Australia is a distant land that’s captivated the hearts of travelers and explorers for hundreds of years. It’s a land that evokes a mysterious type of magnetism that makes us want to go there because of the legends and folklore that surround the historical nature of this place. It’s where one can “get away from it all,” yet be in one of the most modernized countries in the world. It’s the home to the Aborigine, the kangaroo, and the Great Barrier Reef. Although Australians speak English as their first language, they incorporate words such as “g’day” and “mate.”
But this is also a land of remarkable contrasts. For example, Australia is a country of enormous size, but has the third smallest population in the world, so vast areas are sparely populated or are uninhabited. Another contrast is that, although it is the world’s largest island, Australia is the world’s smallest continent. As was mentioned above, English is the main language. However, more than 200 other languages are also spoken in this country – and 99% of the population 15 years old and older can read and write. Now that is impressive!
A few facts about Australia:
- Life expectancy is among the highest in the world at 5th place
- Life expectancy for males is 80 years
- Life expectancy for females is 84 years
- Australia is the 3rd least populated country in the world, after Namibia and Mongolia
- 89% of the population lives in urbanized areas
- The median age of the population is 37.3 years old
- Desert lands make up 70% of Australia’s mainland
- Australia’s economy ranks 5th in the world per nominal GDP, after Luxembourg, Norway, Qatar, and Switzerland
Although we’ve not had the opportunity to go there ourselves, some of our best friends, David and Linda Downing, recently had the opportunity to go to Australia and New Zealand. They came back excited and mentioned that it had been an experience of a lifetime. They also showed us some spectacular pictures that they had taken on the trip. We thought that it would be interesting to write about their adventures and post an article for the blog. Although it was difficult to decide where to start, we decided it would be fun to start with an article about Australia.