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Location - Australia is the smallest of seven continents and the sixth largest country Because it lies in the Southern Hemisphere its seasons are the opposite of those in the northern half of the globe Australia is located between the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean It is made up of two islands Australia is very close to other island nations To the north are Papa New Guinea Indonesia and part of Malaysia Further to the north are the Philippines and Asian mainland Southeast of Australia is New Zealand Like Australia it was once a British colony Finally to the south is the icy continent of Antarctica Climate - Almost half of Australia-the northern part of the county lies in the earths tropical zone Australias tropical region is warm to hot all year The wet season is November through April and the dry season is May to October The southern part of the country has a temperate climate It has four distinct seasons Australias heaviest rains fall along the north east and southeast coasts Queenslands coast receives almost 150 inches of rain a year The wet season brings violent rainstorms and cyclones on the north coast and floods farther inland Droughts are common throughout much of Australia and can be devastating to the nations economy Crops shrivel and die leaving little for the cattle to eat Snowfall is rare throughout Australia except in the Australian Alps and parts of Tasmania Average temperatures in July and January JulyJanuary Sydney78 F61 F Canberra82 F52 F Darwin90 F87 F Size - Australia is almost three million square miles 2978147 miles square It is approximately 2500 miles from east to west and 2300 miles from north to south Australia compared to The United States Australia compared to Japan Australia compared to The United Kingdom Australia compared to Europe Fun Facts - Australia produces 95 percent of the worlds precious opals
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