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Area

Australia is the only country that is a continent and it's the smallest continent at that. The country is roughly one large land mass (2,967,893 square miles), except for Tasmania off the southeastern coast and several island territories situated in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Tasman Sea. Australia is the sixth largest country in area and it's about the size of the continental United States.

The landscape features great contrasts in geography, climate and seasons. There are vast flat areas of arid desert and grasslands; fertile coastal strips; wooded highlands and mountain ranges topping out at 7,000 ft.; and rainforests covering the tropical north. At 1250 miles the offshore Great Barrier Reef is the world's longest and at 2300 miles the country's longest river system is the Murray Darling.

The seasons in Australia are the reverse of North America and the northern hemisphere. Summer lasts from December to February; autumn from March to May; winter from June to August and spring from September to November. In most of the country, especially the dry interior, it is sunny and warm even in winter and hot in summer. The southwestern and southeastern regions as well as Tasmania can experience cool and rainy conditions in winter.



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