two beautiful birds with a very strong and particular call.
A quite weird water animal that inhabit Australia is the platypus, a four legged furry animal, with webbed feet and a wide beak.

Reptiles are also very diffused in the country: here are two species of crocodiles, and over 100 species of venomous snakes. A lizard found only in Australia is the blue-tongue goanna.

The sea, moreover, is a very crowded place! Here fish and marine mammals are many and various. Whales, dolphins and seals share the same water with sharks and the beautiful and colourful fishes and corals of the Great Barrier Reef.