Australia is unique in that it's the world's largest landmass surrounded by water on all sides. This has led Australia to develop unique environments, a remarkable culture and environments that you won't see anywhere else in the world. All this has occurred across the 7.69-million-kilometer landmass that creates the mainland of Australia.
The first thing that you need to know about Australia is that it's big. It's roughly 3700 kilometers north to south and around 4000 kilometers across. This makes it the sixth largest nation in the world, which means that there's plenty of room for exciting and unique discoveries to be made.
Australia isn't just large in accordance with land area. It has the third largest amount of ocean territory in the world, which makes it possible for Australia to have an astounding amount of coastline that borders the 12 million square kilometers that creates that ocean territory. Around 80 percent of the population of Australia lives within 100 kilometers of the coast, which means that most of the major cities also are located near the water.
The large area of Australia coupled with the fact that the northern coast sits just a 15 degrees below the equator has allowed for brilliant white sandy beaches, arid deserts, tropical rainforests, lush hinterlands, secluded islands, wineries and snow fields to develop. Much of the land in Australia is still undeveloped and filled with wildlife, which means that it's perfect for those who want to have a relaxing time enjoying the beauty that Mother Nature has to offer without the pollutants that man makes.
Australia has such a diverse climate with a large, untamed area that animals are still able to naturally thrive. The fact that Australia is an island has allowed for a large number of species exclusive to Australia to develop.
The most surprising thing that many people learn about Australia is that there are no large predatory animals to be seen. There's no bears, no tigers and no leopards. The largest predatory animal is the dingo, which is a type of wild dog.
Other unique predators include the Tasmanian devil, quoll and the numbat. The interesting thing about these predators is that none of them are larger than the average house cat.
With over 140 different species, Australia boasts a large number of marsupials. Animals in this family are typically iconic to Australia when people think about her. This includes kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats and more.
While it's typically easy to spot a kangaroo, given that they live on grasslands typically, it's much harder to spot marsupials like the wombat. They're stout animals that burrow, which leaves them hidden from all but the keenest of watchful eyes.
Monotremes are another group of animals only found in Australia. They're egg-laying mammals, which means that the platypus and the echidna are two species of animal that you will only find in the wild when visiting Australia.
Australia also boasts a large population of birds. Given the tropical nature of some parts of Australia, this means that bright and beautiful animals like cockatoos choose to make their home here. It also means that birds like black swans, fairy penguins, lyrebirds and kookaburras make their home here. Many of these birds reside specifically on islands like Kangaroo Island, which means that you may not be able to see them without planning ahead to do so.
As beautiful as Australia is, it holds a marked danger. Australia has the largest and most diverse population of venomous snakes than anywhere else. 21 of them are in the top 25 of the world's deadliest, which means that certain precautions should be taken for wildlife watchers and tourists alike. Non-venomous snakes like the python and various species of tree snakes are also located in Australia and a beautiful sight to behold.
Australia also boasts a large population of reptiles. Freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, endangered sea turtles and monitor lizards make for some of the most iconic reptilian population in Australia.
Remember the fact that Australia has 12 million square kilometers of water territory. Included in that territory is the Great Barrier Reef, which is home to over 1700 species of fish, including brightly-coloured aquatic life like the clown fish.
Larger species of marine life like the numerous dolphin species, whale sharks, dugongs, southern right and orca whales, and a wide array of shark species also inhabit the waters surrounding Australia. Kangaroo Island is likely one of the best places to see these majestic animals in their natural environment, as it contains a collection of different animals all in one place.
Australia contains innumerable locations for tourists to visit. Everything from nature in her untouched beauty to the majestic man-made beauty of Sydney can be seen here.
Check out these locations that you might want to visit during your campervan tour of Australia:
The Great Barrier Reef, The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Ayers Rock, The Cable Cars over Kuranda, Tremantle, Mount Koscluzko on the Great diving Range, The Gold Coast's Theme Parks and National Parks, Kakadu, Monkey Mia, Fraser Island, Magnetic Island, Cradle Mountain, Rottnest Island, The Great Ocean Road, Margaret River, The Daintree, Phillip Island or Tasmania we could honestly go on forever, the country is so vast there are many more places to see.
Before you go sightseeing in Australia, it's important to understand how Australia is divided. There are six states and two mainland territories that make up Australia.
Below is a brief explanation of how these states work and what portions of Australia that they cover:
New South Wales (NSW) is on the southeast portion of Australia. The capital territory is located within it. Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, is located here.
Victoria (VIC) is the southernmost territory, located on the eastern side of Australia. Tasmania is directly south of it.
Queensland (QLD) encompasses the northeast portion of Australia.
Tasmania (TAS) is the state located on the island directly south of Victoria.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is located within Victoria. Sydney is located here.
Northern Territory (NT) covers the northern center portion of Australia.
South Australia (SA) is the state located beneath the Northern Territory.
Western Australia (WA) is the state located to the west of South Australia and the Northern Territory.