About Australia

Australia's enduring icon: the kangaroo

an indigenous Australian

Although Australia was not known to the Western world, it did exist in late medieval European logic and mythology: A great Southland, or Terra Australis, was thought necessary to balance the weight of the northern landmasses of Europe and Asia. Terra Australis often appeared on early European maps as a large, globe-shaped mass in about its correct location, although no actual discoveries were recorded by Europeans until much later. Indeed, the European exploration of Australia took more than three centuries to complete; thus, what is often considered the oldest continent, geologically, was the last to be discovered and colonized by Europeans.

Click on flag to listen to Australia's National Anthem (lyrics below):

Australian fashion generally follows Western styles of dress, but is distinctive for the lightweight, colorful casual wear that reflects the absence of harsh winters. Food and drink preferences are influenced by global fashions, but also mirror the rise of ethnic diversity and the country's capacity to produce most kinds of food, wine, and other beverages in abundance.

Click to listen to another Australian favourite Waltzing Matilda.

see how big Australia is compared to Europe

No discussion about Australia is complete without reference to the original inhabitants: the Aborigines. Above, a corroboree is in progress. A sacred ceremony, where songs serve as the vital link to the realm of Aboriginal spirits called Dreamtime.The Aborigines believe that, long ago, the Dreamtime spirits sang songs that created all living things on earth. Today, these songs are sung in sacred ceremonies to ensure the survival and propagation of all plant and animal life.

an Aboriginal art with its distinctive style

Don't Banga Kanga!

outback highway

Australia's delightful Koala consumes large quantities of eucalyptus leaves (1 kg daily), peak feeding being at sunset.