Around 40,000 BC the first immigrants arrived in Australia from South-East Asia. After discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788. Between then and 1868, 162,000 convicts were shipped to Australia, with 22% of the current population boasting they can trace back their ancestors to one of these offenders. The Commonwealth was declared on January 1st, 1901, and in 1911 Canberra was founded and became Australia’s capital city. Today the country has a population of around 22.9 million, with only 2.5% being made up of Aborigine and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The 6th largest country in the world, Australia has amazing beaches, rain forests, snowy mountains and the world famous Outback. It’s multi-cultural cities are packed with designer fashion stores, art galleries, cafés, bars and restaurants, and no matter which city you find yourself in, the skyscrapers and shopping strips are just a short drive from mountains, ocean, rivers and the desert. It is home to the world’s largest coral reef, which stretches an incredible 1,800 miles, and also has the two highest monoliths – Mount Augustus and Ayres Rock, or Uluru as it is known in the native tongue.
Australia isn’t just about the famous sunshine and incredible beaches, barbies and kangaroos. According to a survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, for the third year in a row Australia is the happiest place on earth to live. The work to life balance is also better in Australia, where on average fewer hours are worked annually, meaning people have more time for family, friends and leisure activities. To learn more about this diverse and beautiful country read our infographic of 50 things you didn’t know about Australia.
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