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GEOGRAPHY & CLIMATE
Climatic zones in Australia, based on Köppen classification.
Australia's 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,299 sq. mi) landmass
is on the Indo-Australian Plate. Surrounded by the Indian and Pacific
oceans, Australia is separated from Asia by the Arafura and Timor
seas. Australia has a total 34,218 kilometres (21,262 mi) of coastline
(excluding all offshore islands) and claims an extensive Exclusive
Economic Zone of 8,148,250 square kilometres (3,146,057 sq. mi).
This exclusive economic zone does not include the Australian Antarctic
Territory.

The Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef, lies a short
distance off the north-east coast and extends for over 2,000 kilometres
(1,250 mi). Mount Augustus claimed to be the world's largest monolith,
is located in Western Australia. At 2,228 metres (7,310 ft), Mount
Kosciuszko on the Great Dividing Range is the highest mountain on the
Australian mainland, although Mawson Peak on the remote Australian
territory of Heard Island is taller at 2,745 metres (9,006 ft).

By far the largest part of Australia is desert or semi-arid. Australia is the
flattest continent, has the oldest and least fertile soils, and is the driest
inhabited continent. Only the south-east and south-west corners of the
continent have a temperate climate. Most of the population lives along
the temperate south-eastern coastline. The landscapes of the northern
part of the country, with a tropical climate, consist of rainforest,
woodland, grassland, mangrove swamps and desert. The climate is
significantly influenced by ocean currents, including the El Niño southern
oscillation, which is correlated with periodic drought, and the seasonal
tropical low pressure system that produces cyclones in northern
Australia.
Capital


Largest city
Canberra
35°18′S, 149°08′E

Sydney
Official languages
English (de facto )
Demonym
Australian
Government



Monarch   -  
Governor  -    
Prime Minister
Parliamentary
democracy    
(federal constitutional monarchy)
Queen Elizabeth II
Michael Jeffery
John Howard
Independence

Constitution           
Statute of
Westminster    
Australia Act          
from the United Kingdom  
1 January 1901  

11 December1931   
(adopted 9 September 1939)
3 March 1986
Area
Total
Water (%)
7,741,220 km² (6th)
2,988,888 sq mi  
1
Population
2007 estimate

2006 census

Density

21,134,563 [1] (53rd)

19,855,288  

2.6/km² (224th) 6.7/sq mi
GDP (PPP)
Total


Per capita
2006 estimate
$1.727 trillion (8th1)

$12,096 (59th)
GDP (nominal)
Total

Per capita
2007 estimate
US$822.1 billion (AU $1.1
trillion) (15th)
US$39,320 (DFAT) (17th)
HDI (2004)
0.957 (high) (3rd)
Gini? (2002)
39.9 (medium)
Currency
Australian dollar (AUD)
Time zone

Summer (DST)
various N3 (UTC+8 to
+10.5)
(UTC+9 to +11.5)
+10.5)
Internet TLD
.au
Calling code         
+61
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