Australia is one of the most interesting continents in the world. It is the world's largest island, yet smallest continent and sits bordered by the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Southern Ocean and Tasman Sea. It is full of unique landscapes, cultures, flora, fauna and national icons.
During the European settlement in Australia there was said to be 1 million aborigines living on the continent with their own established culture, ways of living off the land, languages and beliefs. Australia Aboriginals are the indigenous peoples of Australia and are still considered to be its traditional owners.
The Northern Territory has the largest population of crocodiles in Australia with approximately five crocodiles per kilometre in rivers (some rivers have larger populations than this!). It's also home to the oldest river system in the world, the Finke River. It's most well known for its capital city, Darwin, and Uluru.
Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is an ancient rock of huge size located in the centre of the Northern Territory. This national icon was naturally formed out of sandstone and stands some 348 metres above sea level. It is sacred to the the Aboriginal people of Australia, more specifically to the local Anangu tribe, who are the traditional owners. It is said that Uluru was formed 550 million years ago and once sat at the bottom of the ocean.
The Whitsunday islands are a part of the Cumberland chain of islands, protected by the Great Barrier Reef, off the east coast of Queensland. The Whitsundays are a tourist attraction because of the tropical islands with most protected by National Park, as well as the now inhabited Hamilton Island, Hayman Island and Daydream Island. There are many boat tours that explore the area, offering guests the chance to visit Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef marine part and enjoy the beauty of the 74 Whitsunday islands. They are a top tourist destination in Australia.
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the most famous reef in the world. It is visible from space due to its vast size and amazing coral formations. It is natural wonder of the world and a marine phenomenon, stretching some 2,300 kilometres along the coast of Queensland. It is home to 600 different types of hard and soft corals as well as 1,700 species of fish, not to mention a variety of whales, dolphins, turtles and sharks. The official authority of the Great Barrier Reef is the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, or GBRMPA.
Wildlife and marine species
Australia is renowned for its native wildlife species including kangaroos, koalas, platypus, emus, echidnas, kookaburras, goannas, dingoes and Tasmania Devils, all of which are only found within Australia. In the water, Australia is home to saltwater crocodiles, Bluefin dolphins, green sea turtles, dugongs and more. Australia is perhaps more well known for its resident population of venomous species such as he red back spider, the brown snake, the blue ringed octopus and the box jellyfish. No matter their origin, every animal in Australia contributes to the balance and health of their diverse ecosystems. The country is full of amazing and unique flora and fauna as it has been isolated for millions of years, leading it evolve separately from the rest of the world. 80 per cent of plants and animals that are found in Australia are unique and found no where else in the world, making it a biological goldmine.