Mike's Australia by Mike Dixon - HTML preview
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Some call it the world's smallest continent. Others say it's the world's largest island. Either way … AUSTRALIA IS BIG!
The distance from Perth to Cairns is about 3,500 km (2,000 miles), which is roughly the same as Gibraltar to St Petersburg, Vancouver to New Orleans or Tokyo to Hanoi.
Australia is almost exactly the same size as the USA (minus Alaska) but has only 23 million people to America's 300 million. Apart from the coastal fringes, it is a dry sunbaked land. The south has a temperate (sometimes cold) climate and the top third is in the tropics.
A range of mountains runs down the east coast. Rain falls on the seaward side and this is where the bulk of the population lives. Further areas of habitation are to be found in soggy Tasmania, around Adelaide and in the vicinity of Perth. The rest of the continent (marked yellow on the map) is sparsely populated.