Australia is a country, and continent, surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal, but its capital, Canberra, is inland and nicknamed the “Bush Capital.” The country is known for its Sydney Opera House, Great Barrier Reef, the vast Outback (interior desert wilderness) and unique animal species including kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses.

Australia has six statesNew South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD), South Australia (SA), Tasmania (TAS), Victoria (VIC) and Western Australia (WA)—and two major mainland territories—the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the Northern Territory (NT).

Australia is a developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, with the world’s 12th-largest economy. In 2014 Australia had the world’s fifth-highest per capita income.

Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights.

Australia is the world’s fourth largest exporter of wine. The Barossa Valley is a major wine-producing region in South Australia.

Australia is a wealthy country; it generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications, banking and manufacturing.

Australia is a major exporter of agricultural products, particularly wheat and wool, minerals such as iron-ore and gold, and energy in the forms of liquified natural gas and coal. Although agriculture and natural resources account for only 3% and 5% of GDP respectively, they contribute substantially to export performance. Australia’s largest export markets are Japan, China, the US, South Korea, and New Zealand. Australia is the world’s fourth largest exporter of wine, and the wine industry contributes $5.5 billion per year to the nation’s economy.

http://www.australia.gov.au/

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