The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Australia:
Australia refers to both the continent of Australia and to the Commonwealth of Australia, the sovereign country. Australia, the world's smallest continent, is in the Southern Hemisphere and borders both the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
The Commonwealth of Australia comprises the mainland of the Australian continent, plus the major island of Tasmania, and other nearby islands. The neighbouring countries are Indonesia, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east.
The Australian mainland has been inhabited for more than 42,000 years by Indigenous Australians. After sporadic visits by fishermen from the north and then European discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, the eastern half of Australia was later claimed by the British in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation as part of the colony of New South Wales, commencing on 26 January 1788. As the population grew and new areas were explored, another five largely self-governing Crown colonies were established during the 19th century.
The Saltwater crocodile is the largest species of crocodile in the world.
|State/territory||Land area (km²)||Rank||Population (2012)||Rank||Population density (/km²)||Rank||% of population in capital||Rank|
|New South Wales||800,642||5th||7,348,900||1st||9.18||3rd||63.5%||5th|
|Australian Capital Territory||2,358||8th||379,600||7th||160.98||1st||98.7%||1st|
The Commonwealth of Australia is a member of the:
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